CASCADE working paper, Jos Boonstra (FRIDE)
The South Caucasus lies at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Asia and is subject to the often conflicting geopolitical influences of Russia, the European Union (EU), Turkey, and the United States (US). Iran might have an influential role in the region in the future. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are far from being helpless pawns in this geopolitical contest for influence and affiliation. Indeed to some degree they play these external actors off against each other. Armenia looks north to Russia for support; Azerbaijan is wary of integration initiatives but close to Turkey; and Georgia’s objectives are fixed westwards towards the EU and US. Together these three countries and the five ‘external’ actors constitute a dense web of interdependent relationships that affects governance and values; security and conflict; and trade and energy.
The working paper can be downloaded here: