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NATO-Georgia Cooperation: A Rhetorical Engagement? Nona Mikhelidze

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 852

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:45 AM

In 2008, NATO officially embraced Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, declaring that one day the country would become a member of the alliance. Almost six years on, most policymakers - on both sides - agree that membership depends not on Georgia’s political domain or security options, but rather on the geopolitical struggle between the major powers in the post-Soviet space, and most of all on the challenging NATO-Russia relationship. Kosovo’s declaration of independence and the Bucharest Summit in 2008, at which Georgia was promised that it would one day gain membership, exacerbated the already complicated relations between Russia and the West. Both events were perceived by the Kremlin as a threat to Russia’s strategic interests. Moreover, from Russia’s perspective, both required a response. Russia’s security dilemma culminated in August 2008 with the invasion of Georgia. This war led to the suspension of talks on Georgia’s eventual NATO membership. Furthermore, the events in Ukraine, the financial crisis in Europe and U.S. policy in the Middle East and towards Iran have made it necessary to decelerate the Georgian NATO membership process. For now, NATO cannot compete with the Russian influence in the region. Consequently, it will pursue only a limited role in Georgia and in the South Caucasus more generally, keeping activities within the framework of the Individual Partnership Action Plans and engagement limited to the promotion of democracy, economic development, and military reform. Read more...

Regional Projections of NATO’s Global Outreach: Lessons from Central Asia; Farkhod Tolipov

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 851

Dec 23, 2014 - 11:30 AM

The article analyses the evolving partnership between Central Asian countries and NATO, with particular focus on their involvement in Afghanistan in partnership with NATO. The author suggests that future partnerships between Central Asian nations and NATO may prove challenging. The article argues that throughout the ISAF operation in Afghanistan, Central Asian countries have remained consumers and relatively passive spectators. On one hand, through the overall network of PfP and NDN-related activities, Central Asian states have obtained important- and indeed quite successful - experiences in terms of interacting with the once alien and hostile North Atlantic Alliance. The paper concludes that the NATO-Central Asia partnership can become a marker of the post-Cold War ‘reboot’ of the international security system. Read more...

Caucasus International Vol. 2 No: 3 - Autumn - 2012

By Editor CI

views: 836

Oct 12, 2014 - 12:40 AM

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Caucasus International Vol. 3 - No: 3 - Autumn - 2013

By Editor CI

views: 835

Oct 12, 2014 - 12:48 AM

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Caucasus International Vol. 2 No: 2 - Summer - 2012

By Editor CI

views: 834

Oct 12, 2014 - 12:37 AM

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Superpowers and International Governance: A ‘Might Is Right’ Story? Klaus Larres

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 821

Sep 30, 2015 - 3:44 PM

International governance has frequently been imposed by outright force, or more subtly by means of political, economic and military pressure. The modern world of superpowers has been no exception. In fact, their sheer overwhelming political and economic power and military might has rendered the temptation to enforce their will while ignoring or sidelining the views of other countries apparently irresistible. Nevertheless, examples from both the Cold War era and the post-Cold War world demonstrate that even superpowers cannot do as they wish. The structure of the international system as developed since 1945, along with the influence of democracy, a growing global acknowledgment of the importance of a culture of consensus and cooperation in international affairs imposes powerful constraints. This often, though not always, ensures that might is not always right. Increasingly, individual great powers do not get away with behaving like a bull in a china shop. This includes the United States (invasion of Iraq) and Russia (Crimea, Ukraine); both countries have faced significant negative consequences for their violations of international law and the conventions of global governance. Read more...

Caucasus International Vol. 3 • No: 4 • Winter 2013-2014

By Editor CI

views: 798

Nov 6, 2014 - 4:07 PM

Elections in Eurasia: Reflections and Prospects Vol. 3 • No: 4 • Winter 2013-2014 Read more...

Bringing Russian and Iranian Gas to the Georgian Market: Technically Challenging, Economically Unfeasible and Politically Costly?; Bartosz Mendyk

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 782

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:24 PM

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the three South Caucasus countries found themselves in a power vacuum, which led to various geopolitical events and even catastrophes (such as territorial conflicts and separatism). However, this vacuum also enabled two of the newly independent South Caucasus countries – Azerbaijan and Georgia – to jointly implement major oil and gas projects, the Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline, both of which bypassed Russia. Initially, the two states were dependent on Russia which was a key transit country for Azerbaijan and a major gas supplier to Georgia. After August War in 2008, Georgia suspended its gas imports from Russia, except the volume received as a ‘transit fee’ for the gas supplied to Armenia. Since 2007, Azerbaijan, by virtue of its vast energy resources, has been supplying the majority of Georgia’s oil and gas demand and almost completely met its strategic ally’s energy needs when the Russian supplies were cut down during 2008 war. However, a statement by Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze in September 2015 on the purchase of Russian and potentially Iranian gas by Georgia raised some questions. This article will examine the extent to which the purchase of Russian gas is realistic and compatible with Georgia’s national interests and to what extent it poses the risk to its relations with Azerbaijan, as well as the feasibility of bringing the Iranian gas to Georgia given the technical shortcomings and political backlash displayed by Russia. The author’s arguments are based on the reliability of Azerbaijan as both supplier and neighbor, as well as the technical difficulties and political repercussions respectively of bringing Iranian and Russian gas to Georgia. Read more...

Caucasus International Vol. 4 • No: 3-4 • Winter 2014-2015

By ilgar Gurbanov

views: 777

Jun 2, 2015 - 1:58 PM

Experiences of NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) in the Post-Soviet Space: 20 Years On Read more...

Caucasus International Vol. 2 No: 1 - Spring - 2012

By Editor CI

views: 755

Oct 12, 2014 - 12:34 AM

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