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The Eastern Partnership, the Russia-Ukraine War, and the Impact on the South Caucasus


The South Caucasus is a fragmented and security challenged region. Despite hopes that the Eastern Partnership (EaP) would act as a transformative tool to strengthen democracy, stability, security and regional cooperation, this has not happened. Rather the EaP has produced limited results, with the region today more fragmented than it was five years ago. Russia's war against Ukraine has further exacerbated the situation as it raised concerns over the extent to which the South Caucasus countries could genuinely rely on the West. Today, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have different geostrategic trajectories. While Georgia has stuck to the Euro-Atlantic track, Armenia joined the Russian-led Eurasian Union in January 2015. Meanwhile Azerbaijan has the luxury of choosing not to choose. Developments in the region have demonstrated that a one size fits all approach does not work and a more differentiated policy is required.

Paper prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) within the framework of the project "Azerbaijan, Caucasus and the EU: Towards Close Cooperation?". Revised version of a paper presented at the conference on "EU and the South Caucasus: What Next for the Eastern Partnership?", Rome, 8 October 2014. Revised version published as "The EU in the South Caucasus and the Impact of the Russia-Ukraine War" in The International Spectator, Vol. 50, No. 3 (September 2015), p. 30-42.

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