UKRAINIAN CRISIS’ IMPACT ON THE SOUTH CAUCASUS

The Ukrainian crisis definitely did not make the South Caucasus a safer place. Armenia’s dependence on Russia was exposed further, while Georgian-Ukrainian official relations suffered because of the Georgian authorities’ passiveness and the Saakashvili factor. All of the South Caucasus countries, and especially Georgia and Azerbaijan, felt uneasy with the annexation of Crimea perceived as an unprecedented violation of the territorial integrity principle. Russia, while engaged in Eastern Ukraine, has somehow distracted itself from the South Caucasus but it still keeps enough presence to maintain the current status quo and influence key developments. The Western sanctions, having badly hit the Russian economy, are indirectly affecting the South Caucasus too, especially Armenia and Georgia

The Ukrainian crisis definitely did not make the South Caucasus a safer place. Armenia’s dependence on Russia was exposed further, while Georgian-Ukrainian official relations suffered because of the Georgian authorities’ passiveness and the Saakashvili factor. All of the South Caucasus countries, and especially Georgia and Azerbaijan, felt uneasy with the annexation of Crimea perceived as an unprecedented violation of the territorial integrity principle. Russia, while engaged in Eastern Ukraine, has somehow distracted itself from the South Caucasus but it still keeps enough presence to maintain the current status quo and influence key developments. The Western sanctions, having badly hit the Russian economy, are indirectly affecting the South Caucasus too, especially Armenia and Georgia
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Tornike Sharashenidze

Dr. Tornike Sharashenidze is a professor and head of the MA program in International Affairs at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs. He is a regular contributor to the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Wider Europe and Caucasus Analytical Digest. He worked for leading Georgian newspapers as an international politics and business analyst, senior advisor for the National Security Council staff, director of the Information Centre for NATO, and research fellow for the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs


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