By Armen Grigoryan (the 18/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
After nearly four years of negotiating the Association Agreement with the EU, Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan made an abrupt turn, announcing his intention to instead join the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. It is not possible to combine the two frameworks because of contradicting tariff regulations. Sargsyan’s statement was made after increased political and economic pressure from Russia in recent months. Armenia’s participation in Russia-led integration projects will imply very limited possibilities for cooperation with the EU. It will also result in Armenia’s deeper isolation and cause additional complications for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process.
By Archil Zhorzholiani (the 18/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On September 4, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili stated that Georgia could join the Russia-sponsored Eurasian Union if this would benefit the country’s interests.
By Bakhtiyar Aslanov ( the 04/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The Sarsang water reservoir is one of the highest reservoirs supplying Azerbaijan with water and is located in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, controlled by Armenia. It is located at an altitude of 726 meters above sea level with a dike of 125 meters and a capacity to hold 560 million cubic meters of water. The reservoir was built in 1976 on the Tartar River and extends across 14.2 square kilometers in the area of Aghdere. Sarsang is said to provide 40-60 percent of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s electric energy and is operated by the Artsakh HEK OJSC electric company. It has the capacity to provide irrigation water for 100,000 hectares of agricultural land in six rayons in Azerbaijan, Tartar, Agdam, Barda, Goranboy, Yevlakh and Aghjabadi.
by Haroutiun Khachatrian (the 08/21/13 issue of the CACI Analyst)
A peculiar situation has occurred in Armenia as the opposition and many non-politicians speak about external threats that the country may face in the near future. The issue under discussion is the EU’s Eastern Partnership program. Armenia is a participant in that program and talks with EU representatives on an Association Agreement were successfully concluded on July 24. This means that Armenia can initial its Association Agreement at the Eastern Partnership Vilnius summit in November. Along with Armenia, Georgia and Moldova can also initial their agreements, while Ukraine expects to sign its agreement at Vilnius. Belarus and Azerbaijan were not involved in talks at this stage.
by Stephen Blank (the 08/21/13 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The centerpiece of current Russian foreign policy is integrating as many post-Soviet states as possible in what will ultimately be a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The first step of this process is to join a Customs Union and Russia is bringing enormous pressure to bear upon Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and now Armenia to join. It is being made clear to these states that if they join the EEU or what Moscow calls EURASEC, they will not be able to join other trade organizations, e.g. those inherent in the EU’s Eastern Partnership. While most publicity has focused on Ukraine, recent Russian policy towards Armenia is no less revealing of Moscow’s tactics and goals.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.