EU Takes Further Steps in Caucasus – Amid Risks

By Nina Bachkatov

In a matter of weeks, Armenia and Azerbaijan are poised to engage deeply in negotiations over border delineation, aiming to quell three decades of conflict regarding Nagorno-Karabakh, where repeated rounds of talks have proven fruitless. Despite the involvement of various regional powers, including Russia, Iran, and Turkey, the European Union has also sought to contribute. However, the EU has struggled to reconcile its role as just one actor among many in the former Soviet Union, including the Caucasus. The complexity of the situation on the ground, often underestimated from Brussels, underscores the potential for even minor actions to trigger significant internal and external ramifications.

Nevertheless, the EU possesses a specific mechanism for engagement through the Eastern Partnership (E.P.), which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Established at the Prague summit in May 2009, the E.P. offers additional funding in exchange for reforms in countries. Belarus has been removed from the list due to President Lukashenko’s regime; Ukraine and Moldova have pursued distinct paths.

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