Policy Memos

The South Caucasus Corridor after the Russian-Georgian War

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The “five-day war” between Russia and Georgia in August 2008 has many dimensions. For those trying to discern its strategic implications, perhaps the most important is its impact on alternative oil and gas export routes said to alleviate Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow. According to some, by recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia and deploying troops there, Russia has taken a giant step forward in controlling the alternative export routes running through Georgia and consolidating control over Europe’s energy supply. Ironically, this argument has been made by both those who see it as a threat and hard-line nationalists in Russia who hail it as a “strategic advance.” The discourse vividly recalls past suspicions that by invading Afghanistan in 1979, the Soviet Union was aiming to control the Persian Gulf and its oil deposits. [...]

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About the author

Senior Fellow
Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non‑Proliferation