Policy Memo # 245
Sufian Zhemukhov 09-03-2012
Abkhazia has enjoyed the status of a de facto independent state since it won a secessionist war with Georgia in 1992-1993. Six countries, all members of the United Nations, later recognized Abkhazia’s independence after the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. However, Abkhazia lacks broad international recognition. It is instead an object, not a subject, of negotiations between other states, mainly Georgia, Russia, the United States, and the European Union...
Policy Memo # 244
Anar Valiyev 09-03-2012
Azerbaijani-Iranian relations are among the most complicated in the region, having experienced radical transformations over the last 20 years. Cordial friends and brotherly nations at the end of the Cold War, Baku and Tehran almost engaged in armed conflict a decade later and relations have since remained tense. Several factors underlie the relations between the two states. The first is the presence in Iran of a 22-30 million strong Azerbaijani ethnic...
Policy Memo # 243
Scott Radnitz 09-03-2012
The South Caucasus has inherited deeply ingrained historical narratives of being a pawn in games of geopolitical intrigue, from the Persian-Russian wars of the early 19th century, to the region’s forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1921, to the Russia-Georgia War of 2008. In today’s Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, issues of national identity, territorial control, and geopolitical alignment remain unresolved while contemporary...
Policy Memo # 242
Sergey Minasyan 09-03-2012
From both academic and policy perspectives, the current situation surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict provides an instructive case study in the role of coercion in ethnopolitical conflict. In the current status quo of “no peace, no war,” coercive policies are—and will be—heavily utilized, both in negotiations and in efforts to influence opponents and external actors. According to traditional security studies approaches,...
Policy Memo # 241
Mikhail Alexseev 09-03-2012
Political scientists generally recognize the importance of international regimes, rules, and norms for understanding international interactions. Even in the absence of global enforcement, these factors arguably matter because they frame goals, expectations, and the terms of interaction among international actors. In particular, reputable studies have shown that global economic forces—such as trade—and associated institutions and norms de facto...
Policy Memo # 240
Suhnaz Yilmaz 09-03-2012
(Co-author: Tahir Kilavuz) In Eurasian energy politics, the relations between regional powers are as central as their relations with global powers. Few are of more consequence than the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Given past price disputes, inconclusive negotiations on the Nabucco gas pipeline project, and, most recently, the June 2012 Trans-Anatolian pipeline (TANAP) agreement, Turkish-Azerbaijani energy relations have proceeded with ups and...
Policy Memo # 239
Robert Orttung 09-03-2012
(Co-authors: Sascha Langenbach, Andreas Wenger) Numerous boundary disputes in Eurasia concern regions with proven or suspected petroleum deposits. Some of these disputes have been solved peacefully, as in the case of Russia and Norway, which successfully delimited their maritime boundary in 2010. Others remain unresolved and even lead to military build-ups and confrontations, as in the Caspian Sea. This memo outlines a set of petroleum-related maritime...
Policy Memo # 238
Pauline Jones Luong 09-03-2012
Gazprom and, more recently, Rosneft have both expanded their operations abroad, seeking to establish themselves as major players on the international petroleum market. Most commentators have portrayed this expansion as an orchestrated power grab to dominate global gas and oil markets, particularly in the European context, and an inevitable consequence of Russia’s increasingly centralized authoritarian rule. It would be more instructive, however, to...
Policy Memo # 237
Andrew Barnes 09-03-2012
For more than a decade, the Russian government has sought to increase energy exports to the Far East, while the Chinese government has searched the world over for new sources of energy imports. Nonetheless, six years after a memorandum of understanding and three years after the signing of a “framework agreement,” the two sides still have not reached an agreement on a long-term natural gas deal. While some uncertainty remains regarding pipeline...
Policy Memo # 236
Arkady Moshes 09-03-2012
Since the election of Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine’s president in February 2010, the country has been drifting away from the democratic advances it had earlier achieved. The jailing of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko in August 2011 can be seen as the culmination of this regression, although it has not been its only outcome—there have been negative trends in freedom of the media and assembly, the independence of the judiciary, and...