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at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the Caspian Sea region plays an outsized
role in geopolitical events. In recent years, global powers have made some
significant changes in their policies toward the region. China is stepping up its
activity, while the U.S. has backed away. Russia’s influence has greatly
increased, while Turkey’s has waned. Now, states in the region face a growing
threat from Muslim extremism. How well countries meet these challenges will
depend on the strength of their state institutions. In Central Asia, that could
mean increased cooperation and peace. In the South Caucasus, conflict could be
on the cards.
Professor Brenda Shaffer
South Ossetia’s land grab by
a vital east-west oil pipeline in Georgia and more fighting between Armenia and
Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh illustrate a key fact about the South Caucasus –
Russia is just fine with the status quo.
Dr. Udo Steinbach
The partnership of old rivals, Russia and Turkey, has never been put to a greater test in the Black Sea region than it has since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014. In Turkey, it revived memories of Russia's expansionism, as well as highlighting Ankara's limited capacity to react forcefully. Turkey condemned the...