Baku, Feb. 18, 2016: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov (L); Turkey has strong ties in the Caucasus and Central Asia (source: dpa)

Turkey-Russia conflict has implications for the South Caucasus

When Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in November, the ensuing conflict between the two countries had ripple effects in the South Caucasus and beyond. Turkey made a strong statement of its readiness to defend its interests in a turbulent neighborhood, reinforcing its status as a regional power to be reckoned with. Reactions to the incident on both sides plainly indicate that the tensions will be long-lasting and have geopolitical and economic ramifications for nearby countries.

While the focal point of confrontation will remain in the Middle East, countries in the Black Sea region, the South Caucasus and Central Asia will be among the first to feel the effects of changing dynamics ...

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 Eka Tkeshelashvili
While the governing Georgian Dream coalition has not backtracked on aspirations to join NATO and integrate with the EU, it has developed a new Russia policy that puts greater stress on trade and economic relations
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