The Georgian Perspective on Geopolitical Changes in the Caucasus
Eugene Kogan: The Georgian Perspective on Geopolitical Changes in the Caucasus, AIES Fokus 1/2023
Georgia borders Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey. It remains a transit hub for oil and gas pipelines originating in Azerbaijan and a road hub for goods coming from Iran via Armenia to the European Union (EU), from Armenia and travelling to Russia, and from Turkey and travelling to Russia and Azerbaijan. As a result, changes that are taking place in the Caucasus due to the Russian war against Ukraine are directly affecting Georgia. Russia as a gatekeeper in the South Caucasus is less able to defend its interests in the region and that results in the ongoing skirmishes between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iranian military exercises on the border with Azerbaijan, and reciprocal Azerbaijani-Turkish exercises. Thus far, Georgia has kept itself out of the conflict and has even tried to play the role of mediator in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but to no avail, since Georgia is not considered a powerful enough conflict mediator.