Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the countries of Eurasia remain in the midst of difficult transitions and face unpredictable futures.
The current friction between Turkey and Russia adds a new layer of complication to an already tense situation in the Caucasus, but another war between Armenia and Azerbaijan is in nobody’s interest.
The EU’s problem in Azerbaijan is that it lacks leverage. Smart and targeted sanctions against certain government figures would help.
The spike in global protests is becoming a major trend in international politics, but care is needed in ascertaining the precise nature and impact of the phenomenon.
Even as confrontation deepens between Russia and the West in other parts of the post-Soviet space, the Karabakh conflict has its own logic and still compels the geopolitical rivals to work together.
Issues such as the Iran deal, the rise of the self-styled Islamic State, and the spread of Russian military and economic influence continue to highlight the importance of the Caucasus region on the world stage.
Baku’s European Games may be following a pattern set by the Sochi Olympics. The end result of the games is likely to be an even less pro-European and pro-Western Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan opens the first ever European Games amid a sustained clampdown on human rights activists. Participating countries seem unwilling to take Baku to task.
The EU needs to realize that its neighborhood policy is a political not a technical tool, operating in a politicized environment where major conflicts take place.
Vafa Guluzade was Azerbaijan’s leading foreign policy advocate in a very difficult period and part of the most promising initiative to resolve the Karabakh conflict. He has never been adequately replaced.