Thomas de Waal, senior fellow at Carnegie Europe and a prolific writer on the South Caucasus recently sat down with OC Media. He discussed democracy in Abkhazia and the international community’s role there, and the recent thaw in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Having swept to power in a landslide electoral victory, the new government of revolutionary leader Nikol Pashinyan is now laying out its vision for a ‘New Armenia’ — with ambitious plans for peace and reform.
The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh are hoping to incentivise more people to settle in the sparsely populated areas of Nagorno-Karabakh to encourage economic growth and strengthen its sense of security. However, the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan casts shadow on these plans.
A land swap signed on Wednesday between the Russian republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya has sparked protests in Ingushetia, as details of the agreement have remained secret. The leaders of the two republics hailed the agreement as an end to a long-running land dispute. [Read more…]
Kabardian activists clashed with the residents of the Balkar village of Kyondelen on 18 September while trying to pass through to commemorate an 18th century battle. As of Friday, 120 people had been detained and 45 hospitalised in clashes between Kabardian and Balkar groups and police. Many experts believe that an old land dispute lies at the heart of the conflict.
Allegations of a Chechen ‘invasion’ of Ingushetia sparked outrage from Ingush social media users last week, after a photo emerged online purporting to show a Chechen official raising a flag in an Ingush village. Work on a remote mountain road in Chechnya near the border with Ingushetia has revived a territorial dispute between the two republics. [Read more…]
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has concluded a three-day long tour to the South Caucasus. During her trip Merkel faced questions about Georgia’s Western ambitions, her position on the region’s conflicts, and human rights abuses in Azerbaijan, and also suggested Georgians may soon be able to work in Germany. [Read more…]
Georgia’s national wrestling team made headlines on Friday after a photo was published online of the team wearing T-shirts of a North Ossetian MP to the background of the Russian flag. The backlash follows a series of controversies around the 10th anniversary of the August War, including in restaurant chain Machakhela, nightclub Bassiani, and with Radio Free Europe’s Georgian service. [Read more…]