Armenia has for decades pursued a so-called ‘multi-vector’ foreign policy, maintaining its security agreement with Russia while securing funding from the West. But now that real democratic change is occurring, will the government of the ‘New Armenia’ be able to maintain the balancing act?
The European Parliament, the EU’s elected representatives, have made clear they will not ratify a deal with Azerbaijan unless it improves it’s human rights record. The European Commission should now follow through with a clear message — Azerbaijan’s crackdown on dissent must end and political prisoners freed.
Abkhazia has denounced Georgia’s recent ‘peace initiative’ to simplify trade and movement of people for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while the US, EU, and a number of other countries welcomed the initiative.
The first U-turn
The statement from the President of Armenian in September 2013 sounded like a bolt from the blue. He would not sign the Association Agreement with the European Union at the planned November Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, he said. Instead, Armenia would be joining the Russian led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). This signified Armenia's departure from a multi-vector foreign policy. [Read more…]
As much as 81% of the population of Georgia doesn’t know what the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) does, according to the 2017 Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia survey funded by the Europe Foundation and implemented by CRRC-Georgia. This lack of knowledge has increased over time, as has the prevalence of incorrect information about the EUMM’s mission. This represents a missed opportunity for the EU’s communications in Georgia.
On 17 May, Georgian government officials criticised EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and co-chair of the Geneva Discussions, Herbert Salber, after his recent visit to South Ossetia. Salber had congratulated newly elected president of South Ossetia, Anatoly Bibilov, on his electoral victory during the meeting in Tskhinvali (Tskhinval) on 16 May.
Georgia’s political elites are engaged in heated debates over a number of issues they claim are of existential importance to the country. These circuses, in which different interest groups fight for their own elitist agendas, has very little relation to the views and needs of ordinary Georgians.
Foreign allies and international organisation piled on support for Georgia’s sovereignty and said Abkhazia’s ‘so called parliamentary elections’ do not stand up to international scrutiny. These statements are a token of crucial diplomatic support to Georgia. But they also mask the absence of a policy fit to overcome the current impasse.