Dr. Gayane Novikova

September 21, 2021

A new status quo has emerged after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war in the South Caucasus. Its main manifestations can be defined.

Involvement of the major global actors in the regional conflicts is diminishing, especially when viewed against the background of global security concerns related to health, poverty, migration, inequality, and cyber security.  Although the current U.S. administration has announced “a return of America on the global stage” and the EU leadership has stressed its readiness to contribute to peace in the South Caucasus, leverage to deal with hard security issues is lacking on both sides. Their involvement in regional affairs will be limited to assisting the implementation of “soft power” programs. China is seeking to expand its economic might, mainly through its “Belt and Road Initiative,” a part of which includes the South Caucasus states. In the meantime, China faces several serious domestic problems and economic challenges all of which have slowed down its economic involvement in this region.

Regional security issues have increasingly become a source of concern and area of responsibility for the regional powers – Russia, Turkey, and Iran: their interaction is shaping the security environment. Hard security measures will remain a prerogative of Russia, Turkey, and – to a lesser extent – Iran.

These transformations should be taken into account in any further discussions on the security of the entire region and each of its constituent states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In the next several years the South Caucasus states will become fully involved in a direct and rigorous Russian-Turkish geopolitical rivalry.  See more…