The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Polish minister for foreign affairs Zbigniew Rau
The chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Polish minister for foreign affairs Zbigniew Rau will conclude his trip to the south Caucasus countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan today.
The official purpose of the visit was to “focus on promoting peaceful cooperation, dialogue, and stability in the South Caucasus region.” All three nations are a part of the EU’s Eastern Partnership founded in 2009, as an initiative to counter Russian influence in the region. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put this relationship into sharp focus.
Until now, the partnership’s results have been limited to increased bilateral economic activity—the EU is currently Georgia and Azerbaijan’s largest trading partner and Armenia’s second-largest—but will likely deepen to other areas.
In terms of geopolitical alignment, the region is split between traditionally pro-Russian Armenia, pro-Turkish Azerbaijan, and western aligned Georgia. Particularly active are ongoing territorial disputes between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The EU may be attempting along with Turkey to influence Armenia away from Russia by mediating these disputes. If successful, the EU will have an open path to increasing security ties with the region, further isolating Russia.
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