My presentation focuses on the transformation of the Caucasus region from periphery to one of the focal points of Eurasian, European and Transatalantic security policy. I will examine the main reasons for the involvement of different states (USA, Turkey and Iran), the European Union, and international organizations such as the OSCE, NATO and UN in the Caucasus since the dissolution of the USSR. Special attention will be paid to Russia’s interests and her desire to play an exclusive role in Caucasus geopolitivs. I intend to highlight connections and interactions between Russian domestic security challenges in the North Caucasus and the conflicts between the republics of the South Caucasus. Whilst the main focus will be on the new status quo after the 2008 Georgia-Russia crisis (including the new political agenda for South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as the impact on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution), the developments of the Ukrainian crisis and its influence on Russian policy in the Caucasus will also be considered.
Sergey Markedonov is Associate Professor in the Department of Regional Studies and Foreign Policy of the Russian State University for Humanities, Moscow.