The Caucasus Dialogue – 2018. Day 1. Internal and external problems of the South Caucasus

11 September 2018

The Caucasus Dialogue – 2018 opened in Arkhyz. September 10 was a day of discussions about national and foreign policy dynamics of the South Caucasus. Young politicians, journalists, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree students and post-graduates as well representatives of federal and regional government agencies from Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia took part in that discussion.

Deputy Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Roman Grishenin, Head of Department at the Office of the Plenipotentiary Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation in North Caucasian Federal District Ibrahim Gabeyev and Minister for Ethnic Affairs of the Karachay-Cherkess Republic Murat Khapishtov welcomed the attendees. The guests mentioned a high level of experts and broad spectrum of research interests of the participants and wished the Caucasus Dialogue great achievements.

Sergey Markedonov, Associate Professor at the Department of Regional Studies and Foreign Policy of Russian State University for the Humanities and research advisor of the Caucasus-Dialogue – 2018, read an introductory lecture. He emphasized unchanging importance of the region in the general international agenda, its heterogeneity resulting in different attitudes towards the Caucasus among foreign players: Turkey, Iran, Russia and western countries link it with their own interests.

The first session of the forum was dedicated to national and foreign policy dynamics in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan during his presentation emphasized the phenomenon of color revolutions and Nikolay Pashinyan’s accession to power. According to the speaker, the foreign policy of Yerevan towards Russia will not change, and one should not expect any changes in the Karabakh issue either. However, internal state of affairs in Armenia is getting stringent and it happens as a result of not skillful enough politicians rising to power.

During the second part of the working day, the participants discussed major political and socioeconomic processes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Editor of Abkhazian newspaper “Chegemskaya Pravda” Inal Khashig and Associate Professor of the Tibilov South Ossetian State University Kosta Dzugayev shared their opinions about relations between the two partially acknowledged states and Russia. The experts stressed importance of support from the Russian Federation to the South Ossetia and Abkhazia as well as the unchanged aspiration of both countries for independence.

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