The Caucasus Dialogue – 2019. Day 2. “Not about love, but survival”

24 September 2019

The Caucasus Dialogue – 2019 continues in Nalchik. Today the discussion focused on political interests and economic problems and prospects of the Caucasus region.

Alexander Iskanderyan, Director of the Institute of Caucasus (Yerevan) characterized the foreign policy of Armenia as a complimentary policy, which is aimed at “connecting parts that are difficult to connect”: “It is not an easy task because as a result of multivectorness in the West Armenia is suspected of being pro-Russian and Russia of being extremely pro-western. However, it is not about love, but survival”.

Head of Multimedia Press Сenter “Sputnik Azerbaijan” (Baku) Ilgar Velizade spoke about the foreign policy of Azerbaijan and relations with Russia: “Azerbaijan has chosen an independent foreign policy course of not joining any blocks and it supports creation of multilateral frameworks with the participation of different countries. The infrastructural course developed by Azerbaijan is also used by external players for implementation of their geopolitical and geo-economic interests. During all history of Russian-Azeri relations even pro-opposition leaders of Azerbaijan recognized a need of cooperation with Russia. Today the countries are closely interconnected in the area of security, which allows providing a balance in the region, including in view of very complicated negotiating relations with Armenia within the framework of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

Dmitry Lortkipanidze, Director of the Primakov Russian-Georgian Public Center (Tbilisi), presented a comparative analysis of Georgia’s national strategies during the terms of the last four presidents. According to Dmitry Lortkipanidze, presently, in the absence of diplomatic and political relations between Russia and Georgia, public diplomacy is becoming more and more important. The expert called events of June 2019 in Georgia “links in a chain” and expressed hope that Russian-Georgian relations will improve in the future.

Alexey Tokarev, Senior Researcher of MGIMO under MFA of Russia (Moscow), made a proposal about the future de facto of the South Caucasus countries. The speaker presented a theory of a geographic factor of territorial disintegration to the participants: the smaller the border is with the kin-state, the more difficult it is to carry out a military return”.

The annual international research and educational program of the Gorchakov Fund “The Caucasus Dialogue” was organized this year in cooperation with Kabardino-Balkarian State University and the Student Association of North Caucasus Universities.

Tomorrow, on September 25, the participants will take a tour of Prielbrysye National Park, continue their work, attend a closing ceremony in the evening and summarize results of the Caucasus Dialogue.

Read more in Russian here