The Caucasian Talk Circle
The Caucasus is among the world’s most divided and incoherent regions, with its three republics – Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan – having failed to cooperate to achieve their common goals of stability and prosperity. Is it too late for them to change course?
YEREVAN – The Caucasus is among the world’s most divided and incoherent regions. Its three republics – Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – failed to learn from similarly linked groups of countries, such as the Benelux countries and the Baltic states, which, despite their historical grievances and political differences, united to achieve their common goals of stability, prosperity, and democracy. Is it too late for the Caucasus to change course?
To be sure, when the Russian Empire disintegrated after World War I, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia formed a confederation to face the threats posed by Turkish encroachment from the west, and Soviet incursions from the north. But, after a few months, each went its own way as an independent state. Two years later, all were absorbed into the Soviet Union.
In 1991, when all three became independent again, similar proposals of confederation and union were floated. Nothing of the sort was realized. What divides these countries today is not religion, ethnicity, culture, history, or traditions; it is the differing visions, prospects, ambitions, convictions, and aspirations that they espouse and pursue.