With its first high-level meeting since 2008, the GUAM group of nations – Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova – is apparently trying to make a comeback. But it is unclear to what extent the four countries have a common agenda: while some geopolitical shifts have brought them closer together, others have driven them apart.
On March 27, the prime ministers of Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova, and the deputy prime minister of Azerbaijan, met in Kyiv. It was the first such meeting in almost a decade, and the group appeared to try to move away from its former anti-Russian stance and embrace a more economic agenda. Participants agreed to implement a regional free trade agreement and develop a transportation corridor.
“That we are meeting today for the first time at the head-of-government level is a very clear sign that we are giving our cooperation the attention it deserves,” said Ukrainian PM Volodymyr Groysman at the meeting.
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Zaur Shiriyev is an Academy Associate at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House).