Kremlin continues pressure campaign against “Russophobia” in Georgia

Joshua Kucera Jun 24, 2019
anti-Russia protests Signs opposing Russia and its president on display at a June 20 demonstration in Tbilisi. The Kremlin has responded to the protests by trying to stop Russian tourists from visiting Georgia. (photo: George Gogua)

Amid their worst crisis in years Russia continued to increase the pressure on Georgia, with officials in Moscow hinting at the possibility of blocking imports of Georgian wine and saying they were forced to act because of “Russophobic” sentiments being expressed in Georgia.

Fatal frontline shootings heighten tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Joshua Kucera Jun 3, 2019
OSCE monitoring Vehicles from the OSCE monitoring mission on the line of contact between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. (photo: MoD Azerbaijan)

In recent days one Armenian and one Azerbaijani soldier were killed on the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact, a rare outburst of deadly violence since the two sides began a new round of negotiations over ending their decades-long conflict.

After peace negotiations, threats of war break out between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Joshua Kucera Apr 1, 2019
Tonoyan Armenian Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan, inspecting positions near the border with Azerbaijan in May 2018. Tonoyan recently threatened to take more Azerbaijani territory. (photo: mil.am)

In the wake of the first meeting between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan to discuss a peace deal for their long-running conflict, a war of words has erupted between the two sides.

First formal Aliyev-Pashinyan meeting deemed a success

Joshua Kucera Mar 30, 2019
Aliyev Pashinyan Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan meet in Vienna. (photo: president.az)

The first formal meeting between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev met the modest expectations that most observers had for it, with both sides assessing the negotiations positively and pledging to continue talks.

Post-Soviet conflict areas see promise, threat in Trump’s Golan Heights announcement

Joshua Kucera Mar 27, 2019
Trump Netanyahu U.S. President Donald Trump and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu show off a decree recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel. (photo: Twitter, Benjamin Netanyahu)

When U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would formally recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel, most of the rest of the world rejected the move. But he found an ally in the de facto leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh.

CSTO to remain headless another year – report

Joshua Kucera Feb 22, 2019
CSTO CSTO member state heads of state meet at the group's las summit, in St. Petersburg in November. The group has operated without a secretary general since then. (photo; CSTO)

As the leadership struggle between Armenia and the rest of the Collective Security Treaty Organization drags on, Russia – which dominates the group – is coming to the conclusion that the solution may just be not to name a secretary general until Armenia’s current term expires next year.

Armenia sends military deminers and medics to support Russian mission in Syria

Joshua Kucera Feb 8, 2019
Armenian soldiers Armenian soldiers being deployed to Syria. (photo: Ministry of Defense of Armenia.)

Armenia has sent 83 soldiers to Syria as part of a Russian-backed demining and humanitarian mission there.

For years, Russia has been asking its military allies to help out in Syria, but until now no one has taken them up on the offer. The Armenian offer comes as Yerevan-Moscow ties have been frayed following the rise to power of Nikol Pashinyan and his team of pro-Western allies.

New book claims to expose Karabakh as international crime hub

Joshua Kucera Feb 6, 2019
Narco Karabakh The cover of a new book/black PR effort published under mysterious circumstances.

A new book claims to expose Nagorno-Karabakh as an international hub of drug, arms, and human smuggling. But the book’s murky origins and hard-to-support allegations suggest instead an elaborate effort to spread black PR in the international media against Karabakh and the Armenian forces who control it.

Peace? Not so fast, many Armenians and Azerbaijanis say

Joshua Kucera Jan 18, 2019
Armenia-Azerbaijan The foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan, along with international mediators, met in Paris on January 16. The optimistic result from the meeting was greeted suspiciously by many in the region. (photo: MFA Azerbaijan)

News that Armenia and Azerbaijan had made a small step toward peace was welcomed by observers as a rare sign of hope in the conflict between the two countries. But many leading voices in the region reacted negatively to the news, vividly illustrating the hardened attitudes toward the sorts of compromises that would be necessary to achieve a real peace deal.