In August 2023, SpecialEurasia undertook a visit to Abkhazia, engaging in discussions with Viacheslav Chirikba, Director at the Centre for Strategic Studies under the President of Abkhazia, to delve into both the regional geopolitical dynamics and the intricacies of the local socioeconomic landscape.
Erdogan’s planned visit to Nakhchivan following Baku’s military offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh has raised significant concerns regarding the territorial integrity of Armenia since Azerbaijan and Turkey may actively seek to establish the conditions for a potential military intervention in Armenia’s Syunik Province, with the ultimate aim of securing the Zangezur Corridor.
The recent capitulation of Nagorno-Karabakh in the face of Azerbaijan’s military offensive has brought to light Russia’s recalibrated strategic approach in the region. This shift focuses on forging a robust alliance with both Baku and Ankara, a move designed to bolster the INSTC and leverage Turkish land as a potential hub for its new energy approach.
The Azerbaijani military incursion into the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh has brought to light Italy’s precarious foreign policy in the South Caucasus. Driven by a web of Rome’s imperatives and constraints, the Italian government finds itself torn between justifying Azerbaijan’s regional strategy and acknowledging the resulting humanitarian crisis and civilian casualties.
The recent military operation conducted by Azerbaijan against the defence forces in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh attests to the prevailing instability within the South Caucasus region. This development has sounded alarm bells amongst both international and regional stakeholders, who are now confronted with the prospect of a renewed conflict in this highly sensitive geopolitical theatre.
The establishment of the Dagestan National Centre in Russia and the Dagestan Volunteer Battalion ‘Imam Shamil’ in Ukraine underscores the reverberations of the Ukraine conflict in the North Caucasus. This development highlights a substantial threat emanating from various movements and organisations, advocating for the destabilisation and fragmentation of the Russian Federation.
The recent business mission conducted by Stavropol-based companies to Abkhazia signified a noteworthy advancement with extensive ramifications for both Sukhum and Pyatigorsk. This exchange also highlights Pyatigors’ approach to promote foreign business ventures for the Russian Federation.
In the ongoing contest between Russia and Ukraine for endorsement from the Islamic world, the North Caucasus emerges as a critical asset in the Kremlin’s strategic arsenal. It serves as a linchpin for Moscow’s domestic political efforts in managing a diverse, multireligious, and multiethnic society, while also underpinning Russia’s foreign policy activities directed towards the Arab-Muslim world.
Jewish Heritage Preservation in the Caucasus: Azerbaijan’s Cultural Diplomacy to Strengthen Relations with Israel
The conference held in Baku on the Jewish community of the Caucasus underscored the positive state of relations between Azerbaijan and Israel. Notably, it shed light on Baku’s strategic use of cultural diplomacy to foster stronger ties with Tel Aviv and garner support from the global Jewish community.
Nikol Pashinyan’s recent statements on Armenia’s ‘erroneous’ dependence on Russia may reflect a new direction in Yerevan’s foreign policy, signalling a desire to seek alternative solutions, particularly by cultivating stronger relationships with Western nations
The orchestrated military rebellion, led by Evgeny Prigozhin, against the central authority in Russia, presents an opportunity for Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, and his military troops to emerge as significant allies and actors in the Kremlin’s domestic and foreign policy landscape.
Bridging Nations: Promoting Cooperation between North Caucasus and Iraq through Education and Research
The recent visit of the North Caucasian Federal University (NCFU) delegation to Iraq marked a significant step towards fostering cooperation between the Russian North Caucasus and the Middle Eastern country.
This report highlights the reasons the North Caucasus remains important and necessitates ongoing monitoring and provides some future scenarios about the region.
Dagestan and Tajikistan discussed expanding cooperation in different fields, especially the halal industry
Dagestan and Tajikistan’s entente on developing cooperation confirms the North Caucasus’s role in promoting relations between Russia and foreign countries, especially those in the blizhnee zarubezhe (near abroad) where the Kremlin wants to confirm its presence and influence.
Il vertice Armenia-Azerbaigian che si è tenuto a Bruxelles permette di concentrare l’attenzione sulla questione dei confini nazionali armeni e azerbaigiani la cui soluzione dovrebbe portare alla stabilità e non creare ulteriori tensioni regionali.
The Kremlin’s project to evaluate the opportunity to implement Islamic banking in Russia might support the national economy, attract foreign investors from the Arab-Muslim world, and counter the consequences of Western sanctions imposed against Moscow due to the Ukraine conflict.
Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh: Azerbaijan’s strategy might lead to a humanitarian crisis and a military escalation
Azerbaijan’s transport and gas supply blockade of the Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh might cause a regional humanitarian crisis and evolve into a military escalation capable of destabilising the South Caucasus.
The commercial and political partnership between Dagestan and Azerbaijan might support the increasing relations between Moscow and Baku and implement the Russian foreign policy in the South Caucasus and the Caspian Sea region.
The establishment of an IT Park in Ingushetia named after Adam Khamkhoev, killed in May 2022 in Ukraine, underlined local and central authorities’ desire to promote economic development and support Kremlin’s narrative related to heroism and national unity.
Iran and Dagestan have increased their trade exchange through the Makhachkala Commercial Port, where the Kremlin has invested financial funds to transform this infrastructure into a logistic hub in the Caspian Sea, which might undermine the role of the close port of Baku in Azerbaijan.
During SpecialEurasia’s official mission to Yerevan, our team met with Armenian female entrepreneurs who founded the brand Udivila, which promotes Armenian culture and attempts to carve out a slide of a market where Armenia has not yet been present.
Recent arrests of Russian citizens in the Stavropol territory linked with the Islamic State confirmed that jihadist propaganda penetrated the Russian territory by exploiting local problems and influencing the Muslim communities disseminated in the country, especially in the North Caucasus, where the Kremlin has contrasted local militancy and religious extremism.
The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in the Russian Federation organised an event in the city of Makhachkala to promote the national culture and create a link with Dagestan, a strategic North Caucasian republic located on the Caspian Sea.
Kremlin’s promotion of Dagestan culture and society in Sochi underlines Moscow’s goal to contrast Kavkazophobia and, simultaneously, improve the link between ethnic Russians and local ethnic Dagestani groups since this North Caucasian republic has a strategic role in the Caspian Sea region.
Georgian authorities denied that Tbilisi would hold a referendum to open a “second front” against the Russian Federation, destabilising the South Caucasus and threatening the Georgian economy, which is heavily dependent on the Russian market.
Iran will play a primary role in the import-export activities in the Dagestani port of Makhachkala. The recent meeting between Dagestan and Iran’s representatives showed mutual interest in expanding trade cooperation and transit agreement.
South Ossetia considers the eventuality to join the Russian Federation through a referendum that will change the geopolitical chessboard of the Caucasus and influence the dynamics between Moscow and Tbilisi.