Caucasus - Central Asia

The North Caucasus and Russia's Middle East policy

Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Stephen Blank
Despite the ongoing terrorist insurgency, Russian officials claim significant progress in pacifying and reintegrating the North Caucasus. For example, in 2015 alone, Ministry of Interior forces in the North Caucasus (VVMVD) allegedly killed over 70 militants.

Uzbekistan and South Korea: towards a special relationship

Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Mirzokhid Rakhimov and Sung Dong Ki
South Korea’s Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn visited Uzbekistan on May 19-20, 2016. The visit was the fifteenth official high-level meeting between the two countries. Over the last year, several new actors have increased their engagement with Central Asia, aside from South Korea also including Japan and India.

A Suicidal Nuclear Gambit in the Caucasus

Cherno, cc Flickr Simon Smith, modified,

Geopolitical Monitor, Petra Posega
Nuclear security is seemingly in the vanguard of global attention, but the large framework of international provisions is increasingly perceived as a toothless tiger. In the contemporary age where asymmetric threats to security are one of the most dangerous ones, the time is high to mitigate the risk of rogue actors having potential access to the materials necessary to develop nuclear weapons.

Nagorno-Karabakh and the military balance


Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Tomáš Baranec and Beskid Juraj
A new wave of escalation hit Nagorno-Karabakh in early April. In the course of what was probably Azerbaijani reconnaissance by force, claiming dozens of dead on both sides, Baku managed to secure several heights controlled by Armenian forces. Immediate hostilities have receded for now, but the question remains how the military strength of both sides has changed in recent years, what this means for the future of the peace process, and the role of Russian arms in the resurrection of this conflict.

Is China about to make military moves in Central Asia?


Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Stephen Blank
China has steadfastly refused to get involved in providing hard, i.e. military, security to Central Asian governments, including Afghanistan. This might now be changing. In a March visit to Kabul, General Fang Fenghui, Chief of Staff of the PLA, announced plans to set up an anti-terror regional alliance with Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.

The "Four-Day War": new momentum for Nagorno-Karabakh resolution?


Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Zaur Shiriyev
In early April, the escalation of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan resulted in a so-called “four-day war”, which was ended by a truce reached under Russia’s auspices. The expectation was that after the end of this short war, international engagement would increase, with the re-energizing of the Minsk Group. But so far, Moscow is the only active party. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, is conducting “shuttle diplomacy” between Yerevan and Baku, the results of which will become clear in the coming weeks.

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