Russia and Turkey in conflict (mis)management in the Caucasus

New PRIO Policy Brief


16 May 2013

Russia and Turkey in conflict (mis)management in the Caucasus
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the disconnected region, which includes the Russian North Caucasus and three newly-independent states of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia), has seen more violent conflicts than any other post-Soviet region.
It is the only part of Europe in which civil wars and interstate conflicts have claimed hundreds of casualties over the last five years. Not one of the armed conflicts that erupted in the Caucasus in the early 1990s has yet been resolved, so that three unrecognized quasi-states continue to defy the norms of the European security system, while Chechnya has turned into a despotic enclave. 2012 did not bring the beginnings of a breakthrough in negotiations for a solution to any of the region’s so-called “frozen conflicts”, but the dynamics of social change in the region are very high, so there is much new tension in the seemingly static situation.

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