This week’s featured graphic shows the GDP as well as perceptions of corruption in Eastern Europe. For more on the latest economic and political developments of the Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, read Henrik Larsen’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here.
This graphic compares the COVID-19 doubling rates of confirmed cases in different countries around the world. For insights on the structural challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has made visible in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, read the Caucasus Analytical Digest 115 here.
This graphic points out Russia’s share in total agricultural exports with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Georgia did not trade agricultural products with Russia in 2007–2012 (Russia’s share is 0%) due to the embargo imposed by Russia; after the lifting of the embargo, Russia’s share significantly increased, but never again reached pre-embargo levels.
For more on agriculture and trade with Russia, see the Caucasus Analytical Digest 117 here.
An April 2 meeting between the defense ministers of Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan might have easily passed as routine. Yet in a region like the Caucasus, fraught with deeply entrenched interstate rivalries, this summit could hardly be described as inconsequential. At the meeting, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov identified Armenia as a regional threat, remarking that it “is the only state in the region which lays territorial claims to our countries.” The same day, Russian fighter jets stationed in Armenia began three-day drills. Though these two events probably coincided by chance, they illustrate two distinct – potentially competing – regional orders in the South Caucasus: a deepening Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan coordination and a historic Russian presence represented by the Kremlin’s close alliance with Armenia.
Georgia braces for more political and economic uncertainty as it prepares for the upcoming October 27th Presidential election. This just a year after the October 2012 parliamentary elections which left the powerful Rose Revolution government of Mikheil (Misha) Saakashvili and his United National Movement (UNM, now in opposition) defeated.
The political developments during the past few years in Georgia have been a lot more turbulent and unpredictable than during the “golden years” from 2004 up until November of 2007 when police and security forces dispersed opposition protests in the capital Tbilisi using excessive force—to include reports of the police physically clashing with the media. On a broader scale this was the first important incident since the UNM came to power in 2004, displaying just how far the government had gone in order to maintain its power.