The Big Caucasus
The Russia and Eurasia Program hosted the launch of the report "The Big Caucasus: Between Fragmentation and Integration," authored by the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program Adjunct Fellow, Dr. Jeffrey Mankoff. The discussion also featured Ambassador John Evans, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia, and Dr. Sergey Markedonov, Visiting Fellow with the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program.
The report examines a region in flux due to its geostrategic positioning and fragile territorial status quo. The report embarks on a new way of looking at the region, examining the interests and actions of the leading external powers, including Russia, Turkey and Iran, in the de jure states of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the de facto states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
A proliferation of stakeholders in the region has created opportunities for the region’s leaders to determine their own fate. However, they also remain constrained by the reality of the region’s fragility, as many borders remain closed and the risks of political disputes spiraling into military conflict remain high. While United States' influence in the region is limited, its policies ought to focus on increasing the opportunities for the “Big Caucasus” to benefit from economic and political integration, while overcoming the political fragmentation that has kept the region divided.