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ICBSS Black Sea Monitor Issue No.13. Focusing on the East


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ICBSS Black Sea Monitor Issue No. 13, September 2009

Focusing on the East

The European Union’s eastern frontier comprising of Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, and further east, the Central Asian republics is one meriting comprehension, attention and concern. The concern is obvious as the relations between and among these states are more problematic today than they were even a year ago. The August 2008 conflict between Georgia and Russia awakened the rest of the world that the wider region is in need of remedies aimed at lessening tensions, enhancing regional cooperation and adapting some of the conditionalities closer relations with the European Union (EU) entails.

Let me explain. Beyond the deep crisis in Russia’s relations with Georgia, the protracted conflicts of South Ossetia and Abkhazia with their political, social, economic and legal ramifications have moved way beyond their dormant stage to potentially destabilizing crises. While the rhetorical war between Moscow and Tbilisi ebbs and flows, nerves are tense on the ground as armed forces patrol on both sides of the dividing lines.

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№10(37), 2009

№7-8(35), 2009