Latest Articles about The Caucasus

Saakashvili Strengthens Control Over Ajaria

The pro-governmental "Saakashvili-Victorious Ajaria" party, the Ajarian branch of the ruling "National-Movement-Democrats," scored a landside victory in the June 20 elections in Ajaria. The elections were the first to be held following the downfall of Aslan Abashidze's authoritarian rule. The party received 75% of votes,... MORE

Russia Turning Back The Clock On Georgian Policy

On June 21, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told military journalists that Russia would only withdraw its troops from the Batumi and Akhalkalaki bases after receipt of US$300 million in "cost-offsets." This amount is a throwback to Moscow's opening gambits in earlier stages of negotiations,... MORE

Georgian Defense System Still Faces Problems

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's steps toward improving material and technical support for the Georgian army resulted in a significant increase in the military call-up. During the current draft, which started April 26 and will finish July 31, more than 3,000 conscripts have begun service. This... MORE

Pankisi Emerges As A Litmus Test In Georgia-russian Relations

The much-discussed Pankisi gorge involving Chechen refugees has reappeared on the agenda of Georgian-Russian relations. On a visit to Georgia on June 8-9, a delegation of the Russian federal migration service led by Boris Yunashin, vainly attempted to persuade an estimated 2,000 Chechen refugees situated... MORE

Baltic States’ Political Landscape And European Elections

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania held on June 13 their first-ever elections for the Brussels-based European Parliament, the legislative body of the European Union (EU). Fortuitously but fittingly, the election date coincided with the annual observances of the Day of Memory and Hope (June 14), when... MORE

Reshuffle In Georgia “force” Agencies

Prior to this week's cabinet of ministers' parliamentary vote of confidence, according the new Constitution, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili issued a surprise reshuffling of officials to lead the "force" ministries. Today he is expected to make the announcement official. At a news conference on June... MORE

Georgia Intensifies Pressure On South Ossetia

At a June 2 meeting of the mixed monitoring commission in Tskhinvali, the Georgian delegation demonstrated its lack of confidence in Major-General Svyatoslav Nabzdorov, demanding that he be recalled by Russia. Nabzdorov is the Russian commander of peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia. He is being... MORE