South Caucasia : time for great manoeuvres

The five days war between Russia and Georgia has changed the strategic situation in South Caucasia. Russia’s demonstration of power has allowed it to reinforce its presence within this sensitive area. Moscow has initiated new construction projects for this and implemented a regional schedule involving all local stakeholders, including Turkey, Iran and the European Union. Yet, this process of Russian-style opening-up involves a strategy of discrediting American influences within the region and provokes new challenges: will Mikheil Saakachvili’s regime succeed in overcoming the trying aftermath period ? Will Western diplomacies maintain their unity towards Russia? Will the fragile peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan about Higher Karabakh be preserved? These strategic stakes are very sensitive as the global financial crisis is being felt at full force by Eastern emerging markets and as the Obama administration is being implemented in Washington.