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Which country is leader of the South Caucasus?

Wednesday, October 1
Before the war with Russia, Georgia had claims to be the leader of the South Caucasus. But after its military defeat these claims are much more difficult to make. Realistically, Georgia’s role in the region mostly revolves around its neutral position in the conflicts of its neighbours, which gives it the possible role of mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Economically, Azerbaijan has clearly been the leading country in the region in recent years. Neither Armenia nor Georgia have been able to compete with it. The Azeri economic potential is much greater than that of Armenia and Georgia put together. Moreover, after the war Georgia has very little chance of recovering its former position speedily.

However there are some optimistic prognoses for Georgia. If it receives its NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) this year and integrates more closely with the EU, things might change for the better. If so, Georgia could recover its previous near-leadership in the region.