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EU not a key player in the South Caucasus

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 24
Natalia Shapolapova, an analyst from FRIDE ( Madrid), has stated that the CIS has lost its previous importance. This is proven by the fact that Russia is the main player in CIS and is cooperating with CIS member countries in different ways, through customs unions, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Collective Security Treaty and so on.

Shapolapova says that the EU is involved in the South Caucasus energy resources battle but this has different dynamics and involves different international players. The biggest ones are Russia and the USA, who are sometimes partners and sometimes competitors. The EU is also involved in the game, though as analysts suggest it is not a strong player in the Caucasus, in particular from the security issues point of view.

Shapolapova thinks that the EU's role could increase in the near future. However this depends on the EU itself, as it prefers a policy of concentrating on soft long term prospects rather than making direct and quick intervention.

Shapolapova suggested that NATO's influence in the region is decreasing, mainly because its eastern expansion has stopped and it is trying to find a new role in more remote areas.