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The 2018 Velvet Revolution installed Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister of Armenia. By 2020, Pashinyan's reform drive, already running out of momentum, hit two major obstacles: the coronavirus pandemic and, above all, a brief but disastrous war with Azerbaijan. Despite the trauma of defeat, in June 2021 voters gave Pashinyan a second chance, in elections seen as a positive sign for the country's future.

Armenia and Azerbaijan on the brink of war

Lühitutvustus 06-10-2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan are bitterly opposed over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-backed separatist territory that international law recognises as part of Azerbaijan. The fighting, which began in September 2020, is the worst since 1994, when a ceasefire ended a two-year bloody war. With Turkey openly backing Azerbaijan, there are fears that this could trigger conflict with Russia, Armenia’s main ally.

The European Council meeting of 1-2 October 2020 was largely dedicated to external relations. EU leaders discussed a wide range of foreign policy issues, including relations with China, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Navalny poisoning attempt. Particular attention was paid to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, with EU leaders extending an offer to cooperate with Turkey – provided the current path to dialogue was maintained – while envisaging all options otherwise. On Belarus, the leaders agreed ...

The geopolitical, economic and security situation in Europe has evolved significantly in the past 10 years since the Eastern Partnership (EaP) was first created in 2009. With the growing pressure on democracies and multilateralism worldwide, an aggressive Russia under Vladimir Putin and an increasingly influential China, the role of the European Union – a major global champion of democracy and multilateralism – and its responsibility for sustainable stability in the EaP region are growing. Against ...

Azerbaijan is an authoritarian country in the southern Caucasus. Part of the Eastern Partnership, Azerbaijan has attempted to keep a pragmatic balance between the European Union (EU) and Russia. Rich in oil and natural gas, Baku's poor human rights record and consistent failure to hold free and fair elections have continued to hamper its ties with the EU. The 9 February 2020 snap elections in the wake of abrupt top-down reforms in late 2019 are not expected to substantially change the country's leadership ...

In 2009, the EU launched its Eastern Partnership (EaP) initiative with the ambition to promote closer cooperation with six of its eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Support for people-to-people contacts is a key element of the EU's EaP strategy, and is extended through programmes in the areas of movement of persons, education and peace-building.

EU-Azerbaijan people-to-people contacts

Lühitutvustus 19-03-2019

The European Union and Azerbaijan are negotiating a comprehensive agreement in order to reinforce their partnership. Even if Azerbaijan is geographically the most distant Eastern Partnership country, the EU remains its main trading partner. In 2019, the EU and Azerbaijan will celebrate the 20th anniversary since their partnership and cooperation agreement (PCA) entered into force in 1999. In recent years, EU support for civil society in Azerbaijan has been made more difficult by a new legal framework ...

The European Parliament regularly hosts the Euronest parliamentary assembly of the Eastern Partnership (EaP). Launched in 2011, the EaP is composed of the EU and its Member States, together with six of their eastern European neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. During their Riga summit in 2015, the partners in the EaP decided to focus on four areas: economic development and market opportunities; institutional capacity and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency ...

Upon request of the Euronest parliamentary assembly economic committee, investment patterns and policies in the EU and Eastern Partnership countries were compared. The EU is an investment heavyweight, both in terms of attracting as placing foreign direct investment. Many EU Member States protect their investment abroad and some have screening mechanisms for incoming investment. The Eastern Partnership countries are minor investors themselves, but keep attracting a slowly growing level of foreign ...

Russia in the southern Caucasus

Lühitutvustus 18-01-2018

Armenia is a Russian ally, Georgia has chosen a pro-Western course, while Azerbaijan has kept its distance from both sides. Despite these differences, Russia has significant economic interests in all three Caucasian countries and enjoys considerable soft power.