The South Caucasus sees a parade of European leaders … why?

In addition to the distribution of hydrocarbons, the Union pursues a geopolitical interest: to expand its sphere of influence, its political and social model is different from that of Russia. EU ministers’ visits to the South Caucasus regularly include meetings with NGOs promoting European values ​​of democracy, the rule of law or the protection of minorities. NGOs, moreover, are often funded by the European Union.

One of the objectives was to strengthen or instill European values ​​in these regions under the historical influence of Russia. “European Political Community”, a new organization of 45 countriesIt was established last year by French President Emmanuel Macron.

It unites nations “Share the values ​​of the Union” Without necessarily being members. These include Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The only states on the European continent left off the list: Russia and Belarus, its ally.

Arguably, in the name of protecting the values ​​of peace and human rights, the President of the Council of Europe, Charles Michael, began to mediate the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Referee Russia.

“It was Russia that negotiated Armistice and it Russia qwho sent a special peacekeeping force” Emphasizes Taline Ter Minassian. “Russia has presented itself as a mediating power, and now the EU, on its side, wants to mediate a competing form of peace with Russia.”

Georgia is another sector where the values ​​between Russia and the Union are confronting, explains Thornike Kordatze.

“The European Union is considered an actor that can influence not only through its economy, but also in terms of communities and values. We saw this when Georgia concluded the Agreement with the European Union, the Free Trade Agreement and the Agreement. Visas: This is very important because it allows Georgian citizens to visit the Schengen countries without a visa. It also allowed a three-month stay. Georgians came to study, do business, stay… and it had a huge impact, especially on the new generations. Today, 95% of young people in Georgia, under 40, are pro-European, which is very strong at the political level.”

In March 2022, Georgia applied for EU membership. For European leaders, the visit to Georgia shows support for pro-European voices in Russia’s immediate neighborhood.

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