The five-day war in August 2008 between Russia and Georgia has put the future of the Caucasus in doubt. Security structures such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have appeared either unwilling or unable to resolve the region’s enduring conflict. To this situation, the Russian government’s recognition of the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states represents a serious setback for the Georgian leadership’s goal to integrate with the West. The “frozen conflict” between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the separatist republic of Nagorno-Karabakh continues to hinder the economic and political development of the states concerned. Under these circumstances, Turkey should take a more active role in determining the fate of the Caucasus, including bolder unilateralism.
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