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Factors, which facilitate and/or hinder regional cooperation in South Caucasus/Central Asia

For evaluating issue of regional cooperation, it is important to define factors, which have influence on regional cooperation. Factors may be devided on three groups: political, economic, religious-cultural. Herewith, it is important to foresee influence of third power, in this case third powers are Russia and west (Europe, United states of America) and in case of south Caucasus-Turkey, as a regional actor. Russia makes impediment for multilateral regional cooperation, Turkey is a partner for Georgia, European union is interested in close cooperation between south Caucasus states, because of its interest in this region (as a corridor between Europe and Asia).
South Caucasus
Economic factors facilitate Cooperation between Georgia and Azerbaijan, also, pro European orientation, which is conditioned by economic cooperation (pipelines, railway projects), existence of regional conflicts on territory both states. Common interests is precondition for cooperation, religious difference does not complicate cooperation. This economic and political preconditions facilitate cooperation between Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Cooperation between Georgia and Armenia is conditioned by economic dependence Armenia on Georgia, but pro Russian orientation of Armenia may be considered as a complication. In this case, there exists religious likeness between Georgia and Armenia. There exists economic precondition for cooperation but pro Russian orientation of Armenia (political factor) when Russia has occupied territories of Georgia, does not make long wished basis for cooperation.
Cooperation between Armenia and Azerbaijan is complicated by ethnic conflict of Nagorno Karabakh. Occupation Azerbaijan territories by Armenia makes impossible cooperation between this states, like cooperation between Georgia and Russia. Political conflict reduct economic cooperation. Cooperation in South Caucasus region is complicated by different orientation of states. Georgia and Azerbaijan, who have pro European orientation, and Armenia, who is pro Russian, but has support of western society ( recognition of genocide by USA), provoke dissatisfaction of Azerbaijan.
Russian support to opening Armenian and Turkish border also may be considered as an influence of third power on regional cooperation in South Caucasus.
Common political and economic interests between Georgia and Azerbaijan, also economic dependence Armenia on Georgia stipulate bilateral cooperation, territorial-ethnic conflicts in region, occupation of territory neighbor state, also, influence of third power (Russia) complicate regional cooperation.
Central Asia
States of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) have better possibility for cooperation according to analysis political factors.
With the difference from south Caucasus there do not exist regional-ethnic conflicts. But analyzing on political level there is problem of their different orientation (Pro Russian, pro European). Cultural and religious factors facilitate cooperation, also, economic factors (Nabucco).
With the difference from south Caucasus, there exist more factors for multilateral cooperation, but like south Caucasus, Central Asia is not free from Russian influence, which complicate multilateral cooperation in this region too.


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