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Old 09-05-2007, 14:46   #1
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Armenia, Azerbaijan & Georgia: Political Developments & Implications for US Interests

Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia: Political Developments and Implications for U.S. Interests
Congressional Research Service report to Congress
July 31, 2007

31 pages

Available here: http://opencrs.com/document/RL33453/

The United States recognized the independence of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia when the former Soviet Union broke up at the end of 1991. The United States has fostered these states' ties with the West in part to end the dependence of these states on Russia for trade, security, and other relations. The United States has pursued close ties with Armenia to encourage its democratization and because of concerns by Armenian-Americans and others over its fate. Close ties with Georgia have evolved from U.S. contacts with its pro-Western leadership. The Bush Administration supports U.S. private investment in Azerbaijan's energy sector as a means of increasing the diversity of world energy suppliers and to encourage building multiple energy pipelines to world markets. The United States has been active in diplomatic efforts to end conflicts in the region, several of which remain unresolved. The FREEDOM Support Act of 1992 (P.L. 102-511) authorizes assistance to the Eurasian states for humanitarian needs, democratization, creation of market economies, trade and investment, and other purposes. Section 907 of the act prohibits most U.S. government-to-government aid to Azerbaijan until its ceases blockades and other offensive use of force against Armenia. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, the Administration appealed for a national security waiver for Section 907, in consideration of Azerbaijan's support to the international coalition to combat terrorism. In December 2001, Congress approved foreign appropriations for FY2002 (P.L. 107-115) that granted the President authority to waive Section 907, renewable each calendar year under certain conditions. President Bush exercised the waiver most recently in March 2007. As part of the U.S. Global War on Terror, the U.S. military in 2002 began providing equipment and training for Georgia's military and security forces. Azerbaijani troops participate in stabilization efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Armenian and Georgian personnel serve in Iraq. Georgia has announced that it will soon send some troops to Afghanistan. Key issues in the 110th Congress regarding the South Caucasus are likely to focus on bolstering Georgia's democratization and security; Azerbaijan's energy development; and Armenia's independence and economic development. At the same time, concerns might include the status of democratization and human rights in Azerbaijan, the on-going Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over the breakaway Nagorno Karabakh region, and threats posed to Georgia by ongoing separatism and Russian actions. Congress will likely scrutinize Armenia's and Georgia's reform progress as recipients of Millennium Challenge Account grants. Some Members of Congress believe that the United States should provide greater attention to the region's increasing role as an east-west trade and security corridor linking the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions. They urge greater U.S. aid and conflict resolution efforts to contain warfare, crime, smuggling, and Islamic extremism and to bolster the independence of the states. Others urge caution in adopting policies that will heavily involve the United States in a region beset by ethnic and civil conflicts.
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:08   #2
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Gaurdians of the gate.
The region serves as a barrier between Europe and the Middle East. It is in the U.S. interest that it remain so.
The U.S. foreign policy seems to waffle on the idea that issues in the region are a European concern and we stay out....unless the muslim population is infringed upon then we seem to get involved.
"There are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations"

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Old 06-04-2008, 05:02   #3
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NATO warns Russia over Abkhazia

NATO warns Russia over Abkhazia

Nato's secretary general has demanded that Russia withdraw troops it sent to the disputed breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia last week.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer accused Russia of breaching Georgia's sovereignty by sending in military railway personnel.

Mr de Hoop Scheffer said the Russian move was "contributing to instability in what is already a volatile area".

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in a war in the early 1990s after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Russia announced on Saturday that it was sending 300 members of an unarmed unit from the army's railway force to the province to help carry out repairs on the network, labelling the move a humanitarian effort.

Georgia responded that Russia is planning a military intervention in the province.

NATO aspirations

"These forces should be withdrawn, and both Russia and Georgia should engage quickly in a high-level and open dialogue to de-escalate tensions," Mr de Hoop Scheffer said.

Georgia, which hopes to join Nato, has accused Russia of propping up separatists in the region with a peacekeeping force.

Tensions have been high since Moscow announced in April that it was establishing formal ties with the separatists.

Adding to those tensions is the release of a UN report that said Russia shot down a Georgian drone.

Russian authorities insisted the plane was shot down over Abkhazia by Abkhaz rebels.

Russia has kept a peacekeeping force in the province and South Ossetia under an agreement made following wars in the 1990s, when the regions broke away from Georgia and formed links with Moscow.

There are around 2,000 Russians posted in Abkhazia, and about 1,000 in South Ossetia.

Many in Abkhazia believe that Kosovo's announcement of independence from Serbia in February provides a precedent for it to be recognised as an individual state.

Although the province has its own flag and postage stamps, it is not internationally recognised.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/06/03 19:11:59 GMT

The Abkhaz minority demanded independence from Georgia after the collapse of the USSR in 1991

Several thousand people were killed before Georgian forces were driven out in 1993

About 250,000 Georgians were displaced by the fighting
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Abkhazia overview.pdf (33.5 KB, 5 views)
"There are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations"

James Madison

Last edited by Ret10Echo; 06-04-2008 at 05:07. Reason: Added overview pdf
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