BERLIN/YEREVAN | | armenien

BERLIN/YEREVAN (Own report) - In its new efforts in its power struggle with Russia to gain leverage in the South Caucasus, Berlin is striving to enhance relations, not only with Georgia and Azerbaijan, but also to strengthen its ties with Armenia. Germany would like to strengthen cooperation with Yerevan, Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed during her recent brief visit to the country. Armenia is one of the poorest countries in Europe and the poorest in the South Caucasus. Buffeted by two decades of radical neo-liberal remedies, the war with Azerbaijan as well as the ongoing conflict with NATO member Turkey, Armenia retreated under Russia’s protective umbrella and, in 2015, joined the Moscow-dominated Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Last spring, however, a new government came to power in Yerevan following a coup that was fueled by the ongoing corruption. As a strong critic of several Moscow led alliances, the new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is seen as a ray of hope for German political strategists. more…

TBILISI/BERLIN | | aserbaidschanarmeniengeorgienrussische-foederation

TBILISI/BERLIN (Own report) - Eclipsed by the power struggle over the Ukraine, Berlin is pushing to speed up the signing of two other EU Association Agreements. The agreements to permanently associate Georgia and Moldova to the EU should be signed in due form no later than August and should be implemented as soon as possible. The agreement with Georgia is considered particularly important, because it will firmly anchor the EU in the strategically important South Caucasus, thereby weakening Russia's position in a highly sensitive region: Georgia can exert its influence on the hot spots in Russia's North Caucasus and secondly, strategically important gas pipelines transit this region. It is even conceivable that progress being made in the nuclear negotiations will permit an Iranian natural gas supply to Europe through the South Caucasus pipelines. The Berlin/Brussels association offensive is accompanied by a massive derogatory campaign against Russia and President Vladimir Putin, supplementing the German European campaign for the Ukraine's EU association. more…