Unless Turkey opens its borders with Armenia without any precondition, all talks about “Caucasian union”, Turkey-sponsored “economic partnership” in the region will sound nothing more than a PR action to try to increase Turkey’s influence and importance in the South Caucasus dominated now by Russia and partly US/EU. I am not even talking about so many seemingly irreconcilable differences between countries in the South Caucasus which makes this whole idea looking more like an encouraging but fairy tale proposal, for now at least.
On the other hand, there are already voices in Turkey admitting that the policy of economic isolation of Armenia failed. It made Armenia’s dependence on Russia even stronger, without any advantage for Turkey or its ally Azerbaijan.
I wonder if pushing “Caucasian union” idea is (among others) a Turkey’s attempt to rectify its failed policies towards Armenia without ‘hurting’ too much Azeri feelings. I wonder if Turkey is ready to open its borders as a first step to push forward and make the “economic partnership” idea at least plausible?
Turkey-sponsored Caucasian union to start as an economic partnership
Turkey has mapped out the details of the proposed Caucasian union and plans to launch the association on the basis of the economic partnership.
Turkey had proposed the formation of a Caucasian union after the clashes erupted between Georgia and Russia. Turkey, as a neighboring country of the region, has close interest in the Caucasus in its efforts to ensure energy supply safety.
Ankara had stepped in to resolve the conflict with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan had visited both Moscow and Tbilisi.
Turkey's proposal to establish a Caucasian union was widely accepted. The union, called by Turkey as "Caucasus Stability and Partnership Platform", is envisaged to bring Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia under the same roof.
Sources from Turkish foreign ministry told local media the union is planned to have common security and executive bodies, and would be similar to the neighboring countries of Iraq but in a more complex structure.
The works on the unions would start next week.
Although the idea was widely accepted, there is a tough task ahead of Turkey as almost every country, who would take part in this establishment, has bilateral conflicts.
Turkey hopes this union would contribute to the strengthening of the relations between Ankara and Yerevan as well as the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. [...]