We are already writing February in the calendar, and this is my first post of the New Year. Last year was an interesting year as far as both world and Caucasus politics went, and I believe 2012 will be even more so.
In 2012 we will will have many important events to look forward to in the region, first and foremost presidential elections in Russia, parliamentary elections in Georgia, and repeat presidential elections in South Ossetia. The first and the last will be especially interesting to follow, due to the controversy that has surrounded both former Russian president Vladimir Putin’s possible reelection, and the attempts of South Ossetian presidential hopeful Alla Jioeva to confront the power structures left by South Ossetian president Kokoity in the wake of disputed presidential elections last year.
So far in the new year we have had various international organisations, including Freedom House, presenting their take on the general direction of development regarding human rights and democracy in the South Caucasus, and the conflict between the West and Iran has also intensified, with the whole range of repercussions that might have for security, stability and economic development in the region.
Among other developments, Azerbaijan is holding the Eurovision Song Contest among threats of renewed war with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh, and there are also some interesting dynamics worth discussing regarding the relationship between Georgia, Russia, the Circassians and the Abkhaz in the aftermath of Georgia’s recognition last year of the Circassian Genocide, as well as the run up to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
I expect to touch upon these, and many other subjects of interest, in the forthcoming year.