GUAM TRANSPORT CORRIDOR: POLITICS VS. ECONOMICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Abstract. The ODED-GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) was originated more than two decades ago as a friendly cooperative forum of a few post-Soviet countries committed to Euro-Atlanticism. In 2006 the grouping was transformed into a full-fledged international organization bringing together Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova. Notwithstanding the geostrategic role of cooperation within GUAM in terms of energy security, protracted conflicts, trade links and other key policy areas, the organization has been recurrently failing to create a common front for its member states. It has been mostly with the recent actualization of ambitious trade and transportation projects to engage the four states that GUAM started to “return to the big game” and attract significant attention from governments and scholars. This study explores the political and economic significance of international transport routes within the framework of intergovernmental relations exampling the origins and evolution, strengths and weaknesses of the GUAM Transport Corridor (GUAM TC) project, and also some insights on reingovirating the transport cooperation agenda in the GUAM region.
Key words: ODED-GUAM, transport corridor, free trade area, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova