SOUTH CAUCASUS IN THE NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Abstract. The article considers the problems of divisive lines, separating nations and diminishing prospects of shared prosperity in South Caucasus. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resultant independence for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the South Caucasus has primarily been associated with conflicts, hostility, military actions, closed borders. The article highlights the causes of problems and directions for their solutions. An assessment of the development potential of the South Caucasus’and tendencies of establishing a stable and secure space with broad prospects for economic cooperation in the region based on geopolitical and geo-economic opportunities is made. Arguments are based on variety of different factors, such as the facts that the region has inexhaustible transit and tourist potential, important natural resources of international significance, and an educated, relatively cheap labour force. Attemps are made to resolve issues such as prospects for the South Caucasus to become an attractive region, determined desirable further actions of the regional states and external players (Russia, United States of America, European Union) which are necessary to achieve a result. Expanding European principles, standards and criteria for cooperation in the South Caucasus is the most realistic way for the three states to achieve shared success. Nothing better has been offered in practice with respect to international regional cooperation. The future of the South Caucasus primarily depends on the three states themselves, their ability and vision, the capacity to observe the overall picture of regional developments and assist each other, and shared activity in order to help the population of the states perceive a new reality. The stable and integrated South Caucasus will make a serious contribution to the security system in a broader regional context and will bring greater stability in adjacent areas.
Key words: international conflicts, security system, regional stability, international cooperation, geopolitical opportunities.