Will US lose interest in South Caucasus?
US interest in the South Caucasus region under President Donald Trump is likely to significantly decrease due to the new US President's isolationist policy and focus on the internal affairs of America, the chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs committee, Konstantin Kosachev, and the director general of the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies and Initiatives, Veronika Krasheninnikova, told Vestnik Kavkaza.
Konstantin Kosachev stressed that it is possible despite the unpredictability of the new US administration. "It's hard to predict the actions of the US, but I do not rule out that the interest of the current administration in the Caucasus region would decline. Under Trump's rule, Americans will likely be more focused on domestic political issues. Time will tell, whether it is good or bad for the Caucasus region," he said.
"Our cooperation, as full members of the OSCE Minsk Group, with the Americans on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was quite constructive. At the same time, we have seen the destructive role played by the Americans in Georgia. I mean the reckless support of the former President's ambitions of pulling the country in NATO and provoking an armed solution of the south Ossetian and Abkhaz conflicts," Konstantin Kosachev recalled.
In this regard, the senator expressed confidence that the South Caucasian republics will benefit from the weakening outside influence on the region. "If the countries in the region have more opportunities to solve their problems on their own, it will allow to change the situation for the better. If the United States continues to continue its consumer attitude towards the Caucasus and regard the region solely as a platform to realize its own goals and objectives, it will bring no good," the chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs committee concluded.
Veronika Krasheninnikova, in turn, noted that the new Washington administration has yet not published any programs on the Caucasus. "With regard to the South Caucasus, no signals have yet been given by the Trump administration and Trump himself. At the same time, we understand that the purpose of the Trump administration remains the same as those of the Obama administration, but they will be realized by much more stringent means. Apparently, Trump's policy will be like his business, when he makes deals with everyone on his own terms," she warned.
"Trump is already realizing his election promises. He has promised to ban entry of Muslims and introduced the law against the citizens of seven countries. Other points of the program are being implemented also quickly and categorically. If at any point the US attacks Iran, of course, it will affect the South Caucasus region. Any military actions in the Middle East affect neighboring regions and countries. But we have not yet heard any clear statements on the South Caucasus," Veronika Krasheninnikova summed up.