Let’s bring you up to speed.
Aug 13. Putin visits Baku for the first time in 7 years. He visited Baku with Igor Sechin, head of Rosneft and LUKoil CEO Vagit Alekperov, on his way to Iran.
Russia – Azerbaijan report they are discussing reversing the route of Ural crude oil transported through the Baku-Novorossiysk northern route pipeline.
Bloomberg reports Azerbaijan said its arms trade with Russia is worth $4 billion as the Caspian Sea nation boosted military spending in connection with its territorial dispute with neighboring Armenia. (Editor’s Note: This was previously reported as $1bln.)
Aug 20. Armenia reportedly buys Chinese rockets.
Aug 21. A counter-terrorism operation was conducted on Tuesday, in Buinaksk, near Makhachkala, Dagestan. Assailants are unknown. A siege in Dagestan resulted in the killing of 9 suspected militants, according to counter-terrorism officials in Dagestan. An emergency anti-terrorist situation was declared.
Aug 21. Armenian Armed Forces violate ceasefire on contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh territory. Azerbaijani army responds. (Editor’s Note: The ceasefire has been violated many times. Also, this news comes from an Azerbaijani news paper and bias should be expected).
The increase of Russian influence in the Caucuses region is attributed to be in response to the growing international cries for security and cooperation preceding the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. The unrest and terrorist activities in Dagestan, Transnistria, and Chechnya are attributed by the Russians to be a result of growing (Muslim) influence throughout the region. One may predict, they see increased arms sales to Caucuses countries a way to better secure the region by providing host governments with a means to secure their nations.
Armenia retaliated by violating the ceasefire (typical) and pursuing the purchase of additional arms from other nations that are friendly to them (China). Armenia is rightfully threatened by the potential increase in strength of its not-so-friendly-neighbor, Azerbaijan due to their long standing history and ongoing turf wars over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Where is Georgia, you ask? Oh here. Georgia and Russia are to resume land transport agreement after 7 years.
Russia seems to be really solidifying their influence in the region and strengthening ties, most likely for hopes in cooperation on the front of international security.