Through history and culture, Armenia views itself as part of the West. Armenia cannot escape its geographical position: it should seek a solid relationship with Moscow and a warmer peace with Azerbaijan.
The authorities now must make sure that a fair and open trial is conducted. Bishkek must leave no opportunity for Tashiev’s supporters to view him and his cohorts as victims of a politically motivated sham prosecution.
Beyond the concerns over how the government will fare are larger ones about what this means for the rule of law in the small former Soviet dominion.
If a vibrant democratic culture that respects the people’s basic rights and provides them with a viable choice in future presidential elections is to be realized in Armenia, the opposition parties must come together around a common agenda.
In this world, Azerbaijan would benefit from improved relations with the West. That is most likely to come in response to domestic liberalization.
There has been talk in Washington of late of sanctions against Ukraine for the continuing tribulations of Yulia Tymoshenko. This would be a profound error.
Democratic governance – as the Western-educated Saakashvili should understand and the Russian-groomed Ivanishvili must accept – requires compromise.
Given the lack of enthusiasm surrounding the presidential contest this year, there likely won’t be a repeat of the unrest in 2008. Even so, we cannot help by despair at the lack of serious challengers in this month’s presidential election.
The cost of this increasingly intimate embrace with Moscow has been, and continues to be in the future, economic disaster for the dictatorship of Aleksandr Lukashenko.
That another member of Angela Merkel’s party — one with the foreign affairs and PACE credentials to carry significant weight — is willing to break with Ukraine’s harshest interlocutor and the head of his party is a telling sea change.