Europeans have given much more attention to the Caucasus lately, and because of their interest NATO also develops a greater interest, in the context not necessarily of Eastern Partnership as a model but in the EU`s efforts to deepen relations with all the countries on its periphery.
A realistic appraisal of the situation suggests that Russia and Georgia will continue to enlarge the sphere of their mutually productive relations outside the knot of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, without setting as a precondition that the other side formally surrender their principled position on the status of these two long-troubled regions.
Georgia faces a stark choice between two mutually exclusive futures. The first depicts Georgia as a modern-day divided Berlin and envisions the conflicts it currently faces as a Cold War in the Caucasus. The second scenario envisions a process of conflict transformation that reduces tensions, brings people together across the conflict lines, creates trust, builds trade links, and normalizes contacts among authorities.
The Russian military presence in internationally recognized Georgia is an irritant for Russia’s relations with the West, but it is not an impassable roadblock. Some point to North Cyprus, which complicates Turkey’s European Union membership aspirations but does not prevent cooperation with the West, as a “model.” In other words, get used to the status quo, since it will be here for the long haul.