By Simon Schmidt
26 January, 2012
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has been undergoing a considerable transformation process after the demise of the Soviet Union. The military alliance decided to shift its focus in security policy by continuously reaching out to new partner countries. Primarily, the Caucasus region and Central Asian countries were considered to be new areas of strategic importance. Concrete security challenges in the Caucasus reach from terrorism to regional conflicts and energy security. For this reason, NATO decided to implement a new partnership initiative called the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) at the NATO Prague summit in 2002. Within three years, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan all established an IPAP with NATO.
Simultaneously, the three South Caucasus countries orientate towards Europe. The increasing proximity of the Caucasus to the EU is achieve