Unsettled conflicts are impeding the stability in the South Caucasus, positive changes and turning to institutional reforming, the EU Special Representative for South Caucasus Peter Semneby said in Yerevan during the international conference 'Extended Black Sea Region: Prospects of International and Regional Security' on 14 January, Novosti-Armenia quoted.
"Despite the economic progress, the region is facing problems and confrontations which do not directly proceed from economically unfavourable conditions, yet are linked with security issues," he said.
The difficulties are connected with the closed borders in the region - between Russia and Georgia, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan and Armenia and Turkey, which impede the potential use of the region, Semneby added.
According to Semneby, a range of short-time benefits which the population has gained from reforms particularly carried in the field of freedom of speech and human rights do not have immediate economic constituents.
"The region may be considered as a single whole only when the reforms in these fields are carried out simultaneously in all countries of the region, as well as in case the countries pay special attention to the settlement of more prospective tasks," he said.
The EU has recently began forming more well-ordered institutional relations with its partners in the region, particularly within the framework of the New European Neighbourhood policy and through developing relations with Russia and Turkey, Semneby said.
"These are our first steps in the stage-by-stage development, although, EU's involvement in the processes is of a probable nature," he stressed.
The conference on Expanded Black Sea Region: Prospective and regional security was organized by the Armenian international policy research group - AIPRG with the assistance of NATO, OSCE, the Union of Graduates from the Yerevan State University and the Dutch embassy.
The participants in the conference are Ambassador Vladimir Kazimirov, the former co-chair of the Minsk Group, Ambassador Matthew Bryza, the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, as well as delegates from Turkey, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia.