Dr. Gayane Novikova

December 20, 2022

The ties and activity within the Turkey-Israel-Azerbaijan triad are motivated by mutual national and strategic interests and/or by coinciding political reasoning. The Broader Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean constitute a complex geopolitical area saturated by a diversity of actors. Even though the preservation of fragile balance between them can become problematic, these states are steadily moving toward closer cooperation with each other. See more…


Dr. Gayane Novikova

March 20, 2022

The withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan in 1989, dissolution of Yugoslavia and the war in Bosnia (1992-1995), the collapse of the Soviet Union, proclamation of the independent Republic of Ichkeria (Chechnya) and the first Russian-Chechen war (1994-96) —

triggered a global jihad in the end of 1980s – beginning 1990s. The Arab Spring greatly contributed to a further spread of Islamic radicalism. An establishment of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and its branches in Afghanistan, North Caucasus, Central Asia, in several African states, Islamists mobility and ability to mobilize the most vulnerable segments in the different societies, increasing numbers of terrorist attacks against civilians, as well as an involvement of Islamist militants in the international conflicts and civil wars, – all these factors are the sources of concern for governments and societies dealing with unconventional threats. The Nagorniy Karabakh (NK) conflict provides a unique example where an internal utilization of the Islamic factor has intertwined with a long history of involvement and participation of Islamists mercenaries on the side of one of the parties – Azerbaijan. See more…


Dr. Gayane Novikova

November 20, 2021

Developments along Russia’s external borders require the precise attention of its political and military circles. In addition to the complicated relationships with the U.S., the EU, and China, Russia feels to a certain degree insecure as a result of a) being surrounded by non-friendly Baltic States, Poland, Ukraine, and Georgia; b) trying to maintain balanced relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan; and c) attempting to avoid any problems in Central Asia in the aftermath of the Afghan crisis. Russia builds its security belt either keeping or installing military bases or involving – sometimes forcibly –vulnerable neighboring states into its political, military, and economic spheres of influence. In the meantime, more “egocentric” Russia conducts a selective foreign policy, that focuses on those areas where it can gain maximum strategic advantage. In the meantime, serious limitations are apparent in Russia’s multilateral security policy. See more…


Dr. Gayane Novikova

September 21, 2021

A new status quo has emerged after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war in the South Caucasus. Its main manifestations can be defined.

Involvement of the major global actors in the regional conflicts is diminishing, especially when viewed against the background of global security concerns related to health, poverty, migration, inequality, and cyber security.  Although the current U.S. administration has announced “a return of America on the global stage” and the EU leadership has stressed its readiness to contribute to peace in the South Caucasus, leverage to deal with hard security issues is lacking on both sides. Their involvement in regional affairs will be limited to assisting the implementation of “soft power” programs. China is seeking to expand its economic might, mainly through its “Belt and Road Initiative,” a part of which includes the South Caucasus states. In the meantime, China faces several serious domestic problems and economic challenges all of which have slowed down its economic involvement in this region.

Regional security issues have increasingly become a source of concern and area of responsibility for the regional powers – Russia, Turkey, and Iran: their interaction is shaping the security environment. Hard security measures will remain a prerogative of Russia, Turkey, and – to a lesser extent – Iran.

These transformations should be taken into account in any further discussions on the security of the entire region and each of its constituent states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In the next several years the South Caucasus states will become fully involved in a direct and rigorous Russian-Turkish geopolitical rivalry.  See more…


Dr. Gayane Novikova

April 17, 2021

The full-fledged Karabakh war (September 27 – November 9-10, 2020) has become a watershed in the post-Soviet history of Armenia. It will take time to evaluate human, territorial, economic, political, and moral losses, to recover, to strengthen the sovereignty of the country, and to overcome the aftermath of this war. The aims of this article are a) to discuss the challenges Armenia is facing currently and b) to attempt to offer ways out of this dangerous situation. Some parts of this puzzle are still missing; many questions remain unanswered.  See more…