RUSSIA’S BELT OF (IN)SECURITY

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…

SIGNIFICANT SHIFTS IN THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE SOUTH CAUCASUS

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…

ARMENIA: THE TECTONIC FAULT

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…

Security Challenges in the COVID-19 Epoch: The Case of Armenia

Dr. Gayane Novikova

October 18, 2020


Since February, 2020, the Armenian state and society have been dealing with an aggravating public health crisis and growing economic and social risks.  A sharp economic decline in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic is unavoidable. Although internal challenges stem from a gradually worsening economic situation; however, several issues specific to Armenia should be mentioned.

Internal Challenges

The post-revolutionary Armenian government has been simultaneously introducing and implementing a variety of economic, political, and legal reforms and actions. Many affect the interests of former corrupt political and economic elites.  Moreover, some of the economic reforms are not popular among those strata expecting quick and significant changes in their lives. Thus, the anger of the “formers” has coincided with disappointment by that segment of Prime Minister Pashinyan’s supporters who demand more radical measures.

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An Open Letter to the Citizens of Israel

October 16, 2020


Another war against humanity has been unleashed not far from Israel. Many of you may not know of your state’s direct engagement: Israel is involved by providing uninterrupted military support to one of the parties to the conflict at a time of open military confrontation.