Sergei Minasyan has a PhD in Political Science and is Deputy Director of the Caucasus Institute in Yerevan.
The Russian military campaign in Syria has been a major military and political event with significant regional and global consequences. It is post-Soviet Russia’s first openly-conducted full-scale military operation abroad.
The Ukrainian crisis in a way resembles wars of late feudalism in Europe, with private armies formed of assorted mercenaries and retired military of most diverse ethnic, ideological and social affiliations.
Armenia, opting for self-restraint of its own accord, minimized its risks and losses. As to whether the Armenian-style Finlandization can be an example for other former Soviet republics would depend not only on their own choice.
Yerevan would have shown greater interest in the problems of security in Central Asia if it were certain that its Central Asian allies would take symmetrical and proportionate actions in the Karabakh conflict.
The main and only goal of conventional deterrence, used by the Armenian parties, and political containment, owed largely to the positions of the international community and influential external actors, is to maintain stability and fragile peace in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
If NATO countries decide that continuing to comply with the CFE Treaty is senseless now that Russia has withdrawn from it, or if they start creating an alternative mechanism for arms control in Europe without Russia’s participation, all the prerequisites will emerge in the South Caucasus for a full-scale arms race.
At a roundtable event in Moscow, top experts debated the “hypocritical” and “insincere” foreign policies of both Russia and the West in the post-Cold War era.
Vladimir Putin has mentioned several times that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a geopolitical mistake. Although these words were often interpreted as his desire to constitute that country, there is little reason to believe this.
The April 16 referendum will focus on power distribution rather than institution building. In other words, the organizers saw it as an opportunity to expand the President’s powers and allow him to rule longer. In their turn, Turks perceived it as an institutional choice to contribute to the development of the state.
If the larger picture defies prediction, the immediate future is scarcely more transparent. In the U.S. case, the known unknowns are numerous. They begin with the question of how much deck furniture Trump is willing to overturn in order to pursue an “America First” strategy.
In the wake of the For Fair Elections protest movement in Russia in 2011-2012, the Kremlin initiated a new strategy of state-society relations that was aimed at diminishing the propensity for protest in the next election cycle.
Belarus’ traditional structural dependence on Russia is increasing, and Minsk’s freedom of maneuver continues to shrink.