The Coming Regional Conflict and the Strategic Importance of Nakhijevan

By Grigor Hakobyan

Summary:

In time of pandemic where all warring countries and entities were asked to stop various conflicts to focus on containing the spread of COVID-19 virus around the world, Azerbaijan decided to conduct large scale military exercises on Armenian-Azerbaijani front lines along the borders of Artsakh and Republic of Armenia between May 18-24 without advance warning as required by international norms and conventions. While major military exercises were taking places at a distance of 800m-1km from the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontlines, a group of Azerbaijani special forces attempted to penetrate Armenian defense lines in the south of Artsakh. Unable to make any progress the Azerbaijani commando team was forced to retreat to its original position while sustaining casualties inflicted during clashes with the Armenian defense forces in the area. In the meantime, the geography of the Azerbaijani military exercises with live fire included the Nakhijevani exclave also.

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Armenia of Today and Armenia of Tomorrow: Present and Future Challenges

By Grigor Hakobyan

Summary:

Past week was full of unexpected surprises for the Armenia’s foreign policy establishment and for the Armenians around the world. Attempts by the Russian Foreign Minister to resurrect his model of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict resolution also known as Lavrov’s Plan, despite the fact that it was rejected not only by the present government of Armenia but also by the former government of Armenia soon after the Four Day War of 2016 (also known as April War) in light of militaristic statements coming from Azerbaijan and its frequent violations of the cease-fire regime on the LoC between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces not only in Artsakh but also on the borders of the Republic of Armenia for the past few months. Furthermore, Russia’s readiness to sell a squadron of its top combat aircrafts, Su-35S to Azerbaijan knowing fully well that they will be used directly against Armenia and potentially against the Russian troops stationed in Armenia during the next round of war in the region may imply only two things, either Russia wants Azerbaijan to defeat Armenia during next confrontation or that it is trying to make money at the expense of political and military commitments to Armenia.

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Armenia on the Brink of Another Russian-Turkish War

By Grigor Hakobyan

Summary:

While meetings between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aiyev in Munich have caught the attention of international community and political observers another major conflict is quickly brewing in the Middle East where Russian and Turkish strategic interests have clashed in Syria with greater frequency and intensity. The inability of both countries to resolve their differences is threatening the region with major conflagration that may not leave Armenia and Azerbaijan unscathed. Furthermore, the Armenian communities in Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq may face renewed threats to their existence due to their extreme proximity to the epicenter of the Russian-Turkish conflict. To understand most likely scenarios that may unfold in case if Russia and Turkey do not find a way to resolve their differences one needs to look no further in history than the last five hundred years of Russian-Turkish wars which have made their mark in shaping the present day Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

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Armenia: Review and Outlook for 2019-2020

By Grigor Hakobyan

12/3/2019

Summary:

Many political observers from Armenia and abroad give mixed reviews of Pashinyan’s government performance in 2019, one year after popular “Velvet Revolution” of 2018. Some think that not enough has been accomplished or that very few superficial changes have been observed while some find many accomplishments in various areas of Armenia’s life ranging from defense to foreign policy, and from economy to higher social-political awareness among the populace in general. In fact, despite all the naysayers and pessimists, ardent critiques of the present government and cynics in general, Armenia made a lot of progress in a number of areas, particularly in the spheres of economy, defense and foreign policy. Increasing its defense budget, opening new embassies and consulates in Middle East, sending a humanitarian mission to Syria, developing friendly relations with Georgia and improving relations with the U.S. and European countries were among its many highlights in 2019. Now, as the new year is fast approaching, what will be the security outlook for Armenia in 2020 and what should Armenia’s security establishment focus on for the next few years?

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