The Regional Studies Center (RSC) is an independent think tank engaged in a wide range of strategic analysis and research, developing policy initiatives aimed at bolstering political and economic reform and conflict resolution in the broader South Caucasus region.
As a leading think tank based in Armenia, the RSC strives to elevate the level of political discourse and deepen civic activism while broadening engagement in the public policy process. One of our core longer-term goals is to serve as a catalyst for reform and sustainable development by contributing to the formulation of public policy through innovative research and objective analysis.
Our research and project activities consist of five main program areas:
(1) Regional analysis of political, economic and security issues in the South Caucasus, but also including Iran, Russia and Turkey;
(2) National security and defense reform;
(3) Democratization and good governance;
(4) Economics and sustainable development;
(5) Educating and empowering youth as an “agent of change.”
Since our founding in 2012, the RSC has also offered a regular series of certificate-based professional development training courses, analytical briefings and interactive “focus groups,” and convenes simulation exercises focused on diplomatic negotiations and “war gaming” models.
Regional Studies Center (RSC)
60 Aram Street, #53, 3rd floor
0010 Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: (+374) 11 70 99 69
RSC Director Richard Giragosian and RSC Researcher Arpi Grigoryan attended a session of the Yerevan School of Political Studies (YSPS) on 13 February in the Armenian resort of Tsakhadzor. Giragosian presented an assessment of the Armenia-Turkey “normalization” process, focusing on the wider implications of the recent Russian-Turkish crisis, the war in Syria and the Western-brokered nuclear deal with Iran. Much of the discussion also addressed the Azerbaijan factor in the normalization process.
RSC Director Richard Giragosian met with visiting Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström on 9 February, during her first visit to the South Caucasus. In a meeting with four other Armenian civil society representatives, Foreign Minister Margot Wallström and her delegation participated in an active, hour-long discussion that covered a wide range of issues, from domestic politics to regional developments, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and gender-related issues. Reporting on the visit, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Armenian Service also interviewed Giragosian, citing his comments on the domestic political situation within Armenia.
In an interview with the Tert.am electronic news agency on 9 February, RSC Senior Analyst David Shahnazaryan assessed the latest development in the crisis in relations between Turkey and Russia. He pointed to three recent factors that are contributing to an escalation of the crisis and warned that as has “repeatedly happened throughout history, Russia is seeking to use Armenia as a small coin in its confrontation with Turkey. Neither our authorities nor our society should be enthusiastic about it in any way. We are in a rather grave situation and we must clearly understand that the interests of Armenia and Russia are becoming more and more in conflict. In this situation, Armenia has to make certain steps, first of all out of its own state interest.”
Interview in Armenian: www.tert.am/am/news/2016/02/09/shahnazaryan/1926528
Interview in English: www.tert.am/en/news/2016/02/09/shahnazaryan/1926528
- Category: RSC Reading Room
In an annual presentation to the U.S. Congress, U.S. intelligence officials presented their official “Worldwide Threat Assessments.” In hearings before the Armed Services Committees of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart, USMC, each presented their reports.
RSC STAFF ANALYSIS
The long-term amicable and close relationship between Armenia and Iran is currently limited, in both scale and scope. There are a number of reasons for this situation, including Russia’s influence on Armenia’s economy and foreign policy, decades of Western sanctions on Iran, a lack of capacity on both sides to invest more in mutually beneficial spheres, etc.. However, there are some fields where Armenia and Iran are more than just neighbors.