The RSC staff briefed a visiting delegation from the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship on April 16. RSC Director Richard Giragosian and Resident Fellow Linn Nettelvik from the Swedish Defense College offered an analysis of the Nagorno Karabakh mediation effort, centering on the military balance of power and an objective assessment of the OSCE peace process. The RSC also offered several concrete proposals related to confidence-building measures and ideas for a de-escalation of tension and ceasefire violations. The Swiss delegation was led by Ambassador Angelo Gnädinger, the OSCE Special Representative for the South Caucasus, and included Christian Disler, Political Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the OSCE, and Martin Schuster, Policy Support Officer at the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre (CPC) in Vienna. Swiss Ambassador to Armenia, Lukas Gasser, also accompanied the delegation and attended the briefing.
On 15 April, the RSC staff provided a detailed briefing on military security and Armenian defense reform to a visiting delegation from the French Ministry of Defense. RSC Director Richard Giragosian and Resident Fellow Linn Nettelvik from the Swedish Defense College provided an assessment of the situation in Nagorno Karabakh, and reviewed Armenia’s commitment to modern defense reform and noted Armenia’s contribution to regional and international security. The French Defense Ministry officials were in Yerevan to hold a series of meetings with their counterparts from the Armenian Ministry of Defense and to participate in the working session of the Franco-Armenian Defense Committee.
The delegation included Lieutenant Colonel Andree Evrard, the Defence Attache of France to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Captain Alexis Willer, the Head of the French Joint Staff International Military Cooperation with Europe and the CIS Region, and Major Sebastian Jacot, a representative of the French Joint Staff. Visiting analyst Hrant Kostanyan from the Centre for European Studies (CEPS) also attended the briefing at the RSC office.
At the invitation of Lithuanian Ambassador to Armenia Erikas Petrikas, RSC Director Richard Giragosian briefed the head of the Policy Planning Department of the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Daniliauskas, during his visit to Yerevan. Giragosian presented a broad overview of regional security, with an added focus on Armenian foreign policy and the outlook for reform in the country. Since attending the EU Summit in Vilnius in November 2013, where the RSC Director met the president and defense minister of Lithuania, the RSC has been actively cooperating with the Lithuanian Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs.
As an independent “think tank” in Armenia, the Regional Studies Center (RSC) was pleased to host a visiting delegation from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on March 28 and to provide a briefing focusing on an “Overview of Armenian National Security and Defense Reform.” The RSC briefing consisted of a specific assessment of several issues, including Armenia’s foreign and national security priorities, an analysis of regional security challenges from an Armenian perspective and an overview of Armenian defense planning and reform.
The Regional Studies Center (RSC) held its latest closed monthly briefing on March 26, providing an analysis of recent political, economic and military security trends in Armenia, but with an added focus on the implications from Russian aggression against Ukraine, followed by an informal “off-the-record” closed discussion (see briefing summary notes below).