EARLY WARNING ALERT: RSC RELEASES NAGORNO KARABAKH SITUATIONAL ASSESSMENT
As part of its series of early warning alerts, the RSC released a brief “situational assessment” on March 13, 2014 offering concise analysis of reports of unusual troop movements in Azerbaijan, tr... Read News
NEW RSC PUBLICATION: “STRATEGIC SETBACK: ARMENIA AND THE CUSTOMS UNION”
Summary In a surprise development, on September 3, 2013, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian announced a dramatic “U-turn” in Armenian policy. While in Moscow, after being summoned to a ... Read News
NEW EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REPORT ON TURKEY-ARMENIA
The European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs recently released a report from a joint meeting on September 18, 2013 focusing on “Turkey-Armenia Relations.” The meetin... Read News
NEW PUBLICATION OF NOTE: THE SOUTH CAUCASUS 2018 - FACTS, TRENDS, FUTURE SCENARIOS
The Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) South Caucasus has recently published a new book with contributions from a number of prominent experts and analysts from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The 370-... Read News
RSC Calls for Greater EU Engagement in Nagorno-Karabakh
In a brief four-page policy memo, the Regional Studies Center (RSC) called for greater engagement by the European Union in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and issued a set of policy recommendations ... Read News
RSC COMMENTS ON IMPACT OF DOWNING OF CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT OVER UKRAINE21 July 2014
UKRAINIAN WEEKLY NEWSPAPER CITES RSC SENIOR ANALYST ON OUTLOOK FOR EURASIAN UNION18 July 2014
RSC SENIOR ANALYST ASSESSES IMPACT OF DOWNING OF CIVILIAN AIRLINER OVER UKRAINE18 July 2014
The Regional Studies Center (RSC) is an independent, nonprofit think tank offering a wide range of strategic analysis and objective research, and implementing a number of educational and policy-related projects.
As a leading think tank based in Armenia, the RSC conducts research and analysis and develops policy initiatives aimed at bolstering political and economic reform and conflict resolution in the broader South Caucasus region. The RSC strives to elevate political discourse and deepen civic activism while broadening engagement in the public policy process. In this way, the RSC partners with various actors and decision makers, including civil society, international organizations, the private sector, academia and state institutions.
As an independent think tank, the RSC produces a wide range of strategic analysis and objective research focused on five main program areas:
(1) Regional Analysis on the South Caucasus, but also including Iran, Russia and Turkey,
(2) National Security and Defense issues;
(3) Economics & Governance;
(4) Education & Social Issues, including gender issues;
(5) Public Policy.
One of the core longer-term goals of the Regional Studies Center (RSC) is to serve as a catalyst for reform and sustainable development by contributing to the formulation of public policy through innovative and objective strategic research and analysis.
Regional Studies Center (RSC)
Griar Business Center
4/6 Amiryan Street, 4th Floor
0010 Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: (+374) 60 56 09 10
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In an exclusive analysis for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Azerbaijani Service (Radio Azadlyg), RSC Director Richard Giragosian assessed the implications for Armenian foreign policy from the next Armenian government.
Entitled, “The Next Armenian Government: The Outlook for Nagorno Karabakh,” Giragosian noted that “as the new (Armenian) government is widely expected to focus more on domestic economic issues than on foreign policy options, and as the ministers of defense and foreign affairs are most likely to return to their previous posts, there is little indication of any real or sudden shift in policy,” adding that “for the more fundamental elements of Armenian foreign policy, the twin pillars of Nagorno Karabakh and Turkey remain largely unchanged.”
He further noted, however, that while “there are few signs of any real change,” as “Armenia’s strategic partnership with Russia remains unchallenged, the real danger for Armenia now is from a deepening of dependence on Russia. And this danger is only exacerbated by Armenia’s vulnerability from being hostage to Russian policies elsewhere, such as its aggression against Ukraine, for the most prominent example. In this way, Armenia is in danger of becoming a “captive nation” isolated on the “wrong side of history” and imprisoned behind what seem to be Russian President Putin’s desire to reconstruct a new “iron curtain.”
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In the fourth in a series of RSC commentaries regularly published on the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Armenian Service website blog, RSC Director Richard Giragosian presented a unique analysis of Armenian politics entitled, “Armenia’s Game of Thrones.”
Armenian-language version: www.azatutyun.am/content/blog/25335116.html
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In an extended, two-part interview with the “168 Zham” newspaper, Richard Giragosian, the director of the Regional Studies Center (RSC), expressed disappointment with the recently released set of proposed changes to the Armenian constitution. Giragosian described the move as “a lost opportunity in democracy-building efforts” and added that he did not think that “the proposed reforms would ensure the separation of powers and accountability mechanisms.”
Giragosian further pointed out several serious deficiencies and discrepancies, including the failure to address the presidential authority to appoint regional governors and most judges, which he defined as “a lost opportunity in terms of ensuring proper checks and balances between government bodies.” Commenting on the proposal for adopting a parliamentary form of government, he added that he “did not think such a move would have a positive impact on the country’s democracy in light of the inadequacy of the parliament as an institution and its failure to curb the excesses of the incestuous relationship between business and politics.”
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In an interview for the Tbilisi-based “Investor.ge” publication, RSC Director Richard Giragosian assessed the “potential impact of the Ukrainian crisis onArmenia’s decision to follow Russia into its Customs Union instead of signing an Association Agreement with the European Union.”
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In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Armenian Service on April 9, RSC Director Richard Giragosian assessed the deepening of Russian-Azerbaijani military cooperation and the recent trend of a steady increase in the quantity and quality of Russian arms sales to Baku. The interview was timed with the visit to Baku by Russian General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian army’s General Staff, and reports of a new pending arms deal between the two countries.
Giragosian noted that “Moscow has been consistently seeking to improve its relations with Baku and has emerged as the number one arms provider to Azerbaijan, as well as to Armenia.” He also stressed that “Armenia should be concerned with this trend, especially as Azerbaijani has been increasing its procurement of much more modern offensive weapons systems in recent years.”
More specifically, the level of Russian arms surged in recent years, with deliveries of nearly $1 billion worth of offensive weaponry, including about 100 tanks, to Azerbaijan in accordance with defense contracts signed in 2010-2011. Azerbaijani President Ilham President Ilham Aliyev said in August 2013 that “the volume of military-technical cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan is measured at $4 billion and it tends to grow further.” Russia has previously supplied Azerbaijan with state-of-the-art S-300 air-defense systems worth hundreds of millions of dollars and agreed in 2010 to sell 24 Mi-35 combat helicopters for a combined $360 million.