On 14 March, the Regional Studies Center (RSC), our independent think tank in Armenia, and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland held a seminar on “Forging Resilience and Hybrid Threats.”
The special seminar featured opening remarks by Dr. Benyamin Poghosyan, on behalf of the Regional Studies Center (RSC), and Finnish Ambassador to Armenia Arja Makkonen.
In an extensive interview the Factor.am electronic news website, RSC Director Richard Giragosian offered an assessment of recent developments in Armenia, including political events, Armenian-Russian relations and the Nagorno Karabakh peace process. Giragosian began by noting that the forced resignation of former president-turned-premier Serzh Sarkisian and the subsequent coming to power of the Pashinyan government in April-May did not constitute a revolution by itself. Rather, he argued that the term revolution implied “sweeping and systemic change that was now only just underway.” Given that logic, however, there is also “no counter-revolution, but rather a political conflict, driven by those that resist change.” Commenting on the role of former President Robert Kocharian, Giragosian argued that “the former president was just that- former,” and “discredited.” For the full interview, in Armenian, see: https://factor.am/76945.html
Among the sweeping changes in Armenia since the rise of the new Pashinyan government in May, there are profound repercussions from a determined drive against corruption and, more recently, a commitment to investigating and holding to account those responsible for the post-election killings in March 2008. Each of these moves demonstrate that there are no longer political taboos and even less restraints.
In a brief commentary for “Vocal Europe,” Regional Studies Center (RSC) Director Richard Giragosian offered a look at “The 3G of Armenian-Russian Relations: Guns, Gas and Goods.” In the piece, Giragosian noted that “of the various states of the former Soviet Union, Armenia has long been seen as the most loyal, and perhaps most subservient, to Russia. For Russia, its leverage over Armenia has depended on a “3G” approach, consisting of a combination of guns and discounted weapons, below market gas supplies, and goods, as both a major trading partner and as the dominant force of the Eurasian Economic Union.”
In an interview with Aram Sargsyan for the “1in.am” electronic news site, RSC Director Richard Giragosian offered his assessment of major developments in Armenian security and foreign policy in 2017. Conducted in English but dubbed into Armenian, the interview also focused on the relationship between domestic issues and foreign policy.
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