In light of recent developments, the Regional Studies Center (RSC) held a special closed briefing on Wednesday, 21 January, to assess the implications of the recent tragedy involving the murder of an Armenian family by a rogue Russian soldier stationed at the Russian military base in Gyumri..
This briefing offered a comprehensive analysis of the transformation of this tragedy into a serious crisis, with an assessment of the impact of the handling of this case on Armenian-Russian relations, and how the incident has sparked a broader question over the nature of the bilateral relationship and the status of the Russian military base, as well as the ramifications for the deeper domestic political context.
In accordance with our standard format, this briefing also featured an informal “off-the-record” closed discussion. Among the over forty participants, Lithuanian Ambassador Erikas Petrikas, Swiss Ambassador Lukas Gasser, and UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia Bradley Busetto, participated in the discussion, along with Swedish Charge d'Affaires in Armenia Marten Ehnberg, and Colonel Ronald Ubbens, the Military Attache based at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow. The briefing was also attended by representatives from the Embassies of Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania and the United States, as well as from the EU Delegation to Armenia, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Council of Europe (CoE), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office in Yerevan, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Armenian Ministry of Defense.
As an independent “think tank,” the Regional Studies Center (RSC) offers this series of briefings in order to serve as more of a resource for the representatives of the diplomatic community and international organizations in Armenia. More specifically, our aim is to provide an alternative source of objective analysis and information on a regular basis.