The Regional Studies Center (RSC) held its latest closed monthly briefing on 24 February, with presentations by RSC Director Richard Giragosian and Senior Analyst David Shahnazaryan. This month’s briefing featured a comprehensive analysis consisting of two areas: (1) an analysis of domestic political developments, including the formation of a new pro-government coalition and the state of the opposition, and a focus on the process of electoral reform in the wake of the adoption of constitutional amendments; (2) an assessment of regional developments, including the escalating crisis between Russia and Turkey, recent developments related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the outlook for the expansion of Armenian-Iranian relations.
On 19 February 2016, The Regional Studies Center (RSC) convened a special “Focus Group” to discuss democratization and political change in Armenia. With two dozen participants, the Focus Group was also joined by representatives from the European Union Delegation to Armenia and the UK Embassy, serving as observers.
RSC Project Director Satenik Baghdasaryan participated in a meeting of the EU Alumni Network on 18 February convened by Ambassador Piotr Switalski, the head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia. The informal meeting brought together a small group of young professionals and civil society representatives who received scholarships or grants from the European Union.
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.
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