In an extended interview with the “Tert.am” electronic news agency, Regional Studies Center (RSC) Director Richard Giragosian assessed the current status of the peace process over Nagorno-Karabakh. In light of the new context of a degree of “diplomatic urgency” in the wake of the April fighting, which marked the most serious military clashes since the implementation of the 1994 ceasefire, Giragosian noted that “looking at the recent meeting between the Armenian and Russian presidents, there was neither positive progress, not serious surrender, despite many informed comments and opinions. Clearly, the real challenge to the Karabakh conflict stems from the imperative to return to ‘back to basics’ diplomacy, focusing not on peace talks over resolving the Karabakh conflict, but rather, more limited to diplomatic engagement to restore calm, regain control and rebuild an effective ceasefire.”
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Armenian Service on 10 August, RSC Director Richard Giragosian assessed the new level of Russian military cooperation with Azerbaijan. He highlighted the fact that the Kremlin has been making the transition to a new level of military-technical cooperation between Azerbaijan and simple sale of arms. “This new development shows that the issue is no longer of Russia being the number one supplier of arms to Azerbaijan, rather, we are dealing with a more serious problem than the supply of arms. Now the danger and threats are greater because we are dealing with a new level of Russia-Azerbaijan military cooperation,” Giragosian stated.
In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), RSC staff analyst Haykak Arshamyan assessed the broader significance of the ongoing hostage standoff in Armenia. Commenting on the “Founding Parliament” of Jirair Sefilyan, which the gunmen are affiliated with, Arshamyan noted that “they refuse [to participate in] the election process as it is today in Armenia due to violence and non-transparency in the system. And their program is that this government should resign and we should have a transition government and new elections," says Haykak Arshamyan, a political analyst at the Regional Studies Center in Yerevan. "Their ideas are a bit complicated and unclear."
Marking the first day of an official two-day state visit to Armenia by Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, RSC Director Richard Giragosian noted the significance of the visit as an element in a broader effort to deepen and expand bilateral relations between Armenia and Georgia. The Georgian Foreign Minister will also meet with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan, and will hold a joint press conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan.
In an interview (in Armenian) with Aram Sargsyan for the “1in.am” news agency, RSC Director Richard Giragosian assessed trends in regional security, Armenia, NATO and Russia. Giragosian noted that although “NATO is not an alternative for Armenia’s security,” it is an important “addition and supplement to the country’s security and as a partner for defense and security reform,” as demonstrated by the impressive course of Armenian defense reform and its deepening of ties with NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme.
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