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RSC MONTHLY ANALYTICAL BRIEFING: JANUARY 2020

As an independent “think tank,” the Regional Studies Center (RSC) offers a regular monthly series of “Closed Briefings” with RSC Director Richard Giragosian providing a concise analytical presentation of the most significant political, economic and military/security developments in Armenia and the broader region over the previous month.  The target audience is the diplomatic community and international organizations in Armenia, with this series of briefings offering an alternative source of objective analysis of major developments.

“A NEW CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE IN ARMENIAN FOREIGN POLICY”

In the latest analysis of developments in Armenian foreign policy, RSC Director Richard Giragosian co-authored an article with Ellen Hokhikyan in Armenian, entitled “Նոր «վստահության ճգնաժամ» Հայաստանի արտաքին քաղաքականության մեջ” (“A New ‘Crisis of Confidence’ in Armenian Foreign Policy”), that was published on 25 March by the 1in.am electronic news agency.

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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

RSC DIRECTOR ON WIDER REPERCUSSIONS OF DETENTION OF FORMER ARMENIAN PRESIDENT

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.