Armenia

  • For Armenia’s Pashinyan, Poroshenko’s Presidency Should Serve as a Cautionary Tale

    Armenia’s ongoing political drama intensified in mid-May when Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, reacting to a court’s decision to release former president Robert Kocharyan while he awaits trial on charges related to the government’s crackdown on protesters in 2008, called on his supporters to blockade the country’s courthouses to begin the “second phase” of the Velvet Revolution. On June 5, Pashinyan announced his plan to create a unified anti-corruption court with the aim of cleansing Armenia’s judicial system of corruption.

    These developments underscore Pashinyan’s efforts to legitimize himself and his ruling coalition’s post-revolution vision for Armenia. To do so, Pashinyan and his government will need to pursue the key reforms he promised while leading the mass protest movement that deposed the former government and elevated him to Armenia’s premiership in April 2018.


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  • The New Cold War Could Learn a Lot from the Old One

    Territories between great powers—borderlands—have always been areas of strife. So it is with the countries caught between Russia and the West, those that were once part of the Soviet Union or firmly within its sphere of influence. Much of Europe has consolidated and, with the United States, established a lasting liberal democratic order, but Russia has been increasingly pushing back. Though most of the “borderlands” countries are now West-facing, Moscow wants to control at least the national security policies of its near neighbors.

    The West should reject Moscow’s claim.

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  • Bryza Joins Azerbaijan’s CNC TV to Discuss Armenia's New Political Leadership and Mediation of the Nagorno Karabakh Conflict


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  • Protests in Armenia: Democratic Death Throes or a New Dawn?

    Days after a wave of protests won an enormous (and unlikely) victory by forcing the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargysan, his Republican Party still seems reluctant to let their grip on power slip away. Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan could be confirmed as the new prime minister in a parliamentary vote on May 8.

    Time will tell whether Sargysan’s resignation on April 23 was a genuine step away from one party rule or little more than a sacrificial offering to the protesters. Armenia’s steps toward democracy are likely to be tortuous and fraught.

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  • Cohen Quoted in Trend on Armenia and Azerbaijan


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  • There He Goes Again. Putin Meddles in the South Caucasus

    Russia President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump likely agreed to restrict intervention in the affairs of third countries at the G-20 summit. This agreement, however, contradicts Russian foreign policy. In Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, Russia seeks to curtail the ability of these governments to pursue independent foreign policies. A series of recent probes in the region demonstrate that Trump’s agreement with Putin is worthless and that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of these states is meaningless from Moscow’s standpoint. Russia feels free to intervene in their affairs at any time, threaten their compatriots in Russia, and regularly brandish military and other forms of power to intimidate them. Unless Washington, Brussels, and NATO step up their game, this region will either explode or be compelled to shelter under Russian power. The West cannot simply look away because European security is linked to the security of the South Caucasus.
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  • Two Surprising Proposals for Peace in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

    It has been a long time since I have sensed any cause for optimism about the prospects of a political settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Indeed, Armenia and Azerbaijan nearly resumed full-scale war in April, when their troops clashed along the line of contact with a level of ferocity unprecedented during the twenty-two years since the previous ceasefire. As the dust has settled, however, two new openings have emerged, one rather unexpectedly from Russian President Vladimir Putin and another from a regional business leader. Both merit Washington’s close examination and perhaps its embrace.

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  • Ruling by Fear: Armenia’s Descent into Dictatorship and the Rise of Resistance

    The events in Armenia from July 17 to July 31 in 2016 and what followed in the early weeks of August highlighted the deep economic, social, and political problems that are facing Armenia today. More alarmingly, they have confirmed without question the country’s slide toward dictatorship and authoritarianism.

    It all began with a takeover of a large police compound in downtown Yerevan—Armenia’s capital—by thirty-one civil activists and veterans of the Nagorno Karabakh war who called themselves the “Daredevils of Sassoun”—taking the name from a medieval Armenian heroic epic poem.

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  • Bryza Joins Vestnik Kavkaza to Discuss the Seizure of a Patrol in Armenia by Sasna Tsrer


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  • Bryza Quoted by Trend on Prospects for Nagorno-Karabakh Settlement Following Azerbaijan-Armenian Presidential Meeting


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