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Opinion: A transitional arrangement for Karabakh may be necessary if deadlock in Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations is to be avoided

Opinion: A transitional arrangement for Karabakh may be necessary if deadlock in Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations is to be avoided

The issue of the status of Nagorno Karabakh cannot be avoided in future discussions on an Armenia-Azerbaijan bilateral peace treaty, argues Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed. One solution is to agree to some transitional arrangement. During this “transitional period,” the status quo that emerged after the 2020 Karabakh war should remain intact, with no territorial changes or population relocation. The OSCE Minsk group or other relevant international bodies may elaborate on specific criteria to determine conditions that will allow the termination of the “transitional period." Meanwhile, the sides may seek to provide an international mandate to the Russian peacekeeping force deployed in Karabakh, potentially supplementing Russian troops with forces of other countries. Implementing robust “confidence-building measures" between the sides supported by the international community should be a significant part of the deal. Such a “Transitional period” may not seem the ideal solution. However, other options risk sooner or later destroying the fragile bilateral talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan and may bring the region back to the pre-2020 war situation. 
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Opinion: China expands its military co-operation with Iran as it emerges as the main counterweight to US influence on the Eurasian landmass

Opinion: China expands its military co-operation with Iran as it emerges as the main counterweight to US influence on the Eurasian landmass

The visit last week of China's Defence Minister Wei Fenghe to Tehran marked a significant moment in the development of Chinese-Iranian military co-operation. Iran is becoming an increasingly important factor in Russia and China's efforts to create a partnership on the Eurasian landmass which can balance the US influence, writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed for commonspace.eu
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Opinion
Opinion: Quo Vadis Nagorno-Karabakh?

Opinion: Quo Vadis Nagorno-Karabakh?

Nikol Pashinyan delivered a significant speech to the Armenian parliament last week on the eve of the launch of negotiations on an Armenia-Azerbaijan peace treaty. In this op-ed, Benyamin Poghosyan says that his comments on the future of Nagorno-Karabakh sent shock waves across society in Armenia and in Nagorno-Karabakh itself. Poghosyan argues that if Russia manages to keep its influence in the post-soviet space after the Ukraine war, it will probably come to an agreement with Azerbaijan and keep its troops in Karabakh after 2025, extending “de - jure Azerbaijan de - facto Russia” status for Nagorno Karabakh beyond 2025, and securing the presence of Armenians in Karabakh. However, if the war in Ukraine makes Russia significantly weaker in the post-soviet space, Azerbaijan may use the peace treaty with Armenia to force Russian troops out of Karabakh successfully. In that case, no international guarantees or promises of Azerbaijan will prevent the rapid exodus of Armenians from Karabakh.   
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Opinion
Opinion: A resumption of the Iran nuclear deal is also good for Armenia

Opinion: A resumption of the Iran nuclear deal is also good for Armenia

Reports from Vienna suggest that Iran and the world powers are close to agreeing on restoring the Iran Nuclear Deal. For a moment it appeared that the negotiations were going to get entangled in the current Ukraine crisis, but it appears that Iran has dissuaded Russia from doing so. In this op-ed for commonspace.eu Benyamin Poghosyan says a deal would be good for neighbouring countries like Armenia who are keen to exploit trade opportunities with Iran.
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Opinion
Opinion: There is still a chance Russia will be a spoiler in the Armenia-Turkey normalisation process

Opinion: There is still a chance Russia will be a spoiler in the Armenia-Turkey normalisation process

As long as Turkey maintains a fairly neutral stance on the Ukraine issue, Russia will not interfere in the current efforts to normalise Armenian-Turkish relations, says Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed. "However, if Turkey changes its policy towards Russia, and joins the anti-Russian sanctions the situation may change. In such case, this may break the Russian – Turkish understanding for the post-2020 South Caucasus. Russia may assume the role of spoiler in the Armenia – Turkey normalization process, significantly slowing down the movement towards establishing diplomatic relations and opening up borders." 
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Analysis
Opinion: If Russia is able to keep its "big power" status after the Ukraine crisis, it will seek to work with Iran and Armenia to contain Turkish influence in the South Caucasus

Opinion: If Russia is able to keep its "big power" status after the Ukraine crisis, it will seek to work with Iran and Armenia to contain Turkish influence in the South Caucasus

"If Russia successfully resists the unprecedented pressure from the West and remains one of the main poles in the emerging multipolar world, its interests lie in balancing Turkish influence in its neighborhood, including the South Caucasus. It does not imply that Russia and Turkey will stop their economic cooperation. It simply means that Russia will seek to prevent Turkish dominance over the South Caucasus", writes Benyamin Poghosyan in this analysis on current geo-politics in the South Caucasus.
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Opinion
Opinion: A new chapter in the history of the post-Soviet space

Opinion: A new chapter in the history of the post-Soviet space

The current events in Ukraine "are part of the shifts in global security architecture amidst the transformation of the world order from a unipolar moment to a multipolar system. It is not about Ukraine, in the same way that the cold war was not about the fate of West Berlin", says Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed.
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Opinion
Opinion: Beyond the rhetoric in Beijing

Opinion: Beyond the rhetoric in Beijing

Neither Russia nor China are interested in complete decoupling from the West, and both would like to maintain cooperative relations with the EU while fighting back against US pressure, argues Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed. In this context a Russia – China alliance against the 'Collective west" and the establishment of a new “iron curtain” completely separating them from Europe is possibly the worst outcome for Beijing and Moscow.
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Opinion
Opinion: Elections in Turkey next year may bring the Erdogan era to an end

Opinion: Elections in Turkey next year may bring the Erdogan era to an end

2023 will be a crucial elections year in Turkey, and their is no certainty that president Erdogan and his AK Party can maintain there hold on power, argues Benyamin Poghosyan in this op-ed. The stakes are high and political turmoil will have implications way beyond Turkey itself.