Regional Issues: Russia, Iran, Caucasus


Stratfor: US hopes to exploit tensions by driving wedge between Armenia and Russia
/Nov 22/     

In the Caucasus, Washington will focus its attention on strengthening ties with the Armenian government,  analysts of the Stratfor Research Center noted.

"Armenia has traditionally been one of the closest and most loyal allies of Russia, but political tensions have emerged between Armenia and Russia in recent months following the rise to power of opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan in April's Velvet Revolution. 

The United States hopes to exploit these tensions by driving a wedge between Armenia and Russia — something it has already tried to do, as evidenced by U.S. national security adviser John Bolton's visit to Armenia last month, when he expressed the United States' interest in selling weapons to Armenia. Moscow has viewed Bolton's offer as a direct challenge, as Russia currently has a monopoly on weapons sales to Armenia, as well as 5,000 troops in the small republic. While Armenia is ultimately unlikely to abandon its strategic alignment with Russia, political frictions between the two could offer the United States an opportunity to chip away at a key ally on Moscow's peri

Armenia appoints new envoy to post-Soviet security bloc
/Nov 22/TASS/             

YEREVAN – Armenian President Armen Sarkissian signed a decree appointing Viktor Biyagov as the country’s Permanent Representative to the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The document has been published on the president’s website on Thursday.

"Viktor Biyagov is hereby appointed as Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the CSTO based on the prime minister’s proposal," the decree reads.

Biyagov earlier served as Head of the Foreign Affairs Department at the Armenian National Assembly.

Another presidential decree recalled David Virabyan from his position as Armenia’s CSTO envoy.


The United States' efforts to make inroads into Russia's borderlands will, in turn, shape Moscow's own actions against the West. Intent on exploiting Europe's divisions and undermining EU and NATO unity, Russia will be active in its hybrid warfare campaign against the West by meddling in others' politics, disseminating propaganda, launching cyberattacks and staging covert operations against Western and Western-leaning countries like Ukraine and the Baltic states," Stratfor reported.