BSL Black Sea Link
UNESCO Chair of Human Rights, Democracy and European Studies, Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences, Yerevan
Based upon an analysis of official documents and elite’s narratives, as well as interviews conducted in Armenia between 2015 and 2018, the study seeks to account for the foreign implications of the domestic political change in Armenia. It will focus specifically on the challenges of achieving a Russian-European balance, as well as on breaking the logjam in the troubled neighborhood.
In sum, the study will address the following research questions: First, what are the determining factors behind the continuity in Armenia’s foreign policy and its unwavering centrality in the Russia-led socio-political order? Second, what are the implications of the Russian “authoritarian diffusion” for post-revolution Armenia? Third, what is the relationship between domestic change and the dynamics of Europeanization in Armenia? Last but not least, what are the implications of the “Velvet Revolution” for Armenia’s relations with neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey?
Within the last years, especially after the implementation of the European Security Strategy (hereinafter ESS), the EU activity in the South Caucasus has been increasing. Regardless its peripheral location, the South Caucasus gradually gains strategic significance for the EU as a part of the Black Sea – Caspian energy region and as a natural corridor connecting Europe and Central Asia. This fact increases the attention of the EU towards regional problems such as conflicts, economic development and modernization of political systems, promotion of regional and interregional cooperation projects, etc. In this context the main issue is the real importance of the South Caucasus within the frames of EU security interests.
This research will seek to discover the real importance of the South Caucasus within the frames of EU security interests with a special emphasis on energy security.
The research focuses on the issues and the regulative mechanisms of those, defined in ESS as threats to EU security. Though in this Strategy the South Caucasus is mentioned few, the key points such as prevention of conflicts and instabilities in EU’s neighbourhood, building effectively governed and welfare states, fight against terrorism, failed states, organized crime, illegal transactions of arms and drugs, human trafficking, as well as the safeguarding energy security of the EU directly or indirectly refer to the region. As the EU dependence on oil supplies from Middle East and gas supplies from Russia still exists and in parallel with the reduction of production volumes in Northern Sea, the issues of safe and secure transportation of energy carriers from Caspian basin to Europe through Black sea becomes very important. This, in its turn, makes the EU get more involved in regional instabilities and in regulating intergovernmental relations.
PhD Candidate, Yerevan State University, Armenia (2012/2013)