Israel’s war on Palestine in Gaza is raging. We’ve gone over 25,000 dead and over 60,000 injured, which is a human tragedy by any standard of measurement.
All indications are that Israel is preparing to take the war north to Lebanon and involve Iranian-allied Hezbollah forces. Yemen has managed to severely disrupt shipping lanes in the Red sea. Iran struck targets in Iraq, Syria and even bombed alleged terrorist camps in Pakistan. The following day, Pakistan retaliated using the same allegations.
So the prospects for peace look dim.
In the past few months western resolve, and funding, for Ukraine has started to weaken. Some attribute this to the year in US elections, the prospects for a new Trump presidency, as well as the Israel-Gaza war which started in October, and has diffused western diplomatic and financial resources away from Ukraine.
Many observers are waiting to see how the war in Ukraine will shake out, because they expect that its outcome will determine the so-called “new world order”.
One of Russia’s main partners in the war in Ukraine has been Iran; it has provided unwavering military and diplomatic support to Russia. Naturally Iran’s raised political and military profile, both in Ukraine and the Middle East, carries over that influence to our region around Armenia.
In the past 10 days we’ve had three international diplomats visit Armenia, without visiting Baku. Those individuals were Louis Bono (US co-chair), Toivo Klaar (EU special rep) and Javier Colomina (NATO).
In December you wrote an interesting article about whether the EU has a strategy in Armenia.
One of the tenets in the report you quoted struck me as a core bullet point around which a lot of the rest of the report was built. It said: The EU should ensure that “Armenia duly implements the commitments it has undertaken regarding the transport connection from Azerbaijan proper to Nakhichevan.” The report mentions that the EU has an interest in its realization. Another report emphasized that Armenia should not have unrealistic expectations of the EU.
So it sounds like the EU wants something out of Armenia, corridors specifically, and give pretty much nothing material in exchange. Maybe some goodwill political declarations.
There was a Stratfor outlook for developments in the South Caucasus in 2024. Some Armenian media summarized it, and here are some key takeaways:
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Yeghia Tashjian is a regional analyst and researcher based in Beirut, with expertise in China’s geopolitical and energy security interests in Iran and the Persian Gulf. Currently he is an instructor in International Affairs at the American University of Science and Technology and Senior Research Assistant at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut.
Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.
Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.