ISSUE 1-2019
INTERVIEW
Roman Temnikov
STUDIES
Roman Temnikov Nurlan Aliyev Volodymyr Solovian Stepan Grigoryan
OUR ANALYSES
Victor Zamyatin
REVIEW
Jiří Maňák
APROPOS
Pavel Venzera


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles and/or discussions are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views or positions of the publisher.

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NATO AND THE SOUTH CAUCASUS: REALITIES AND PERSPECTIVES OF MULTI-SPEED RELATIONS
By Nurlan Aliyev | PhD Candidate and Researcher, the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, the University of Warsaw, Poland | Issue 1, 2019
Nearly 27 years have passed since the establishment of relations between NATO and the three South Caucasus republics. However, over the years those relations passed different and difficult ways of development. Despite the fact that NATO cooperation with 3 countries started almost at the same time and in similar conditions, achievements of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are different. This paper reviews the development and the current state of the mutual relations. It also analysis problems and perspectives of relations between the Alliance and the three South Caucasus states.

Development of relations 

The relations between Armenia and NATO started in 1992 when Armenia joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (succeeded by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997). Armenia joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1994. The Armenia’s programme of cooperation with NATO is set out in an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed every two years. According to the IPAP, Armenia cooperates with NATO not only in the defense sphere, but also on political and security issues, democratic standards, rule of law, and the fight against corruption. Armenia tailors its participation in the PfP programme through an annual Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme, selecting those activities that will help achieve the goals it has set in the IPAP. Armenia is also a contributor to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo.[1]

Armenia’s cooperation with NATO mainly includes capacity building and interoperability projects, but it also covers  other wide-ranging and not only military relations.

The wide-ranging nature of the IPAP means that Armenia is not only cooperating with NATO in the defense sphere, but regularly consults with the Alliance the rule of law, transparency of reforms, counter-terrorism and the fight against corruption. As part of the IPAP, NATO agrees to support Armenia in achieving its reform goals through providing focused advice and assistance. [2]

Relations between Azerbaijan and NATO started in 1992, when Azerbaijan joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (succeeded by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997). Bilateral cooperation began when Azerbaijan joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1994. The regular participation in PfP activities enabled Azerbaijan to contribute actively to NATO-led peace-support operations. Cooperative activities, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. [3]  

The key areas of cooperation with NATO consist of capability building and interoperability projects; participation in NATO-led operations and missions.

In the framework of its Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme based upon the PfP Framework Document, Azerbaijan has been participating annually at more than 200 events. Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme enables Azerbaijan to benefit from various activities such as courses, exercises, conferences organized by NATO Allies and some Partners. Another important mechanism is the Planning and Review Process, which is designed to help Partners identify and evaluate forces and capabilities which might be made available for multinational operations and exercises in conjunction with NATO forces.  It also helps Partners to develop defense planning practices using NATO experience. Azerbaijan has undertaken a number of ‘Partnership Goals’ on defense planning and preparation of forces for peace support operations. [4]

Georgia’s relations with NATO started in 1992, when the country joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (succeeded by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997) and practical bilateral cooperation started when Georgia joined the Partnership for Peace in 1994 and deepened after the “Rose Revolution” in 2003, when a new government led by Mikheil Saakashvili pushed for more reforms. [5]

Georgia declared its aspiration to join NATO for the first time at the 2002 Prague Summit and Georgia’s integration process into the Alliance began accordingly. In 2004 Georgia became the first partner to develop an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) with NATO and undertook specific commitments in the frames of the Action Plan. In 2005 NATO deployed a Liaison Officer to Georgia, whereas the NATO Liaison Office (NLO) was inaugurated in Tbilisi in 2010. The Liaison Office is tasked with supporting ongoing reforms in Georgia and the country’s integration process into the Alliance. [6] It was agreed at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Georgia would become a NATO member, provided it would meet all necessary requirements. The decision has since been reconfirmed at the successive NATO Summits.

Since 2008, the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) provides the framework for close political dialogue and cooperation in support of reform efforts and Euro-Atlantic aspirations. In July 2018, Heads of states met with Georgia and adopted a Declaration which marked the NGC’s tenth anniversary. Work is taken forward through the development and implementation of an Annual National Programme. [7]  

In September 2014, at the Wales Summit a substantial package of measures was launched by the Alliance to strengthen Georgia’s ability to defend itself and advance its preparations for membership. Further activities to help strengthen defence capabilities were taken at the NATO Summits in Warsaw in 2016 and in Brussels in 2018. For instance, the NATO-Georgia Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers at the meeting during the Warsaw summit among other things decided on new steps to intensify cooperation, to help strengthen Georgia’s defense capabilities, interoperability and resilience capabilities. Those initiatives included increased support for Georgia’s Training and Education, including through a possible trust fund project, and Strategic Communications.  Allies confirmed that they would provide support to the development of Georgia’s air defense and air surveillance and they bilaterally implement programmes to enhance Georgia’s self-defence and resilience. [8] 

Key areas of the cooperation are building capabilities and interoperability, and participation in NATO-led operations. The cooperation also covers a wide-ranging framework.

Georgia actively participates in NATO-led operations too. It contributed troops to the Kosovo Force from 1999 to 2008. Moreover, Georgia was one of the largest non-NATO troop contributors to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, which completed its mission in 2014. [9]

The South Caucasus states interests in cooperation with NATO

Although Armenia has practical and political cooperation with the Alliance, it does not seek membership in NATO. Moreover, Armenia is the only country in South Caucasus which is a members of Russia’s led military alliance - The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Armenia is one of few post-soviet countries where Russia’s military bases are located and the two countries air defense systems were merged. 

Yerevan mainly considers Russia, not NATO as a guaranty for its security in the region where Armenia is conflicting with Azerbaijan and bordering with Azerbaijan’s main military ally, Turkey. As a result, the scope for political dialogue with NATO is narrowing. Indeed, despite Armenian former and incumbent leaderships’ intentions to renew relations with NATO in recent years, Yerevan remains compelled to serve Moscow’s strategic interests in the region, as exemplified by the establishment of a joint air defense system and joint land force, which reinforce Russia’s regional dominance in the South Caucasus. Later, in line with its allies in the CSTO, Armenia concurred that NATO’s shared missile defense system presented a challenge to the Moscow-led bloc. [10]

Despite Baku sometimes has been challenging Moscow and Tehran, there is not imminent danger of military threat to the country, at least not for now. Moreover, Azerbaijan mainly considers membership in international organizations, especially in military alliances, as platform for solution of the conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region and for regaining control on its occupied territories.

Although NATO encourages all sides to continue their efforts aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict, it has no direct role in negotiations focused on resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which are being conducted in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group. More importantly, as officially Baku follows the balancing foreign policy, Azerbaijan tries to keep distance from both, NATO and CSTO. Furthermore, Azerbaijan has been a member of the Non-Aligned Movement since 2011.

Moreover, thanks to its oil and gas resources Azerbaijan has succeeded to increase its military capabilities in recent years. Baku considers as main threat to country’s security Armenia which supports the Nagorno-Karabakh separatist region and occupied its adjacent territories during the military conflict in 1990s. In such situation Azerbaijan cannot or does not want to increase Moscow’s grievances regarding close cooperation with NATO.

On the other hand, Azerbaijan actively cooperates with western companies and states in realization of energy and pipeline projects in the Caspian which aimes to serve the energy security of EU and decreasing its dependence on Russian natural gas. Moreover, Azerbaijan has strong economic and military cooperation with NATO member state Turkey.

Baku and Ankara signed a strategic agreement in August 2010. “Strategic Partnership and Mutual Support” agreement is a key document for developing Turkey-Azerbaijan military cooperation.[11] Moreover, trilateral Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan strategic cooperation, established in 2012 by the Trabzon Declaration, also may be a platform for developing relations with the North Alliance. [12]

Georgia is the Alliance’s closest partner in the region. It officially stated aspires to join the Alliance. The country actively contributes to NATO-led operations and cooperates in many other areas. Moreover, following the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008, the Allies continue to support Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders.

Georgia has two breakaway republics within its recognized sovereign territory which are totally supported with Russia. Abkhazia and the South Ossetia, in fact controlled by Russia, push Georgia to improve relations with NATO to guaranty its security. On the other hand Moscow uses separatists regions to affect Georgia-NATO relations. 

As the annexation of the Crimea has demonstrated, Russia is willing to engage in such actions and would pose a real and serious threat to Georgia’s sovereignty. It is mainly for this reason that Tbilisi finds Georgia’s accession into NATO essential to protect its sovereign territory. This, however, has meant that Russia possesses strong leverage against both Georgia and NATO, deterring the alliance from expanding into the Caucasus. [13]  

NATO’s interests in the region  

The proximity of the South Caucasus to Europe, its role as energy and transport corridors between Europe and Asia and the potential of conflict within the region to destabilize the broader Black Sea region, which includes several NATO members, the alliance had historically deemed the South Caucasus too important to ignore. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, then, the South Caucasus had presented NATO with a dilemma. On one hand, the region’s fractionalization made engagement on the regional level impossible, while on the other hand, NATO had important interests in the region. [14]  

Since establishing relations in 1990s Armenia has been contributing to NATO-led operations and cooperates with Allies and other partner countries in many other areas. Officially, a key priority for NATO is to strengthen political dialogue and to provide focused advice and assistance in support of wide-ranging democratic, institutional and defense reform efforts in Armenia. [15]  However, Armenia’s geography, its role in Russia’s strategy as important position in the southern direction, may be the main characteristic that interests the Alliance.  

Azerbaijan also contributes to NATO-led operations and cooperates with the member states and other partner countries in several areas. Support for the country’s reform efforts is a priority for NATO. In geostrategic terms, Azerbaijan has a location which is of great strategic interest for NATO. It is a neighbor of two regional powers which challenge NATO and mainly the United States interests. Azerbaijan also has access to the Caspian Sea which allows it to reach the Central Asia and its energy resources.[16] Azerbaijan has been a critical component of the the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), which bypasses both Russian and Iranian territory en route to Afghanistan.[17]

However, Azerbaijan faces the same legal problems as Georgia for its NATO membership status; Point 6 in Chapter 1 in “Study on NATO’s Enlargement,” which denies states with internal disputes, such as that conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, to gain NATO membership but instead offers only associate status.

It should be noted that the Nagorno-Karabakh is the key sensitive problem for both South Caucasus countries. (As was written above) The Alliance has no direct role in negotiations aimed at resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. NATO’s official position regarding the solution of the problem is that the Alliance encourages all sides to continue their efforts aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflict. A key point of the Alliance attitudes towards NATO’s partnership with the two republics is the risk that their enduring standoff will make conspicuous NATO’s partnership efforts.

Georgia is the Alliance’s closest partner in the region. It officially stated its will to join the Alliance. The country actively contributes to NATO-led operations and cooperates with it and other partner countries in many other areas. During the last years a broad range of practical cooperation has developed between NATO and Georgia. NATO supports Georgia’s reform efforts and its goal of Euro-Atlantic integration. The Alliance also supported territorial integrity of Georgia. 

Although Georgia does not have reserves of oil or gas, it comprises a crucial part of the BTC pipeline that supplies Europe with crude oil from the Caspian. The pipeline has been identified as a crucial means for the US to reduce Europe’s over-dependency on Russian resources and potential Iranian energy in the future. By inviting Georgia into NATO, the US can begin to contain Russia’s influence in the southern Caucasus. In response, Moscow uses unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to ensure the concrete difficulty of Georgia joining NATO. [18]

Georgia is seen by the Alliance as a suitable candidate for membership. It fulfills all necessary criteria,  however its sovereignty dispute because of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and mainly Russia’s position challenge its membership perspectives. Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which rely entirely on Russian support, are used by Moscow for limiting NATO’s enlargement in the South Caucasus.

Russia’s position 

Recently Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov urged NATO to abandon “the escalation of confrontation in the Euro-Atlantic region”. According to him, in the absence of system of contacts, the price of an “unintentional error” can be very high. “We strongly urge partners to abandon the increasing of confrontation, to respect the commitments made at the OSCE and Russia-NATO Council summits not to strengthen their security at the expense of others,” Lavrov also stated in the 8th  Moscow International Security Conference that “the continued expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance, the buildup of its anti-missile potential and the military infrastructure on the eastern flank led to a serious crisis of confidence in the Euro-Atlantic area”.[19]

According to contemporary Russia’s elite security conceptions, Russia has to keep geographical “buffer zones” between itself and adversaries. According to that strategic thinking, the main importance of the buffer zones is the prevention of deployment of NATO tactical nuclear forces and  high-precision missiles near to Russia’s borders. It should be noted that historically to create buffer zones was one of the key characteristics of Russia's security thinking.

In this regard, Moscow exploits conflicts in the South Caucasus. Moscow is trying to maintain the status quo in local conflicts as a part of its strategy to support a broader buffer of “gray” zones (Donbas in Ukraine, Transnistria in Moldova, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan) between Russia and the West. Moscow will also occasionally try to exploit these conflicts in an effort to improve its relations with the United States and Europe. As minister Sergei Lavrov indirectly recognized, “I am convinced that if equal indivisible security really took on a legally binding form, many conflicts that are now preserved in Europe would have been settled long ago.” According to him, this concerns, first of all, the Karabakh and Transnistrian conflicts. If the West had agreed to Moscow’s proposed security framework in Europe, “the Ukrainian crisis would not exist at all”.[20]

Moscow’s vision for resolving Eurasia’s “frozen conflicts” was even more precisely defined by Sergey Glazyev, an advisor to President Vladimir Putin. According to him, to achieve peace in the Caucasus, “we need to integrate the entire Caucasus into the Eurasian Union”.[21]  

Although Russia’s military participation decreased in the South Caucasus after the Soviet Union collapse, it maintains military basis in the region. The Russian Southern Military District controls three military bases in the region, namely the Russian bases in Abkhazia (7th) and South Ossetia (4th), with a total of 7,000 personnel. These military bases provide Russia with both a key lever against Georgia and a structural advantage in potential military operations in the region. Another significant Russian military presence is the 102nd Military Base in Armenia with around 3,300 soldiers. An air defense regiment and an airbase are also located in Armenia, giving Russia additional air power. [22] Moreover, Armenia participates in Russia- led military alliance.

There is no longer any Russian military presence in Azerbaijan. The contract for the lease of the Gabala radar station was not renewed in 2012, allegedly because of a substantial payment increase demanded by Azerbaijan. Russia has since built a station in Armavir to compensate for the loss of Gabala.[23]  Despite the Russian bases not being hosted in Azerbaijan, Baku has several military cooperation agreements with Russia.  Russia has been Azerbaijan’s main arms supplier. Between 2013 and 2017, its share was 65 percent of Azerbaijan’s total foreign weapons imports.[24] Although Russia is the main arms seller to Azerbaijan, it also provides military equipment to Armenia. Notably, in 2016, Armenia obtained Russian Iskander (SS-26 Stone) short-range, mobile ballistic missile systems, which increased dissatisfaction with Moscow within Azerbaijani society and its political establishment. [25]

Russia sells arms to Azerbaijan, but it also supplies weaponry to Armenia on long-term credit. By selling weapons to Azerbaijan while simultaneously providing defense guarantees to Armenia, the Kremlin retains the ability to influence the continued escalation/de-escalation cycles in the conflict. This strong position inevitably translates into Russia being the primary and most influential outsider when it comes to shaping the tensions between Baku and Yerevan.

Moreover, this strong regional position and resultant political influence allows Moscow to more easily prevent the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from pursuing a deeper cooperative security footprint in the South Caucasus.[26] Likewise, the Kremlin is trying to block the Alliance from possibly extending its influence into the neighboring Caspian basin. Therefore, any development of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and the West or other third countries is never welcomed in Moscow.[27]

For instance, the Kazakh parliament’s ratification of amendments to the agreement on the use of Kazakh ports by the U.S. military in the Caspian Sea in April, 2018 caused concern among Russian experts and media, triggering a campaign to denounce “Astana’s betrayal ploy.” A frightening prediction of the future appearance of U.S. military bases in the Caspian Sea appeared in a number of Russian media outlets. In these reports, the decision of Kazakhstan’s Senate to approve the U.S. Navy’s use of the Aktau and Kuryk ports for transiting special cargo to Afghanistan will turn the ports into “bases of the Pentagon and its allies.” They emphasize that Kazakhstan’s turn towards the U.S. is anti-Russian and that the prospect of U.S. ships carrying military or non-military cargo in the Caspian basin is highly undesirable.

The route through Black Sea ports to Azerbaijan and to the Caspian Sea is depicted as completely “illogical” logistics, rendering the current agreement a “military-political promotion of American interests.”  Moreover, during the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Almaty on June 11, 2018, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed his Kazakh counterpart of Moscow’s concerns over U.S. military logistics planning involving Kazakhstan. [28]

Moreover, Article 3, paragraphs 6 and 7 of the recently signed Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea explicitly call for the “non-presence in the Caspian Sea of armed forces not belonging to the parties” and forbid the signatories from allowing their territory to be used by “other States to commit aggression and undertake other military actions against any party”.[29] The Convention not only legalizes Russia’s military hegemony over the Caspian but also prevents any outside powers from introducing a military presence in the region. This situation enables Moscow to continue to use the Caspian basin as a military testing ground as well as a base from which to conduct armed operations. [30]  

In such a situation Russia’s influence in the region is the main deterring factor for NATO enlargement project there. 

Perspectives of Relations

Since the establishment of the relations between NATO and South Caucasus countries in 1992, each of the three states has achieved different level of developments in cooperation with the Alliance.  Nowadays, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia perceive relations with NATO as a way for securing their national interests. In this regard, each country has similar and different attitudes towards development of relations with the Alliance. Although interests of the three republics coincide in using relations with NATO as platform for increasing capabilities of their militaries, their position do differentiate regarding the membership perspectives.      

Despite the fact that Armenia is an ally of Russia via the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Azerbaijan has been a member of the Non-Aligned Movement since 2011, the rivals for the Nagorno-Karabakh region maintain cooperation with NATO as a priority.  Cooperation with the Alliance has played an essential role in increasing of their military capabilities and in development of the military doctrines of both states. But, it should be stresses out that Armenia and Azerbaijan have not prioritized political cooperation with NATO, mainly due to Russia’s influences.

The only country in the region which officially declared its aspiration to NATO membership is Georgia. The main driver of Georgia’s will for membership is a protection against Russia. Despite all the efforts that Georgia realizes in seeking to join NATO, a prospect of Georgia’s membership may cause NATO-Russia relations to deteriorate even further and could be a pretext for new Russian military intervention against Georgia.

For instance, recently a head of the Russian General Staff Valerii Gerasimov stated that due to the increase of military activities of the United States and NATO near the Russian borders, Russia was forced to strengthen the composition of the troops of the Western and Southern military districts by reducing the composition of the troops of other military districts: “Our action are solely a response to the increasing of military activities of the United States and NATO. In contrast to the deployment of the alliance troops near the borders of Russia and the NATO "4 to 30" initiative, we are forced to strengthen the composition of the troops of the Western and Southern military districts.” [31]   

Russia’s position challenges perspectives of Georgia’s membership and also development of relations between NATO and two other countries. On the other hand, as Tracy German put it, “if NATO ultimately rejects any prospect of membership for states in the post-Soviet space, they could be abandoned to Russian influence, indicating that Moscow has a de facto veto over membership of the alliance and conceding spheres of influence to Russia.”[32]   

In such circumstances perspectives of South Caucasus countries memberships to NATO in coming years are not realistic. Most probably, development of relations between NATO and the three republics in the multi-speed mode will continue.

[1] Relations with Armenia, North Atlantic Treaty Organization,  
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_48893.htm

[3] Relations with Azerbaijan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_49111.htm?selectedLocale=en

[4] Overview of Azerbaijan-NATO Partnership, Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to NATO,
http://nato-pfp.mfa.gov.az/content/18

[5] Relations with Georgia, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_38988.htm.

[6] NATO-Georgia Cooperation, the Ministry of Defence of Georgia,
https://mod.gov.ge/en/page/38/nato-georgia-cooperation.

[7] Relations with Georgia, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_38988.htm.

[8] Joint statement of the NATO-Georgia Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers 8 July 2016, Warsaw, Poland, Press Release (2016) 123Issued on 08 Jul. 2016,
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/official_texts_133175.htm.

[9] Relations with Georgia, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_38988.htm.

[10] Eduard Abrahamyan, “Armenia Pushes to Reinvigorate Its Relationship With NATO”, Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 14, Issue: 33, March 13, 2017,
https://jamestown.org/program/armenia-pushes-reinvigorate-relationship-nato/.

[11] Shahin Abbasov,  “Azerbaijan-Turkey Military Pact Signals Impatience with Minsk Talks”, Jan 18, 2011,
https://eurasianet.org/azerbaijan-turkey-military-pact-signals-impatience-with-minsk-talks-analysts.

[12]  Trabzon Declaration Of The Ministers Of Foreign Affairs Of The Republic Of Azerbaijan, Georgia And The Republic Of Turkey, 08 June 2012, Trabzon,
http://www.mfa.gov.tr/trabzon--declaration-of-the-ministers-of-foreign-affairs-of-the-republic-of-azerbaijan_-georgia-and-the-republic-of-turkey_-08-june-2012_-trabzon.en.mfa.

[13] Paul Antonopoulos, Renato Velez & Drew Cottle (2017) NATO’s push into the Caucasus: geopolitical flashpoints and limits for expansion, Defense & Security Analysis, 33:4, 366-379, DOI: 10.1080/14751798.2017.1379119, p. 376.

[14] Robert E. Hamilton, “NATO in the South Caucasus: Present for Duty or Missing in Action?”, The Foreign Policy Research Institute, Eurasia Program,  June 20, 2017,
https://www.fpri.org/article/2017/06/nato-south-caucasus-present-duty-missing-action/.

[17] Zaur Shiriyev, "NATO and the South Caucasus: The Impact of the Northern Distribution Network", Northern Distribution Network: Redefining Partnerships within NATO and Beyond, ed. Andris Sprūds and Diāna Potjomkina,  Latvian Institute of International Affairs, 2013, p. 165.,
http://www.lai.lv/site/doc/NDN_redefining_partnerships_within_NATO_and_beyond_LIIA_web_1st_part.pdf

[18] Paul Antonopoulos, Renato Velez & Drew Cottle (2017) NATO’s push into the Caucasus: geopolitical flashpoints and limits for expansion, Defense & Security Analysis, 33:4,366-379, DOI: 10.1080/14751798.2017.1379119, P. 370.

[19] Pavel Nastin, “Lavrov predostereg NATO ot dal'neyshey militarizatsii Evropy”, 24.04.2019, https://tvzvezda.ru/news/vstrane_i_mire/content/20194241047-u0Hte.html

[20] Lavrov: RF pri lyubom razvitii sobytii s NATO smozhet otstoyat' svoi suverenitet, TASS, September 1, 2017,
https://tass.ru/politika/4523873.

[21] Ազատություն, Published on Oct 6, 2017,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvuhPdxemCQ.

[22] Gudrun Persson "Conflicts and contradictions: military relations in the post-soviet space", Arkady Moshes and  András Rácz (eds.), What has remained of the USSR exploring the erosion of the post-soviet space, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, FIIA report/58, February, 2019. p. 57 

[23] Gudrun Persson "Conflicts and contradictions: military relations in the post-soviet space", Arkady Moshes and  András Rácz (eds.), What has remained of the USSR exploring the erosion of the post-soviet space, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, FIIA report/58, February, 2019. p. 58

[24] Pieter d. Wezeman, Aude Fleurant  ,  TRENDS IN INTERNATIONALARMS TRANSFERS, 2017, SIRPI, Fact Sheets, March, 2018,
https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2018-03/fssipri_at2017_0.pdf.

[25] Nurlan Aliyev,  “Russia’s Arms Sales: A Foreign Policy Tool in Relations With Azerbaijan and Armenia”, Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 47, March 28, 2018,
https://jamestown.org/program/russias-arms-sales-foreign-policy-tool-relations-azerbaijan-armenia/.

[26] Can Kasapoglu,  "Russian Forward Military Basing in Armenia and Moscow’s Influence in the South Caucasus", Research Paper 143,
http://www.ndc.nato.int/news/news.php?icode=1122.

[27] Nurlan Aliyev,  “Russia’s Arms Sales: A Foreign Policy Tool in Relations With Azerbaijan and Armenia”, Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 15 Issue: 47, March 28, 2018,
https://jamestown.org/program/russias-arms-sales-foreign-policy-tool-relations-azerbaijan-armenia/.

[28] Nurlan Aliyev, “U.S.-Kazakhstan Transit Agreement Faces Challenges From Russia”, September 20, 2018,
http://cacianalyst.org/publications/analytical-articles/item/13534-us-kazakhstan-transit-agreement-faces-challenges-from-russia.html.

[30] Nurlan Aliyev, “Military Benefits of the Caspian Sea Convention for Russia’s Power Projection Capabilities”, September 26,2018,
https://jamestown.org/program/military-benefits-of-the-caspian-sea-convention-for-russias-power-projection-capabilities/

[31] RIA Novosti, “V Genshtabe rasskazali ob usilenii Zapadnogo i Yuzhnogo voennykh okrugov”,  April 24, 2019,
https://ria.ru/20190424/1552996539.html

[32] Tracy German , “NATO and the enlargement debate: enhancing Euro-Atlantic security or inciting confrontation?”, International Affairs, Volume 93, No2, March 1, 2017, https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/ia/nato-and-enlargement-debate-enhancing-euro-atlantic-security-or-inciting.

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