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New Research Division Publication -
Russian Forward Military Basing in Armenia and Moscow’s Influence in the South Caucasus

  • 07 Dec. 2017
  • |
  • Last updated: 02 Oct. 2018 09:42

Research Paper 143

Dear Reader,

In military history, bastions were defensive strongholds offering perfect combat emplacements for crossfire. Nowadays the term is used to describe Russian forward deployed military nodes with robust anti-access/area denial and power projection capabilities. These nodes are not simply military bases but represent the Kremlin’s geopolitical outreach assets and have recently become a serious concern for the Alliance.

The latest Research Paper by the Research Division focuses particularly on the Russian bastion in Armenia, which is a determining factor in the strategic balance of the South Caucasus. The region deserves NATO’s strategic awareness and attention for several key reasons: the South Caucasus is now the scene of three concurrent frozen conflicts (South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh); Russian military activity in the Caucasus has been militarizing the region’s agenda for a long time. In the course of the deterioration in Turkish-Russian relations Moscow boosted its forward-deployed military presence in Armenia, where they play an important role in the Azerbaijan-Armenia military strategic balance, since these two NATO partner nations are technically at war with each other over the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Russian military footprint in the South Caucasus remains a geopolitical barrier for NATO’ s potential opportunities in the region.

We hope you enjoy this paper by a former Research Fellow in our division.


Jeffrey A. Larsen, PhD, Director Research Division

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