The Armenian opposition will hold a major rally in the country’s capital Yerevan today.
Much of the dissatisfaction with the current government is related to Armenia’s policy towards Azerbaijan. The incumbent government has been accused of being too soft on Azerbaijan following Armenia’s defeat in the 2020 Nagaro Karabakh war.
Despite the protests, an escalation from the Armenian side is unlikely. The country’s main security guarantor, Russia, has less capabilities to intervene in the region due to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. This scenario became reality in September when border clashes flared up. Russian peacekeepers were accused of being largely non-reactive.
While the EU has emerged as a potential alternative partner due to its attempts to mediate the conflict, EU states’ gas imports from Azerbaijan to supplement Russian gas have given the country leverage in any potential negotiations. Ultimately, no significant change in Armenian policy no is likely to eventuate because of these protests. This means the country will continue to dispute control of the region while attempting to avoid a repeat of the 2020 conflict as well as to improve ties with Azerbaijan.
Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.