Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Vadim Romashov (Tampere Peace Research Institute, University of Tampere, Finland)

Integration and Regionalism: Russia's Agenda for the Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict in the New Geopolitical Conundrum

The paper provides an analysis of the views of the Russian expert community regarding Russia's role as an intermediary between Azerbaijan and Armenia. While focusing on its integrationist approach to conflict resolution in Nagorno-Karabakh, the emphasis is placed on such issues as Russia's use of the Eurasian integration processes in order to establish cooperation between Baku and Yerevan, and the implications of the 2014 Crimean precedent for the settlement of the conflict. A serious escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict took place in late July - early August 2014 with numerous causalities on both sides and was followed by the increase in peacekeeping efforts of the mediators. In November, a military helicopter was shot down in the conflict zone. These recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh and the continuing violent trends in 2015 demonstrate the necessity of such analysis. Therefore, it is important to understand what Russian analysts anticipate for the continued functioning of the negotiation mechanism on Nagorno-Karabakh, and Moscow's ascribed role in the conflict settlement.

The expert discussions create certain pressure on Moscow's negotiating position, as the Russian diplomats have to take into account domestic expectations for the country's place in regional and world politics. The environment in which Russia's mediation efforts operate is affected by deliberations regarding developments in international affairs, the geopolitical situation, security challenges, and integration processes in the post-Soviet space. This paper analyses the opinions of leading Russian experts in the field of security, foreign policy, and international relations research, which seem to have an impact on Russia's policy-making towards the South Caucasus and, particularly, the mediation process in Nagorno-Karabakh. The sample of experts includes those analysts who both criticize and support Moscow's line of conduct in the region. The objective is to identify integrationist trends and discourses in a variety of Russian analytical discussions on the topic by examining policy-oriented material produced by the expert community such as reports, articles, interviews, and comments. The main sources of information are Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani media and research organizations' accounts and social networking websites.