Episode 75: Russia’s Changing Position in the South Caucasus

How is Russia reorienting its relationship with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan?

Since the collapse of the USSR, Russia has sought to strengthen its security position in the South Caucasus, notably around the region’s protracted conflicts and using its strategic relationship with Armenia. Vladimir Putin’s decision in March 2022 to invade Ukraine has, however, raised questions about Russia’s ability to maintain its regional leverage. At the same time, Azerbaijan’s series of military actions in the Karabakh conflict have further undercut Moscow’s position. Increasingly, Russia appears no longer to be the dominant actor in the region.

In this episode, host Neil Melvin is joined by Natia Seskuria, Founder and Executive Director of the Regional Institute for Security Studies (RISS), and Richard Giragosian, Director of the Regional Studies Centre, to examine Russia’s engagement in the South Caucasus. What are Moscow’s strategic goals in the region, and to what extent is Russia looking to establish a new status quo in the South Caucasus?


Dr Neil Melvin

Director, International Security

International Security

View profile

Natia Seskuria

Associate Fellow; Founder and Executive Director of RISS

View profile


Explore our related content