Russia's security strategy toward the crisis in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh (2008-2020)

Aref Bijan

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The South Caucasus region is experiencing crises that have continued for many years. Russia's war with Georgia in 2008 and the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict after the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991) over the Nagorno-Karabakh region have changed the security action in the South Caucasus region. Russia has interests as a global player in the South Caucasus region and Kremlin considers near abroad as its backyard and exclusive sphere of influence. This article uses a descriptive-analytical method as well as the theory of regional security of Barry Buzan to answer the question of what is Russia's security strategy towards the South Caucasus region. The main hypothesis emphasis that Russia's strategy in the South Caucasus region is to prevent securitization in the region against its economic and political interests, as well as to prevent the influence and presence of the West, especially NATO, in the region. The results show that in tensions with Georgia, Russia seeks to prevent Western interference and urges them to recognize the separation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia. On the other hand, Russia's foreign policy in the face of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis is to maintain a balance between the two parties involved, Armenia and Azerbaijan, to cooperate with both countries, and to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by a political solution, not a military one. This paper aims to examine the Russia’s security strategy in the South Caucasus especially with a focus on Georgia and crisis of Nagorno-Karabakh since the beginning of crises until 2020 and then specific reasons driving Russia’s and the west’ confrontation and also role of Iran in regional security issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIranian Review of Foreign Affairs
Issue number32
StatePublished - 2021


  • Russia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia, Iran, security strategy, Copenhagen School


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