The Montenegro Independence Vote: The Implications for the Former Soviet Union


By James Bosbotinis & Irina Ghaplanyan
Independent Security Analysts

The national referendum in Montenegro on the question of national independence, and subsequent declaration and recognition of its sovereignty marked the latest milestone in the demise of the Former Yugoslavia. The collapse of the Yugoslav federation and the achievement of sovereignty by its former constituent republics have served to illustrate the problems of reconciling the principles of national self-determination and territorial integrity. The states of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro were recognised as sovereign states, thus achieving national self-determination whilst preserving territorial integrity; this is in contrast to the situation in Bosnia. Itself a federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia was recognised as independent but this has only partially fulfilled the desire for national self-determination within its population. This is due to the state being composed of three distinct ethnic groups; the Bosniaks, Croats and Bosnian-Serbs - the latter in particular seeking to establish either an independent state (the Republika Srpska) or unite with Serbia. The divergence between national self-determination and territorial integrity is most evident with regard to Serbia and its southern province of Kosovo. The latter, a majority ethnic-Albanian province was effectively ceded to NATO control in June 1999 and has since then, been a de-facto independent state. The future of this province has the most potential to influence the situations in the unrecognised, secessionist "proto-states" of the Former Soviet Union; principally Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. This is because, should the right of self-determination be recognised in Kosovo, this will provide an international legal precedent, and may reinforce the arguments for such recognition to be granted to the aforementioned regions of the Former Soviet Union. However, should the principal of Serbian territorial integrity be upheld, the position of those regions of the Former Soviet Union vis-á-vis their "parent" states; Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan will significantly weaken. This may destabilise the situation in these regions further as more militant approaches to achieving self-determination gain favour as a result of the failure of diplomatic means. This paper will examine the respective contexts of the "proto-states"; the dynamics of the regional security environment within which three of the proto-states exist (the South Caucasus); and give consideration to the debate on national self-determination versus territorial integrity. The current situation in the South Caucasus; the presence of secessionist regions and either open conflict, albeit low-intensity in nature, or cold war (Armenia vis-á-vis Azerbaijan), poses a massive obstacle to the economic, political and socio-cultural development of the region. This is compounded by the securitisation or militarisation of the states in the region, the subversion of good governance and the presence of institutionalised corruption. The resolution of the status of the proto-states has the potential to accelerate the normalisation of the regional geopolitical and geo-strategic environment, therefore allowing the region to develop and to join the Euro-Atlantic community of nations.


The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the creation of fifteen newly independent republics, many of which were, and continue to be afflicted by the legacy of Soviet rule. Contemporary diplomacy has difficulty finding a panacea for the multitude of disputes between the states of the Former Soviet Union. The history of Soviet rule and its legacy of conflict are particularly apparent in the South Caucasus: Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and in Transnistria and Crimea, where the former autonomous republics, or regions seek national self-determination.

The collapse of the Former Soviet Union also highlights an inherent contradiction in the core foundation of the international legal basis for the state system, that is, the competing factors of preserving territorial integrity, and the right for national self-determination enshrined in the United Nations (UN) Charter. The UN Charter supports both the essential aspect of the territorial integrity of a given state, yet also the crucial aspect of a nation's right for self determination. For the self-proclaimed republics on the territory of the former Soviet Union, the truth lies in the latter principle, whilst territorial integrity is the guiding principle for others, particularly those wishing to maintain the status quo (for example, Georgia). Nevertheless, this confusing contradiction in the key charter of international law - the UN Charter - becomes secondary, since it does not provide a solid foundation for international practice and subsequent precedent. Furthermore, this contradiction forms the basis for the continuing evolution of the international system. This is apparent with the recent example of the Montenegrin Referendum (where both maintaining territorial integrity and the right of national self-determination were exercised), and this could serve as a precedent, and blueprint for the resolution of other territorial disputes. This would assist in filling the vacuum that exists under current international law, and toward reconciling the contradictions in the UN Charter.

Others may, however, insist that despite the uniting principle of self-determination, the particularity of each of the secessionist states will find its own solution, hence the necessity of the contradiction of principles in the UN Charter, that is, the contradictions inherent in the international system provide for pragmatism, and ad-hoc solutions.

In the USSR, the de jure right of self-determination was given only to parts of federations whose constitutions stipulate their right to secession . In the case of Abkhazia, it had a measure of autonomy until incorporated it into Georgia in 1931 .

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the acquisition of sovereignty by the republics led the Abkhaz government to seek national self-determination. This was reinforced after years of repression against Abkhaz culture and language, resulting in accrued hostility towards the Georgians. Abkhazia proclaimed its independence from Georgia in September 1993. Thirteen years later, it is still waiting for recognition or an alternative solution to the existing situation.

A year earlier, in 1992, Georgia lost sovereignty over the larger part of its South-Ossetian Autonomous Region, originally incorporated into Georgia in the early 1920s . Siding with the Bolshevik forces, Ossetians hoped to remain as one region within the Russian Federation, however, as part of the re-drawing of borders that followed, the South Ossetian Autonomous Region was created in Georgia, and North Ossetia was formed in Russia.

Today's leadership of South Ossetia's unrecognized government hopes to unite the two and form one entity within the Russian Federation.

The complex history of Nagorno-Karabakh coupled with its forceful inclusion into Soviet Azerbaijan in the early 1920s had resulted in tensions before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The first clashes following the perestroika and glasnost reforms occurred in 1988 ; by 1991, there was a full-fledged war. Azerbaijan by that time lost control over the larger part of the territory of its Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, and in 1994, it lost control over another seven of its administrative districts.

The desire of the Karabakhi people for national self-determination, together with the seizure of Azeri territories (it was done for the purpose of creating a buffer zone in order to halt Azeri artillery from reaching Armenian villages and cities) and large numbers of refugees on both sides, make this conflict an even greater challenge in the search for solution.

The case of Transnistria is also unprecedented. Historically it has not been a part of Moldova. The foundation and the existence of the modern Republic of Moldova is based on a unilateral declaration of independence that formalized the forced unification of Moldova and Transnistria affected by Stalin at the onset of the Second World War .

After the collapse of the USSR, Moldova broke up into two successor states: Moldova and Transnistria, thus fully corresponding to the borders existing before the creation of the Soviet Union. 1992 marked the official secession of Transnistria from the Republic of Moldova . Within Transnistria, it is known as the "Pridnestrovyan-Moldavian Republic".

The Crimea, though not yet a separatist region, has the potential to pursue secessionist ambitions. This is because it features a large ethnic-Russian population (70% of the total), and until 1954, was part of the Russian Soviet Socialist Republic . Since the Orange Revolution of November 2004, the political situation in the Ukraine has become more polarized between the nationalist, western half of the country, and the more pro-Russian eastern regions. Furthermore, as with the secessionist conflicts in the South Caucasus, and Transnistria, any potential instability vis-á- vis the Crimea and Kiev would provide Russia with an additional means of coercing the Ukrainian government. However, the Black Sea constitutes an area of strategic importance for NATO, in particular the US , thus, unlike the South Caucasus and Transnistria, instability in the Black Sea would most likely elicit a western, that is, NATO and/or US response.

Russia has not only backed most of the post-Soviet separatist enclaves, it has also played a crucial role in strengthening and controlling them. It garners influence via the Russian-speaking populations of the Crimea, Transnistria (whose majority holds Russian passports) and of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In the latter, 90% of the population have de facto dual citizenship, that is, Abkhaz/South Ossetian and Russian.

Nevertheless, Russia has not officially recognized these republics; however, it does utilise the secessionist republics as part of its grand strategy in its "near-abroad". Following the Montenegrin Independence referendum, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists "Why can Albanians in Kosovo have independence, but South Ossetia and Abkhazia can't? What's the difference?"

Perhaps what makes Russia rather wary in making drastic decisions is the developing and increasing role of the outside powers - primarily the European Union and US. Many analysts have voiced the fact that if Russia and the OSCE had cooperated, solutions to the existing conflicts would have long been found. The two do not collaborate to the extent that is possible, due to a Russian suspicion that the OSCE is biased toward Western interests, even if the latter has viable solutions for conflict resolution.

The increased influence of American and European political thought and interest in Georgia under the presidency of Mikhail Saakashvili has resulted in Russian policy toward Georgia becoming more punitive and coercive. This has included increasing support for the separatist leaderships in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and manipulating the supply of natural gas and electricity. Further, the Russian attitude toward the Georgian leadership does not indicate that any move toward reconciliation is likely in the near-term .

It is essential to note that the South Caucasus region is becoming increasingly important to the European Union. This is because of the new Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline (major oil route from the Caspian Basin) and also potentially a soon-to-be immediate neighbour with the EU itself; following Turkish is accession into the Union.

Yugoslavia in its essence was a small prototype of the USSR. Its collapse may have been a propitious warning for the former Soviet Union. If the 15-year-old Kosovar saga follows the Montenegrin suit - which is highly likely, and according to most analysts is a matter of when not if - the Balkans may finally witness a degree of peace and stabilization. Nonetheless, the result of the Montenegrin vote and its implications for the former Soviet Union's secessionist states, in particular, whether a plethora of new states will emerge, will require time to clarify.

Thus, Montenegro's independence vote may serve as a catalyst for other separatist movements in not only the Balkans but also the former Soviet Union and Russia itself. In the longer term, the concept of a geopolitical "amiable divorce" may cause wider instability across regions with distinct and identifiable ethnic minorities.

Regional Security Dynamics

The South Caucasus and wider Black Sea area constitute a zone of strategic importance for the West and Russia. For the former, it is the new eastern border for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union ; for the latter, the South Caucasus/Black Sea region forms part of its "near-abroad" and a zone of competition/confrontation with the Western powers and their local allies seeking to extricate themselves from Moscow's sphere of influence. The region is also of strategic economic importance to Europe due to its position as a transit zone for, in particular, hydrocarbon resources from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. The region is also beset by hostility, antagonism and confrontation; there are either "frozen" or active conflicts afflicting Moldova (Transnistria); Georgia (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, backed by Russia); and Armenia/Azerbaijan vis-á-vis Nagorno-Karabakh. The Crimea region of the Ukraine and Javakhk region of Georgia are also potential areas of instability due to their principal ethnic group (Russian and Armenian respectively) constituting national minorities. The importance of the region is further enhanced by its geographical position; this makes it a possible launch pad for power projection into the Middle East and Iran , and it is thus attracting the increased attention of the United States and NATO.

The principal threat to security and stability in the South Caucasus is the presence of conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the continuing alleged cold war (considering that there an almost daily occurrence of sniper shoot-outs). This is compounded by Russia's tacit support, including the granting of Russian Citizenship to the populations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Armenia's over-reliance on Russia for its national security . Furthermore, the presence of Russian forces in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, ostensibly for peace-keeping purposes, combined with a coercive diplomatic strategy employing economic and political instruments against Georgia, is serving to exacerbate instability in Georgia. This serves to maintain the status quo, and also impedes the progress of Georgia towards integration with the institutions of the Euro-Atlantic community, in particular NATO. The inclusion of Georgia within NATO would be complicated whilst the former does not exercise sovereignty over its full territory, and due to the possibility that it could seek the direct support of the Alliance in resolving its pervasive instability . In addition, the possibility that a Russo-Georgian confrontation similar to that of the latter part of 2006, could escalate into a direct military clash, would, if Georgia were a member of NATO, be sufficient for an invocation of Article Five. Such a situation would be extremely explosive and not in the wider interests of either the Alliance or Russia. Furthermore, the expansion of NATO into the South Caucasus is taken by the hard-line siloviki in Moscow as "evidence" of NATO's hostility toward Russia and therefore a threat which must be responded to . Russia regards the South Caucasus as part of its sphere of influence; it maintains an early-warning facility in Azerbaijan, a base in Armenia (including fighters and air-defence assets), has deployed border-guards in Armenia, and has an intelligence alliance with Yerevan . Russia also maintains a significant military presence in the North Caucasus . However, there is an increasing Western military presence in the region; the United States has a permanent presence in Georgia, is involved in the training of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces , and is seeking to establish cooperative security locations in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia . Turkey is also providing significant military assistance to Azerbaijan and Georgia . Further, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are all members of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP); Armenia is also a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organisation. The involvement of the United States, Turkey and NATO within the region has the potential risk of shifting the geo-strategic dynamic from that of localised, secessionist-based conflicts (albeit with the support of Russia) involving only the local powers (that is, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia plus Russia and Turkey in particular cases), to a microcosm of renewed Russo-Western rivalry. This is in part already the view of developments in the South Caucasus on the part of Moscow.

The most serious challenge to security in the South Caucasus is however, not external, but rather, internal. Georgia does not exercise sovereignty over its entire territory; in addition to being secessionist provinces, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are havens for organised criminal networks and the trafficking of contraband. Armenia is facing creeping authoritarianism, institutional weakness and a shift from the rule of law to the "law of the rulers" ; and Azerbaijan is beset by pervasive corruption and the development of a "security state" . The aforementioned serve as a critical impediment to the development of the region politically, economically, and diplomatically. Furthermore, the pervasive corruption in all three states prevents the successful resolution of the existing conflicts in the region, the development of a more stable and normalised geopolitical environment, and the possibility of state failure increases the risk of further internal or external conflict. There is also the risk of spill-over from the increasingly unstable environment in the North Caucasus, in particular from Chechnya, North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. This is especially relevant to Georgia and Azerbaijan. For the latter, the increasing influence and presence of Wahhabists in the North Caucasus and a known Al Qaeda presence in Azerbaijan poses the threat that Islamist militants may view Azerbaijan as a convenient location for mounting attacks against Western targets. The presence of significant Western oil and gas interests and the proximity of the Caucasus to Europe would make Azerbaijan a potential front in the "war on terror".

There are three principal dynamic processes affecting the regional security system in the South Caucasus. Firstly, there are the ongoing conflicts between Georgia and Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, and the cold war between Armenia and Azerbaijan vis-à-vis Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Secondly, there is the wider dynamic involving the interactions between the local actors and regional and external powers, that is, Russia, Turkey, the United States and NATO (the EU is also an actor though is not so relevant in terms of security). The third dynamic is that of the "soft security" challenges; this is the nexus of organised criminal activity, corruption, weak governance and underdevelopment that serve to undermine the national securities of the three states and regional security as a whole.

New Realities, Old Perceptions: Territorial Integrity vs. Self-Determination.

Kosovo and its potential to become a precedent

"We are trapped here. President Saakashvili is trapped; all of us are trapped in a double mechanism that may have good consequences for one, but not for the other. It may not be a win-win situation -- although we should be able to look [for] and find a win-win solution. But it will not be easy."
Javier Solana

"The decisions on Kosovo should be of universal nature. This is an extremely important question for us - not only because we advocate the observance of the principles of the international law but also because we have purely practical interests" Not all the post-Soviet conflicts are yet resolved. We can't use different principles every time."
Vladimir Putin

Russia, Turkey, Iran and the EU - the regional powers of the South Caucasus and the wider Black Sea region - are lined up for their regional interests, ranging from oil, gas and other minerals to communication systems linking with Central Asia and Asia at large. With a very significant geographical area, constituting the "near-abroad" for Russia, Turkey and Iran, the South Caucasus in particular is the weakest link in this broader system, due to its so-called "frozen" conflicts. Their resolution is therefore on the agenda of the powers, which have vested interest in the region.

These conflicts, just like those of the Balkans, boil down to the reconciliation of two major principles of international law, that of territorial integrity and the right of people for self-determination. These principles however, should not be reconciled in a way that prioritizes one another, but in a way that finds the right balance between the two.

The UN clearly expresses that it supports the universal right to self-determination. However, it also supports the notion of territorial integrity, another principle stipulated and protected by the UN and international law, albeit with caveats. The UN has now made it clear that under issues of human rights it can step in and interfere with the internal affairs of a state.

The territorial integrity principle is formulated in point 4, article 2 of the UN Charter, which says: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations." As regards the right of self-determination, it is clearly defined in the Declaration on Principles of International Law: "By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right freely to determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and every State has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter."

Thus, the principle of territorial integrity is meant to protect a state from foreign aggression and is not and cannot be contrary to the right for self-determination. The Western espousal of democracy has the core principle that the state is a technical mechanism used by the people for serving the interests of its individual members: if some territorial group refuses to stay within some state, there are no clear arguments that could justify the use of violence against them.

Nevertheless, if both principles and their legal definitions are taken at face value neither of them can work; the UN failed by means of providing notoriously vague definitions and thus creating the conflicting ideas on which right is more important. The UN claims, for example, that the vagueness of its definition of "peoples" has no affect on its ability to handle the conflicts of the world, yet their actions seem to say something entirely different .

"We rededicate ourselves to support all efforts to uphold the sovereign equality of all States, respect for their territorial integrity and political independence, resolution of disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation, non-interference in the internal affairs of States"

Once again, another idealistic message, which is not only impractical but also an oxymoron; all peoples do not have a right to self-determination if all states have a right to territorial integrity. Practical approaches are pending, such as the adoption of new strategies, definitions and means that would put the existing conflicts in to a more updated international legal framework. Considering that one of the sources of international law is precedent and considering that Kosovo is soon to find a possible solution, many experts turn to the notion that the latter conflict resolution process can become a precedent. This is a double-edged sword, which has to be examined from both perspectives.

* * *

The Montenegrin referendum was followed by a declaration of independence. This event was echoed not only in neighbouring Kosovo but also in the post-Soviet space and among the nations who are demanding the recognition of their right for self-determination and the opportunity to choose their own destinies.

This inalienable right and opportunity however become a bargaining chip and a tool in a power game between those who grant those rights, that is, the international community, which in all reality is composed of a handful of states.

Russia, tied historically and culturally to its brother nation state (Serbia), has been opposed from the very start to the independence of Kosovo. It strictly adhered to the principle of territorial integrity; however, as the events evolved it has taken a different approach.

For months, the official Kremlin position had stated that the decision on Kosovo, if it is to be considered legal should be of "universal nature" and applicable to post-Soviet territory. This position stemmed from the fact that UN Resolution 1244 affirmed that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia, but the development of the conflict resolution process did not maintain this assertion. "Our starting point is that United Nations Security Council's decisions are not of a decorative nature, do not depend on the political circumstances, but are adopted in order to be fulfilled," noted Russia's President, Vladimir Putin. In response to this, the US Deputy Secretary of State for European Affairs, Rosemary di Carlo stated that the Kosovo situation and the region itself is a unique phenomenon and that the Kosovo model would not be applied to the unrecognized regions of the former Soviet Union. She also pointed out that there were no UN resolutions relating to them.

Indeed, Kosovo's ultimate legal claim to independence stems from the 1974 Serbian and Yugoslav constitutions, which gave it and Vojvodina rights virtually equal to those of the six federal Yugoslav republics, even though they were nominally part of Serbia. All six federal republics have now gone separate ways, starting with Slovenia and Croatia in 1991 and ending with Montenegro in 2006. Thus it seems that Kosovo is simply the final chapter in an ongoing story.

However, what Rosemary di Carlo did not say in her statement was that the UN resolution 1244 relating to Kosovo explicitly reaffirmed it as part of Serbia, and thus superseding all previous legal acts.

Russia has its own motives and scenarios for whatever the final decision over Kosovo will be - delaying a decision on Kosovo's status, which in the long run will lead to the formation of a Kosovan state, or the de jure recognition of Kosovo's independence. Russia is unlikely to veto the granting of Kosovan independence. This is because the recognition of Kosovo's independence will give Russia "a wider room for manoeuvre" vis-á-vis the secessionist regions of the Former Soviet Union.

Thus, the West finds itself trapped. In both cases it cannot avoid the precedent of Kosovo. The legal stalemate over territorial integrity versus the right for self-determination has been exploited for political purposes and has resulted in solutions being developed that can appear to be biased, and to operate on a double-standard.

In any way, "the western diplomacy cannot avoid the "potential precedent" as, initially, it was exactly the West who undertook to resolve the Kosovo problem. The resolution of the Kosovo question will become a precedent - that is, they in the West will create the precedent themselves, like it or not" .

Kosovo, whatever will be its final resolution, is already a casus tempi - it is becoming a precedent at this very moment, without the final decision on its status yet in place.

Therefore, it is useless to say that Kosovo is a unique case. Undoubtedly, each existing conflict today is a peculiar case, but there should be some universally adopted rules based on mutually accepted norms of the international law.

If the world community is ready to recognize the independence of Montenegro and Kosovo, it must be ready to face the claims of Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh to grant them the same right.

Kosovo is a sui generis.Due to its uniqueness, it will serve as a model for resolving ethno-territorial conflicts and will influence the development of international law, and mechanisms for the tackling of existing conflicts.


In the light of the recent events in the Balkans, Kosovo is awaiting its destiny to be announced in New York in the next few months. The proponent of this event will be Russia, since it has a very wide room for maneuver - from vetoing Kosovo's independence, to agreeing to it and in turn using it as a precedent for the proto-states in the post-Soviet space.

In both scenarios the regional security environment will be affected. If Russia vetoes Kosovo's independence it risks deteriorating its relationship with the EU. Moreover, the population of Kosovo will in no way accept anything short of independence, and this can have serious repercussions in the Balkans and similarly in the South Caucasus.

If Russia votes for the independence of Kosovo, it will push the case to become a precedent and regional stability will once again be undermined. Russia however will not take time to recognize the sovereignty of Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh. In this case, the responses of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and the EU are yet to be predicted.

This state of affairs damages the value behind the principles of the right for self-determination and territorial integrity, which in this context are not reconciled but instead become mere tools in the political game of powerful states.

In essence each existing proto-state, be that Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia or Transnistria are special cases, as is Kosovo. However, considering that the aforementioned principles fall short of their international legal value, the precedent, which is another source of international law, will in one way or another affect each proto-state, pending a decision from the international community.

Yuri Nabiyev, Is Right For Self-Determination "the Lesser Evil"? From http://www.regnum.ru/english/655547.html Accessed 14 June 2006.

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3261059.stm.

At the time Stalin was the People's Commissar for the Nationalities of the Soviet Union, already having substantial power to make crucial decisions.

The clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis of Nagorno Karabakh occurred almost every decade since the 1920s.

Sergey Shakaryants, Recognition of Unrecognized States. From http://www.regnum.ru/english/663614.html. Accessed 28 June 2006.

The ethnic composition of Transnistria, as recorded in the 1989 census, is as follows; 40% Romanian, 28% Ukrainian, 25% Russian, 2% Bulgarian, and 1% Gagauz. From http://countrystudies.us/moldova/15.htm. Accessed 4 August 2006.

Nikita Khrushchev 'gifted' the Crimea to the Ukraine in 1954 to celebrate three hundred years of Russo-Ukrainian association. R. Craig Nation, NATO's Relations with Russia and Ukraine, United States Army War College, Pennsylvania. From http://www.nato.int. Accessed 9 July 2006.

The US is acquiring basing-rights in Bulgaria and Romania near to their respective Black Sea coasts. From Radu Tudor, "Black Sea Emerges as Strategic Hub Following NATO Expansion" Jane's Intelligence Review, 16:8, August 2004, pp 47-49.

Fred Weir, "The Coming of the Microstates" Christian Science Monitor, article available from http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20060605/w1_csm/ostatelet.

From private source.

Somewhat akin to a Pandora's Box effect. Within the Russian Federation, republics such as Tatarstan and Bashkortistan may seek to pursue secessionism.

NATO and the EU respectively.

Giragosian, Richard, 2005, "Toward a New Concept of Armenian National Security." Available from http://www.aiprg.net.


Bosbotinis, James, and Ghaplanyan, Irina, 2006, "Rebuilding the Silk Road: Developments and Prospects for Security in the South Caucasus," Newsbrief (the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies), 26:10.

From private source.

Bennett, Gordon, 2000, "The SVR Russia's Intelligence Service", the Conflict Studies Research Centre, the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, available from http://www.defac.ac.uk/colleges/csrc/document-listings/russian/.

Trifanov, Denis, 2006, "Russia Boosts Counterinsurgency Efforts in North Caucasus", Jane's Intelligence Review, 18: 2, pp 34-37.

From personal communication with Richard Giragosian.

Knights, Michael, 2005, "US Regional Commands Diversify Across the "Arc of Instability"", Jane's Intelligence Review, 17:9, pp 22-27.

For example, a Turkish general has recently been appointed as the Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Defence.

Giragosian, R. 2005, "Toward a New Concept of Armenian National Security".


From private source.

Cornell, E, Svante, 2006, "The Politicization of Islam in Azerbaijan", Silk Road Paper, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Programme, available from http://www.csis.org/ruseura/caucasus/.

Preservation of the status quo is for some players a method to keep the situation intact and in a way resolved.

Self-determination is often referred to as a universal human right.

General Assembly, Fifty-fifth session, Agenda Item 113, Peoples Right to Self- Determination.

General Assembly, Fifty-fifth session, Agenda 60(b), Millennium Goals.

Bisset, James, The Legal and Political Consequences of Kosovo Independence, electronic version of the article is available at: http://www.deltax.net/bissett/a-consequences3.htm;

Serbia's northern province, bordering Hungary, and having a majority ethnic-Hungarian population.

Yakubyan, Viktor, Kosovo-Karabakh: Strategic Fork, 13th November, 2006, electronic version of the article is available at: http://www.regnum.ru/english/737310.html;




Town Hall Meeting within ACE in Vayk

On January 30, 2024 ICHD organized the first Town Hall Meeting within ACE in Vayk consolidated community, comprising 17 rural and urban settlements, in close collaboration with the local government, "Solution Hub" NGO and their beneficiaries, active young people from the community. The results are summarized in the THM report available in Armenian only.

 more >>

Monitoring Youth Engagement in Decision-Making

The Publication is available only in Armenian.

 more >>

Youth Expo 2023

Only in Armenian (Link)

 more >>



Town Hall Meeting within ACE in Vayk

On January 30, 2024 ICHD organized the first Town Hall Meeting within ACE in Vayk consolidated community, comprising 17 rural and urban settlements, in close collaboration with the local government, "Solution Hub" NGO and their beneficiaries, active young people from the community. The results are summarized in the THM report available in Armenian only.