Armenia's security environment
2.1 Alongside traditional threats, rapid and unanticipated changes in the contemporary world order and security architecture bring forth new challenges for Armenia.
2.2 International relations display trends of weakening security systems, expressed in particular through increasing competition between states that have played a major role in maintaining global security, eroding arms control regimes, intensifying arms races, weakening multilateral platforms, as well as increasing inclinations to resolve conflicts through the use of force. Meanwhile, the evident trends of emerging new power centers intensify international rivalry, further contributing to the use of force.
2.3 Tensions between international and regional power centers and institutions detrimentally affect the prospect of Armenia’s cooperation with them. Concurrently, some regional states’ aspirations to play a more active role threatens to destabilize the existing balance of power and jeopardizes regional stability.
2.4 The fragmented and non-inclusive development of transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure deepens regional divisions, and subsequently contributes to regional instability.
2.5 Security threats in the modern world often appear in the form of hybrid warfare, including not only military elements, but also the use of economic means, cyber attacks, fake news, and disinformation.
2.6 Armenia is also concerned about a weakening commitment to democracy and human rights in the region and in the world.
2.7 Unresolved conflicts continue to loom over the sustainable development of regional states. Azerbaijan’s unconstructive position periodically frustrates and threatens the process of peaceful resolution for the Artsakh conflict, expressed through inclinations to resolve the conflict through the use or threat of force, an expansionist and uncompromising stance, unequivocal claims over the territory of the Republic of Armenia, Armenophobic policies, and the distortion of history. The adversary’s desire to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by military means, manifested in military actions unleashed against Artsakh in April 2016, as well as continual ceasefire violations, acts of incursion, military build-up, and the movement of troops, coupled with military exercises at both the Artsakh-Azerbaijan Line of Contact and the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border, all pose an immediate threat to Armenia. The continuous military build-up of a state that professes a hostile policy toward Armenia and Artsakh jeopardizes regional peace and stability.
2.8 From the perspective of regional security, we are concerned about the possibility of deepening discord between military-political alliances, and the member states they are composed of, that impact the South Caucasus region. Equally concerning is the potential weakening of those alliances and the specter of hostility among such states, that could harm Armenia’s interests. Particularly, the sale of arms to Azerbaijan further jeopardizes regional peace and stability. Our attention is also focused on possible political and military instability in neighboring states.
2.9 Turkey’s policy towards Armenia is unneighborly. It continues its blockade of Armenia, refusing to establish diplomatic relations without preconditions, denying and, in certain instances, justifying the Armenian Genocide.
2.10 At the same time, Turkey’s military-political assistance to Azerbaijan further strengthens the latter’s aspirations to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by military means. Turkey’s readiness for covert or overt intervention in the case of Azerbaijani-initiated military actions is particularly problematic.
2.11 Turkey’s unlawful use of force against its neighboring states and nations in turn jeopardizes the stability of the broader region, and increases the unpredictability of its possible actions against Armenia.
2.12 The decline of democracy and human rights in Turkey and Azerbaijan has a detrimental impact on their compliance with their international commitments, increasing the unpredictability of these countries for Armenia.
2.13 Armenia’s security environment is also affected by processes underway in the Middle East, which include, in particular, the expulsion of religious and ethnic minorities, the consolidation and spread of religious radicalism, internal conflicts, wars of attrition, and non-traditional and proxy warfare.
2.14 Terrorism and transnational organized crime, the transit and dissemination of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking, money laundering, illegal migration and human trafficking also pose threats to Armenia.
2.15 Domestic threats include current demographic trends negatively impacting Armenia’s security and its sustainable social and economic development. A decline in the birth rate, emigration, transformation of the population’s age structure, and uneven economic development pose substantial challenges and threats to Armenia, particularly in the form of brain drain, a reduced workforce, and an increasing burden on the social security system.
2.16 The increasing penetration of information communication technologies (ICTs) into every aspect of society has resulted in both opportunities and challenges. Concurrently with the development of the ICT sector, the security of the individual, society, and the state has become more vulnerable, and therefore needs protection in both the information and cyber domains.
2.17 Any form of corruption poses a serious threat to Armenia’s government system. Corrupt practices diminish the state’s capacity to withstand national security threats. 2.18 Any manifestation of the criminal subculture, violence, hatred, and xenophobia divides society and poses a challenge to the state and society.
2.19 Despite positive trends in economic growth, we still face the challenges of possible financial instability, the scale of the shadow economy, limited economic diversification, and impediments to the investment environment and entrepreneurship.
2.20 Poverty, social inequality, and social polarization continue to exacerbate Armenia’s security challenges and threats.