ANC-EM Presents Inaugural ‘Michael Varantian Lecture Series’

What to Expect from Russian Foreign Policy? Four Scenarios and Implications for by Arthur Martirosyan, Senior Consultant, CMPartners

WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Eastern Massachusetts recently announced the inaugural Michael Varantian Lecture Series. The second lecture, presented by Arthur Martirosyan, will be held on Thurs., Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., at the Watertown Savings Bank Meeting Room of the Watertown Free Public Library, 123 Main St., Watertown.

Arthur Martirosyan

Named after Michael Varantian, one of the luminaries and intellectuals of the Armenian independence and renaissance movement of the late 19th century, the series will feature informative talks and panel discussions to help inform and articulate current geopolitical events in Armenia and neighboring countries. In light of the ever-changing developments in the political landscape of the region, and cognizant of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the rebirth of the Republic of Armenia, a better understanding of the dynamics of the dominant powers and shifting alignments of the interested parties will shed light onto and help formulate the participatory strategies of the Armenian nation and its greatest resource, the Armenian Diaspora.

Martirosyan is a senior consultant with CMPartners, a Cambridge, Mass.-based consulting company founded by Prof. Roger Fisher and his students. In 1994, Martirosyan joined the Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP) and has since worked with Fisher on several ethno-political and corporate negotiation projects. From 2001 through 2008, he was the director of the Momentum Program: Negotiation Culture Change in the Former Soviet Union (FSU).

In his 22-year career as a negotiation specialist, Martirosyan has been involved in the design and implementation of a series of successful strategic assistance projects in the complex ethno-political conflicts of Chechnya, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Israel-Palestine, Iraq, and Kosovo. Martirosyan designed innovative approaches to studying the impact of stereotyping on negotiations and the role of media in transforming cognitive and attitudinal aspects of public opinion. From 2003-08, Martirosyan managed the Israeli Palestinian Negotiation Partners program, engaging senior technical advisors to the top decision-makers of both sides in a joint negotiation skills development process. For 10 years now, he has been involved with efforts at building a network of professional negotiators in Iraq.

Recent prominent events involving Russia, such as the Ukrainian and Syrian crises, the launch of the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Russian-Turkish geopolitical stand-off, clearly illustrate that Russia is repositioning itself in the international arena by forcefully demonstrating the post-Soviet space as a focus of its foreign policy. This post-Soviet resurgence has already had a significant impact on developments in the region and on Armenia and Artsakh (Karabagh), in particular. Most international relations and former Soviet studies scholars of Russian foreign policy under Putin’s rule have been drawing linear predictions of his next moves with rare success stories. To get post-Soviet Russia right requires thinking in scenarios—Putin’s preferred method. To explain Russian foreign policy choices and decisions, Martirosyan will explore four core possible scenarios and their current probabilities. It is imperative that Armenian policy-makers be prepared to exploit to the full extent possible every opportunity, neutralize threats, and meet challenges contained in these scenarios.

By providing a platform for experts in the fields of political science, economics, and international law and diplomacy to share their knowledge and experience, the ANC strives to provide the community with a deeper understanding of current affairs, and their overt and covert driving forces. The ANC of Eastern Massachusetts hopes that well-informed citizens will engage more effectively in the political discourse and will affect positive change towards a better future, both for their adopted country and ancestral homeland. This, the ANC believes, is at the core of the democratic principles of the free society we live in, and which we collectively pledge to reinforce, nurture, and sustain in our 25-year-young republic.

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: ANC-EM Presents Inaugural ‘Michael Varantian Lecture Series’

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