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Armenia: Foreign Policy in Difficult Times; in a Difficult Region

Armenia: Foreign Policy in Difficult Times; in a Difficult Region

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About this Event

28 Feb 2007

Armenia: Foreign Policy in Difficult Times; in a Difficult Region

About the Speech:

On Wednesday, 28 February 2007, The IEA hosted an address by Vardan Oskanian, the Armenian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Oskanian spoke to members on the subject of Armenia’s foreign policy in light of its position in the troubled Caucuses region. His speech embraced a wide range of issues including: the tense relations between Russia and Georgia, the Nagorno Karabakh resolutions process, energy security and the implications of the Baku pipeline which links Turkey to the oil-rich region of Azerbaijan, by-passing Armenia, the still evolving process of post-soviet structures, Kosovo, European integration. Culturally, historically and politically, Armenia is considered to be part of Europe, however, its location in the Southern Caucuses means that it can also be considered to be at the arbitrary border between Europe and Asia.

About the Speaker:

Oskanyan was educated in the Armenian schools of Aleppo. After graduating from high school in 1973 he left for Armenia, where he attended the Yerevan Polytechnic Institute and received a BS in Structural Engineering in 1979. He followed that up with a Master’s degree in Engineering from Tufts University in Boston in 1983.

At the same time, he was exposed to the various government and international relations programs at Tufts and in surrounding universities, and even as he worked for a short time in an engineering firm, he continued his studies and received a Master’s degree in Government Studies from Harvard University in 1986. A few years later, in 1988, he enrolled in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, Massachusetts. He received an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from Fletcher. His fields of concentration were International Monetary Theory and Policy, and Diplomatic History and Foreign Policies.

As he was finishing his graduate studies, he, and a group of friends, established Armenian International Magazine, in California in 1990. Oskanyan was the Founding Editor.

He moved to Armenia in 1992, shortly after Armenia’s independence, and began work at the Foreign Ministry, first as deputy, then as Head of the Middle East Department. Then he moved to the same position at the North American Department. In 1994, he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and in 1996, First Deputy. During those years, Oskanyan was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the American University of Armenia, where he taught International Economic Relations, American Foreign Policy, Introduction to International Relations and International Economic Relations.

Theme: Foreign Policy and ESDP 

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