Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s attention has been justly focused on the war and the devastation inflicted on Ukrainian civilians. However, as the war drags on — and becomes ever more costly to Russia — policymakers in the United States and Europe must pay increasing attention to other areas where the diminution of Russia’s military reputation may upset local balances of power.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia have tried in different ways to balance the need for good relations with Moscow with a desire to support Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty. Each has reason to be cautious: Moscow has exploited ongoing conflicts in all three countries to dominate its self-defined sphere of vital interests. While these conflicts persist, Moscow will maintain significant leverage over Yerevan, Baku and Tbilisi. Working with them to resolve these conflicts and preserve their sovereignty should be a priority for the United States and Europe.
On April 24, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. recognized the 1915 mass killing and deportation of an estimated one million Armenians in Turkey as genocide. Through a press statement issued on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, the president righted a historical wrong — failure by past U.S. presidents to recognize the crimes perpetrated against the Armenians as a genocide — and underscored the U.S. commitment to preventing future instances of genocide and mass atrocities.