ASSESSMENTS

The Motives Behind a Russian-Armenian Air Defense Deal

MIN READNov 20, 2015 | 09:15 GMT

Russian S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile systems are on display in a celebration in Minsk on May 9.

(Handout/RIA Novosti/Getty Images)

The standoff between Russia and the West is once again heating up, but this time tensions are centered on the Caucasus. On Nov. 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed his government to sign an agreement with Armenia to create a joint missile air defense system in the region. The move, though reminiscent of Moscow's actions in Central Asia and Belarus in previous years, comes at a time when Russia is being forced to respond to a wider array of challenges than ever before. And as Russia increases its military presence in Armenia, its competition with major regional powers for influence in the South Caucasus will intensify, adding to the growing list of issues Russia must contend with outside its borders....

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