Israel’s Policy in the South Caucasus as a Factor of Ensuring National Security

Ayten Ramazanova


The strategic position of the South Caucasus prompted the regional players, Russia, Iran and Turkey, to seek more significant influence on this territory. Israel is not a direct actor in the South Caucasus. Still, the region is of great strategic importance for the foreign policy doctrine of the Israeli state, whose interests only intensified as Iran’s influence had expanded after the lifting of sanctions in 2016. This article focuses on the region’s importance to Israel in its regional and national security. Based on this, the paper identifies and analyzes Israel’s geopolitical priorities and interests in the South Caucasus. The primary attention is paid to the main directions of Israel’s foreign policy, focused on protecting its vital interests. Since the creation of the Israeli state, the central foreign policy doctrines have been researched. The main aspects of Israel’s relations and interests with the region’s states (particularly the role of Iran) have been analyzed.

Israel’s foreign policy is primarily tied to its deeply rooted historical traditions and is based on the principles of realism. Israel’s interests and policy in the Caucasus have three main aspects: strategic - a means of encircling Iran, medium-term - the energy supply zone, short-term - a market for the sale of high-tech weapons and ammunition. At the same time, these dimensions pose a challenge for the three traditional regional players - Russia, Turkey and Iran - who are very reluctant to admit extra-regional actors. The novelty of the article lies in consideration of Israel as a new geopolitical actor in the South Caucasus in the triangle of relations between regional and local states, as well as a zone for ensuring Israel’s geo-security. The main provisions and conclusions of the article can be used in scientific and pedagogical activities in assessing the issues of regional and national security, foreign policy and geopolitics of the South Caucasus.


South Caucasus; Israel; geopolitics; “peripheral strategy”; Netanyahu’s Doctrine; containment circles strategy; national security; regional security; energy security


Bishku, M. B. (2009). The South Caucasus Republics and Israel. Middle Eastern Studies, 45(2), 295–314. doi: 10.1080/00263200802697415

Freilich, C. D. (2018). Israeli National Security. Oxford Scholarship Online. doi: 10.1093/oso/9780190602932.001.0001

Eisenkot, G., Siboni, G. (2019, October 2). Guidelines for Israel’s National Security Strategy. Retrieved from

Cafiero, G. (2021, October 27). Iran’s Challenges in the South Caucasus Include Israel and Turkey. Retrieved from

Hoffman, R. (2018, July 2). The Netanyahu “Doctrine”: Passivity and Reactivity, with Missed Opportunities. Retrieved from

Khalifa-Zade, M. (2012). Izrail’ i Azerbajdzhan: protivodejstvie Iranu [Israel and Azerbaijan: opposition to Iran]. Central Asia and the Caucasus, 15(3), 77–91 (in Russian)
[Халифа-Заде, М. (2012). Израиль и Азербайджан: противодействие Ирану. Центральная Азия и Кавказ, 15(3), 77–91].

Kostenko, Yu. (2016). «Novaja periferija» kak faktor ukreplenija izrail’skih pozicij na Blizhnem Vostoke [“New periphery” as a factor in strengthening Israeli positions in the Middle East]. World politics, 2(47), 134–143 (in Russian)
[Костенко, Ю.И. (2016). «Новая периферия» как фактор укрепления израильских позиций на Ближнем Востоке. Мировая политика, 2(47), 134–143].

Mylnikov P. (01.10.2020). Armenija ob#jasnila otzyv posla iz Izrailja postavkami oruzhija Azerbajdzhanu [Armenia explained the recall of the ambassador from Israel by supplying arms to Azerbaijan]. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved from -55127628 (in Russian)
[Мыльников, П. (01.10.2020). Армения объяснила отзыв посла из Израиля поставками оружия Азербайджану. Deutsche Welle. URL:].

Stronski, P. (2021, June 23). The Shifting Geography of the South Caucasus. Retrieved from

Suchkov, M. (2015, February 5). Sources of Israel’s Policy in the Caucasus. Retrieved from

Zhiltsov, S., Zonn, I., & Orlovsky, N. (2020). Israel in the southern caucasus: political aspects. Central Asia and The Caucasus, 21(2), 041–049. doi: 10.37178/ca-c.20.2.04

Zielińska, K. (2020). Israel’s Periphery Doctrine Prospects for Defining and Studying a Foreign Policy Practice. Politické Vedy, 23(2), 219–245. doi: 10.24040/politickevedy.2020.23.2.219-245

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Ayten Ramazanova

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.