ASU’s Melikian Center offers education and research on the languages, societies, and strategic importance of Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe.

This critical world region includes 29 sovereign states, including EU members like Poland and Romania, the oil- and gas-rich “-stans” of Central Asia, and countries like Armenia (in the Caucasus) and Bosnia-Hercegovina and Albania (in the Western Balkans) which endured particular unrest and violence in the post-Cold War transition of the 1990s.

Through language learning and area studies, the Center promotes global citizenship, understanding, and dialogue across ideological and geographic borders.  While military tensions between NATO and Russia over Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014-) have attracted major attention, the wider social, political and economic debates of the region are less well-known. The Melikian Center’s faculty and graduate student affiliates offer expertise and insight to inform broader publics, and train the next generation of regional specialists.

The Center took its current name following a major gift from Gregory and Emma Melikian in 2006. It offers a Russian and East European Studies (REES) Certificate Program and intensive instruction in 12 East European and Eurasian languages through the summer Critical Languages Institute.  In addition, the Center works with partners at ASU, in the US and in the region to address pressing global issues through exchanges, joint research and innovation in university design.