Nikol Ungrateful: Armenian Prime Minister "surrenders" friendship with Russia to please the West?
The Armenian authorities themselves provoke a new conflict in Transcaucasia.
The last week was marked by a sharp deterioration in relations between Russia and Armenia. More precisely, in Moscow, that attitude towards the CSTO ally did not deteriorate, but Yerevan took a number of extremely unfriendly steps, which may indicate almost a complete reversal of the government of this country towards NATO and the Western political community.
At this time, Azerbaijan is concentrating troops from Nagorno-Karabakh, masking it with exercises. Pashinyan calls the North Atlantic Alliance to Armenia, and expects that it will be "eaten" not only in Moscow, but also in Baku?
The Moscow Post correspondent understood the situation.
The steps of the government of Nikol Pashinyan cannot be called ambiguous, incomprehensible, uncertain. They are more than revealing. First, Armenia recalls its representative from the CSTO and refuses to take part in joint exercises in Belarus. And then he declares plans to hold the Armenian-American exercises ARTSIV PARTNERS-2023 on September 11-20, the purpose of which is to increase the level of interoperability of units participating in international peacekeeping missions.
The exercise will include "operations to stabilize relations between the conflicting parties in the performance of peacekeeping tasks." Among the other goals of the maneuvers are the exchange of best practices in the field of management and tactical communications, as well as increasing the readiness of the Armenian unit for planned operations.
This is an obvious signal: Armenia is gradually leaving the CSTO orbit and is looking for a new security guarantor. This is not happening from a good life, Russia is objectively weakened by the current crisis in Ukraine, and Pashninyan himself came to power in the wake of the pro-Western Velvet Revolution in 2018. His flirtation with Russia turned out to be a bluff and a necessary measure to stabilize the political situation in the country after a catastrophic military defeat.
In 2020, when a new war for Karabakh began, it became clear that no one was going to save the current government except Russia. And the Russian Federation, as a faithful ally, has made every effort to stop the acute phase of the crisis, achieve a ceasefire and prevent its spread into the sovereign territory of Armenia and beyond. Our peacekeeping contingent was placed on the contact line, which is regularly subjected to provocations. And on both sides.
The interest of the United States and its Western allies, primarily France, is also understandable. They are trying to squeeze Russia out of Transcaucasia. But this is a minimum program. And the maximum is to provoke a new large-scale conflict, into which Russia will try with all its might. American diplomats have long dreamed of arranging a "second front" for Russia.
Now Russia-NATO are trying to draw Romania into the conflict - allegedly, the wreckage of our drone fell on its territory. Earlier, a similar provocation was in Poland, when the wreckage of an allegedly Russian rocket fell. However, except for Ukraine, no one is in a hurry to kill themselves about Russia.
Pashinyan is already being turned into the second Zelensky, and Armenia into the second Ukraine-Anti-Russian. The factor of Azerbaijan remains, behind which Turkey stands. As a NATO member, under Erdogan's leadership, she deftly plays to the contradictions between the Alliance and her own national interests, prioritizing the latter.
The number of incidents is growing on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. Accusations that Armenia is shelling Azerbaijan are ongoing. At the same time, transport planes with weapons regularly fly from Israel not even to Baku, but to Ganja, closer to the border.
The crisis created by the blockade of Artsakh reached the highest point. Further "warm up" the situation by starving tens of thousands of people with hunger is counterproductive for Azerbaijan. The idea that the Armenians "themselves will understand everything and leave" failed. It is not possible to return their way to Armenia "just like that," having settled the case in the European spirit with "national autonomy."
A column of Azerbaijani troops at the transition to the Armenian-Azerbaijan border. Photo: Open Sources
The provocative rhetoric of Nikol Pashinyan is also amazing. He was recently interviewed by Italy's La Repubblica. There he directly stated that Western countries are pushing Yerevan to push Russia out of the South Caucasus. According to the prime minister, allegedly Russia itself is cunning due to the steps that it takes or does not accept.
He wondered why Russia does not control the Lachin Corridor, which is now blocked by Azerbaijani forces. At the same time, Russia has repeatedly noted that Russian peacekeepers have no opportunity to influence the Azerbaijani military. I.e. Pashinyan openly provokes the power action of the Russian Federation against Baku?
Waiting for the collapse of Russia
But not even this is the main thing. In the same interview, Pashinyan, citing historical experience, said that Russia could leave the Caucasus suddenly - in a year, in a month or even in a day. An allusion to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the hopes of the Western establishment for the disintegration of modern Russia. Apparently, Pashinyan also harbors such hopes.
And this is after the position of the Russian Federation helped him to maintain power in the country after large-scale protests. Pashinyan was considered a national traitor, and the first building that the protesters destroyed was the Yerevan office of the George Soros Foundation. Two and a half years after that, Armenia is again ready to jump into the arms of both Soros and Uncle Sam.
Our historical dependence on Russia in terms of security was a mistake, Pashinyan continues. In this case, is it time for the Russian authorities to recognize the support of Nikol Pashinyan's government as a mistake, the supply of weapons at preferential prices, huge steps to meet in the field of energy, agriculture, and so on?
At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin is the only world leader related to the process that has been involved in the settlement of the Karabakh problem since 1995. More than him, none of the current politicians are immersed in the topic. And no one tried to take into account the interests of both parties, like Putin - thinking, first of all, about the interests and security of Russia itself.
Nikol Pashinyan should remind the fate of other US and NATO allies, who at some point were not needed and were thrown into the dustbin of history. And we are talking not only about the failed head of Venezuela, Juan Gaido, but also about the political leaders of Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, who were instantly "merged" when their role was played. The same fate may await Mr. Pashinyan - especially given the great "love" of Armenians for his person.
As for Azerbaijan and its president Ilham Aliyev, now he has a unique chance to solve the Karabakh problem once and for all. And besides, to create a corridor physically controlled by Baku to Nakhichevan, cutting the Armenian-Iranian border and selling it to the United States as a victory in the fight against circumventing anti-Russian sanctions.
Pashinyan makes the second Zelensky. The consequences for Armenia may be the same as for Ukraine. Photo: https://dialogorg.ru/news/09.03.2022-hcgchcndhcyehcnjc/
At the same time, he will not tolerate pumping Armenia with NATO troops and weapons until this issue is resolved. And Turkey, as in the case of Ukraine, will enter the role of a key mediator who benefits from both sides. "Affectionate" Erdogan sucks at two or even four queens.
"NATO countries have relied on malicious expansion and assertive development of territories in the zone of interests of the Russian Federation," said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov about recent events. It's hard to disagree with him. The question is how Russia will answer this - and there is no clear answer yet.