Friday, 22 January 2021

E Editorial

Is it possible to contain the "free flight" of Armenia?

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The participation of the Prime Minister of Armenia in the NATO summit on 11 July in Brussels renewed the theme of the foreign policy strategy of our country after the change of power. This topic is discussed not only in Armenia, but also in Russia and Azerbaijan. And this is not surprising, because, as a result of the velvet revolution, Armenia, in a sense, became a "geopolitical dark horse." Accustomed to seeing in Armenia cornered outpost of Russia, these countries do not want to see any changes in its foreign policy. And, although the new Armenian authorities unequivocally stated that Armenia will remain a member of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, as well as preserve strategic cooperation with Russia, the nervousness of the latter and Azerbaijan remains. Mostly, they are concerned about the possible strengthening of Armenia's cooperation with the European Union and NATO.

However, the question arises: are both Russia and Azerbaijan able to impede the expansion of Armenia's relations with the West in various spheres, including in the sphere of security? What can be the mechanisms for restraining the new policy of Armenia?

It seems that the current understanding of Armenia's narrow capacities and the possibilities of effectively containing Armenia's multilateral ties is somewhat exaggerated. There are no special disagreements on Armenia's military-political role between the West and Russia. This was repeatedly stated by NATO, US and European Union officials who do not see any problems in the relations between Armenia and Russia. And there is nothing unclear about this. The role of Armenia as a deterrent to the expansionist aspirations of Turkey and Azerbaijan is transparent both for the West, and for Russia and Iran. Here, all these instances cannot have serious disagreements. This role protects Armenia from disagreements between the indicated instances. Turkey becomes a big problem for regional and Western powers.

It is another matter that the world powers and Iran want to have a decisive impact on Armenia's policy. Here, of course, the contradictions can be serious. But even these contradictions create a balance of power around Armenia, which makes it possible for the latter to conduct effective policy of bilateral relations. These opportunities always existed, but the strong dependence of the illegitimate former authorities on Russia, was the main mechanism for isolating Armenia. There are no other effective mechanisms for such isolation. This circumstance became apparent during the period of the change of power in Armenia by the people's movement. Until now, many cannot understand why no one interfered in this process? They do not comprehend, because they do not realize the fact that no one simply could do it.

The new authorities of Armenia should be well aware of this circumstance and do not hesitate to have dialogues at the highest level with all countries and international organizations that are interested in our country. Old political myths must go away with the old authorities. This would be the most important result of the "velvet revolution".

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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