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ARMENIA - RUSSIA RELATIONSHIP: IS WASHINGTON ABLE TO SEE REALITY?

Публикации | Michael SEMENOV | 08.10.2014 | 00:00

A few days before Armenia’s entry into the Eurasian Union the IMF mission in the country came out with open threats against the Armenian government. Western internet-media outlets went on a rampage. US and Armenian experts made public a notable report called Armenia and the West: A New Vision for the Caucasus prepared by a group of writers participating in the workshop of Policy Forum Armenia, PFA. In early June this organization held a behind closed doors roundtable with US Atlantic Council in Washington laying out guidelines for developing Armenia’s Relations with the West and a new vision for the Caucasus. According to official information, «the workshop built upon the discussions that took place in May 2013 (on Armenia-NATO relations), which brought together a prominent line-up of experts and policymakers with interest in Armenia and the Caucasus. Participants of the workshop included high-level representatives from the State Department, Pentagon, National Security Council, main foreign policy think tanks headquartered in Washington». They say everybody has a right for his own point of view, including the organization which would be better called a «Political Forum of America for Armenia»… The point of view it presents is especially intriguing against the background of the events in the Middle East, Ukraine and the Caucasus.

The expert’s report came out at pre-arranged time. The assessments and the would-be scenarios for further development of situation in the region make it worth to be paid serious attention on. The report is fraught with propaganda clichés, which are abundantly used by US experts on post-Soviet space. Talking about South Caucasus, US analysts have never stood out for deep knowledge or ability to come up with constructive ideas. The impartiality of their opinions has never been confirmed by ongoing or past events in the region. Many ideas are almost fully taken from local political scholars, especially those who use invention to make the facts sound the way Washington scholars want them to. More or less the ideas are related to the US plans implemented in the Black Sea-Caucasus region. 

What did the report’s authors want to say? Actually they wanted to emphasize one idea that has become more relevant lately for the White House, the Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The idea is as simple as that – Russia is a destructive force in the South Caucasus. They use Russia-Armenia relationship to prove the point. The strategic partnership between Moscow and Yerevan is what the PFA report prepared by anonymous writers is targeted at. 

The forum participants paint themselves as representatives of pragmatic idealism able to define an independent policy aimed at integration of the historical motherland interests and the global goals pursued by the US. They say Armenia can steer a really independent course by developing ties with the United States and NATO. Of course, Russia is the main hindrance on the way of pragmatic and idealistic movement of the Republic towards the «bright» US-NATO future. 

Yerevan announced its intent to join the Eurasian Union on September 3 and the country lost the remaining vestiges of sovereignty. That’s what is stated in the chapter devoted to the Armenia-Russia relations. The government of the Caucasian republic has made a mistake by allowing to be dragged into the Eurasian integration block while dancing to Moscow’s tune. The Kremlin allegedly sticks to the policy of coercion to influence the Armenia’s decision making process. The writers believe that the Eurasian choice has already put Armenia to shame (as proponents of Euro-Atlantic choice see the things) and the September 3, 2013 decision will inevitably lead the country to war. 

It’s interesting to note that Americans, not Europeans, make especially vibrant harangues about pluses and minuses of Eurasian integration. Talking about developing ties between Armenia and multinational structures they mention only the Eurasian Union and the European Union, never the North American free trade zone. The writers admit that the economic programs implemented together with US funds in Armenia, like USAID, for instance, proved to be ineffective. 

An outstanding feature of the report is the shift of accents from supporting regional status-quo to shaking the balance of forces in Nagorno Karabakh. The stymied situation there appears to be advantageous only to Russia. It explains why the balance of forces, preferences and interests that has existed for the recent twenty years should be changed. The South Caucasian reset should focus on reforming the Russia-Armenia ties that are viewed as archaic, too confidential and tainted by corruption as well as other regressive factors. At least that’s what the paper says. Russia is painted as an odious force which arms Azerbaijan with offensive weapons and facilitates the process of depopulation in Armenia. The Armenian adepts of Western choice turn a blind eye on the fact that the Russia’s military supplies to the only ally in the region by far exceed what is offered to Baku. They also prefer to ignore the fact that the money sent back from Russia by Armenia labor immigrants account for 80% of the private transfers to the country what is equal up to 15% (1) of the Armenian GDP. 

The words about the destructive role played by Russia in the Republic evoke special surprise as the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh worsened in the summer of the current year. Where were Americans and Europeans when the Moscow diplomacy urgently convened a high-level meeting in Sochi to tackle the burning issue? The question is simple. Of course, they were busy inventing new sanctions against Moscow. To strike with trade and economic punitive measures – that’s the best example of constructive approach. But putting out fire in the explosive hot spot is a reflection of «Russian imperialism». That’s how ‘white color» experts in Washington perceive the reality. 

By joining the Eurasian Union Armenia makes itself a submissive satellite of Russia. The authors see Crimea as an egregious example confirming this vision. They believe that only under Moscow’s pressure Armenia voted against the well-known United Nations General Assembly resolution on Ukraine’ territorial integrity. They ignore the fact that voting otherwise on Crimea would entail outright negative affect on the situation in Nagorno Karabakh. That’s what West-oriented experts from Yerevan pretend not to notice. The Americans always raise the issue of national sovereignty with a tongue in cheek. They like to warn others about the prospects of falling under outside influence. At that, nobody in the contemporary world has done more to damage the notion of «state sovereignty» than the United States. The USA takes sovereignty away from the states that have become their geopolitical targets and simply does away with it. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria – these same o' same o' examples. There are many other less prominent victims of this policy as the role of US administration is often kept away from spotlight. Is France, the largest Western nuclear power, a sovereign state? The US hinders the implementation of Mistral amphibious assault ship deal with Russia leaving thousands of Saint-Nazaire shipyard workers without jobs. If such a powerful state as the «Fifth Republic» (and even the whole European Union as the recent Joe Biden’s remarks confirm) cannot stand up to the pressure exerted by the military superpower, then what should one say about the sovereignty of East European states?! Talking about lack of state sovereignty is hardly advantageous for American analysts that the Armenian political scholars are trying to please saying what they want to hear. 

Going back to reshaping the existing status quo in the South Caucasus by the United States and its partners, it would serve the purpose to cite a provision from the paper in question. It offers three scenarios of the way the events could unfold in and around Nogorno Karabakh. One of them is an example of egregious arrogance. Armenia continues to control Nagorno Karabakh while (literally as the report say), «Under a new leadership, Armenia retains control of NK and forms a partnership with Azerbaijan to prevent the territory from disintegrating further». PFA is a serious organization. But such a scenario could take root and shape as an idea only in a perverted mind that sees the present stand-off between Armenia and Azerbaijan in a very much distorted way. These very words - «...However, in pursuit of its own interests, Armenia could help secure Azerbaijan from further disintegrating… by forming a security alliance with Baku...» are delicately omitted by Russian speaking interpreters. Instead of accurately citing the report they try to push to the fore the scenario which is the most favorable for Armenia - obtaining the needed economic and defence resources to not only maintain control over Nagorno Karabakh and stability in the region but also to make emerge a South Caucasian market. Feel the difference as they say!

It’s not an occasion this masterpiece of analytical thought has appeared now. For the authors the main target is the Russia-Armenia relationship. They want to turn it back or at least make it as complicated as you can, especially before the Armenia’s entry into the Eurasian Union. They show how the events may unfold in future. The writers take it for granted that the United States will be the outside force to form the «Armenia-Azerbaijan partnership» on the iffy basis which does not correspond to the South Caucasian realities. 

Thus, anything will do to push Russia out of the region, even threats and making Armenia destitute of state sovereignty. It all will be used in case the US-influenced forces in Armenia will tackle the unsettled Nagorno Karabakh dispute and form a «partnership» with the counterparts from Azerbaijan to protect the latter one from disintegration. 

Foto: 1in.am

Армения пропаганда Россия США



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