Newsfeed

In corporate strategy for 2014 Araratbank gives special priority to activities of businesswomen

Rostelecom provides a number of educational establishments in Abovyan with free superhigh- speed Internet services starting from March 1

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group to provide customers with free non-chip MasterCards under a campaign for motorists

MasterCard holders among VTB Group's Armenian customers can withdraw cash from VTB Group's ATM network at the same tariffs as at VTB Bank (Armenia)

Orange offers an innovative solution for internet and fixed phone services

Lyova Khachatryan: Prosperous Armenia Party will not demand resignation of Armenian President

Political expert rules out an external factor in Tigran Sargsyan's resignation

Edward Nalbandian and Seyran Ohanyan reappointed

Armenian political expert skeptical about viability of "the union of the four"

Moscow: Fulfillment of "road map" will allow Armenia to join Customs Union and Eurasian Economic Union

Gagik Makaryan: Appointment of Hovik Abrahamyan as Prime Minister is intended to ease political and social tension in Armenia rather than deepen reforms

Tatul Manaseryan: Hovik Abrahamyan is able to find a common language even with the opposition

Naira Zohrabyan: The new premier of Armenia should not continue the programme of his predecessor

Deputy Head of Heritage Party: Appointment of Hovik Abrahamyan as prime minister aims to tie Prosperous Armenia Party's hand and foot

Member of the parliament: Hovik Abrahamyan is a compromising man at the position of Armenia's prime minister

Boris Navasardyan: Appointment of Hovik Abrahamyan as prime minister meets oligarchs' aspirations

Hovik Abrahamyan starts forming the new Cabinet

Stepan Safaryan: Conflict of business-interests of Tsarukyan and Kocharyan is not ruled out in the near future

Moscow: One should draw no parallels between Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh

Tigran Urikhanyan: Prosperous Armenia Party does not consider joining ruling coalition

Serzh Sargsyan: State budget is inviolable and bribery is forbidden

Sources: Along with prime minister’s post, RPA determined to make some other staff reshuffles – Sharmazanov taking parliament speaker’s position, Haroutiunyan going back to the justice ministry, while Sargsyan to engage in diplomacy

Ruling Party entrusts Hovik Abrahamyan with power of prime minister

Yerevan Brandy Company is number one brandy producer in Armenia and number one exporter, Henri Reynaud says

Sargsyan-Abrahamyan-Tsarukyan meeting underway at Armenian President's palace

Activist of "I'm Against" initiative calls on citizens to make no utility payments until the mechanism automatically transferring pension interest to funds is cancelled

"I'm Against" civic initiative intends to apply to court against State Revenue Committee

Ivan Volynkin: Annual Conference of Russian Compatriots makes an invaluable contribution to development of relations between Armenia and Russia

CJSC "South Caucasus Railway" to participate in the Caucasus Tourism Fair - 2014

Turkish FM: The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has acted beyond its competence by adopting a hastily and ineptly prepared draft resolution

Converse Bank goes on upgrading its offices

Orange continues making smartphones more available

ANC: Draft of constitutional reforms has been published because Serzh Sargsyan wants to divert public attention from political crisis

Turcologist: If Turkish lobbyists don't do a "dirty" job, US Senate will recognize Armenian Genocide

Staff of Anelik Bank joins Jinishian Memorial Foundation's charitable action in support of Kessab Armenians

ARFD: One of reasons why US Senate Committee has passed an Armenian Genocide resolution is spoiled relations between Turkey and US

Ruling party of Turkey: Turkish-U.S. relations can deteriorate if the U.S. doesn't take into consideration Turkey's interests in the Armenian genocide issue

VTB Bank (Armenia) enlarges network of ATMs

Arshak Sadoyan: The RPA determines the PAP's position at "barricades"

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group mulls increasing loan portfolio growth target in 2014

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group mulls increasing loan portfolio growth target in 2014

U.S. Department rep parries question about recognition of Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Empire

Regional

Vice-Speaker of Israeli Knesset to Deliver in Tbilisi Lecture on Israeli-Arabic Relations

German Chancellor Invites Garibashvili to Visit her Country

Georgian Foreign Minister to Visit Germany

Georgian Foreign Minister Attends International Conference in Vilnius

President to Have Exclusive Right to Grant Georgian Citizenship

NATO Week in Georgia Starts Today

Discussion of the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations on Culture and Tourism

Chief of General Staff of the RF to visit Baku

Ilham Aliyev will visit NAR

Georgian Premier Starts his Regional Tour

Georgian President to Hold Talks in Poland

Georgian Prime Minister Meets with EU Special Adviser

Erdogan is arriving in Baku

Simplification of the visa regime between the EU and Azerbaijan may occur in the summer

U.S. Embassy: Any allegations that US government representatives are trying to foment a revolution in Azerbaijan are absolutely absurd

Foreign Minister of Afghanistan to Pay Official Visit to Georgia

Georgian Foreign Ministry Makes Strict Statement, Concerning Referendum in the Crimea

President Margvelashvili Meets Georgian Troops, Deployed in Afghanistan

Georgian Premier and Afghan Foreign Minister Discuss Two Countries' Relations

Georgian Premier Holds Official Dinner in Honor of Romanian Prime Minister

Analyst: The USA invested $5 billion to directly support Maidan

Georgian Ambassador to Japan Hands over Credentials to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan.

Tbilisi Hosts Annual PDP Conference

NATO May Accelerate Georgia's Integration and Grant it MAP because of the Crimea Problem

Georgian Ambassador to Lithuania Addresses Seimas

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister in Baku

Gerhard Schroeder will make a speech in Baku

Putin is unable to persuade the leader of the Crimean Tatars

Georgian Defence Minister Attends NATO Defence Ministerial

Saakashvili is Offered High Post in Kiev

Exclusive

Sergey Markedonov: People living in Crimea and Karabakh saw no future for the countries they were attached to

Vahram Avanesyan: It is impossible to achieve serious results by means of standard and framework reforms

Wayne Merry: Situation around Ukraine is a serious alarm that the South Caucasus political nucleus must be seriously revised

Dariusz Prasek: EBRD demands absolute transparency from companies

Sargis Hatspanyan: When it comes to the change of regime in Armenia, the West washes hands of it

Andrey Yepivantsev: Only time may show if we have opened Pandora's box in the Crimea or not

Giorgi Tarkhan-Mouravi: Confrontation around the Crimea will speed up Ukraine's European integration

Ivan Kukhta: Ukraine has received a chance to be totally reset

Vaidotas Verba: Eastern Partnership project is not directed against anybody, it is simply for open opportunities

Vladimir Yevseev: The only way out of the situation in Ukraine for the West is through negotiations with Russia

Edward Sharmazanov: The principle of peoples’ right to self-determination tends to dominate in the world

Gevorg Poghosyan: Armenia is on an explosive-timing device and may explode at any moment

Sergey Grinyayev: Armenia has just to realize its status of an essential partner for Russia

Grigory Tishchenko: Strengthening of Russia’s positions in the South Caucasus will contribute to peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Artak Shakaryan: Armenia and Diaspora should be ready for Turkey’s imitative policy in the matter of Armenian Genocide recognition

Hovhannes Igityan: Only reason why they 'invited' Armenia into the Customs Union was to show Europe who wears the pants in the post-Soviet area

Alexander Voronin: ANELIK has almost 20% of all money transfers in the CIS

Andrey Areshev: One should consider the launch of Abkhazian railway along with Russia's expansion into markets of South Caucasus and Middle East

ArmInfo’s interview with Andrey Areshev

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Monday, January 20, 13:18

What fundamental changes do you see in the security system of the South Caucasus over the last five years?

After the protracted status quo around Abkhazia and South Ossetia was broken by the August 8 War, and with Russia's political, diplomatic and military methods, restoration of the relations between Moscow and Tbilisi will actually be a long process. Anyway, the process has started with a constructive dialogue, which is a necessity, I think, given Russia's growing role of the security and stability guarantor in the South Caucasus. Moscow plays a big role in maintenance of peace in the region, exerting certain efforts to resolve the conflicts in the South Caucasus. The USA and EU, and the regional powers - Turkey and Iran, are also actively trying to influence the processes in the region offering their multi-level peaceful and even not-peaceful initiatives.

However, the Armenian-Turkish border still remains blocked as the normalization of the two countries relations was linked to the Karabakh conflict. In this light, we saw how limited are the efforts of the Turkish diplomacy. Such limitations are observed also in other countries. 

Well, do you think that reactivation of the Abkhazian section of the railway that links Armenia and Russia is among the topics of the Russian-Georgian dialogue?

Georgia and Abkhazia have recently understood the need for breakthrough mechanisms ensuring normal economic and communication exchange in the South Caucasus region. This is why the unblocking of the Abkhazian section of the railway linking Armenia with Russia is one of the most important issues in the Russian-Georgian dialogue. Certainly, this dialogue includes the issue of unblocking of the main transport routes. The resumption of the railway and motor service via Abkhazia is an extremely important issue for Armenia. It is actively being discussed, but it is quite obvious that there are serious political obstacles for this project. Both Georgia and Abkhazia have recently changed their attitude towards this project, because creation of such mechanisms would mostly predetermine the outcome of the diplomatic talks. One can say with confidence that a new war or conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia or South Ossetia does not meet the interests of Russia, which stakes on new integration formations in the post-Soviet area. I’d like to say that the region faces the risk of extension of cross-border threats such as terrorism, drug trafficking, and potential destructive ideas. This brings Russia closer to the South Caucasus countries, including Georgia, thereby creating additional opportunities for a dialogue and cooperation.

What does particularly impede reopening of the Abkhazian section of the railway?      

There are external and internal obstacles in the way of unblocking of the Abkhazian section of the railway. Among the internal prerequisites, I would first of all mention Azerbaijan's 20-year-old aspiration to isolate Armenia from any communication projects. The stance of some allies of Azerbaijan is also one of the prerequisites.

Armenia has probably taken into consideration the survey of International Alert (UK) about the prospects of reconstruction of the Abkhazian railway, which has been idle since 1991. They have made rather substantiated estimations but, in general, they have arrived at the conclusion that the railway operation is inefficient, first of all, because the possible cargo traffic is insufficient. I think this point of view sounds somewhat cunning. If considered alongside with Russia's expansion into the markets of the South Caucasus and the Middle East in the context of construction of the North-South corridor, this issue will sound quite different.

Not everything is formed on the basis of mere economy and pragmatic calculations.  There is geopolitics, which eventually influences economy. There are also issues related to development of the region and Armenia's integration into the future Eurasian Economic Space. There are also external prerequisites to launch the Abkhazian section of the railway, and this issue should be considered with regard to Abkhazia, because there are roads linking Armenia to Russia via the Upper Lars checkpoint and these roads are operating.

In Armenia and Azerbaijan they think that the balance of forces on the line of contact of the three parties to the Karabakh conflict is maintained exclusively due to their own efforts. What is Russia’s role in preservation of the status quo? 

 

Certainly, the status quo and balance of forces are maintained also by the efforts of the conflicting parties. However, Russia's role in the process is tangible enough, specifically in maintenance of the power balance. It is not a secret that  resumption of military actions in the region is an extremely negative scenario for us, with all that it implies. In this light, Moscow tries to link resolution of the conflicts in the region to other interests and positions of some regional and global actors. For instance, the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in Vienna was a result of Yerevan's integration in Russia's Eurasian projects. Besides, the Kremlin maintains the balance of forces in the region at several levels. Mechanisms - bilateral military-political and strategic cooperation of Russia and Armenia and a similar cooperation within the CSTO. Naturally, Russia cooperates also with Azerbaijan in a variety of fields, and this cooperation is much deeper than it may seem at first sight. 

What is the role of Russian arms deliveries to Azerbaijan in the above strategy of Moscow?

 I think that the Caucasus policy of Russia, first of all, has a purpose of prevention of a large-scale war in the Karabakh conflict zone.  Such a policy is a long-term one and is based on the strategy for prevention of external provocations which may theoretically become a sparkle for inflammation of this frozen conflict. The forthcoming new stage of the Russia-Iran partnership will create new opportunities for prevention of the new Karabakh war.  Taking into consideration the fact that because of several reasons Iran is not interested in worsening of the situation at its northern border, especially in the regions populated by the people called Azerbaijanis, this partnership may be rather fruitful.

Due to Armenia’s upcoming accession to CU, arms deliveries to Azerbaijan, increasing military presence of Russia in Armenia, and some other similar steps have significantly strengthened Russia’s positions in the region. Will that become a factor help us see a lights at the end of the tunnel in the Karabakh conflict?

very time when events happen in the South Caucasus, which are evidence of Russia's strengthening, in certain centres they immediately remember about the unsettled Karabakh conflict, and about the necessity of more effective mediation in the conflict.

In this context, I should say that before Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting in Vienna that took place after a two-year break, several leading western mass media published articles predicting a new large-scale war around Karabakh. Naturally, such propaganda publications hinder development of a normal and effective dialogue for finding of the way for peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict.  I am sure that the true Karabakh settlement may be based only on a mutual compromise. However, the "Madrid principles" contain no compromise because of their crudity.  Without implementation of the available agreements on prevention of incidents at the border and at the line of contact, mutual compromises foreseen by these principles are practically impossible.

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)


Your name


Message


Comments

View comments (0)
  • READ ALL COMMENTS
  • POST A COMMENT

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields