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One of Orange subscribers to become the VIP guest of Cannes Film Festival

Vazgen Sargsyan's brother appointed Advisor to Armenian Defence Minister

RPA minister: If Kocharyan wants to return to the politics, let him do that openly

Serzh Sargsyan: Not one drop of Lake Sevan water goes to Azerbaijan

"Hraparak": Artur Bagdasaryan appointed as a head of CSTO Academy Council

Within the frames of charitable action Anelik Bank staff gathers 1 billion AMD to help Kessab Armenians

Armenia on the second position among post-Soviet countries by the number of EU visa denials

Director of Ichthyology and Hydroecology Institute: Higher maximum admissible level of water release from Sevan to have a negative effect on the lake's ecosystem

Hraparak newspaper: Tigran Sargsyan will be appointed Armenia's Ambassador to USA

Karen Karapetyan has no intention to take any post in the government staff

Serzh Sargsyan has not yet offered parliament speaker's position to Galust Sahakyan

Hovik Abrahamyan: Pension reform in Armenia must be mandatory, but not binding

Serj Tankian: Both Armenians and Turks deserve leaders and governments

Hovik Abrahamyan introduces the newly appointed Economy Minister Karen Chshmarityan

Vacheh Gabrielyan appointed top advisor to prime minister of Armenia

Successful experience of first two Ameria Generation projects of 2012-2013 encourages Ameriabank to launch the third project in 2014

ARFD: Unlike Tigran Sargsyan, Hovik Abrahamyan is ready for concessions

Gagik Tsarukyan: Consultations between political forces and civil sector underway

Oppositionist: Serzh Sargsyan shuts down for Robert Kocharyan the way towards the power

Laura Bagdasaryan: Having proclaimed me Mata Hari, the authorities of Azerbaijan are striving to put the lid on the people's diplomacy

In Q1 2014 Areximbank-Gazprombank Group registers net profit of 289mln AMD

Politician: President of Armenia does not want to fray relations with the West. For this reason, he does not recall his signature from under the Armenian-Turkish Protocols

Robert Kocharyan: Constitution should be reformed only in case if it must not but be reformed

Council of Field Commanders to convene in Republican Square on 23 April

Hraparak newspaper: Galust Sahakyan to head parliament

Robert Kocharyan: Regretfully, Serzh Sargsyan did not perceive the difference between sincere concern over country's fate and exulting over poor performance of the authorities

New parliament speaker and ministers may be named at RPA Executive Body's meeting on 26 April

Armenian President visits Teghut copper and molybdenum mine

Armenian PM: Support of business will be a top priority for us

Well-known French filmmaker Robert Gedikian shoots film about Armenian Genocide

Newspaper: Armenian Government to shortly ease tax burden on SMEs

Newspaper: Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan will shortly urge officials and parliamentarians to refuse from salary increase

David Haroutiunyan appointed as Government Chief of Staff

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

Yana Amelina: There is no configuration for returning Karabakh within Azerbaijan

Interview of the head of Caucasus Studies Department under Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Yana Amelina, with ArmInfo news agency

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Friday, January 31, 12:59

Russia has been strengthening the 102nd military base and air defence group in Armenia. It has also rented “Erebuni” airport. What is the reason of that? Who such strengthening is directed against? How much does it meet Armenia’s interests?

 Reinforcement of the 102nd Russian military base in Armenia is not surprising, given that security is Eurasian Union's best trump card. I think, it is of utmost importance for Armenia amid the constant threat of war in the region. In the light of the ongoing internal processes in Turkey and Azerbaijan and the general growth of inadequacy in the region, the 102nd military base must be reinforced to meet any turn of events. I mean protection of Armenia and Russia's interests, of course. Therefore, what we observe now is not surprising,  Russia's growing military presence in Armenia is aimed against the same countries as before - in the Soviet period - against Turkey, first of all. In this light, Russia committed a blunder at the time doing Georgia's bidding and destroying the system of its bases in the region and withdrawing the bases from Akhalkalaki and Batumi.

At resent, the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri, Armenia, is being actively re-equipped with new artillery missiles systems and armored vehicles. Particularly, 9K58 Smerch 300mm Multiple Launch Rocket Systems have already been delivered to the base. Simultaneously, the aviation base No.3624 at the Erebuni Airport in Yerevan with MiG-29 jet fighter aircrafts escadrille will be armed with an escadrille of helicopters.  A United Armenian-Russian anti-aircraft system is being established. It is equipped with S- 300 PS (PM) anti aircraft systems, Krug ZRK-SD (2K11) air defense systems, 2P25M1 Kub anti-aircraft missile system, S-300V/ mobile Anti Ballistic Missile system and 9K37M1-2 Buk-M1-2 (Ural) – missile systems as well as the Russian anti-aircraft systems deployed in the North Caucasus.

How logical is Russia’s striving to attract former republics of the USSR through organizing of the “march of thousands of captive guestarbiters” at Moscow streets, or hysteria in mass media regarding an Azerbaijani-killer from Birylevo or an Armenian that killed 18 people?

The point is that the persons you are speaking about were not absolutely innocent.

Nobody saysthat…

In case of Biryulevo, the point was not at all that an Azerbaijani Zeynalov killed a Russian guy Sherbakov. The point is that Moscow as well as other Russian cities are tired of the beyond of control migration. As a Moscow resident, I can say that the migration situation has been changing towards the negative side. Today they speak about establishment of the emigration ghetto which de-facto are already available in Moscow, for instance in Biryulevo. Naturally, Moscow residents are not happy for such an abnormal situation, which is not justified even from the economic point of view. As  for the story of the Armenian driver Harutyunyan, it is a tragical event. Nevertheless, both incidents were extraordinary. But if a man was crushed to death by Harutyunyan's car, this accident would not be beyond the frames of ordinary accident history. However, too many people died because of the accident and Russian mass media could not simply ignore it.

Do you mean that it was not done on the state level?

There is no doubt the situation was not poisoned at the state level. To be confident, one should simply see how many Armenians and Azerbaijanis live in Russia. The south of Krasnodar region, and Shochi, in particular, have de-facto become Armenian, but not everybody are happy for such a fact. However, we do not discuss such issues at the federal and regional level. It conveys a great deal. For this reason, discussion of extraordinary situations is unfortunately extremely emotional. However, if the driver was not Armenian but, for instance, American, undoubtedly mass media would touch on the American topic with the same zeal.  

Iranian experts always say about the necessity of cooperation with Russia, in particular, in the south Caucasus. How do you imagine such cooperation? What does it suppose especially after the Genevaconference?

 I think it is still early to say that the Russian-Iranian relations will be radically changed. The Iranian policy is very much complex and, alas, contradictory. For this reason, it is not always possible to trust in Iran. For this reason, I would not link power change in Iran with new opportunities in foreign policy. Of course, certain improvement and changing is possible, but one should not wait for more. In fact, today we do not understand what Iran expects from its relations with Russia. As a rule, the intentions declared by Teheran, meet serious disagreements at the stage of their fulfillment.  

 

 

May I suppose that you mean aspiration of Iran to export Shiite Islam to Russia?

 

The Russian Muslims are chiefly Sunni, whereas the Shiite Iran has been more and more offering Moscow its own ways for settlement of problems of radical Islamism, in particular, of  the Sunni Vahabism. Moreover, Iran is striving to spread its influence on the Russian Muslims. This topic was not discussed several years ago, but at present it is gradually gaining voice. The religious factors are more and more playing a bigger part than even economy and policy. There are many disagreements between Moscow and Teheran. For this reason,  Russia and Iran have to delay development of relations a little.

 

Since losing a part of the NATO outpost the Turkish policy “zero problem with neighbors” has transformed into the policy “no neighbor without problems”. Nevertheless, Ankara is trying to move forward in the south Caucasus. Will you please comment on such a policy?  

 

Although it is obvious that Turkey has lost the role NATO's outpost and despite failure of the Turkish policy "zero problem with neighbours" and its failure in Syria, today Turkey has serious prospects to enhance its influence in the region.

An ocean of young energy has been accumulated in Turkey today, which should be directed somewhere, as the Turkish market is too narrow. Russia itself needs the youth and energy of the Turkish society. I think that all this young energy is gaining the Islamist color thanks to natural course of events. That is to say, it will not be liberal and will not be oriented towards Europe. Turkey has already informally abandoned a silly and absolutely unreal attempt to find itself within Europe. And Islamism has remained the only option for Turkey, not the one functioning in Saudi Arabia, the countries of Persian Gulf or in Egypt, but just the political islamism. Political islamism goes on feeding pan-Turanian projects very well, especially if we take into consideration the fact that Turkic nations living at the post-Soviet area feel certain historical community with the Turks. The expert said that one should not overemphasize this community after split of the Ottoman empire and other events. Nevertheless, despite changing of coordinates of Turkey in the world, this topic still remains. Turkey has been gradually walking the way of the political Islamism and will go on developing in this way. Let's take Georgia. Here the influence of the Turkish political,

economic and religious influence is obvious. And Ajaria is a bright sample of that. Today we see the growth of the Turkish influence in Abkhazia too, although the Abkhazians try to build their national state. As for Armenia, one should not wait for the growth of Turkish political influence in this country. As for the growth of the Turkish economic presence in Armenia, I think it is sexed up.

 

Do the Armenian-Turkish relations have any prospect in the system of coordinated described by you?

 The Armenian-Turkish relations in the available new system of coordinates practically have no prospect. They may have prospects only if Armenia abandons its statehood, which, I am confident, will never happen. It is clear that Turkey will increase pressure upon Armenia, including with a help of Azerbaijan, and this is normal. It is obvious that any programmes for settlement of the Armenian-Turkish relations will be directly linked with Karabakh settlement. It was funny to observe how this fact was abandoned at the very beginning of the "football diplomacy", but later nevertheless found itself on the agenda. I am confident that the Karabakh conflict cannot be de-jure settled today, although de-facto it was settled long ago since establishment of Nagornyy Karabakh Republic waiting for the international recognition. For this reason, one should not wait for returning of this state within

Azerbaijan, as it is simply impossible. There is simply no geo-political configuration which supposes returning of the NKR within Azerbaijan. For this reason, I am rather pessimistic to unblocking of Armenia by Turkey in the near future. Actually, it is not clear, if Armenia and Turkey need it.

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