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Vice Speaker of Azeri Parliament: United States and Russia will come to terms on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement

Vice-speaker of Armenian parliament calls on Ankara to be impartial when assessing historical reality

Polish Ambassador to Armenia: Restart of Armenian-Turkish dialogue is a matter of time

Levon Zurabyan: Process for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide was started by Levon Ter-Petrosyan and ended by Serzh Sargsyan

Sergey Markedonov: Armenia is an interesting example of whether the Eurasian countries are able to remain committed to the principle of "two pipes"

Yerevan: Erdogan's statement of the Armenian genocide was made under the growing international pressure upon Ankara

Stefan Fule positively assesses Turkish prime minister's statement

Jen Psaki: USA welcomes Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's statement on the events at the beginning of the 20th century

US Congressman: Denial of the Armenian Genocide produced the Holocaust

US Ambassador on behalf of the president again promises a strong statement on the Armenian genocide

Armenian President's Staff: Erdogan's statement displays Turkey's policy of Armenian genocide denial in a more polished way

Reporters Without Borders calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Rauf Mirkadyrov

Russia's ambassador to Armenia: Mankind should correctly assess the events happened at the beginning of the 20th century

Armenian Assembly of America and Armenian National Committee of America make statements on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks regarding April 24th

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party: "Relations between Turkey and Armenia can be restored only after liberation of Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia"

Armenian Foreign Minister receives US Congressmen

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Armenian President appoints new ministers

Prime Minister of Canada addresses Armenian-Canadian community and qualifies events in early XX century as "the first genocide of the twentieth century"

Armenian President pays tribute to memory of Armenian Genocide victims

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April 24 is a mournful date in Armenian people's history

Bako Sahakyan: Armenian Genocide is considered as one of the heaviest crimes against humanity with no expiration date

Armenian President: We are convinced that the denial of Armenian Genocide constitutes the direct continuation of that very crime

Online Citizen Engagement Platform for Armenia

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

Regional

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Discussion of the Azerbaijani-Iranian relations on Culture and Tourism

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Georgian Premier Starts his Regional Tour

Georgian President to Hold Talks in Poland

Georgian Prime Minister Meets with EU Special Adviser

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

President Margvelashvili Meets Georgian Troops, Deployed in Afghanistan

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

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Rauf Mirkadyrov: In Karabakh peace process time is working to the benefit of Russia rather than Armenia or Azerbaijan

ArmInfo’s interview with Azerbaijani political expert Rauf Mirkadyrov

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Wednesday, February 12, 23:22

 

 

What can you say about the domestic political situations in Azerbaijan and Armenia following the latest elections?

 

When considering the domestic political developments in Armenia and Azerbaijan, one can see their striking difference from Georgia, whose society is permanently active. It is another question whether it is good or bad. The domestic political space of Azerbaijan has started reformatting to the extent of full removal of the previous information since 2005. Therefore, it is impossible to say that something has changed following the past presidential election in Azerbaijan. Yes, in the run-up to the election some attempts were made to stimulate the society and create a political space at last, but all the attempts were in vain. I think that unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia is experiencing certain domestic processes. The situation caused in the republic after September 3 is the best evidence of that. European integration supporters are much more than those several hundred people who are protesting against the president's decision to join the Customs Union. The fact that the domestic processes in Armenia are being reformatted is also proved by the refusal of the opposition, which had gained almost half of the votes during the past parliamentary election, to run in presidential election. It is mind-boggling. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was concerned over the March 2008 developments and he felt the fear of responsibility for their re-occurrence. The result was his rough mistake to join forces with Gagik Tsarukyan and that mistake weakened his protesting movement.

 

Do you observe any positive tendencies following the Armenian and Azeri Presidents’ meeting in Vienna after almost a two-year break?

 

Today we can observe both positive and negative tendencies in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and both come from Armenia's decision to join the Customs Union. Before Sept 3 2013 both the Azerbaijanis and the Armenians were confident that time was working to their benefit: the former relied on growing economy, oil and gas and Armenia's partial isolation, the latter on control of territories, which will sooner or later be fixed in some form in the international law. But my opinion – and Sept 3 has proved this - is that in reality time is working to the benefit of Russia. By saying on Sept 3 that Armenia could not be in different military-political and economic spaces at one and the same time Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan openly admitted that security was the key factor that made him decide to join the Customs Union.  But the Armenians still have a little time. If they changed their position in one day, they can do it in six months, can't they?

 

How will the Karabakh peace process benefit from it?  

 

The situation that has arisen after September 3 is pushing Armenia and to some extent Azerbaijan for settlement, because strongly dependent on the priorities of Russia, which has very powerful geopolitical interests in the region, Armenia, in turn, contradicts Azerbaijan's interests. Armenia, as a member of the Customs Union, deprives Baku of possible maneuvering in the game with Russia and subsequently threatens it. It appears that the given circumstance is a stimulus for both Armenia and Azerbaijan to come to an agreement on Karabakh within the months left before Armenia's accession to the Customs Union, though there is very little time left. Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent trip to Armenia, which started with a symbolic visit to the Russian 102nd military base was a red flag shown to the West. In other words, Putin claimed that Russia had no intention to leave and that Russia was going to strengthen its position in the South Caucasus. Putin's statement was rather ambitious given that Georgia staked out its own position long ago and Azerbaijan has no intention to join the Customs Union either.  Therefore, Russia, which has strengthened its influence in Armenia, will do everything possible to torpedo the Karabakh peace process.

 

Why should Russia, which has big domestic problems, focus on reintegration of the USSR? 

 

It is very hard to explain why Russia is concentrating its vast resources to reintegrate the USSR as it hardly needs either Armenia or Azerbaijan. In case of Ukraine, much is said about what Moscow has given to Kyiv, but nothing is said about what it wants to take in exchange.  Economically speaking, Russia does not need Ukraine even though it has certain economic interests in that country. In fact, the post-Soviet republics have just 15% of Russia's foreign trade as the bigger part of it is energy imports to the West. So, what Russia is really after is not economic interests. As any land power, Russia regards any neighboring territory as its own, unlike sea powers, like the UK or France, who regarded their overseas territories as their colonies and therefore had no problems with letting them free. Today Russian President Vladimir Putin has nothing to give to his society, and so, the restoration of the USSR – in one way or another - has become the trademark of his comeback to the Kremlin.

 

Recently Moscow has actively been inviting Tehran to a “new non-aligned security system” in the region that includes the South Caucasus. Why is Moscow doing that and what role does the Geneva interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program play here?  

 

I think, in fact, the situation around Iran, at least its role in the geopolitical axis system has undergone almost no changes. I believe all the preliminary agreements on Iran reached in Geneva were nothing but a timeout for Russia, the West and Iran itself.

 

So, the talk on the loyalty of “new Iran” to the United States is groundless, isn’t it?  

 

If Tehran suddenly changes its attitude towards the US, there can be no non-aligned union in the region. To become a loyal state, Iran needs reformatting of its whole domestic political space the way it happened in 1978-1979. Within the 35 years after the Islamic Revolution, a totally new political space was created in Iran, and it claimed that "The US is an evil empire".  It is impossible to change that space within 6 months. Khamenei will simply be unable to explain such sudden transformation. The matter concerns complete cancellation of Iranian geopolitics in the Middle East. Moreover, how can one speak of a "non-aligned system" if Russia is present in it?  Consequently, no such interregional alliance is possible in practice. Russia has its own interests in the region and they run counter to the US interests. If Iran suddenly becomes loyal to the USA, these contradictions will cover Iran as well. Russia is most of all interested in torpedoing the continuation of the Geneva process. So, for the moment the only allies of the USA in the region are Turkey, whose services are still useful to Washington, and Israel, which is isolated from the neighbors by Iran's efforts. Everyone is aware of the current state of Russian economy. If Iranian oil enters the global market, the Russian oil prices will be below 100 USD per barrel at least for a year. Such a price will not be good enough for the Russian budget. So, no sudden changes are likely to happen in the Iran-West relationship in the near future.

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