by Ashot Safaryan
Turkey may open its border with Armenia shortly, according to an item published on the website of the Voice of Russia Radio.
Referring to a Turkish newspaper Aksam, the author of the item says that Turkey is going to open up-to- date border crossings on the border with Armenia and Iran with the support of the EU. Demining activities have been launched in the eastern direction of the border. The project will cost nearly 52 million EUR. The Armenian-Georgian border undergoes modernization simultaneously.
The Turkey-Armenia-Georgia route may become quite busy, because Brussels never wastes money, though the Turkish-Armenian border is so far closed and the two countries have no diplomatic relations.
Armenia and Turkey signed the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" in Zurich on October 10 2009. Following Turkey's unwillingness to ratify the protocols and attempts to link ratification with the Karabakh conflict made President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan sign a decree on suspension of the procedure of ratification of the Armenian -Turkish protocols. Nevertheless, the relations of the two countries experience certain changes.
The author outlines the new geopolitical realities in the South Caucasus, Armenia's accession to the Customs Union and then to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). For Turkey the border with Armenia may get a status of the border with the EAEU.
"According to Today's Zaman, after the P5+1 and Iran agreed on a landmark deal in Geneva, Tehran is gradually getting out of the international isolation and becoming a big player in the region. Due to its stable trade and economic relations with Armenia, Iran gets a direct access to the Customs Union via Armenia - something that Turkey lacks so far. Consequently, the closed border with Armenia will no longer be a measure of political pressure for Turkey. It may become a problem of the lost economic opportunities. As regards Turkey's relations with Azerbaijan and its stance on the Karabakh conflict, it would be right encouraging Baku and Yerevan to establish a dialogue and achieve agreements. The experience of the so- called Arab spring and the Syrian conflict shows that such policy of Turkey just aggravates the situation and impedes the possibilities of the Turkish diplomacy. It was not for nothing that Turkey welcomed the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents after a two-year interval, which may lead to a 'road map' on the Karabakh peace process. Modernization of the Turkish-Armenian border and demining on the near-border areas shows that Ankara has a positive scenario and seems to be preparing to lift the blockade of Armenia," the author writes.