PanARMENIAN.Net - So, what was the reason behind this: reluctance to oppose Azerbaijan, taking into account Gabala radar station and Gazprom contracts, or total indifference to Nagorno Karabakh issue and Armenia, or maybe simply lack of interest to South Caucasus where Russia is increasingly losing its positions? Russia is yielding not only because of increased role of U.S., but its own arrogance as well – it believes that the South and North Caucasus “have no other place to go”. This viewpoint is very dangerous, and it has no serious grounds. Some members of the Armenian Diaspora in Russia justify Kremlin’s move by the week-end festivities on the occasion of 200th anniversary of Borodino battle, claiming Russia did not care for the extradition. This logic implies that Baku and Budapest should have either rushed or put off their actions until Moscow is done with its holiday.
Nikolay Bordyuzha, CSTO Secretary General broke the silence on Monday. The reason is clear: Armenia will host CSTO joint military drills in September, and ignoring the issue would be quite improper. Russia’s Foreign Ministry followed Bordyuzha’s example, considering further silence to be simply undue. However, seeds of distrust to Russia, spread in the Armenian society back in 1921 may seriously complicate the Armenian-Russian ties. If Yerevan swallows the Russian pill again, one can definitely state that Armenia has completely fallen under Russia’s influence and become almost another province of the Federation.
Realizing this is painful; still, if this is the option Moscow prefers most, Armenia will have to select its partners basing on its interests and not on “centuries-long friendship”, at least once in its history. In fact, Russia had difficulties in choosing between Azerbaijan and Armenia as its closest ally. Well, it seemed to have made the choice now, but doesn’t want to go for risk, for the reasons above.
This entire story with Ramil Safarov’s extradition and pardon came as a slap by Ilham Aliyev in the face of the international community, and European institutions, in the first place. This was the result of the “caviar diplomacy”, which has been successfully carried out in structures like PACE, Council of Europe and other seemingly respectable institutions for several years already.
Or, maybe, Azerbaijan has just bought a seat of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Anything is possible in a world that buys and sells anything, while moral principles are simply disregarded.
Further development of events depends on Armenia: if Yerevan really recognizes independence of Nagorno Karabakh Republic, it will put an end to the negotiation process. If this happens, one should bear in mind that this campaign with extradition and recognition of Karabakh is well staged. The OSCE Minsk Group has exhausted its activities, and it’s clear that this format will no longer produce anything. However, the co-chairs are necessary to at least demonstrate a timely reaction to the potential escalation of the conflict. By securing support of U.S. which has turned Azerbaijan into a springboard against Iran, Ilham Aliyev may attempt to unleash the war. In this case, Armenia can perhaps expect support not only from Russia, which simply has no other option, but Iran as well.
Actually, Iran is a very interesting ally, particularly in the context of its relations with Baku which are increasingly deteriorating now. Also, Iran borders on Karabakh and protects the joint frontier pretty well.
As to Russia, we can see that Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban and Ilham Aliyev are equally welcome in Moscow. So, no comments here…The Armenian president with his democratic values and attempts to build a normal state with civil society can hardly join their club now.