What will Armenia do without Russia?

06.09.23 12:40

"Russia is our enemy and that's it!" - This was the title of an article in the popular Armenian online publication "Armenianreport" on 4 September 2023. This loud definition echoes the well-known statement of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan: "Artsakh is Armenia and that's it!


Everyone remembers well what happened after this statement: the 44-day war showed with their own eyes that Karabakh is Azerbaijan, and only Russian mediation saved the Armenian army from total defeat. A trilateral agreement was signed and Russian peacekeepers were stationed in the Armenian-populated areas of Karabakh for a transitional period.


The Lachin Corridor was also left open to link these areas with the Republic of Armenia, in return for which Armenia promised to open up transport links. First of all, the link between the main territory of Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, i.e. the Zangezur corridor, was to be opened. The same Russia was to ensure the functioning of the Zangezur and Lachin corridors.


Thus began the drift from "Artsakh is Armenia, period" to "Russia is our enemy, period", and these two "points" are in fact closely related. After all, the Armenian nationalists' belief that "Artsakh is Armenia" was initially based on the fact that Russia would fight for Karabakh as part of Armenia. But during the 44-day war, Russia did not fight for Armenia.


Nevertheless, a part of the Armenian revanchists still hope to win Karabakh with the help of Russia. They still hope for the "Tskhinvali variant" with Russian "peacekeepers". According to the plans of the Armenian revanchists, Russia, which "saved the Armenians from genocide", will use a pretext or provocation to start fighting for the separatists.


But for this purpose, the Armenian revanchists only call to "wait" until Russia wins in Ukraine, or at least to "freeze" this war in order to switch to "saving Artsakh". This explains their hysterical "pro-Russian" statements and curses against the same Pashinyan, who does not hide his disappointment with Russia, which he expressed in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.


According to Pashinyan, "the Russian peacekeepers are not fulfilling the mission assigned to them within the framework of the trilateral declaration". He noted that Armenia "has experienced and continues to experience disappointment with the activities of the CSTO". Pashinyan said that the Russian Federation was moving away from the South Caucasus: "We see that Russia itself is moving away from the region by the steps it takes or does not take." According to him, "the Lachin corridor, which should be under the control of Russian peacekeepers, is not under the control of Russian peacekeepers. There can be two reasons: either the Russian Federation cannot or does not want to maintain control over the Lachin corridor.


However, Nikol Pashinyan did not say a word about whether the Zangezur corridor provided for in the tripartite agreement is functioning? After all, it was Armenia that undertook to unblock the transport links. Has it fulfilled its commitment? If there is no Zangezur corridor, there will be no Lachin corridor. What claims can Russia have in this part?


In an interview with the Italian publication La Repubblica, Nikol Pashinyan also said that Armenia's dependence on Russia for security was a mistake. In his opinion, the Russian Federation could not meet Armenia's security needs now, even if it wanted to. According to Pashinyan, the Russian Federation says that Western countries are pushing Yerevan "to take measures aimed at pushing Russia out of our region. But it is the other way round - Russia itself is leaving the South Caucasus as a result of the steps it takes or does not take," the Armenian prime minister said.


In the West, of course, Pashinyan's interview and his demands that Russia "guarantee Armenia's security" were greeted with delight. Günther Fehlinger, chairman of NATO's European Development Committee, urged Armenia to join the alliance. "Nikol Pashinyan, I urge Armenia to join NATO. Joe Biden will protect Armenia," Fehlinger wrote.


As a result, there was a growing split among Armenian nationalists over whether to consider Russia a "friend" or an "enemy". Pro-Russian Armenian nationalists (including in Russia, such as the ethnic Armenian Vladimir Dzhabarov) began to scare Armenia with sad "Ukrainian prospects" if it moved towards NATO. Here, for example, are excerpts from the material "Russia is our enemy and that's it" published by "Armenianrepot":


"After the "alliance" invitation, Russia moved on to open threats to do to us what they are doing to Ukraine.


That's what it all led to. And if you look at the hysteria that prevails in Russian political circles, or, more simply, among the Kremlin's servants, you come to a very old but proven conclusion - better a terrible end than a horror without an end. Russia itself has signed the verdict on its relations with Armenia by resorting to open threats against our country.


The Kremlin knows very well that the process of joining the Alliance is very long. And the Kremlin also knows that Turkey is a member of NATO, which will never agree to our country joining the Alliance. Nevertheless, Russia has been bombed!


We must remember all these speeches so that our descendants will not have any doubts about who is who.


"NATO is an aggressive and absolutely destabilising structure that is involved in matters that are blatantly Russophobic in nature. If there is any doubt, they should look at the situation in Ukraine. Has it become safer there after Ukraine wanted to join NATO and pursued a policy of maximum rapprochement with this aggressive bloc?" - Vladimir Dzhabarov said.


He should have asked a few simple questions. For example, when did NATO attack Russia? There was no such thing. And there has never even been a statement to that effect from NATO's leadership, past or present. All their actions are retaliatory. But in any case, how should we understand the analogy with Ukraine? The answer lies on the surface - Russia has moved on to openly threatening to do the same to us.


Yes, through Dzhabarov's mouth the Kremlin is threatening to organise a major war. Obviously using the local "fifth column" and the Russian military base in Gyumri. Yes, they will not bomb our cities, but they are ready to kill our old men, women and children. Without any doubt or remorse, blaming us for their possible crimes!


What is the implication of all this? The answer is obvious - we must tear Russia apart once and for all. We must put an end to this endless horror. Yes, there may be a terrible end. But our people have seen a lot in their history. We will survive these terrible times, when the one who falsely called himself an ally turned out to be an enemy. It is precisely as an enemy that we should treat Russia from now on. Because that is how Russia treats us.”


However, the question remains, well, Russia is Armenia's enemy, it is necessary to "break" with it, it is even possible to fight with it - but what then? Who is Armenia's "friend" who will protect, support, feed and tolerate its unfounded demands?


NATO? But the closest NATO member is Turkey, and Armenians themselves know this very well. Not only does no other NATO member share borders with Armenia, it does not even have communication links.


"Friendship with NATO" in Armenian terms means friendship with Turkey. And there is no alternative. And such friendship means the opening of communications. The same Zangezur corridor.  It will have to be opened anyway - with or without Russia, with or without NATO.



George Kvinitadze

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