Is tension in Russia-Armenia relations relieved?
Politics14 November 2019, 14:38 659
According to political analysts, Lavrov's visit once again demonstrates Armenia's inability to pursue an independent policy
After the change of power in Armenia and Pashinyan taking office, cracks began to form in the official relations of Yerevan with Russia. The country’s prime minister and his supporters have been regularly making anti-Russian slogans. Pashinyan, promising to pursue a policy towards the West, eventually realized that this was impossible. The Armenian prime minister wanted to achieve Armenia's economic freedom from Russia, held regular meetings in the US and Europe but failed to change anything. Even the leaders of the world's leading countries often refused to meet with Pashinyan. Thus, Russia's preventative steps and the West's abandonment have put Armenia in a desperate situation. Now, the Armenian prime minister is trying to hide his political insecurity, shallow outlook, and incompetence. All these factors push Armenia closer to Russia again. Can the official visits of Russia's Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu, and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Armenia be confirmation of this?
The current government of Armenia brought a new and destructive vibe to relations with Russia, political scientist Tofig Abbasov told the Kaspi newspaper. "Russia’s political elite, including Kremlin, the foreign ministry, neither had confidence in Pashinyan nor high hopes for him. Therefore, Russia once again pointed out to Armenia that official Yerevan is not in a position to change its foreign policy vector and that it is impossible to do so. The Russian foreign policy chief commented on several issues in an interview with an Armenian portal before visiting Yerevan. At the same time, he reminded that, in general, the keys to Armenia are in the hands of Russia. All of the shares of main organizations, offices, and production units were bought there by Russian businessmen. Therefore, at least it would be irrelevant to talk about Armenia’s economic independence. Russian capital controls more than two thousand companies operating in Armenia. All this proves that Armenia is, in fact, a region of the Russian Federation. As you can see, many regions of Russia surpass Armenia several times in terms of production potential, demographic resources, and scientific and technical achievements. Lavrov's point was to inform Armenia that it cannot pursue an independent policy. All of its mechanisms are in the hands of Russian political and business circles,” he said.
Abbasov noted that even if Armenia wanted to, it couldn’t purse a sovereign foreign policy. "I think that Pashinyan failed to change Armenia's foreign policy vector with his revolution, despite wanting to do so. There is no theoretical possibility for this, along with practical grounds. Russia keeps and will keep influencing Armenia. True, this also impacts the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. The point is that the Russian Federation is not in a hurry to resolve the conflict. Azerbaijan’s policy is very flexible both in the Caspian and the Caucasus region, and it is a policy that also benefits Russia. But it seems a little patience is needed, in general, for this whole geostrategic situation to change,” he added.
Professor at Western Caspian University, political scientist Fikret Sadikhov said that Sergey Lavrov's visit to Armenia intended to show that Russia was behind all these issues. "As we know, prior to Lavrov’s visit, Russian Defense Minister Shoygu visited Armenia and made some promises and statements at base 102 in Gyumri. Lavrov did the same by openly telling the Armenian authorities they shouldn’t trust anyone as Russia was their main patron. That is, Russia stands behind Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, in the trade-economic and military-technical cooperation, and this policy is to continue,” he said.
Sadikhov stressed Russia’s influence on Armenia. "The presence of Pashinyan or another political group in the Armenian government will not change the situation. That is, regardless of who is in power, Russia will neither let Armenia go nor allow it to leave. The main purpose of Lavrov's visit was to demonstrate this,” he added.
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