ArmInfo. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Artsakh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Arman Melikyan, in an interview with ArmInfo, comments on the latest internal political events in Armenia and the geopolitics around Armenia. Shares his own vision of the most likely impulses in the South Caucasus with the participation of regional players, and also gives some predictions about the future development of the situation.
- Can it be noted that with the demand of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia, the resignation of the government, the internal political crisis in the country reached its peak. What do you see its causes and are they exclusively internal in nature?
I do not think that the peak of the internal political crisis has been reached. In fact, Nikol Pashinyan provoked the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia. At first, in a TV interview, he said that the use of Iskander was ineffective, since only ten percent of the charge detonated. When, in response to this absurd statement, the deputy chief of the General Staff spoke critically, the latter was immediately removed from office. This provoked a reaction from the entire General Staff - a demand was put forward for the resignation of the government. In response, Pashinyan sent a proposal to the President of the country, Armen Sarkissian, about the dismissal of the Chief of the General Staff. And here is the culmination - Pashinyan is now trying to disown his own statement on the use of Iskander, justifying himself by the fact that someone had reported something to him incorrectly. That is, as it were, the issue of the quality of this missile system is being removed, but the dismissal of representatives of the high military command is not subject to revision, despite the fact that Pashinyan himself admitted that he had launched disinformation. Now everyone has the right to believe that this disinformation was deliberately launched in order to provoke the military, which was quite successful. The question is why did Pashinyan need it?
- Concern about the possibility of a military coup in Armenia has already been expressed by the Foreign Minister and the President of Turkey. Cavusoglu and Erdogan emphasized the unacceptability of such a scenario. Where, in your opinion, does this concern for the government of a country with which Turkey does not even have diplomatic relations come from?
It is important for official Ankara that the internal political crisis in Armenia lasts as long as possible. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is the core of this internal political crisis and the generator of ongoing internal instability. Accordingly, for this reason, the political support provided to him from Turkey is well within the framework of the approaches developed and applied by Turkey towards Armenia.
- All confrontation between the authorities and the opposition in Armenia comes down to mutual insults and accusations of past deeds. Both of them keep silent about their plans, vision regarding the future of the country, moreover, specific programs by and large. Two and a half years are left before the elections, not to mention the prospect of early elections still hanging in the air, but Armenian politicians continue to evade even promises of a better future. Don't you think this is strange?
Unfortunately, neither the Pashinyan government nor the 17+ group is capable of proposing a positive program of action for the future. Not a single rational, positive action is proposed, and this only testifies to their complete political and moral inconsistency.
- The Speaker of Parliament and the President of Iran announced their country's intention to become a member of the EAEU. Is the emergence of such a desire one of the results of the 44-day bloodshed in Artsakh and what, in your opinion, is Tehran's motivation for making such a decision?
I do not have a definite answer to this question. I do not exclude that official Tehran, anticipating a further complication of the military-political situation at its borders, is trying to somehow hedge itself by creating new schemes of regional interaction. Apparently, in this way, Iran hopes, first of all, to bypass the sanctions imposed against them thanks to membership in a large interstate economic and transport organization.
- Judging by the content of the trilateral statements of November 9, 2020 and January 11, 2021, Russia is focusing on unblocking communications in achieving long-term peace in the region, subject to its own interests. Does the prospect of opening the Azerbaijan-Nakhichevan-Turkey corridor correspond to Moscow's interests? And is not the involvement of Georgia in the communication projects of the Russian Federation, and such signs are already being observed, a necessary condition for Moscow to return the South Caucasus to the conditional 1988 year?
Moscow, of course, can consider such plans, but I think their implementation is unlikely. In the South Caucasus, the former Russian influence has already been replaced by Turkish military, political and economic influence. And according to my forecasts, it is unlikely that Russia will be able to return the situation by the end of the 80s.
- Do you consider the military phase of the redistribution of our region and the formation of a new status quo completed? Or, in the foreseeable future, new explosions may follow, and the 44-day war in this sense was just a trigger that opened the "Pandora's box" in the Caucasus?
I believe that our region has not yet gone through a phase of high military turbulence. And in this light, outbreaks of military violence may still repeat more than once or twice. Accordingly, Armenia needs to overcome the internal political crisis as soon as possible and form a new government. Unfortunately, the development of the internal political situation in our country at this stage does not inspire much optimism.