ArmInfo."In view of the critically important normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, I disagree entirely with the opponents of the process, especially with fifth columnist," Stepan Grigoryan, Board Chairman, Analytical Centre on Globalisation and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC), told ArmInfo.
"Irrespective of its prospects, this process had to be commenced. And the logic is not at all in that Armenia cannot normally develop amid a partial blockade. Our opposition forces are preferring to remain silent over the fact that Russia itself is for and actually demanding land communication for Turkey and Azerbaijan via our territory. In this context, normalization of relations with Turkey seems to be the right way, at least in view of the fact that unblocked regional communications will in any case not run counter to Armenia's interests," Mr Grigoryan said.
He stressed a need to reckon with all the nuances and prospects of rapprochement in any steps during the negotiations with Ankara. With Russia not honoring its allied commitments, Armenia has to relax its policy toward its neighbor [Turkey]. And amid the ongoing geopolitical and global changes involving international relations, being flexible is necessary, Mr Grigoryan said.
Despite limited prospects for success of the process, Mr Grigoryan believes it is a politically right step, considering the deterrent effect being produced on Ankara by the USA and the EU, which have lately had strained relations with Turkey. In this context, any attempted pressure on Yerevan to force it into unilateral concessions will prove a blunder Turkey will commit. According to him, this was mentioned at the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting in Brussels. Irrespective of whether Turkey sets preconditions or not, the Armenian negotiators must always consider a possibility of Ankara changing its policy, including its policy toward Armenia. And even if the process gets under way without any preconditions, Turkey could set them at any moment. In this context, Mr Grigoryan points out a need to realize the complexity of Turkey's foreign policy in drawing up the negotiations agenda.
"In view of its grave problems with the USA and the EU, Turkey from time to time makes tactical overtures to Russia over some issues, which, however, does not keep Ankara from showing hostility to Moscow when it comes to other issues. And while Russia and Turkey are both satisfied with their joint steps in the South Caucasus, Turkey's overt support of separatist sentiments in Russia is a cause of seething discontent in Moscow. And this is another all-important factor of the constantly changing situation. In this context, our negotiators have to consider the negotiations agenda not only through the prism of possible preconditions by Turkey, but also in the light of the accompanying dynamics," Mr Grigoryan said.