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 Thursday, January 20 2022 11:59
David Stepanyan

Nikol Pashinyan`s role in "CSTO operation" was not at all in conflict with his own beliefs - Alexey  Malashenko

Nikol Pashinyan`s role in "CSTO operation" was not at all in conflict with his own beliefs - Alexey  Malashenko

ArmInfo. In the context of the situation in Kazakhstan, Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pahsinyan might have acted at his will and in line with his own perception of  the situation, Alexey Malashenko, Senior Researcher at the Institute  of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy  of Sciences (IMEMO), told ArmInfo. 

"Of course, his first signature submissively put to Moscow's  initiatives appears quite primitive. Pashinyan had no way out. Had he  dared to voice a dissenting opinion, he would have been reminded of  the Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh - and of what would have  happened to Armenia and to himself but for the Russian peacekeepers.  And, of course, the geopolitical picture of the South Caucasus  without Russia's support was shown to him," the expert said. 

In this context, Mr Malashenko is inclined to the second option:  Pashinyan's role in the "CSTO operation" was not at all in conflict  with his own beliefs, considering the fact that it was a situation in  Kazakhstan, which is far away from Armenia and the South Caucasus,  with very few people understanding it at all. By and large, Mr  Pashinyan's statement on the "constantly high tension in the CSTO  responsibility zone" is, among other things, evidence of his  realizing the threats he himself could in time face.  

Noteworthy is also a remark by Armen Grigoryan, Secretary of the RA   Security Council, in his interview with the RA Public Television: he   expressed hope for help by the CSTO should Armenia face a similar  situation. That statement would sound ordinary but for the fact that  it was made by a person accused by some Armenian and Russian circles  of being westward-looking and committed to the ideas of the renowned  U.S.-based exporter of democracy and billionaire George Soros.

Elaborating on the situation in Artsakh, Mr Malashenko, referring to  the statements by the U.S. and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk  Group, pointed out that they do not perceive the military results of  the conflict as a settlement, whereas the third co-chair, Russia,  sees a settlement in that it was the one that forced the conflicting  parties into reconciliation, which, however, did not put an end to  anything. In any case, Moscow intends to revitalize the Minsk Group,  for the simple reason that the regional countries, with Russia and  its special role in the South Caucasus, cannot succeed apart from the  West. 

According to Mr Malashenko, Moscow cannot but work with Washington  and Paris in the OSCE Minsk Group, with the negative results of all  the three stages of the Russia-West negotiations considered. In this  context, the expert stressed there is no point in causing the tension  between them to build up in the South Caucasus, since the OSCE Minsk  Group remains one of the few platforms of cooperation with relatively  few disagreements between Russia and the West.   

This is the reason for Moscow's desire to implement a more cautious  policy not to annoy the OSCE, and Washington and Paris in particular  - considering the fact that Moscow is absolutely incapable of ruling  out the other two co-chairing states' independent actions in the  Nagorno-Karabakh process. It is especially so during the escalation  in the conflict-ridden region.   

"Another point, namely, the obstacles the USA is putting to the  formation of the 3+3 regional format, which has turned into 3+2 due  to their efforts.  Russia is perfectly aware of the difficulties its  projects in the South Caucasus could encounter due to the positions  by the USA and EU. And it is this fact that prompts Moscow to attempt  to strengthen its positions in the South Caucasus by transforming its  policy into an invulnerable stronghold - especially against the  barrage of criticism for deploying its peacekeepers in Karabakh and  for signing of a statement with Yerevan and Baku, without agreeing on  it with - and, therefore, disregarding the opinion of - the USA and  France," Mr Malashenko said. 


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