ArmInfo. In order to assess the possible risks in the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations that has started, among other things, it seems necessary to start from the past. Associate Expert at the Armenian Institute of International Relations and Security David Stepanyan expressed a similar opinion to ArmInfo.
"The process of establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey, no doubt, contains considerable risks, both for the territorial integrity and for the sovereignty and future of our country. However, it must be remembered that the closed borders for the past three decades and the absence of diplomatic relations with Turkey are completely did not prevent Ankara from taking an active part in the 44-day aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh and Armenia, moreover to provoke this aggression," he stated.
In this light, the expert assures that if there were diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey, there might not have been a 44-day war at all. Since in this case Ankara could well come to an agreement with Yerevan and resolve the issue solely in compliance with the interests of the parties to the conflict and their own interests, bypassing the interests of at least other regional players. Regardless of the degree of reality of this hypothetical scenario, Stepanyan is convinced that the lack of relations and closed borders with Turkey are in no way a guarantee of preventing new manifestations of aggression and expansion from Ankara.
In this light, the expert assesses the very fact of the next, third attempt to normalize relations with Turkey as the right step in the right direction. Since just sitting and waiting for Turkey to fall apart on its own, and the territories of Western Armenia to return to the Republic of Armenia, is at least unproductive.
"Expectations of the automatic reincarnation of the Treaty of Sevres of 1920, the entry into force of the arbitration of Woodrow Wilson, all these talks have absolutely no real, namely political and geopolitical grounds, except perhaps legal ones. And even then, taking into account the lack of ratification of the Sevres Treaty by the then Turkish parliament, this factor is highly doubtful. And the presence of the Kars, Moscow and Lausanne treaties generally puts an end to any such hopes," he said.
In this light, Stepanyan considers the putting aside of "Sevres romanticism" by the Armenian society as a step fully in line with the interests of the Armenian people, the Armenian statehood. According to the expert, the current international relations and geopolitics are built on the basis of mutual benefit and pragmatism, in which there is no place for Sevres and other similar appeals, without a doubt.
"We always talk about Turkish preconditions whenever the prospect of relations with Turkey is mentioned. I propose to recall our own preconditions regarding Turkey. In particular, the refusal to recognize the borders of this country, determined by almost all subsequent international treaties after Sevres. But let's try to realistically assess our chances of returning our territories. This will require a third world war, the defeat of Turkey and its allies in it, the partition of Turkey, the absence of a new Ataturk and, of course, a new Lenin. Against this background, I believe that our expectations in the direction of restoring historical justice, to put it mildly, do not have a real geopolitical foundation," Stepanyan summed up.
The first meeting of special representatives in the process of normalization between Armenia and Turkey took place on January 14 in Moscow. Vice-Speaker of the Parliament Ruben Rubinyan represented Yerevan, and former Ambassador to the USA Serdar Kilic -Ankara. At the end of the meeting, the Foreign Ministries of Armenia and Turkey made approximately the same statements about the constructive atmosphere of the negotiations. And the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that the parties during the talks showed their readiness to conduct a dialogue in a constructive, depoliticized manner.