ArmInfo. It is common knowledge that the balance of forces is seriously disturbed in the South Caucasus, political scientist Alen Gevondyan told ArmInfo.
According to him, the change in the foreign policy vector, which is taking place in full view of the whole world, based on the policy of the Armenian authorities, is also reflected in the public discourse, sometimes reaching the point of amateurism. Statements like "the West will help us" are often populist in nature and are not new in the public consciousness. To a large extent, the political scientist continued, this was facilitated by the unfounded statements of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, according to which everyone is to blame for the current situation in which Armenia finds itself, but not the authorities themselves. Moreover, first of all, the Russian Federation is in the first row of culprits.
But, as Alen Gevondyan noted, there is another side to this game - in the person of Azerbaijan, which skillfully plays the card of the Russian peacekeeping forces stationed in Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku, without providing the peacekeepers with an appropriate mandate, actually put them in a hopeless situation. If the Russian peacekeepers had taken any steps, it would have turned out that they were assisting the Armenian side, while their mandate did not provide for anything like that.
The main task of the peacekeepers was to maintain peace in the region. Around all these issues, both in Nagorno-Karabakh and in Armenia, a propaganda campaign was launched that Russian peacekeepers were not fulfilling their mission, while they did not have mechanisms to fulfill the demands of the Armenian parties. As a result, all the arrows of criticism were directed against Russia, which led to an emotional reaction from the Armenian society.
"Separate groups, public organizations, using these messages, began to apply them in society, they say, look, Russian peacekeepers do not solve problems, they do not assist the Armenian side at all, they either do not want or cannot resolve issues, and therefore it is necessary to find new umbrellas and new security systems. This process began a very long time ago, starting with the Permyakov case in Gyumri and ending with the opening of various funds, financed mainly from the West, and aimed at discrediting Russia," the political scientist noted.
However, according to Gevondyan, the problem is not the departure of the Russians or the preservation of the Russian presence in Armenia, but, speaking from the position of the Armenian state, the fact that there must be a balance in the region between several states through the formation of the status quo. If this balance is disrupted, one dominant state appears in the region; in this situation, weak countries with fewer resources find themselves in a difficult and unpredictable situation, which can lead to a great tragedy. "We have already encountered this at least once at the beginning of the 20th century, in the form of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. A similar tragedy could have repeated itself during the period of the First Armenian Republic, when Turkey tried to "swallow" the South Caucasus, and only after Russia's involvement in the region was it possible to, in a sense, ensure the status quo," the expert noted.
He added that the imbalance has led to the fact that Armenia today has become simply a tool in the hands of the West, which is flirting with Azerbaijan against Armenia in order to oust Russia from the region.
Answering the question about the possibility of the Russian Federation applying "sanctions" in the form of creating obstacles at the "Upper Lars" checkpoint in response to Yerevan's actions regarding the CSTO, Gevondyan emphasized that this problem must be considered in two aspects. On the one hand, the demarches of the Armenian side towards the CSTO and Russia were noticeable and obvious, taking into account the events taking place in the country in recent years.
"Let us remember the topic of weapons that Yerevan paid for and did not receive, as a result of which anti- Russian hysteria in the country reached its climax. But in reality the situation was completely different: the weapons were manufactured, and the Armenian side was asked to take them away, which was not done, and this, in turn, led to changes in the location of these weapons. Since the Russian side often reacts late to ongoing events, and the public in Armenia is extremely sensitive in such matters, the reaction is immediately inadequate. Against the backdrop of these and other events, it is not difficult to predict that Yerevan will slowly and gradually reduce its relations with the CSTO.
A clear confirmation of this is all the processes that we are witnessing: non-participation in numerous CSTO events in various formats, public refusals to participate, a decrease in the levels of representation of delegations. All of this, on the one hand, are demarches, and on the other hand, the ground is being prepared for the parallel use of other security systems in Armenia. Meanwhile, according to the CSTO charter, its states cannot enter into relations with other blocs. This means that at some stage Armenia will have to decide on a choice: to remain in the CSTO or leave this structure, thereby entering an incomprehensible and dangerous situation," noted Alen Gevondyan.
The expert does not share the enthusiasm of a number of experts on this matter who are in favor of the country joining NATO. "They apparently have no idea about the North Atlantic Alliance, the procedures, the standards in accordance with which new members are admitted, and therefore they should not concentrate on this," the political scientist noted.
As for the situation at the Upper Lars checkpoint, as Alen Gevondyan noted, states that have friendly relations with the Russian Federation, trust and money, have active partnerships. Whether there are truly technical problems at the checkpoint or whether they are related to political processes remains in question. "But we all must understand that the process of assessing the quality of exported goods, to which Moscow often turned a blind eye, will no longer work, since the approaches of the Armenian authorities have changed diametrically. When we listen to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, we get the feeling that we are listening to the speech of the former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, which, given the limited resources of the state and its geopolitical position, is fraught with more than serious problems.
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