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 Wednesday, April 10 2024 12:15
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Stark and unpleasant as it might be to the Washington establishment,  that the best guarantors of Armenian security are Russia and Iran -  The American Conservative

Stark and unpleasant as it might be to the Washington establishment,  that the best guarantors of Armenian security are Russia and Iran -  The American Conservative

ArmInfo. Below is an article authored by James W. Carden for The American Conservative.

"Last week in Brussels, European Commission President Ursula von der  Leyen, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Armenian Prime  Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced what has been described as a  "landmark plan to help pull Armenia out of Russia's orbit." 

"The plan calls for the EU to allocate ?270 million to support the  Armenian economy as part of what von der Leyen calls "a new and  ambitious partnership agenda."

"This news comes amidst renewed tensions between Armenia and  Azerbaijan. A major firefight broke out after Azerbaijan forces  opened fire on Armenian defensive positions on the night of April 6.

"But not all experts are impressed by the newly announced deal.  According to Pietro Shakarian, a postdoctoral Fellow at the National  Research University-Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg who  recently taught at the American University of Armenia, "The popular  view on the Armenian street is that those 270 million euros look a  lot like Judas Iscariot's thirty pieces of silver. This was the price  Pashinyan paid for betraying Armenia, abandoning Artsakh, and  exposing the country to severe security threats from Azerbaijan and  Turkey. On the part of the U.S. and the EU, it's a very obvious  attempt to push Russia out of the Caucasus once and for all." 

"Pashinyan should be forewarned that this is a path that is  well-trodden and extremely dangerous for those who have set out upon  it. The University of Chicago's John Mearsheimer has famously  described what the Victoria Nuland-led State Department did, by  condoning the Maidan coup and supporting Kiev's NATO ambitions, as  "leading Ukraine down the primrose path." Armenia might usefully  learn from the experiences of Ukraine and, closer home to Yerevan,  Georgia. Both nations believed the fulsome promises of Western  integration, including NATO accession, from their Western patrons in  Brussels and Washington. 

"What reaction can we expect from Moscow? Artin DerSimonian, a junior  research fellow in the Eurasia Program at the Quincy Institute for  Responsible Statecraft, tells The American Conservative that, "at a  time of serious West-Russia conflict this is naturally perceived in  Moscow as an affront. At the Armenia- Azerbaijan border, the  situation remains very tense and the potential for further or  significant escalation persists. How Russia would respond to  this-given the above context-doesn't inspire confidence. Yerevan  appears more determined for a strong foreign and security policy  'pivot' rather than merely seeking to 'diversify' its security  relations." 

"As is by now clear, the U.S. national security bureaucracy only  knows how to play a zero-sum game, and they and their political  patrons seem both unable and unwilling to envision a world in which  Iran and Russia are not the apex-villains.  

"As we can see with the recent Moscow terror attack and the ongoing  atrocities in Gaza, that vision of the world stands at stark odds  with reality. And the fact is, stark and unpleasant as it might be to  the Washington establishment, that the best guarantors of Armenian  security are Russia and Iran.

"As Shakarian reminds us, "A weakened Armenia has negative security  implications not only for Russia, but also Iran. It is not without  reason that Tehran has drawn a bright red line against any  Azerbaijani or Turkish attack on Armenia's southern Syunik province,  as well as any effort to cut off Syunik from the rest of Armenia.  Such actions would sever Iran's only overland link to the Moscow-led  Eurasian Union."

"Pashinyan's giveaway of Artsakh and the subsequent ethnic cleansing  there," says Shakarian, "not only shocked Russian society, but also  confirmed the view of Russian intelligence that Pashinyan is indeed  acting on behalf of external interests, and not the interests of the  Armenian state or people. His willingness to give away strategic  territories in his own native province, Tavush, are viewed in both  Russia and Armenia as further evidence of this."

Washington may not like it, but if Armenia has any chance at a happy  future-and a magnificent, ancient Christian civilization like Armenia  certainly deserves one-we need to stop meddling in the Caucasus and  limit the damage we have already done in the post-Soviet space."  

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