This time the OSCE Minks Group co-chairs chose May 11, the 18th anniversary of the truce signed in Bishkek in 1994, also signed by Nagorno-Karabakh, for their regular regional visit. Gradually the truce came to cover large-scale military actions because local violations are already “customary”, causing a lot of casualties.
Ceasefire violations have been especially intensive recently, ahead of the parliamentary election. There were casualties on the Armenian side. Serzh Sargsyan even announced that Azerbaijan should not think it can make use of the election excitement in Armenia. Sargsyan promised counteraction to Azerbaijan’s encroachments.
Fortunately, tensions at the border did not end in escalation at least also because the elections were not followed by tension, and the political forces refrained from street protest against the elections which they described as rigged. The leader of the Armenian National Congress stated that the West tolerated and silenced falsifications because in return for silence it will squeeze a concession from Serzh Sargsyan.
A few days after the parliamentary election Serzh Sargsyan attended the military parade in Stepanakert dedicated to the 20th anniversary of liberation of Shushi, and two days later the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs arrived in Yerevan who did not visit Stepanakert referring to bad weather.
In this context, another development regarding the Armenian-Iranian relations is notable, which is related to regional developments and the Karabakh issue. On April 30 when intensive violations of ceasefire were reported, the Armenian foreign minister visited Tehran. A few days later, during the foreign ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Armenian foreign minister met with his Iranian counterpart. The Iranian mass media reported interesting information on this meeting, referring to Iran’s foreign minister Salehi.
According to the Iranian mass media, the Iranian minister told Nalbandyan that Yerevan and Tehran must work together to avoid misunderstanding. It was an interesting and diplomatically open statement relating to certain unsmooth issues between the two capitals. And since Iran’s statement came a few days after Nalbandyan’s visit to Tehran, there is reason to suppose that Yerevan and Tehran spoke about or agreed on one thing, while Yerevan did something else, therefore the Iranian side speaks about the need to avoid misunderstanding.
In addition, In Egypt Nalbandyan invited Salehi to visit Yerevan, which means that the Iranian side needs certain clarification at a higher level, by the president.
It is difficult to tell whether these developments relating to Armenian and Iranian relations are related to the OSCE Minsk Group’s regional visit but iti s certain that there cannot be major divisions of issues in the Caucasus.
The problem lies on a different level, especially when these developments overlap with the parliamentary elections and their outcome. Besides the process of dividing the government pie, this parliamentary election was significant in terms of the geopolitical race, namely West-Russia correlation.
The election of 2012 was a transition to West, not by content, but by logic of domestic developments.
The problem is the understanding of this transition by the government of Armenia. The government may have two levels of understanding. One is political conjuncture when the vector is pursued, in this case the Western vector, to save their power and property. The other is when the government makes change of public development and progress on the basis of conscious decisions and understanding rather than protection of personal interests and capital.
When the basis is merely the personal capital and power, such changes lead to misunderstanding with neighbors or a regional situation where there is nothing one can do but run to keep up with the developments.
In the meantime, Armenia needs to review the concept of its role and policy in the region because it will be impossible to resist time. Armenia will be cut step by step from the soviet and Russian mentality and pushed to the domain of the west, at least because the Western civilization is more viable in terms of geopolitical technologies than the Soviet-Russian one.
By the way, it does not contradict the national interest of Armenia and is perhaps a medium-term harmonious tendency in terms of the possible expressions of the geopolitical race.
In order to render this harmony to long-term support for its national interest Armenia must be prepared for such tendencies in concept, understanding and review.
What will be the role of the parliament? There is no efficiency and reason for optimism when one views the external signs – constitution, quality, division of the government pie.
However, considering the situation and reality in Armenia, perhaps it is even good that the parliament is an administrator rather than an initiative because the decisions of such a parliament will hardly bring about any positive prospect for Armenia.
The question is the ability of a smaller group of the Armenian government to make decisions. In this group, a different change is underway. What decisions will it make that the new parliament will carry out?