Interesting Situation Around Armenian-Russian Contingent

    • Comments - 16 November 2016, 22:49
The spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave an interesting reply to the inquiry of the Zhoghovurd Newspaper on the Russian President Putin’s decision to approve the agreement on the Armenian-Russian joint contingent.

On November 14 the Russian president Putin, according to the message of the Russian legal information portal, has approved the proposal on the agreement on the Armenian-Russian joint contingent submitted to him by the Russian government. Putin instructed the Russian defense ministry to cooperate with the Armenian foreign ministry and sign the document after reaching agreement with the Armenian side.

The spokesperson for the Armenian foreign ministry answered that “the Russian side has not come up with any proposals on this issue as of November 15”.

The statement is interesting because in July 2016 information came that the delegation of the Russian ministry of defense visited Armenia on July 19-22 and discussed the issue of finalizing the agreement on the joint contingent and prepare it for pre-signing.

In addition, in the context of this information not only the statement of the Armenian MFA on not having received any proposals from Russia but also the fact that on November 14 Putin approves the Russian government’s proposal and instructs to negotiate whereas back in July the delegation of the Russian ministry of defense arrived in Armenia to negotiate and even prepare the document for pre-signing.

Moreover, it was expected to happen in October during the CSTO Summit in Yerevan.

Now it turns out that Armenia has not received a proposal.

What is happening, don’t the ministries of defense and foreign affairs know what the other is doing? Of course, it would not be a surprise, considering how different the actions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is from the challenges the army is facing.

However, the situation relating to the agreement on the joint Armenian-Russian contingent is interesting and controversial indeed. At least, it is clear how it happened that the Russian delegation arrives in July to finalize the agreement but in November the Russian president approves the agreement and instructs to negotiate. Was the Armenian side proposed conditions in July which were unacceptable, therefore a new stage of the process started?

Interestingly, in July the delegation arrived in a period when entire Armenia was up in the air because of the situation relating to the Patrol Service regiment. In addition, Russia’s behavior in this situation was interesting indeed, and it was noticeable that Moscow was pushing Yerevan to resolve the situation, which would lead to bloodshed indeed. The most interesting thing was Moscow’s official complaint expressed through the MFA with the EU which called on the Armenian government to go for a peaceful solution and refrain from use of disproportionate force.

It should be noted with regard to the Russian-Armenian joint contingent that this is not about a newly established structure but enlargement of the existing contingent and change of some authorities.

Apparently, Armenia and Russia should enter into a new stage of negotiations, and it is interesting that Putin approves the government’s relevant proposal in a period when Azerbaijan is causing another stage of escalation at the border.

Is it accidental that Russia is trying to influence Aliyev and prevent him from starting a new campaign until Moscow covers up the trail of the April war? Or, is Putin trying again to use the escalation caused by Aliyev and force Armenia to accept certain conditions after the failure to do so in July?