The head of the NATO Liaison Office for the South Caucasus William Lahue, answering the question of Aravot.am on the Turkish factor in the region, announced that Russia’s actions are more problematic. Lahue said that Russia-Azerbaijan partnership causes more concerns than Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation because Russia is the key supplier of weapons to Azerbaijan and Moscow provides the main types of weapons.
Lahue reminded that Russia is Armenia’s ally. He also said that Turkey is NATO’s ally, is free to decide its relations but NATO allies are committed to peace and stability.
The head of liaison office of NATO for the South Caucasus makes interesting and important statements. In fact, this NATO official conveys in a transparent message that in case of need NATO can restrain its allies, in this particular case Turkey and retain it within peace and stability whereas Armenia’s ally is a champion of aggression and belligerence.
Lahue’s message brings up deep realities in the region which, intending to promote security in Armenia through stereotyped perceptions, distort security in Armenia and in the region, evidence to which was the war in April.
The point is that the Turkish threat is one of Russia’s trump cards to influence Armenia, and Moscow uses them for the issue of Artsakh too. The brief statement of this threat is that without Russia Turkey, even if it does not attack Armenia, will help Azerbaijan to fight and win in Artsakh.
In reality, it is hard to tell how Turkey will act. Instead, it is clear how Russia acts. The fact is that in political terms Turkey has adopted a biased pro-Azerbaijani policy, supporting Baku, as well as cooperating closely in the defense sphere.
However, it is also a fact that for many years now Baku’s primary technical military partner is Russia, Armenia’s ally and a CSTO member state, not its ally Turkey which is a NATO member state. Russia supplies 80% of deadly weapons worth billions to Azerbaijan.
The NATO official reminds about this fact, hinting that Turkey’s membership to NATO has not been secondary. Hence, Lahue reports that NATO is a restraining factor for Turkey, unlike Russia, whose close strategic relations with Turkey make the latter intensive and less restrained. It is not accidental that Ankara has started a new wave of a tough internal and external policy along with the relations with Russia. And along with the Russian-Turkish reconciliation Azerbaijan made its post-April stance stiffer and intensified the escalation at the border.
Hence, it is obvious that the superficial truth about the security of Armenia and the region have very little to do with the deeper processes in the security system and their main purpose is to prevent the deeper processes from becoming known to the public at large because in this case the perceptions of security may escape the scope of stereotypes or myths. And if the public in Armenia starts looking at the notion of security beyond stereotypes or myths, it will cause serious issues for stakeholders who try to keep the region within the logic of the Russian-Turkish agreement.