And is it possible to have deeper relations with the West, and are everyone in NATO happy to welcome Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan answered the questions of Satik Seyranyan, the host of R-evolution show on TV with questions.
A month later the participation of Armenia in NATO exercise in Georgia balanced the situation in the region and provided room for external maneuver for Armenia. This was reflected in the developments that followed the exercise. In addition, this is all about a large-scope political military reality.
There occurred a situation when the foreign bias of Armenia made it vulnerable in political-military terms, considering the complicated and almost unbreakable knot of the relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey. They are definitely not related to Armenian issues only and include a broader scope of problems: Syria, pipelines, the Kurdish issue etc.
In this situation, considering the historical experience, there is huge temptation and possibility of solution of the problems between Russia and Azerbaijan and Turkey in prejudice of Armenian interests. It is not accidental that the Russian experts who reacted nervously to the NATO exercise have started remembering the centennial Russian-Turkish agreements.
However, it is too early to ascribe this to the stance of official Moscow because times have changed, and these schemes have lost their meaning in the current setting. Russia has a negative experience due to the same centennial treaties the consequences of which it currently feels in international affairs, particularly in the Near East.
Strangely, the NATO-Armenia cooperation has a more positive importance for Russia as this rids him of the “burden” of Armenian issues to some extent and gives it more freedom to build less binding relations with Turks and Azerbaijanis.
For its part, this is also positive for Turkey because it is felt that Azerbaijan has become a serious obstacle on its way in the current setting. Experts note that Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Baku is related to these problems.
The news about Turkey’s possible membership to the Eurasian Economic Union could be defined as a reaction to this situation. It is clear that Turkey will not join this Union but the political process itself is important to Ankara.
Nonetheless, the risk of application of the schemes of the beginning of this century remains there, and Armenia is facing quite complicated, risky issues in its relations but at the same time these issues open up opportunities. Schemes usually repeat unless conclusions are drawn and an adequate and sovereign policy is conducted.
Phrases like “they’re not happy to welcome us” have nothing to do with politics. Those who express such beliefs are not welcome anywhere. Instead, any initiative and any step aimed at building new relations get a relevant reaction and influence. The NATO exercise was one of such steps.