Yerevan's Tough Response to Kars-Akhalkalak Railway

    • Comments - 01 November 2017, 23:02
Soon Yerevan expects another batch of Russian ammunition under the signed contract, Serzh Sargsyan told RIA Novosti. Serzh Sargsyan meant the 200-million-dollar loan agreement. According to him, this will be the last supply under this agreement. He also spoke about signing a new 100-million-dollar worth agreement.

Serzh Sargsyan’s interview contains an answer to the dedication of Kars-Akhalkalak-Baku on 30 October in Baku attended by the heads of state of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The tone of the Turkish and Azerbaijani statements on the railway differs from the tone of the Georgian side. Tbilisi stated that the railway is an important project for the region and connects Asia and Europe. Turkey and Azerbaijan underline that the project was conceived and implemented as part of their policy of isolating Armenia.

It is another issue whether this policy itself is effective and viable. Technically, it is impossible to isolate Armenia for several reasons unless Armenia isolates itself from the world with its governance and foreign policy. Although, the global processes prompts that this is also impossible, and Armenia cannot be isolated, even if it is eager to.

However, Ankara and Baku used the opening ceremony of the railway for anti-Armenian statements. Serzh Sargsyan’s interview becomes an answer to their statement because Sargsyan speaks about economic potential of the Armenian-Russia partnership and membership to the Eurasian Economic Union.

Serzh Sargsyan hints that the economic and transport isolation of Armenia is not successful, and Turkey and Azerbaijan will not be able to prevent the economic opportunities that Armenia has.

Propaganda and realism of this statement is another issue. One thing is clear and should be repeated that Armenia has potential for development even with the Turkish-Azerbaijani transport blockade, and its use depends on Armenia. Armenia has opportunities for development, including in Russia, provided that Armenia conducts a sovereign policy, and in the West, and in Iraq, China, Georgia. The problem is how Armenia is using them, which is determined by the qualities of the ruling “elite” which unfortunately does not meet the challenges that Armenia is facing.

Nevertheless, Sargsyan does the least thing, saying that the isolation of Armenia is not successful.

At the same time, it is interesting that at the end of the interview on economic matters Serzh Sargsyan speaks about ammunition, uttering the tough part of his response: the project Kars-Akhalkalak-Baku may become a target for Armenia, like Baku-Ceyhan, if Azerbaijan again opts for military aggression.

In addition, Moscow has its “share” in this response because with this project Russia loses more than Armenia because the railway is a China-Europe alternative to the routes running via Russia.

Nevertheless, the hint in Sargsyan’s response is the least but not the sufficient and core element for the stance of Armenia? No doubt, being the architect of the new status quo and security system with international legitimacy Armenia should remind about the function of a watch as part of that legitimacy.

On the other hand, this function should not be an end in itself, and Armenia being the guarantor of the regional chain of international security and stability, should also state the wide and comprehensive idea of regional development, thereby making complete the purpose of its function of a watch for peace and security.