The scandalous talk shows on the Russian state TV channels have achieved their purpose. They were about the signing of the EU-Armenia agreement and its consequences for Russia.
Armenia, the EU and Russia did not hide that the agreement had been agreed with Moscow. It was, to some extent, a “three-party” agreement, and the point was not only the obligations of Armenia in the EEU. So, why would they need the scandalous talk shows if Moscow is not against the agreement, and even the Russian foreign ministry made a statement on the eve of the signing officially expressing its consent.
The situation is equivocal, especially in terms of Russia’s stance. One can agree to the point of view that Russia could not set obstacles or would not need to do that for several reasons. First, there was a need to shed some political ballast in bilateral relations and in commitments to Turkey and Azerbaijan.
The other important aspect is the role of Armenia and its issues as the only platform where, more or less, there was cooperation between the United States and the EU. This was an unpleasant circumstance for the Kremlin because Armenia’s role was becoming deciding.
The other circumstance was related to the new situation in international politics which was expressed in certain international commitments in Syria and Karabakh. The United States and Russia reached certain agreements which were spoken in Baku and Yerevan by Lavrov.
The EU-Armenia agreement was signed in the result of this and certainly more “invisible” circumstances which was the expression or a component of the new situation in international politics. All these developments took place in November, and it is possible that the lack of certainty on the signing depended on the “outcome” of these events until the very last moment.
The agreement had different interpretations on Russian TV channels, and it should be noted that amid the scandal and insults weighted opinions and assessments were heard which concern the new situation. This is valuable, and perhaps this is the answer to the hidden question why the Russian state-controlled media staged all those talk shows when Moscow was not against.
However, there is a need to communicate these weighted opinions and assessments to the public only through insults and threats. On the one hand, the “imperial” vapor is let out. On the other hand, wild things for the Russian public are uttered, such as Armenia is a state which has its own interests and these interests sometimes contradict to Russia’s interests. And if Russia continues its former policy, its next loss will be Armenia. And most importantly, the Russian government says this.
The “moment of truth” has come in the relations with Armenia and Russia, which supposes ending these relations or re-building them as a partnership. In the new situation there are opportunities for this and a lot depends on the Armenian government. Armenia has been given instruments to make sovereign decisions, particularly the consent to the status quo in Armenia and the EU-Armenia agreement.