Sunday, 24 June

Giragosian: Instead of Appeasing Moscow, Armenia Should Look Out for Number One

Richard Giragosian, Director of the Yerevan-based Regional Studies Center, said that Russia is the only member of the OSCE Minsk Group that can alter its negotiating position regarding the Karabakh conflict.

Giragosian said that the positions of both Armenia and Azerbaijan are clear.

“Azerbaijan’s diplomatic strategy is neither diplomatic nor strategic. They want all or nothing,” the analyst argued.

Giragosian said that the positions of co-chairs France and the USA are also predictable and that their political approaches to the conflict will not change.

He said that Russia’s stance may change this Moscow has improved relations with Azerbaijan during the past two years and has started to display a degree of diplomatic initiative regarding Karabakh.

He noted that there are two factors at play. First, there is the fact of Russia’s strong presence in Armenia, which leaves Yerevan few options to counter Moscow if it adopts a more neutral or pro-Baku stance regarding the conflict.

Giragosian said that it might be in Russia’s interest to take a more neutral position given the number of military transactions Moscow has signed with Baku.

“The problem vis-a-vis Russo-Armenian relations is that Yerevan underestimates its importance to Moscow and overestimates Russia’s importance to Armenia,” Giragosian noted.

He said that the imbalance in relations between the two countries derives from the fact that Russia has gotten a hold of Armenia’s most important economic sectors.

Giragosian said that he wasn’t proposing that Yerevan turn its gaze away from Moscow, but rather that Armenia be guided by its national interests.

“Armenia shouldn’t be so concerned with pleasing Russia. Moscow, just like Ankara, will only come to respect a strong Armenia,” the analyst said.

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Comments (7)
1. Harutik19:38 - 23 December, 2011
It is well known amongst Armenians, even here in the US, that Richard Giragosian is a CIA agent sent to Armenia to drive a wedge between Yerevan and Moscow. Therefore, what he (and his colleagues such as Raffi Hovanissian) says should be looked at within that perspective.
2. Fresh07:47 - 24 December, 2011
Armenia should be guided by national interests but is now in a tough spot with Russia controlling it's future. I wouldn't trust the west as much either considering there not as involved nor interested in the caucusus. I think Armenia should watch Russia very closely and subtly develop closer ties to the west, especially France and US. Russia has been a good ally but as history has taught us a regime change here or there can turn them into backstabbers.
3. levik08:57 - 24 December, 2011
@Harutik, Just like we know that the Pope is Armenian! More blabber from the Armenian unintelligentsia...
4. suro09:03 - 24 December, 2011
Russia has been a good ally but... Are you referring to the last 20 years since independence or what? If so, please enlighten us with some examples of Russia's good neighbor policy. Moscow just like the West are motivated by national interests, plain and simple. We've been screwed by both.
5. Zorro19:35 - 24 December, 2011
Senc xelaci u aroxj verlucoxakan mitq unecox mardik petq e ashxaten AGN um
6. Fresh21:29 - 24 December, 2011
Yes, suro jan, because they are one of the few reasons Turkey and Azerbaijan didn't invade yesterday. Still, I completely agree that their own motivations are their national interests and that our diaspora in russia though quite numerous is going to become assimilated very very soon.
7. Jack02:00 - 21 April, 2012
Harutik - Everytime an Armenian from Diaspora goes to Yerevan and speaks of free elections, human rights, liberties and freedom, he's labeled as CIA agent. Either you're a KGB plant or a communist agitator. Both have been actively destroying the Armenian nation for over 8o years.
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