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Marine Martirosyan

Political Analyst: Armed Conflict Between Russia and Ukraine Can Lead to a New War Against Armenia and Artsakh 

Hetq speaks to Armen Vardanyan, a politcal analyst at the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA) in Yerevan.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine entered a new phase after Vladimir Putin recognized the Donbas/Luhansk republics in eastern Ukraine. Moscow has effectively rejected the option of resolving the issue diplomatically. But there is also the real danger of military conflict. What can this situation lead to? Can this new round of Russia-West confrontation spiral out of control?

The situation is explosive, and it’s possible that direct war will begin between Russia and Ukraine. To date, the sides were at actually at war. Russia waged a hybrid war against Ukraine through proxy separatists in the Luhansk and Donetsk Autonomous Republics, supplying them with weapons and human resources. Thus, Russia was actually at war with Ukraine. Now it can directly enter the war. This, of course, will lead to very serious and unpredictable consequences.

The next is the deepening of the economic war between the West and Russia. I am sure that quite soon the West will impose very heavy sanctions against Russia. This will directly impact Russia and, as a result, Armenia.

In the autumn of 2020, the world's attention was focused on the coronavirus and the internal political situation in Belarus. Today, everyone is watching the Donbass and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Can a possible large-scale military escalation in the Donbas free the hands of the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem again, allowing them to use the opportunity to unleash a new round of aggression against Armenia and Artsakh?

Yes, it is quite possible, especially if Russia becomes weaker, Azerbaijan, naturally, will try to take advantage of the situation by launching new provocations and provoking a new war against Armenia. Our Security Council, the Armenian authorities, must take into account all these possible variants. One of them may be the outbreak of a new war against Armenia and Artsakh. It is quite realistic.

Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan welcomed Putin's decision. Was his enthusiasm based on real politics?  It’s not the first time that we’ve seen the international community’s double standards regarding the self-determination of nations - Kosovo, Crimea, etc.

The Artsakh President’s statement is an indicator of political immaturity, a misunderstanding of politics. I remember that in 2014 Russia annexed Crimea.There was a big concert in Stepanakert, there was great enthusiasm. Afterwards, however, neither Russia nor the international community recognized the independence of Artsakh. Moreover, in the war unleashed in 2020, Russia didn’t support Artsakh. This, of course, gave nothing to Artsakh.

Arayik Harutyunyan now makes a statement about Russia's recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk autonomous republics, but will not give us anything. This resembles self-deception, and I do not understand the extent to which we can deceive ourselves.

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