Armenia on its way to becoming ‘a second Ukraine,’ some commentators say

Image: vestnikkavkaza.ru

Image: vestnikkavkaza.ru 

Analysis & Opinion, Armenia, Politics, Russia

A few days ago, Karine Gevorkyan, a leading Yerevan orientalist, said that Armenia, as a result of the shortcomings of its own government, the influence of the Armenian diaspora, and the work for Western governments, is rapidly drifting toward becoming “a second Ukraine” opposed to Moscow and allied with the West.

She complained that Armenians favorably disposed to Moscow “do not now have a single pro-Russian resource or any pro-Russian politicians … we have lost all this” and thus the country finds itself at the edge of an explosion like the one that has already occurred in Ukraine.

In comments to Vestnik Kavkaza, two Russian experts suggest that Gevorkyan’s suggestions are no exaggeration and that both Moscow and Yerevan should not only be worried but should take immediate steps to change the course of events the orientalist suggests will lead to what they say would be a disaster.

Nikita Isayev, director of the Moscow Institute of Current Economics, says that the situation she describes is the result of the acceptance of the view that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is “the main pro-Russian politician in the republic.” That has made Armenia “a hostage” to his declining popularity.

The current “level of trust in Sargsyan,” he continues, “and as a result to Russia as well now is extremely low.” And what makes this especially dangerous is that “Russia has not demonstrated any clear political line with regard to Armenia,” something anti-Russian forces have been quick to exploit.

Given that Armenians view Sargsyan and his institutions as pro-Russian, they are increasingly demanding “a turn to the West,” and Yerevan is doing that, developing links with the European Union and even NATO. And local media, with only a few exceptions, is promoting this trend or at least not opposing it.

“Of course,” Isayev continues, “Western special services, in the first instance, English, French and American intelligence agencies” are playing a role, “and their work is bringing results,” which carry with them “significant external risks for Russia” including the possible “loss of the last official Russian advance post in the Transcaucasus at the gates to the Middle East.”

The overall trend is not good, he says; and “the most radical scenario is a possible direct armed conflict in which Russia may find itself opposed by Armenia as a member of NATO or [at least] an ally of the North Atlantic alliance.” That outcome is so bad that Moscow must deploy “’soft force’” to ensure it doesn’t happen.

Similar efforts need to be made “everywhere on the post-Soviet space” because “Armenia is an ally on which like a litmus test are visible all the difficulties” the Russian government now faces. Most important, Moscow must turn away from oligarchic powers and work with small and mid-sized industry and with a variety of political forces rather than just those of Sargsyan.

Isayev’s views are echoed by Sergey Markov, director of the Moscow Institute for Political Research, who called on Yerevan to take more active steps to suppress “foreign financing of anti-Russian campaigns.” To that end, Moscow and Yerevan must devote more attention to the dangers ahead if they do nothing.

“The risks are quite serious,” he says, “either ‘a Maidan’ or the evolution of the Armenian government along an anti-Russian path” which “cold lead to the exit of Armenia from the Eurasian Union and to an expansion of military cooperation with NATO.” Indeed, Yerevan is already taking part in NATO-led exercises.

If things continue, Markov argues, “Armenia could be transformed into yet another state hostile to Russia, one like Ukraine or the Baltics or Moldova.” That isn’t what the Armenian people want, he says; but unless steps are taken, the oligarchic regime may ignore their wishes and pursue only its own.

Yerevan must take the lead in opposing this shift, he argues, with Moscow playing only a supporting role. It must “close foreign foundations which are involved in the unleashing of anti-Russian propaganda” and even more “must adopt a law banning anti-Russian propaganda to the extent it always has catastrophic consequences for these countries.”

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dagwood Bumstead

    What would two Dwarfstanians know about “what the Armenian people want”??? Did they conduct a poll? No, I didn’t think so.

    There is at least one Dwarfstanian base in Armenia and the dwarf won’t hesitate to use his troops to crush any Armenian Maidan or other shift to the west.

    • RedSquareMaidan

      “Anti-Russian propaganda” is also known as the truth. If governments ban the truth then they should not be surprised when their own Maidan follows.

    • Tony

      Russia is just so pathetic, fearing evolution of it’s neighbors least Russians catch a clue and start standing up for themselves one day.

    • Ihor Dawydiak

      No matter how hard they have tried, the Muscovites have never been able to fully subjugate or integrate the various nations of the Caucasus Region into Russia proper and the Armenians have never been an exception. Why? There are several reasons, some of which include; 1) All of these nations have always been fiercely independent and have always shunned foreign aggression, 2) These people have nothing in common with the Russians whether it be culturally, linguistically or for the most part religiously, 3) Apart from a possible exception in the name of Joseph Stalin who was an ethnic Georgian, the leaders of Russia have never been able to fully comprehend the mentality of the people from the Caucasus Region. As such, the Russians may just as well have another mini Afghanistan on its southern borders. While these nations could be militarily occupied they could never be fully conquered.

  • Murf

    Great idea!
    Wreck yet another ally and trading partner just because they may/or may not turn Pro West.
    God these Russians are predictable.

    • Микола Данчук

      Preemptive paranoia or schizophrenia?

      • Murf

        Yes to all.

    • Kruton

      Russians are crazy.

  • veth
  • Eolone

    “Moscow must turn away from oligarchic powers and work with small and mid-sized industry and with a variety of political forces…”

    Sounds like perestroika. We know how that ended last time. Might be a big nyet from the little man. He has too much to lose.

  • zorbatheturk

    Ah, farkov, RoSSiya. Nobody is interested in your Stalinist BS anymore, or in being hegemonized by Moscow. The Krumlin has nothing to offer anyone, except bribes and cheap weapons. The Soviet empire is extinct and good riddance.