If Russia yields Armenia, it will lose all of its positions - 2007

If Russia yields Armenia, it will lose all of its positions in the Caucasus: interview with Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky

Senior researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky answers REGNUM’s questions:

REGNUM: Mr. Nadein-Rayevsky, presently Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is paying a visit to Turkey and Turkish President Ahmed Necet Sezer is going to shortly visit Russia. The sides are speaking about strategic cooperation – basically, in energy. What do you think about Russian-Turkish relations and the prospects of their development?

The strategy term is hardly applicable to Russian-Turkish relations. Russia and Turkey have never had any strategy in the past, do not have it in the present and will hardly have it in the future. Turkey was the first who tried to bring in some strategy in bilateral relations: in 1990 Ankara attempted to make a strategic alliance with the Soviet Union, but decided to take time when it collapsed. The Turks hoped that now they would be able to enlarge relations already with the post-Soviet republics and with some of them to use the factor of common Turkic origin and language. They planned this almost the way Ataturk planned, but they failed: the newly independent nations turned out to be quite different in mentality and culture. Historically, Turkey itself is responsible for the gradual distancing between the Turkic nations: they first regarded themselves as Ottomans, then, under Abdul Hamid II, they proclaimed pan-Islamism, then, they still preferred pan-Turkism and brought into power Young Turks, who joined Germany during the WWI – so much eager they were to expand. Everything what happened after 1991 was, to a certain extent, the consequence of this pan-Turkic policy. Pan-Turkism proved impracticable – it was like Communism. Not that the national elites of the Turkic republics were just unready to give up power, they were simply unwilling to do that: to give power, money and economy for some idea – nobody will agree to this. Ankara saw that there is absolutely no basis for pan-Turkism. Roughly speaking, they faced the same we faced with our Slavonic brothers in XIX. As regards Russia, as I have already said, it was mainly Turkey who tried to bring up bilateral relations to the level of strategic cooperation. The first Ankara’s proposal in 1990 was rejected by the Soviet authorities as they took it as an attempt to interfere in the Soviet influence zone, which was right. Turkey raised this issue again in 1995, when its pan-Turkic policy ran across some impassable barriers – but our position was the same. It was then that Turkey began realizing that 90% of its ties in the Soviet area were with Russia and no Uzbekistan could replace the millions of dollars it got from shuttle trade. It turned out that language is not the main thing. The main thing is economic interests – the lives of people and the life of a nation. This is the very principle the present Russian-Turkish ties are based on. The key link between Russia and Turkey has been and is economy. Already before the big energy projects, like the Blue Flow, Turkey got $6 bln-$15 bln from shuttle trade alone, and it was the key source of income for its economy for quite a long time.

REGNUM: The first thing that comes in mind when one speaks of Turkey’s trade policy is Turkish “fast moving consumer goods.” Is this problem still topical for the Russian consumers, if yes, how serious is it?

In 1995 we warned the Turks that they should not trade with us the way they did, that they should raise the quality of their goods to the European standards, that our consumers were buying Turkish goods only because of hard social conditions, that they would no longer buy them as soon as they got better-off, that Turkey could lose our market. In the following years Turkey faced default but still preserved its shuttle trade. Later, suitcase sellers were replaced by firms trading in big lots and paying taxes. It was already an improvement. The quality control was also improved. Now Turkey is trying to make quality the basis of its trade as it clearly understands that it can get in the situation the Georgian and Moldavian wines got in. One should always care for the quality of his exports rather than just allege that Russia does something for political motives. Our relations With Georgia have been tensed for many years already — but what we actually want is to, finally, taste a normal Georgian wide. Russia is fighting with all low quality producers and with home producers it is even tougher than with foreigners. I think we are right as it is high time to stop high mortality caused by faked alcohol – to stop the death of tens of thousands of people every year. The same was the situation with the American chicken legs – the row was big but they solved the problem. The US raised the quality control standards. Why could they do this and Georgia and Moldova can’t? This is a national issue, and when the Russian president spoke about demography he meant there will be no indulgence – for Turkey either.

REGNUM: They in Armenia are worried with any closer contacts between Russia and Turkey? Can Russian-Turkish relations be bad for Armenia?

Russia will never cede Armenia for improving its relations with Turkey. This is a matter of principle. There are things one can sacrifice, but there are things one cannot. The point is not so much that two million Armenians live in Russia and many of them are Russian citizens. For Armenia Russia’s steps must never be bad. The point is that even the Yeltsin Russia perfectly realized that it must not waive Armenia’s interests, not mentioning Putin, who clearly sees the national interests, at least, the clear ones. He is trying to extrapolate them for the future. I simply can’t imagine that Russia may yield Armenia – if Russia does this it will lose all of its positions in the Caucasus. Russia should understand one most important thing – there are partners and allied countries with whom one should keep up the sense of alliance and duty.

REGNUM: How could you explain the outburst of activity of the Iranian Azeris? Large-scale destabilization – is it possible and what consequences it may have?

There are several versions. Northern Iran has two provinces with some 12 mln-18 mln Azeri residents. Iranian Azeris are not outcasts in Iran. Iran is a multi-national and multi-religious country and Azeris have their serious place there. Even the religious leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei is Azeri. The basic principle in Iran is religion rather than nationality. Iran’s official version is that the protest actions are an American project. They probably have proofs, but I don’t believe this. My personal opinion is that this is an Iranian project, or the result of local nationalism, or a preventive action to neutralize a potentially unreliable element. In any case, many complex processes are taking place in Iran – many people are displeased with the tyranny of mullahs who dictate a lifestyle nobody accepts any longer outside Iran. Obviously, there is tension and there is need for reforms. At best, this situation may end in reforms and, if the Iranian authorities prove wise enough to carry them out, everything will be OK. Of course, the Americans can capitalize on this tension. They can use any social tension to plot a revolution, which is all but good for Iran.

REGNUM: How much probable is the US’ active invasion of Iran or its preventive strikes on its nuclear facilities?

Though I don’t believe this will happen, I prefer to call this hypothetical action “a possible American stupidity.” The strikes by Israel or US groups will spark off numerous mostly unpredictable scenarios. One thing is clear – there will be no internal explosion. The Iranian authorities will be able to unite their people against the foreign enemy, to stop all reforms, which will mean an end to the hopes of the democratic part of the Iranian society. It seems that the Americans do not realize this, they are like an elephant in a china-shop. For them the invasion of Iran is an initially counterproductive action. They will immediately lose the confidence of the Shiahs — 55%-60% of the Iraqis. As a result, they will get a collapsing coalition and anti-American southern Iraq.

REGNUM: What are the chances that Turkey may join the anti-Iranian coalition?

I very much doubt that it will. Turkey is wise enough not to get there as this would be a suicide. This would mean to blow up the 10-12 mln Kurds, to blow up Shiahs – a total of 1/3 of the Turkish population. This would be a fatal trick. The Turks are wise politicians and they will not get into this bog exactly now that their economy is coming out of crisis. The Iraqi example has shown that it is very hard to insure oneself from the American stupidity. They got into a mess in Iraq though they could get what they wanted – oil – in a more civilized manner. Relying on force, they could not imagine that cities can also be a serious arena for guerrilla war, they were not ready for that. As regards the South Caucasus, here the major risk is the flow of refugees who may simply overwhelm the region in case of bad scenario.

Source: http://www.regnum.ru/english/armenia/651208.html



Whatever one might say about the vitality of U.S.-Russian security cooperation, Russian missile proliferation is still an embarrassment. In fact, not more than a week after the White House announced its agreement with President Yelstin over what kinds of theater missile defenses the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972 allows, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu protested Russia's transfer of the means to make a 1,250 mile-range Russian-designed rocket to Iran. These missile exports, along with others to Armenia, Iraq, Syria, China, India, and Brazil, all fly in the face of Moscow's repeated pledges to the U.S. and others to adhere to the Missile Technology Control Regime. More important, they track the Administration's repeated failure to employ U.S. nonproliferation sanctions laws to deter such behavior or to suspend U.S. government-sanctioned space cooperation and satellite transfers to Moscow. If Congress takes its laws and Russian missile proliferation seriously, it should act both to eliminate existing loopholes that encourage Executive inaction and to condition future U.S.-Russian space commerce on Russia living up to its nonproliferation obligations.

Russia's Missile Nonproliferation Promises

Communist Russia first publicly pledged to uphold the objectives of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June of 1990. Five months later, however, it was caught violating this pledge in sharing missile production technology for development of an entire upper rocket stage with India. This promoted imposition of U.S. missile proliferation sanctions in May of 1992. Two years later, after securing Moscow's pledge to stop lending India missile production assistance, the Clinton Administration made the Russian Republic an adherent to the MTCR late for purposes of U.S. law. In exchange for nearly $1 billion in U.S. commercial and government-to-government space cooperation through the year 2000, Russia claimed it had renegotiated its space cooperation with India to exclude transfers that would violate the MTCR. Finally, satisfied that Moscow had created an effective legal system of export controls, the White House sponsored Moscow's formal entry into the MTCR in 1995.

It's Proliferating Performance

Clearly, the White House has tried to give Moscow every positive incentive not to help other nations acquire missiles. Yet, throughout President Clinton's tenure, Russia has been caught exporting extremely sensitive missile technology and hardware. Thus, just one month after U.S. officials got Russia to agree to stop lending India missile production assistance, Moscow was caught air-shipping North Korean SCUD missile launchers and other components to Syria. This, in turn, was followed a month later with Russia's transfer of its most advanced missile technology to China. Under a 5-year defense cooperation agreement with China, Russia sent solid rocket fuel technology, mobile missile know-how, large liquid rocket engines, missile guidance and multiple warhead hardware and technology and hundreds of Russian missile experts to help the PRC develop its own version of Russia's highly accurate, intercontinental SS-25 missile. Nor did Russia end its missile assistance to India. Having agreed in July of 1993 to stop helping India build cryogenic rockets, Moscow insisted that it needed until November of 1993 to renegotiate its Indian contracts. Russia did this but, in addition, it sent New Delhi blueprints (something MTCR clearly prohibits) along with at least four- fifths of the related production technology to build the engines. Then, six months after Russia's self-imposed November deadline, U.S. contractors negotiating space launches with Salyut/Krunichev in Moscow found the Russians working with six-foot high, high-fidelity mockup of the Indian rocket that Russia was supposed to have cut off missile production assistance to. According to the Russians, this detailed model was being used to teach Indian scientists precisely how to launch their rockets.

Unfortunately, Russia's transfers of missile technology did not end here. A year later, in late May of 1995, the White House waived missile proliferation sanctions against Russia for helping Brazil with the casings on a large rocket known as the VLS project. Administration officials explained this missile misdeed away claiming that the Russians agreed to this sale before it promised the United States not to conduct such trade. After talking with the Brazilians, though, U.S. officials learned that Russia had helped Brazil on many more components than the rocket casings and that the cooperation had been going on for some time. The next Russian missile misdeed to hit the press was its attempted missile guidance shipments to Iraq, which Jordanian authorities interdicted in November of 1995. Since Desert Storm, the U.N. resolutions have prohibited all military trade with Iraq. Yet, on 10 November, 30 crates containing 115 Russian-made gyroscopes from dismantled intercontinental-range missiles were air shipped from Russia aboard an Royal Jordanian aircraft to Amman. These components were destined for Karama, Iraq's missile development center. At first, the Russians denied any involvement. Then, U.S. State Department officials admitted that the Russians did ship the gyroscopes but claimed that the shipment was ``aberrational,'' that, again, Russian authorities ``tried'' but could not find the Russian perpetrator of the sale.

Iran and Armenia: Moscow's Latest Missile Customers

Perhaps the most frightening act of Russian rocket recklessness was first reported in early February: It was caught selling Iran the means to produce a SS-4, a 1,250 mile-range missile that could reach all of Saudi Arabia and Israel. This missile can carry a 4,400 pound warhead but is so inaccurate, it is only useful for delivering nuclear or biological warheads. U.S. officials learned of this deal only when General Amos Gilad, director of research for Israeli military intelligence visited Washington just days before Russian Prime Minister Vicktor Chernomyrdin was to meet with Vice Present Gore February 6. The timing was hardly accidental. The Israelis could have briefed their U.S. counterparts privately at any time. Instead, they chose to wait until just before the Gore-Chernomyrdin meeting in a fashion that the Administration could not ignore. First, the Israeli delegation briefed the area desks at State and Defense; then, the delegation briefed the various U.S. intelligence agencies; and then the House and Senate intelligence committee staffs. Finally, as news of their briefings leaked to the press, the Vice President demanded a briefing. Vice President Gore did, in fact, bring the SS-4 deal to Prime Minister Chernomyrdin's attention. The Prime Minister, though, denied that his government authorized the sale. He did admit that this deal would violate Boris Yeltsin's 1994 pledge not to engage in further arms sales to Iran. More important, the transfer presents a serious security threat to the entire Middle East and is a clear violation of the MTCR. Finally, there's Russia's recent sale of missiles to Armenia. In this case, Russia sold eight Scud-B launchers with enough missiles--24 to 32--to ``complete demolish,'' (in the words of the Chairman of Russia's Duma Defense Committee), Armenia's Azerbaijani foes in Baku. Although these transfers continued as late as last year, Russian officials claim that they were only able to confirm them early this winter. Washington officials, meanwhile, privately are raising doubts that any ``transfer'' technically took place. The Scud missile systems, they note, after all, were on Armenian soil under Soviet control prior to their actual sale.

What's to Be Done?

Under U.S. law, adherents and formal members of the MTCR cannot be sanctioned for missile exports unless they allow the MTCR guidelines to be violated and fail to make an earnest effort to prosecute the perpetrators. The law also requires sanctions only when a proliferator has acted ``knowingly.'' These provisions, in effect, have been used by the Executive to serve as a blanket exemption for Russia from sanctions. Thus, repeatedly, Administration officials have argued that Russia did not authorize or ``know'' of the missile misdeeds identified or that they have been unable to identify the perpetrators or are in the mist of disciplining some lower-level official. This has prompted justified calls for tightening up existing nonproliferation sanctions laws. The Administration, instead, has focused on diplomacy. Last fall, U.S. officials shared a detailed list of current troublesome Russian missile transactions with Moscow officials in hopes that they would stop these deals. So far, the Russians have admitted nothing and it's unclear if they have stopped any of these deals. Clearly, if we are serious about our security, we need to do better. It's too late for the Executive to undo the harm Russian missile proliferation has already done. But Congress can make sure Russia has an interest in stopping future proliferation. In fact, the U.S. has considerable leverage if it chooses to use it: Most of Russia's cash-earning space launches are of U.S.-made satellites that require U.S. export licenses. In addition, the U.S. continues to fund much of Russia's participation in NASA projects. Together, these activities are worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually in hard currency to Russia's space industry. These space firms are the ones whose technology is being sold and who are closest to those doing the proliferating. The pros and cons of tying future approval of U.S. export licenses and funding of Russian participation to the absences of more missile misdeeds are likely to be taken up in planned hearings of the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on International Security, Proliferation and Federal Services. Such oversight comes none too soon. The U.S. backed Russia's membership into the MTCR and offered it space cooperation.because the White House claimed Moscow had finally established a sound system missile technology export controls. If there is no such system, we need to know. Certainly, the last thing we would want is for U.S. space commerce and cooperation to subsidize more missile proliferation.

Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/li...s970605rrr.htm

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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what.Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you as always for reading.