Moscow Warning Armenia Over European Integration Drive - July, 2013

Even to the casual observer, it has been very obvious that Moscow has had serious plans for the greater Caucasus region. Naturally, this plan is not meant to turn the Russian Federation into a benevolent entity in the region, it is meant to serve Russia's long-term national interests. After all, the Caucasus, north and south, is considered to be one of the Russian state's most important and most vulnerable regions for it sits on very strategic energy distribution routs and is heavily populated by Turkic and Islamic peoples. Russian officials also realize that the region in question also does not have much strategic depth because there are also regional threats right on Russia's southern borders as well.
 
Therefore, the importance of controlling the region cannot be overstated from a Russian perspective because its lose will lead to the weakening and perhaps to the eventual fragmentation of the Russian state. Consequently, the Caucasus plays a very vital role for Russian officials and strategic depth in the region (i.e. stopping threats far from Russia's borders) is something they have been diligently working on. Therefore, we should all have by now come to the realization that Russia's southern border essentially begins in the south Caucasus and that Armenia is the only nation within the region today that fully serves Russia's short-term, mid-term and long-term interests.

Within the geostrategic formulations of high-level policymakers in Moscow, the existence of an allied Armenian state in the south Caucasus serves as an outpost against the spread of Western, Turkish and Islamic influences in the region. The existence of an allied Armenian state also serves as a check against Georgia and Azerbaijan.
 
Nevertheless, had Russian officials been motivated solely by political, financial or economic gains, Armenia would have been sold to Turks and/or Azeris a very-very long time ago because Turks and Azeris (and their Turkic brethren in Russia) have a clear advantage over Armenia politically, economically, financially, as well as demographically. Armenia's geostrategic value is so great that not even Bolsheviks, who ransacked Russia and mutilated Armenia, thought it was wise to destroy Armenia. Therefore, despite the dire warnings we periodically hear from our Russophobes and Captain Americas, Moscow is not going to be betraying Armenia - for doing so will be betraying itself. In the words of former deputy chairman of the Russia State Duma's Defense Committee -
Armenia is our only classic military-political ally...Armenia will not survive without Russia, while, without Armenia, Russia will lose all its important positions in the Caucasus...Even though Armenia is a small country, it is our forepost in the South Caucasus. I would say that Armenia is more important to us than Israel is to the Americans - Alexsei Arbatov
The past two hundred years of the region's history have shown us that as long as there remains a Western threat, as long as there remains a Turkish threat, as long as there remains an Islamic threat in the Caucasus, and as long as Yerevan remains within Moscow's orbit, Armenia will continue to be a very important player for Russia.

The Russian Federation has for the past twenty years been Armenia's lifeline. Moscow has been providing Armenia with affordable energy, modern weaponry, economic trade and political support on the international state. Moscow has been helping Yerevan manage Armenia's nuclear power station, allowing large numbers of Armenians to work in the Russian Federation and send back remittances unrestricted. More importantly, Moscow has been securing Armenia's western border with Turkey, thereby allowing Yerevan to concentrate its limited abilities and resources on warding-off Azerbaijan on its eastern border.

Thankfully, nothing on the horizon today leads me to believe that the symbiotic relationship that currently exists between the Russian state and the Armenians state is will be coming to an end anytime in the foreseeable future. I say this not because I have great confidence in the Armenian state's strategic foresight, I say this because I am confidant that Russian officials will do everything in their power (including direct military intervention) to make sure Armenia remains allied to Russia. Being that the Caucasus has the natural tendency of turning into a Turkic/Islamic cesspool, Armenia has historically been more than happy to remain within Moscow's orbit.
 
Thus, keeping Armenia within the Russian orbit (whichever way possible) is a fundamental element in Moscow's Caucasus policy. We Armenians can never lose sight of this geopolitical nuance for understanding this - and exploiting this - is the secret to turning Armenia into a regional powerhouse. But at the same token, not understanding this geopolitical nuance may one day destroy the Armenian state.

In other words, if Russian officials, who as we know are the hegemons of the Caucasus, are very confidant of Armenia's long-term allegiance to the Russian Federation, Armenia will be given the opportunity to become a major regional power. If, on the other hand, Russian officials are not able to place too must trust in Yerevan's allegiance to the Russian Federation, Armenia will be kept on a very short and tight leash. Thus far, the latter seems to be the order of the day. While it has come to control much of Armenia's national infrastructure and has managed to sign far-reaching military agreements with Yerevan, the political climate in Armenia is something that Moscow, understandably, has not been very comfortable with.


Moscow's warning

Moscow's unease with Yerevan has recently made the news. Please carefully read the news reports I have posted below this commentary to acquaint yourselves to the scope of what I am refereeing to. Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision not to pay Armenia an official visit after it was announced on a couple of occasions that he was on the verge of doing so, Gazprom's rate hike and its desire for gaining full ownership of Armenia's gas distribution network, and the large Russian arms sale to Baku recently should all be looked upon by Armenians as clear signals that Moscow is not very happy with Yerevan.

Russian officials have even gone as far as candidly and at times bluntly warning Armenian officials. Please read the brow raising comments recently made by former Russian Ambassador to Armenia Vyacheslav Kovalenko below this commentary. The troubling thing about this warning by Armenia's former Russian ambassador is that it is not the first time Russians are complaining about Yerevan's political fidelity. In 2011, Director of Russia’s Institute for Strategic Studies Leonid Reshetnikov made similar comments (article also posted below this commentary). In fact, even Russian President Vladimir Putin has complained about this matter in the past. Therefore, this is a serious matter and it may be reaching a climax.

The fundamental issue at hand is Yerevan's "complimentary politics"; the Armenian desire to remain under Russia's protective militarily umbrella while entering closer relations with Western powers. Yerevan has been maintaining close ties with Western powers ever since its independence from the Soviet Union. But the problem is that there has been too much talk about a "Western tilt" in Armenia in recent years. Moreover, Yerevan has been signalling that it is seeking closer cooperation with the European Union. Not liking what it sees taking place, Moscow has been warning Yerevan about getting too comfortable with Western powers. If these warnings fail to stop Yerevan's European integration drive, I hope to see and I have no doubt we can expect drastic measures from Moscow.

Days of "complimentary" politicking may be ending

Before I continue, I would like to state that I do not have firsthand information as to what official Yerevan is thinking. The current spat we are seeing take place between Moscow and Yerevan could very well be orchestrated between the two allied nations. For the sake of this commentary, however, I will approach this topic with the assumption that Yerevan is being genuine in its desire to enter into a closer relationship with Western powers against Moscow's wishes and use this opportunity to revisit some important geopolitical and sociopolitical factors.

I must at this point address a fundamentally important topic that our "nationalists" in and out of Armenia seem to be having a hard time digesting: All nations are NOT created equal. As such, a nation like Russia will enjoy some benefits on the political stage that a nation like Armenia will not. In other words, the relationship between Russia and Armenia will never be equal. Expecting Moscow to treat Yerevan equally is like a house cat expecting a lion to treat it equally
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It's not at all surprising that those vociferously complaining about the natural imbalance that exists in the relationship between Moscow and Yerevan are those serving Western powers. Therefore, our Captain Americas need to ask themselves this question instead: Does the Anglo-American-Zionist global order treat its allies equally? Therefore, let's please stop talking about Armenia's "independence" or "freedom" to do as it wants and let's start talking about real life.

Incidentally, Yerevan wanting better relations with the West is similar to a US client state like Egypt far example attempting to enter into a relationship with Russia or Iran. Ask yourselves: How would Washington react if one of its "allies" attempted such a thing? Therefore, how should we expect Moscow to react if Armenia, Russia's closest ally in the strategic south Caucasus decides to get into a closer relationship with Western bodies (regardless of how this relationship is presented to the public)?

Nevertheless, while it lasted, Yerevan's "complimentary politics" of having good relations with both East and West was truly complimentary indeed. Yerevan was having its cake and eating it too - to the envy of its neighbors! In my opinion, while it lasted, Armenia's diplomatic corps deserved all the credit they got.

Moscow tolerated Yerevan's middle of the road approach when it was politically and economically weak throughout chaotic, post-Soviet years of the 1990s. More recently, Moscow tolerated this approach by Yerevan - as long as Yerevan did not seek to 'deepen' its ties with the West. But it now seems that Russian officials may have finally had enough of Yerevan's desire to indefinitely sit on the political fence (and perhaps even tilt a little Westward) while getting security guarantees from Moscow. From the looks of it, the happy days of Yerevan's complimentary politics may be coming to an end.

Taking into account the serious geostrategic wrangling that has been going on between Russia and the West throughout the region, I fully understand Moscow's concern with regards to Yerevan Euro-fetish. Taking into account the Western designs over Syria and Iran as well as Russia, I fully understand Moscow's concerns. Taking into account Moscow desire to reinstate its political, economic and military clout in former Soviet republics, I fully understand Moscow's concerns.

Being that the Russian factor in Armenian politics is crucially important to Armenia's survival as a nation-state in the south Caucasus, I find it troubling that Russian officials have been going out of their way to raise the alarm. And I find it even more troubling that there is a deafening silence on this immensely important topic within Armenian society. Either no one seems to care that Armenia is on the edge of a political disaster or no one seems to understand that Armenia is on the edge of a political disaster.

While we are bombarded with brain-numbing nonsense about "corruption" and "democracy" and "civil society" and "genocide recognition" and political bickering on a 24/7 basis by our so-called news organizations and political pundits - not a single voice of concern has been raised about Yerevan's risky political pursuits. Not a single commentary has been produced by any one of our public figures or organizations about the serious repercussions of angering Armenia's one and only ally. This must be the height of our nation's political illiteracy.


A brief lesson in history

Because Armenia has been located on a very busy and dangerous global intersection (and also because we Armenians simply do not have the cultural and genetic traits to become a major, self-sustaining power) Armenians have sought to appease neighboring powers for much of the last two thousand years. This survivalist, almost instinctual habit of appeasement, known in diplomatic circles today as "complimentary politics", worked well for Armenian statehood when both sides (East and West or North and South) were equally powerful in Asia Minor. On rare occasions when regional players were equally weak or absent from the scene, Armenia was able to expand. When only one of the two competing sides grew weak, however, Armenia faced the option of either moving fully under the political influence of the stronger side or - capitulate.

As such, Armenia grew and shrunk and swung back and forth like a pendulum for the much of the first one thousands years of the Christian era. Even when Armenia had its short bouts of political independence and expansion, it remained dependent on regional powers for survival. Armenians finally lost their statehood to the Byzantines in 1045 AD essentially because they failed to present Constantinople a united front. Later incursions of Asiatic/Turkic tribes into Asia Minor dashed hopes of an Armenian revival until the arrival of the Russian Empire onto the political landscape of the region in the 18th century. Under this Russian/Christian umbrella, Armenians gradually rediscovered their nationalism and their national culture which eventually became the foundations upon which the Armenian republic would later be founded on in the 20th century.

Fast forwards to the modern Armenian republic: It was wise to pursue "complimentary" politics during the 1990s when the political West had become the sole power-broker of the world. The chaotic years following the Soviet collapse was a time when Russia, the traditional power-broker of the Caucasus for over two hundred years, was on its knees and there seemed to be no hope of it getting up any time soon. Therefore, while Yerevan recognized the importance or allying itself with the Russian Federation in the 1990s, they also realized that they had no choice but to open up to the West as well.


The urgent need to recognize and adapt
Simply put: We are no longer living in the 1990s. The problem for Armenia today is that a lot has changed in the geopolitical climate of the Caucasus since the 1990s. We need to recognize these changes in the region and adapt to it. This new period in Eurasia began in 2000 when Russian President Vladimir Putin rose to power and crushed the Western-backed Chechen uprising and it climaxed in 2008 when Russian forces soundly defeated Georgia's Western/Israeli/Turkish backed military. Russia's historic victory in 2008 reinstated Moscow's traditional role as the region's hegemon. The following are some interesting reports about Russia's sudden resurgence as a superpower -
That Was No Small War in Georgia — It Was the Beginning of the End of the American Empire: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2009/09/geopolitical-dimensions-of-current.html 
The Impact of the Russia-Georgia War on the South Caucasus Transportation Corridor: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2010/08/following-is-paper-produced-by-georgian.html
As Russia Reclaims Its Sphere of Influence, the U.S. Doesn't Object: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2010/10/overflowing-with-natural-resources-and.html
U.S. Abandoning Russia's Neighbors: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2010/11/following-are-two-very-interesting.html
The Russian Giant Returns: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2009/05/russophobia-political-pathology-why-new.html
A Superpower Is Reborn: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2009/05/one-of-more-interesting-repercussions.html
Political analysts from around the world, including western ones, have been unanimous in their conclusions that as a result of Washington's setbacks in Georgia, the north Caucasus, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan in recent years, Western powers have severely curtailed or abandoned their activities in the region. Therefore, everyone has been recognizing Moscow as the region's power-broker except as it seems Armenian officials. And this political ambiguity by Yerevan is only making Armenia's enemies happy.

Actively pursuing deeper relations with the West, at a time when Russia is resurgent and is actively seeking to win back its lost influence throughout Eurasia is not very wise to say the least. Yerevan is running the risk of turning its only ally into its worst enemy. In fact, with that region of the world on the very verge of a major international war, walking the middle of a dangerous intersection like the south Caucasus (an intersection where Russians do much of the traffic directing) may prove very hazardous for a fledgling Armenian state surrounded by predators.

In other words, flirting with the West at a time when the Russian Bear is fully awake and very angry is @#$%ing stupid. The following is something else that we all need to wrap our minds around: Turks and Azeris have the advantage of numbers and money to get a lot done in Moscow. In fact, Turks and Azeris are politically and economically very active in Moscow, much more so than us Armenians. We Armenians on the other hand only have Armenia's position in the Caucasus as Russia's strategic ally as our 'only' bargaining chip in Moscow. A word of warning: Once Yerevan loses its historic leverage of being Moscow's closest ally in the eyes of Russian officials, Yerevan will undoubtedly face drastic repercussions.

What is Yerevan thinking? Are we Armenians on the verge of repeating Georgia's mistake? I know that Armenians and Georgian love to compete against each other, but is Yerevan trying to show the world that Armenians are even dumber that Georgians? Just when Western powers have been at their weakest against Russia in the south Caucasus, our brilliant politicians are doing everything in their power to anger the only political entity on earth that can guarantee Armenia's statehood? This makes no sense to me.

If, as suggested above, this is all not a political ploy orchestrated between Moscow and Yerevan, it is a clear sign that Armenians officials, like their forefathers, are continuing the tradition of executing suicidal politics. it must be genetic memory. I strongly suspect it's been this kind of political illiteracy, indecision and shortsightedness behind why we as a nation have not been very successful in maintaining a viable statehood for well over two thousand years.

We need to learn to better asses who we are as a people and where we stand in this world as a nation. We also need to realize that the international community, powers of the day, sees Armenia as tiny, impoverished and a vulnerable nation with little potential. We need to recognize that there is only one major political entity in this world that sees great strategic value in having a close relationship with Armenia. We need to understand that Armenia cannot exploit its opportunities with Russia by working against Moscow's wishes. We need to work on concentrating our resources and efforts in better exploiting our relationship with the largest, one of the strongest and one of the wealthiest political entity on earth.

We also need to accept that some nations, like Armenia, are cursed by geography, genetics and culture to be dependent. Realizing that Armenia needs a suitable host to survive, it's time we begin thinking like parasitical Jews and pick our host wisely.

A lot of what I'm talking about here is bio-politics (i.e. the recognition of the fundamental role biology plays in the political world). Better understanding ourselves and our abilities will help us better assess - and exploit - situations as they arise around us. In other words, we cannot be the proverbial house cat that looks in the mirror and sees a lion because such types of cats get killed rather quickly when let out in the wild. Another thing our Qaj Nazars need to be reminded of is this: The only reason why Azeris and Turks have remained on their side of their borders for the past twenty years is their fear of Russia and not because they fear the "all powerful" Armenian Diaspora. And those who continue placing hope on "international law" or the West coming to Armenia's aid in time of need, should only look at Northern Cyprus, Kosovo and Syria to realize that international law or the political West wont be coming to Armenia's aid once Turks or Islamists begin infesting the south Caucasus.

Russian arms, Russian military training, Russian financial investments, Russian economic trade and Russian political protection have been the only reasons why Armenia is not under the threat of an imminent invasion from the east and from the west. As a nation are we ready to undermine the only factor that is helping Armenia secure its western border against Turkey and is helping a cash-strapped Yerevan compete against a big spending Baku? Are we really thinking this through? 


Enter PM Tigran Sargsyan

It would be wise not to pay too much attention to those that say Russia holds great influence over Armenian officials. The reality is that there is in Yerevan today two major political/ideological camps. There are those in the pro-Russian camp, generally speaking the old guard in Armenia and those in the pro-West camp, generally speaking the Western educated younger blood in the government. The Armenian military for the most part enjoys very close relations with Russia, but it also maintains good ties with certain NATO countries. Most of the political opposition in Armenia today (represented by Raffi Hovanissian, Jirayr Sefilian, Vartan Oskanian and Paruyr Hayrikian) serve Western powers. Let's also not forget that Armenia today also hosts one of the largest CIA-front offices in the world, the US embassy in Yerevan.

As you can see, Russia does not have free reign in Armenia. This is the prevailing political climate that has been making Moscow work hard to control Armenia's national infrastructure. Knowing that it simply cannot compete against the Western world's lure or its psy-ops, Moscow is seeking to do things the old fashioned way - control strategic assets inside Armenia to ensure Yerevan's allegiance. In my opinion, had Moscow not been in control of Armenia's strategic assets, Yerevan would have wondered off a long time ago... to Armenia's detriment. Nevertheless, with the government divided between the two competing camps and with the political opposition being more-or-less an instrument of Western powers, what we have is an Armenia today that is naturally gravitating towards the Western world. There are in fact high level officials in Yerevan representing this Western tilt.

What few people know today is that PM Tigran Sargsyan is World Bank/IMF trained. In my opinion, as well as in the opinions of many political observers, the Armenian Prime Minister represents Western interests in Yerevan. The same man was behind the decision to sell Armenia's meager gold reserves some ten years ago. It was most probably done as part of a Washington-led global campaign to artificially elevate the value of the US Dollar by the drastic devaluation of the Armenian Dram, at the insisting of the World Bank.

Similar to how FM Vartan Oskanian was part of President Robert Kocharyan's "complimentary politics" in which a Western operative would be given a high ranking position in Yerevan, PM Tigran Sargsyan represents Western interests inside President Serj Sargsyan's administration. In addition to the role played by Armenia's political opposition, I personally believe that men like Tigran Sargsyan have also been behind Yerevan's overtures to the EU in recent years. For what it's worth, it should also be mentioned that Tigran Sargsyan's brother, Colonel Armen Sargsyan, also Western trained, was Armenia's defense attache in Washington from 2002 to 2008. He is currently serving as Armenia's ambassador to China.

As mentioned above, President Serj Sargsyan's Deputy Chief of Staff, Vigen Sargsyan, was also educated in the US. In fact, Vigen Sargsyan got a Master's Degree from Vartan Oskanian's and Raffi Hovannisian's Alma Mater, the CIA-affiliated Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. I have not mentioned Vigen Sargsyan in any of my previous commentaries in the past simply because I do not have good knowledge of his politics. But being that things are coming to a head, I wanted to throw his name out there as well. In other words, I think we also need to keep an eye on Vigen Sargsyan. Actually, the topic of Western trained and educated Armenians officials reminded me to share with you the following blog commentary
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Armenia today is rife with Western leaning officials and political opposition figures. The fundamental problem I see here is Yerevan's twenty year old policy of "complimentary politics". Being open to the political West has essentially resulted in the saturation of Armenian society and Armenia's political landscape with Western trained, educated and financed activists and politicians on both sides of the political, ideological and financial fence.

This is no longer the 1990s. The moment of reckoning may have in fact finally arrived. With Moscow systematically moving forward in reclaiming its lost spheres of influence within former Soviet territories, and with the geopolitical situation intensifying throughout the region, we can expect more pressure to be placed on Yerevan by Russian officials. With the political climate getting more-and-more polarized in the world, Moscow may yet want Yerevan to completely cut its ties with the political West. Therefore, it would be wise to look at recent gas rate hikes, arms provisions to Baku and harsh statements by Russia's former ambassador to Armenia as ways with which Moscow has been warning Yerevan about getting too close to the West.


I can't blame Russia for not trusting Armenians

Let us stop and think for a moment: Two high level Armenian officials currently serving in government, Tigran Sargsyan and Vigen Sargsyan, and the two top opposition figures, Raffi Hovanissian and Vartan Oskanian, have been prepared to a large degree for their current roles in Armenia by Washington. What does all this tell us? Do you still believe hysterical nutjobs like Paruyr Hayrikian when he says Armenia is turning into a filthy Russian province? I can't in all honesty blame Russians for not trusting Armenians because I MYSELF DON'T TRUST ARMENIANS!

The following are some older blog commentaries addressing this topic -
Is Russophilia hindering Armenia? http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2011/10/is-russophilia-hindering-armenia.html
Russian expert: U.S. ousting Russia from Armenia: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2011/10/russian-expert-us-ousting-russia-from.html
New Western-led Opposition Slogan in Armenia: "Russia wants Armenia without Armenians!" http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2011/10/russia-wants-armenia-without-armenians.html
After taking a close look at Armenia's pathetic political landscape, how can we ever blame Moscow for not feeling entirely comfortable about Armenia? Armenia today is saturated with Western operatives. In fact, had it not been for a handful of men like Robert Kocharyan, Serj Sargsyan and Seyran Ohanyan (i.e. the NKR clan), Armenia would have been turned into a cheep brothel servicing Western powers and their Turkish allies in the region a very long time ago. While Moscow generally speaking controls the Armenian head, the West is increasingly coming to control the Armenian body. Another generation at this rate and Armenia will be fully at the mercy of Globalist forces and their Turkic-Islamic allies in the region... that is if Armenia is not turned into a bloody war zone by Russians for Moscow will sooner destroy Armenia than lose it to the West.
 

It pains me greatly to say this but we Armenians are Armenia's worst enemy. We Armenians have still not learned how to best use our position in the south Caucasus.

A lot of us are under the silly impression that Armenia is a "European" nation. Such notions are an insult to Europe and Armenia alike. In the big picture, Armenia is as European as Turkey, for religion no longer has any bearing on the matter. It should also be said that modern Europe is a mere shadow of its former albeit great past. Western civilization/European culture is in a steep decline today due to its post-Second World War subservience to Anglo-American-Zionist/Globalist forces. If Europeans do not free themselves from their suicidal multiculturalism, interracialism, homosexuality, liberalism and "Holocaust" worship, Europe, as we knew it, will disappear by the end of this century.

Instead of recognizing who we Armenians really are, instead of recognizing our natural place in the world, instead of collectively jumping at the historic opportunity Moscow has been providing us by saturating the Kremlin with Armenian activists and businessmen, we Armenians are doing our best today to turn the Kremlin against us. Major elements within the ARF, the entire House of Horrors known as Armenia's "political opposition", Raffi Hovanissian, Vartan Oskanian, Levon Petrosian, Paruyr Hayrikian, Policy Forum Armenia, Civilitas, Sardarapat and a whole slew of Western-funded NGOs and news organizations championing everything from "gay rights" to "vagina monologues"... have all proven that Armenians are self-destructive and politically illiterate. And a great many of Armenian officials both in and out of Armenia and both sides of the political fence have proven that their political allegiances are for sale.


Those in the middle get run over

If Yerevan refuses to act like a good, reliable ally for Moscow, especially since Yerevan exists ultimately because of its alliance with Moscow, why should we expect Russia to act in Armenia's best interest? If we are actively seeking to have intimate relations with Moscow's antagonists, what right do we have to complain when Russians seek good relations with Armenia's competitors.

Britain's Margaret Thatcher once said: "Those who stand in the middle get run over".

The East is rising, the West is in decline and Armenia is in the middle. The moment of reckoning is upon us. If official Yerevan pushes forward with its desire to get deeper involved with the West, we can all expect Armenia to eventually get run over once again. One of the strongest criticisms I have had about President Serj Sargsyan has been his attempts to make all sides happy. Appeasement for all has unfortunately been his modus operandi - domestically and internationally - since 2008. What the president fails to realize, however, is that when you try to make everyone happy, no one is happy, including yourself. What the president also fails to realize is that when you remain in the middle you will go nowhere - at best. Although I believe President Serj Sargsyan is of the pro-Russian camp in Armenia, he is nonetheless politically weak and does not have a very strong resolve. President Serj Sargsyan's administration also has Western-leaning officials like the World Bank/IMF trained Tigran Sargsyan and the Fletcher School educated Vigen Sargsyan (no relations) embedded deep within it.

I believe the Russian Director of Strategic Studies Leonid Reshetnikov when he says the desire for personal financial benefits is the primary reason why high-ranking Armenian officials are working closely with Western powers today. This makes perfect sense to me. While Russians are using their money to provide Armenia weaponry and buy into Armenia's national infrastructure, Western money, on the other hand, and a lot of it, is being pumped into various "programs" by organizations such as the British Council, USAID, IMF, NED and Soros' "Open Society". It's this kind of "financial aid" (a Western term for Western bribes) that Armenian officials are salivating after.


It's this kind of financial aid that will make Armenian officials eventually sell their homeland to the highest international bidder and move to the beautifully manicured, high end suburban neighborhoods of London, Washington DC, Boston, New York and... why not Tel Aviv.
 

Let's also not forget the pressure that our politically illiterate, genocide obsessed, Western-leaning nutjobs in the Armenian Diaspora have also been putting on Yerevan. A lot of the Western drive we see in Armenia today is due to the Armenian Diaspora from western nations and the Middle East. The Armenian Diaspora needs to put aside its arrogance, hysteria, obsessions and political illiteracy and realize that their homeland, Armenia, can survive without them but their homeland cannot survive in a violent and unforgiving place like the Caucasus without Russia. Let’s also realize that there are no free meals or soup kitchens in politics.

Therefore, Moscow will do whatever is necessary to keep Armenia dependent on Russia. And I hope Moscow will do everything to ensure Armenia’s dependency because independence from Russia ultimately means dependence on Turkey and Western energy interests.


Armenia is located in a hotly contested strategic geographic location on earth, a location where major powers have their sights set upon. Armenia is also located in a region of the world that has been mostly under Russian influence for over two hundred years and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Russia has been, is and will continue being the alpha and the omega of the Caucasus. This is what we Armenians need to recognize - for not doing so will lead to the lose of Artsakh or even worst. Nevertheless, Armenians are once again replicating the suicidal policies of their forefathers. As an Armenian nationalist, I hope to see Moscow do whatever is necessary (whether its assassinations, financial blackmail, political pressure or otherwise) to keep our self-destructive peasantry both in and out of Armenia dependent on Russia, and I hope to see Moscow do whatever is necessary to force Armenia into the Eurasian Union.

A message for our EUrotic idiots

It would be wise to remind ourselves of the old adage: "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." If our well intentioned patriots continue their path, we will once again mourn the lose of Armenia one day. What our Captain Americas, EUrotic idiots and their brain-dead followers fail to realize is that it has been their type in Armenian society that has kept Armenia tiny, poor, desolate and vulnerable for centuries. In other words, Armenians are simply continuing their forefathers destructive policies. It must be genetic memory. Many Armenians today continue to think that the European Union is the answer to all of Armenia's ailments, even as the union in question has been imploding in front of our very eyes. In other words, as Europeans themselves are desperately seeking ways to abandon the sinking ship known as the EU, our idiots are enthusiastically seeking ways of jumping onto it. This is an absolutely brilliant display of Armenian-style politics!

Do Armenia's EUrotic idiots (many of whom claim that Moscow's Eurasian Union is no good because Armenia does not have a common border with Russia) realize that Armenia also does not have a land connection to the European Union?


Do these people really think that the European Union is actually coming to the Caucasus?

Do these people really think that Georgia is going to last much longer being a staging center for Western, Israeli and Turkish interests?

Do these people really think that the European Union itself is going to last much longer?

Do these people really think the European Union is the answer to all of Armenia's problems?

Do we want Armenia opening up to Europe, who's closest regional partner is Turkey, or to Russia, who is Armenia's strategic partner? In fact, isn't Russia Armenia's only ally?

Don't Russian officials see Armenia as a major strategic asset worthy of protection? Haven't Western powers traditionally been in bed with Armenia's enemies?

Isn't Russia Armenia's largest trading partner, where Armenian products are well known and respected? Therefore, isn't Russia, as well as other former Soviet nations, a large market that is ideal for Armenian products?

Don't we have in Russia the largest and the most affluent Armenian diaspora, and one that is strategically situated to help Armenia both politically and economically?

Isn't Armenia closer to Russia - geographically and culturally - than to Europe or the United States?

Isn't the EU a playground where Western powers (i.e. US, UK, France and Germany) freely exploit lesser member nations?

Is Armenia ready for Western-style social engineering? In other words, is Armenia ready for multiculturalism, interracialism, militant-liberalism, femenism, homosexuality, sexual perversions, open borders, third world emigration and Holocaust worship?

Finally, have our EUrotic idiots been watching events taking place in in EU member nations Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Italy, Portugal and Spain?
 

The case I just briefly outlined for joining the Moscow-led Eurasian Union may sound very logical and compelling, but for some strange reason a lot of this obvious logic and political wisdom seems to be escaping many Armenians. It may be the genetic trait I keep writing about that causes Armenians to be politically illiterate and self-destructive; the genetic trait that makes Armenians look at an old enemy like the political West and somehow sees a friend and when looking at a natural friend like Russia somehow sees an enemy. This is the bottom line: Geographically, economically, culturally and genetically, Armenia is a Eurasian nation. Armenians need to wake up from their silly EUrotic fantasies and American wet dreams and realize that the economic pact proposed by Moscow is where Armenia rightfully and naturally belongs -
As Eurasian Union nears Armenia, West goes into panic mode: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2012/12/as-eurasian-union-nears-west-is-going_15.html
I find it utterly unfathomable that we have idiots enthusiastically seeking membership in the failing experiment that is the EU. I find it utterly unfathomable that we have people in positions of power still seeking to enter into a close relationship with those responsible for the bloody carnage in Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. I find it utterly unfathomable that we have people in positions of power still seeking to embrace those who can't even say the word "genocide". I find it utterly unfathomable that we have people in positions of power still seeking to embrace a political entity that has essentially been responsible for Turkey's twenty year old blockade against Armenia. I find it utterly unfathomable that we have idiots that still seek a greater role in Armenia for one of the world's most dangerous monsters, the USAID. I find it utterly unfathomable that we have idiots that still seek a greater role for the World Bank/IMF in Armenia, which is similar to turning over one's finances to a global mafia cartel.

After all these years, I have come to one conclusion: One must search the deepest African jungle or the remotest Arabian desert to find a tribe of people more politically illiterate than us Armenians. The more I experience our people the more I realize that we are not ready for statehood.

Nevertheless, it would be wise to recognize that the south Caucasus is merely one bad event away from turning back into a Turkic/Islamic cesspool. And Armenia is one Western-leaning president away from disappearing again. If we are to collectively continue like this we will either become a Turkish province once again (a worst case scenario) or an Iranian province (a better case scenario). If we are to collectively continue on this political path, I much rather we simply hand over the house keys back to Moscow (a best case scenario). At the end of the day, it's better to hold political demonstrations in front of the Russian embassy than in front of the Turkish or Iranian embassies.


What can EU member Bulgaria teach Armenia?

Some nations have gone through total destruction in recent history, yet they are at the forefront of development, modernity and civilization. Some nations have every reason in the world to be heaven on earth, yet they are a total mess. Similar to how nations such as Germany and Japan show us that success in nation-building is cultural and genetic, peoples such as Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and Bulgarians should be teaching us Armenians that failure in nation-building is also cultural and genetic (i.e. a matter of bio-politics).

Bulgaria's sad plight in particular has been in the news most recently. Similar to Greece which has been systematically reduced to being a subsidized nation barely making a living on German handouts, EU member Bulgaria seems to be on the verge of becoming a failed state.

However, in stark contrast to Western news reports about Armenia, reports about Europe's most destitute nations are never approached with incendiary political presumptions or insinuations by mainstream news agencies in the West. In other words, they can't complain about Bulgaria's "oligarchs" because all of Bulgaria's "oligarchs" reside in Brussels, London and Washington. They cant even blame Moscow this time. Therefore, there is no Western agenda to foment political unrest or a regime change in places such Bulgaria. As a result, Western propagandists avoid seasoning news stories with political incitement. As messy as Bulgaria is, as far as Western officials are concerned, Bulgaria is slowly developing and progressing... because it is bending-over to Western institutions and not Moscow or anybody else.

The most important lesson a nation like Bulgaria (as well as Greece, Romania, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Cyprus) should be teaching Armenians is that Western or European integration is not a cure for any of Armenia's most pressing problems. Armenia's most pressing problems today is geographic and geopolitical. Armenians need to understand is that closer integration with the Western world will not help it in any tangible way... other than perhaps increase the numbers of suicides, rapes, homelessness, child pornography, sex tourism, marital divorce, single parenthood, teenage pregnancies and homosexuals. The following are some of the modern "Western values" plaguing the world today -

Japanese artist cooks, serves own genitals at banquet: http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourcommunity/2012/05/japanese-artist-cooks-serves-own-genitals-at-banquet.html
Australian mother raped own 11 yr old daughter for 'sex education': http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120110/mother-rape-daughter-porn-films-cybersex-sex-education
Satanists Perform ‘Gay Ritual’ at Westboro Gravesite: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/07/satanists-perform-gay-ritual-at-westboro-gravesite/
Closer integration with the Western world will also bury Armenia with western products, start a massive exodus of Armenians into EU nations and may even commence the influx of third worlders into Armenia. For a small, impoverished and vulnerable nation like Armenia, "Western integration" simply means adopting an Anglo-American-Zionist agenda (i.e. slavery to the US Dollar, slavery to Western corporations, multiculturalism, interracialism, sexual perversions, destruction of the traditional family unit, destruction of the national church and the eradication of nationalism). For a small, impoverished and a south Caucasus nation like Armenia, "Western integration" also means indirect subordination to Ankara. 

Of course I am speaking about this without the Russian factor. In my opinion, if Armenia's integration into Western structures do not destroy it, Moscow surely will. Moscow will sooner turn Armenia into a bloody war zone before allowing it to move under a Western umbrella .Armenians also need to understand that despite it being tiny, remote, impoverished, landlocked, blockaded and surrounded by enemies in one of the most violent regions of the world, Armenia has done quite well. And as primitive and nasty as they may seem at times, our "oligarchs" in Armenia are much preferable to any Western, multinational-mega-corporation that would be running the show in Armenia once the nation is subjugated by Western powers.

There are corporations as well as individuals in the US, UK, Turkey and Israel that can buy virtually all of Armenia. The only thing today standing in the way of these from flying to Armenia and purchasing the entire country have been Russians and Armenia's "oligarchs". With closer EU integration, Armenia will be - literally - sold to the highest international bidder. But the average Armenian today is too blinded by emotions, too arrogant, too politically illiterate to understand any of this.
 
I am in no way trying to excuse the deplorable behavior of Armenia's monopolists but we must realize that Western integration promises to be even worst for Armenia. Please read the following news articles about Bulgaria in the context of what Armenia has been going through in the last twenty years and keep in mind that Armenia has been a tiny, impoverished, remote, landlocked and a blockaded nation surrounded by enemies in a very violent region of the world - 
There you have it folks, this is membership in the EU for a nation that perhaps resembles us Armenians more than any other EU nation today. Despite it being tiny, remote, impoverished, landlocked, blockaded and surrounded by enemies in one of the most violent regions of the world, Armenia has done remarkably well - thanks in large part to its decision to remain under Moscow's protective umbrella ever since its independence from the Soviet Union.

We all need to somehow put aside our massive egos, debilitating emotions and Cold War biases and recognize that Armenia's future, for better or for worst, lies with Russia. In my opinion, Armenia needs to pursue its Russian course even if it has to shed its ties with the Armenian Diaspora. At the end of the day, and in the big picture, Armenia's future looks brighter than that of most European nations. At the end of the day, and in the big picture, Armenia's future looks better than that of its immediate neighbors. In the meanwhile, our hysterical compatriots in the Diaspora and our Captain Americas in Armenia need to stop their poisonous and self-destructive nonsense and begin the long and arduous process of nation-building within a Russian/Eurasian context.


Armenia has only one choice

Imagine the south Caucasus as a table where Turks, Azeris, Iranians, Georgians, Islamists, Armenians, Western energy interests and Russians sit. Now imagine this "Caucasian table" effectively without its Russian resident. In another words, imagine the region without a powerful Russian presence. Now imagine what clout or leverage our tiny, impoverished, remote, landlocked, inexperienced, embattled and blockaded homeland will have at that table. Make sense?

In the big picture, undermining Russian influence in the south Caucasus is essentially what our Captain Americas and nationalist nutjobs are seeking today. To remind you again: No Russia in the Caucasus means no Armenia in the Caucasus. At the end of the day we must all realize that all international relations are ultimately political in nature. Opening Armenia to the West will anger Moscow. Angering Moscow runs the risk of taking Armenia and/or Artsakh out from under Moscow's protective umbrella. Taking Armenia out from under Moscow's protective umbrella will make Armenia dangerously vulnerable in a region of the world where Turks, Islamists and Western energy interests are powerful.

Armenia needs to stay clear of a Western trap regardless of how inciting the Western lure may be. Armenia needs to remain securely under Russia's protective umbrella - even if this ultimately means a lower standard of living in the short-term for the average Armen. Being that it is tiny, impoverished, landlocked, remote and blockaded by a genocidal, Turkic NATO member on its western border and a genocidal, Turkic aggressor on its eastern border, Armenia has only one choice when it comes to picking its friends in the Caucasus region. Yerevan has no choice but to align itself fully with the Russian Federation and concentrate its limited energies and resources on further developing its north-south axis. Yerevan has no choice but to rely on Moscow, but in doing so it must also do its best to cultivate the political climate in the Kremlin in its favor. Sadly, we are not doing this at this time.

Being that Armenians are well placed throughout Russian society and because the Russian Federation is a superpower with great economic potential and its leadership sees Armenia as a strategic partner in the south Caucasus, Armenians have an unprecedented historic opportunity to impact politics in the Kremlin. Despite all this, however, it's not Armenians that are constantly lobby in the Kremlin - it's Turks and Azeris. Instead of saturating the Kremlin with Armenian businessmen and political activists from around the world, we are bombarding the Kremlin with insults. Instead of moving forcefully to further develop Armenia's strategic ties with Russia, we have legions of our politically illiterate peasantry (many of whom just happen to be Russophobes from the US) putting pressure on Yerevan to distance itself from Moscow. We must always bare in mind that geostrategically Armenia does not serve the interests of Western policymakers. Simply put, Armenia is too small, too poor, too remote and it has too many problems with Washington's friends in the region (i.e. Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan) and is too close with Washington's enemies in the regi0n (i.e. Russia and Iran) -

US working to strengthen relations with Turks and Azeris: http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2012/11/us-working-to-strengthen-relations-with.html
Whereas Armenia is a strategic asset for Moscow and for Tehran, Armenia is an obstacle for the West. After all, the only reason why the West is in the Caucasus region is to curb the growth of Russia and Iran and to exploit Central Asian energy. Consequently, Armenia has but only one choice when it comes to picking its friend. And suggestions that our fragile homeland in the volatile Caucasus is too reliant on Russia is a moot point.

A newly formed, tiny, impoverished, remote, landlocked and blockaded nation located in one of the most hostile political environments on earth cannot be "independent" despite our best efforts. Nevertheless, putting aside the fact that other than a handful of political entities on earth there are no truly independent nations today, what we are once again failing to realize is that if Armenia somehow managed to cut its crucially important umbilical cord with Moscow and somehow attained "independence" (that is if Moscow allowed it) Armenia would by default be at the mercy of its regional enemies for survival. Bare in mind that Tehran is barely surviving the Western aggression against it and its future remains unpredictable.

Therefore, Armenia's "independence" from Moscow would ultimately mean its "dependence" on Ankara, Washington, London, Tel Aviv, Brussels, Tbilisi and Baku.

It would be wise to recognize that Russia, for better or for worst, is Armenia's only security guarantee in the region. At the end of the day, Armenia lives today because of the Russian factor in the region's recent history. In the big picture, had Ivan not come down to the Caucasus some two hundred years ago, and stayed there, Armenia's modern day Captain Americas and EUrotic idiots would still be herding goats or making donkey saddles somewhere in eastern Turkey or northern Iran.

Arevordi
July, 2013


***

Former Russian Envoy Vyacheslav Kovalenko Warns Armenia Over European Integration Drive

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Armenia will receive few tangible benefits and risk alienating Moscow if it presses ahead with an “association agreement” with the European Union instead of joining a new Russian-led union of ex-Soviet states, according to a senior Russian diplomat.

Vyacheslav Kovalenko, who was until recently the Russian ambassador in Yerevan, issued the unusually stark warning on Monday in an interview with the news website of a Moscow-based youth organization promoting the Eurasian Union, a brainchild of President Vladimir Putin.

Kovalenko noted that Armenia is close to signing the association accord with the EU and therefore reluctant to seek full membership of the existing customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which Putin hopes will be the starting point of his Eurasian project. 

“European countries offer Armenia to follow the ‘more for more’ principle,’” he told EvrazesNews.ru. “A question arises in this regard: what real assistance, except for advice and promises for the future, has the EU provided to Armenia in the past year? By embracing European values, Armenia, it appears, could step onto a slippery path. As they said in ancient times, ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions.’” 

The Association Agreement with the EU, Kovalenko warned, would mean that “allied relations between Russia and Armenia have their boundaries.”  “With the signing of that agreement by the EU and Armenia, there will probably be greater tendency take into account one’s own interests in our relations, which is what the EU does. While certainly remaining allies, we will be developing bilateral relations on an equal and mutually beneficial footing.” 

In that context, the diplomat, who headed the Russian mission in Armenia from 2009 until March 2013, quoted prominent Armenian intellectuals who viewed Russia as the sole guarantor of Armenia’s survival a century ago. “Armenia can only live with Russia or not live at all,” he cited one of them as having said a century ago. 

The remarks are the clearest indication yet that Moscow is unhappy with Yerevan’s apparent determination to avoid joining the Russian-led unions and seal the association deal with the EU instead. Despite holding no concrete position in Russia’s Foreign Ministry at present, Kovalenko apparently did not retire from the Russian diplomatic service upon completing his mission in Armenia. The 67-year-old career diplomat kept a low profile and was very cautious in his public pronouncements during his four-year tenure in the country. 

President Serzh Sarkisian insisted earlier this year that Yerevan is not under Russian pressure to join the Eurasian Union, dismissing intense speculation to the contrary in the Armenian media. Sarkisian and other Armenian officials have repeatedly voiced support for “integration processes” in the former Soviet Union. However, they have stopped short of explicitly advocating Armenia’s accession to the new bloc promoted by the Kremlin. 


Sarkisian reaffirmed his administration’s intention to move much closer to the EU when he visited Poland last month. The Armenian people, he argued, are “carriers of European values.” 

Kovalenko seemed to scoff at these remarks. “Nobody says that CIS countries, including Armenia, must look at the world through Russia’s eyes,” he said. “Every independent state is free to make a political choice and that is right. But isn’t there an ongoing devaluation of these European values?” 

The Russian diplomat pointed to the West’s “irresponsible” and “immoral” policies in the Arab world. “Under the guise of a fight for democracy, they provoke color revolutions, make threats and use military force,” he told EvrazesNews.ru. Kovalenko also blasted Western officials and pundits for branding the Eurasian Union project an attempt to restore the Soviet Union.


Leonid Reshetnikov: U.S. ousting Russia from Armenia

The Heritage Party leader was there, but stood among the crowd.

One cannot confidently state that Armenia is a staunch ally of Russia in the South Caucasus, Leonid Reshetnikov, Director of Russia’s Institute for Strategic Studies, told journalists in Rostov, Rosbalt reports.

The political and socio-economic situation has worsened in Armenia over the last few years. He pointed out that over 50% of the Armenia’s population emigrated to Russia, including numerous intellectuals that are friendly to Russia. While ordinary people are concerned over the possibility of Russia leaving the Caucasus, intellectuals and government officials are of different opinions, the expert said.

 

Reshetnikov pointed out the U.S. has become more active in Armenia. It is no coincidence that the U.S. has the “world’s largest embassy” in Armenia. “It means that the Central Intelligence Agency created a regional agent network, which is common knowledge. That is why 300 to 400 officers are working there as diplomatic or technical staff,” the expert said. According to Reshetnikov, the United State’s aim is to break the only link that is still an obstacle to their efforts to form a “Russia-free” one in the Caucasus.  

This is also the aim of the United State’s efforts to reconcile Armenia and Turkey. “A few years ago I happened to talk to Armenia’s top officials. Even then, in private talks, they used to say: ‘The United States is a great power, why are we looking at Russia? We had better look at the U.S.’ I said to a top-ranking official: ‘The U.S. will not give you money for the country’s development. It will give a loan for sewerage in Yerevan, and top officials will use the money for personal enrichment. Americans have never given anything except for purpose loans to bribe the ruling top. The face of the official I was talking to showed he shared my opinion of the U.S. line. He liked that idea of Americans giving money for the ruling top,” Reshetnikov said. 

He pointed out that Russia’s weaker positions in Armenia will be palpable within the next couple of years.

Source: http://news.am/eng/news/50156.html


Russian Diplomat Decries Armenia’s EU Integration

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A Russian diplomat has openly criticized ongoing talks on the Association Agreement between Armenia and the European Union, in a further sign that Moscow is unhappy with Yerevan’s reluctance to join a new Russian-led union of ex-Soviet states. Aleksandr Vasilyev, the first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Yerevan, compared the negotiating process late on Tuesday with Western powers’ and the Soviet Union’s infamous treaties with Nazi Germany that cost several Eastern European states their independence.

“The separate, confidential negotiations between the European Union and Armenia, whose details are being concealed from the public and everybody else, are putting us on our guard,” Vasilyev told a roundtable discussion in Yerevan organized by an Armenian group promoting “Eurasian integration.”

“You remember how such negotiations ended in 1930s. At first there was the [1938] Munich conspiracy and then the [1939] Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Those agreements did not bring Europe anything good,” he warned, according to the Armenian newspaper “168 Zham.”

Vasilyev said that Armenia will soon have to make a fateful choice between European and Eurasian integrations. He predicted that political life in the country will therefore heat up in the coming weeks. Vyacheslav Kovalenko, who was Russia’s ambassador to Armenia until March, issued a similar warning less than two months ago. He said Yerevan will receive few tangible benefits and risk alienating Moscow if it presses ahead with the Association Agreement.

“By embracing European values, Armenia, it appears, could step onto a slippery path. As they said in ancient times, ‘The road to hell is paved with good intentions,’” Kovalenko said.

The Armenian leadership appears to have been under Russian pressure to pledge to join a Eurasian Union of ex-Soviet states which President Vladimir Putin hopes will be built around Russia’s existing customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. President Serzh Sarkisian’s administration has given no such promises, pushing instead for the signing of the far-reaching deal with the EU. It is due to be initialed at an EU summit in November. The EU is also planning similar agreements with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. The Russian government has warned Ukraine against signing such a deal, including through de facto trade sanctions that were briefly imposed earlier this month. It has exerted no such pressure on Armenia so far.

Officials in Yerevan have expressed confidence that Armenia will avoid an open confrontation with the Kremlin because unlike  the three ex-Soviet states it is not seeking to eventually join the EU through the Association Agreement. They also argue that Armenia remains strongly committed to its military alliance with Russia.

Vasilyev’s remarks prompted strong criticism from pro-Western Armenian pundits on Wednesday. Davit Shahnazarian, an opposition politician and analyst who held top security posts in the government in the 1990s, said: “Russian diplomats and other officials must be a bit more cautious in their evaluations and realize that Armenia is a sovereign state, that it does appreciate its strategic security cooperation with Russia. But that must be mutually beneficial and they should in no case meddle in our internal affairs.”

Stepan Grigorian, another prominent analyst who headed Armenian missions in Moscow in the mid-1990s, claimed that the Russians have failed to come up with attractive alternatives to European integration and are now resorting to “primitive pressure.”


Armenia, Europe Edging Closer to Association Deal

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A visit Wednesday by the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Štefan Füle to Armenia, signaled that the European Union and Armenia are edging closer to an association agreement, which has been in the works since last year.

At a meeting between Fule and President Serzh Sarkisian, parties praised Armenia-EU relations, the important cooperation carried out in the Eastern Partnership framework, and the progress made on negotiations for the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, which constitutes an integral part of the Association Agreement.

The participants of the meeting noted the progress in cooperation regarding population mobility, underscoring that the Agreements on Visa Facilitation and Readmission have already been signed and are now undergoing the process of ratification. Füle also spoke about the preparation for the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, where a final agreement is being anticipated. Sarkisian stressed that Armenia is determined to continue reinvigorating large-scale reforms implemented in different areas and is anticipating added assistance in the process.

Füle also met with Foreign Minister Nalbandian, who welcomed Europe’s continued support of Armenia’s reforms. The two discussed issues related to the negotiation process within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. Füle hailed the positive developments in Armenia-EU relations, underlining that Armenia is one of the frontrunners of the Eastern Partnership Program and reiterated the EU’s commitment to maintain its support for the process of reforms.

Füle voiced hope that the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreement would be pre-signed during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius. The parties stressed the importance of ratification of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements. In the context of Armenia’s presidency of the Council of Europe, the two attached importance to cooperation between the European Union and the Council of Europe.

Unclear Geopolitical Directions of Armenia

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Yerevan is trying to make a choice between the European Union and the Russia-led Customs Union. Despite all the assurances of some Armenian experts that the West and Russia do not put pressure on Yerevan, there is quite different evidence.

Between the West and Moscow there is an "undercover" struggle for greater influence in the South Caucasus. Russia, jealously relating to the position of its former satellites from the former Soviet Union, is trying to keep Armenia in its orbit of influence. The U.S. and EU also do not intend to give up their positions. According to the director of the Center for Regional Studies Richard Giragosian, although Armenia is a strategic partner of Russia and here there is a Russian military base, the U.S. is ready to lead a very persistent struggle for Armenia. The U.S. will not be satisfied with only one Georgia. Armen Badalyan, political strategist, thinks that Armenia is the missing piece in the puzzle of the South Caucasus for the West: "If we look at a map of the South Caucasus from a little distance, we will see the following picture: Azerbaijan is very strong in its position – there is oil, gas, and transit routes for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Georgia is fully oriented to the West, where the society has become pro-Western, not to mention the political elites, and the United States can only maintain this trend. As for Armenia, it is ruled by Russia. "

Meanwhile, the choice between the initialling of an Association Agreement with the EU (in Vilnius in November this year as part of the "Eastern Partnership") and the possible entry into the Customs Union has not been made yet. On the one hand the Armenian officials and MPs from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) show commitment to European values and European integration as a major priority of foreign policy, and on the other hand, the fact that it is impossible to solve military problems in one block, and economic - in another, is mentioned.

Until very recently, the uncertainty in the position of Yerevan did not cause irritation of the two opposing centers. However, each process has its own logic - the beginning, the development and the denouement.

The following chain of events is indicative in this respect. On the eve of the official visit of Serzh Sargsyan to Poland with a difference of one or two days Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and a frequent guest of Armenia, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha visited Yerevan. According to official reports, the agenda was the discussion of issues included in the program of cooperation between Security Councils of Armenia and Russia, and Bordyuzha was in Yerevan within the forum of political scientists and experts of the CSTO member states. Then, on June 26 Sargsyan went on an official visit to Poland, where there was something that can to some extent be considered a turning point in the process of choosing between the two directions for Armenia.

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski told his Armenian counterpart about the need to choose, because Armenia cannot conclude Association Agreement with the European Union and at the same time be part of the Customs Union. Komorowski, responding to the statement by Sargsyan that Armenia is building activities not on an "either-or" but on an "both-and" noticed that he understand the desire of Armenia to develop the best possible relations with Russia, but it is impossible to act at the same time on two different economic areas. So the West has shown some irritation about vague position of Armenia and showed Yerevan a "yellow card".

Sargsyan’s return from Warsaw was marked by a few odd statements. For example, the Armenian authorities, who had previously strived for European integration, suddenly began to talk excitedly about the preferences of the CU, when all the hints by Moscow faced the Karabakh issue, and the authorities pointed to the need for Armenia's accession to the Customs Union only with Nagorno-Karabakh. MP from the RPA Aik Babukhanyan said: "Our political field is much closer to Russia than to the European Union."

Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan tried somehow to clarify vague position of Armenia, which has never happened before, "Armenia has never had a goal to join the EU. In those documents, around which there are negotiations, there is no European perspective, it is only the harmonization of relations. This is a substantial difference. "

Then a sociological survey suddenly appeared conducted by the so-called cooperative Gallup - GALLUP International Association of Armenia. According to the survey, in Armenia, 61% of respondents positively perceive the CU, 26% are indifferent to the issue, and only 4% are negative about it. The reality is that the vast majority of the population shows almost no interest in either any possible long-term prospects of joining the EU or the possibility of early prospect of joining the CU because of the dire socio-economic situation, and therefore do not have any idea about these processes.

Nevertheless, the presentation of the results of the survey was accompanied by a commentary by political analyst Sergei Shakaryants known for his overtly pro-Russian position that in case of failure of the Eurasian way, it cannot be ruled out that Russia could "organize" the war in the area of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, given that recently Russia once again used its favorite weapon of pressure - raised the price of gas. All this suggests that the revolution in the consciousness of the Armenian authorities could have occurred under pressure from Moscow. The West is clearly worried by the tilt towards Moscow. A manifestation of this concern has unfolded six weeks ago due to an organized, systematic discrediting in the media of the representatives of the ruling regime and the Prime Minister of Armenia TigranSarkisyan.

Source: http://vestnikkavkaza.net/analysis/politics/42361.html

Which Way Will Armenia Tilt?

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On February 18, Armenians will cast their ballots for president. Although eight candidates have registered, victory and a new five-year term for incumbent Serzh Sargsyan are a foregone conclusion. Still, this election is not meaningless. The conduct of this poll is important, as will be Sargsyan’s choices after the poll. If the international community gives the election a clean bill of health, it will increase Sargsyan’s legitimacy. He will have the opportunity to enact much needed reforms in order to move closer to the West or, perhaps as likely, avoid tough reforms and move Armenia – already broadly sympathetic to Russia – further into Moscow.

Upon first winning the presidency in February 2008, Sargsyan faced a legitimacy crisis. Some have claimed that he has used his position and connections – he was sitting prime minister and had served previously as secretary of the national security council and defense minister – to rig the election against Levon Ter-Petrossian, a former president. At least ten died in the ensuing protests. This year, Sargsyan faces little resistance, with Sargsyan’s slide towards authoritarianism and Armenia’s lack of democratic institutions leaving the opposition fractured and divided. His most formidable opponents – Ter-Petrossian and wealthy businessman Gagik Tsarukyan, chief of the Prosperous Armenia party – both declined to run.

That Sargsyan effectively gets a free pass does a disservice to Armenia, which faces formidable obstacles to its development. When Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili inherited a corrupt and inefficient state in 2004, he stamped out government corruption and reformed Georgia into a Western-leaning economy. On January 31, 2013, the World Bank issued a report, Fighting Corruption in Public Services: Chronicling Georgia's Reforms,” praising Georgia for tackling corruption and noting that Georgia can serve as an example for other countries facing similar challenges.

Armenia will find no such praise. Its government remains corrupt and inefficient. The country was among the worst hit during the 2008-2009 economic crisis, with GDP shrinking by 14 percent in 2009, according to the IMF. Since then, Armenian GDP has grown slowly – at an average annual rate of approximately 3.5 percent between 2010-2012. In contrast, Georgia grew by an average annual 6.6 percent in the same three years. In 2010, according to official statistics, 35.8 percent of Armenia’s population was living below the poverty line – an increase from 27.6 percent in 2008. And, while neighboring Georgia and Azerbaijan welcome foreign investors, organized crime keeps most foreign investors out of Armenia. The Armenian Diaspora – who care deeply about Armenia’s success – have long ago concluded that investing in their homeland is a thankless task that will pay dividends neither individually nor for Armenia.

Hundreds of thousands of Armenians now flee the country for better prospects. Younger, more educated Armenians head to the West, while their older, blue-collar compatriots head north to Russia. The Russian government has welcomed these migrants, and has helped place them in areas of Russia facing population decline. While Russia might use these Armenians to mitigate its own demographic problem, the same migration merely exacerbates Armenia’s.

Last April, the European Commission estimated that one-third of Armenia’s population had emigrated since Armenia’s independence in 1991. Visiting Armenia in December 2012, one young Armenian told me that if she or her peers had even small hope that the economy would improve, they would stay. But few see such hope. Meanwhile, a full sprint into Russia’s embrace may compound Armenia’s problems. In recent years, Armenia has become Russia’s primary foothold in the South Caucasus. Russia’s influence in Armenia is vast not only political and economic, but also military and cultural. Armenia depends on Russia for gas; Russia owns Armenia’s communication and railway networks, and has extended a lease for a Military Base in Gyumri until 2044.

The Kremlin also hopes to bring Armenia into a Russia-led Customs Union – a precursor to the so-called Eurasian Union, which Russian president Vladimir Putin hopes will be a counterweight to the European Union. With aid, however, the West has leverage.

Since 1992, the United States has provided Armenia with approximately $2 billion in development and humanitarian assistance, the highest aid per capita among the former Soviet states. Although the U.S. reduced funding in 2011, when the Millennium Challenge Corporation penalized Armenia for failing to enact political reforms, the European Union compensated with an augmented aid package and is currently negotiating a free trade accord. It is now up to Armenia to choose which direction it wishes to go: Will it join the West and a community of democracies and liberal economies, or will Sargsyan tilt Armenia more toward a Kremlin-led community of increasingly autocratic former Soviet states.

Source: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/02/15/which-way-will-armenia-tilt/#comment-363487

Association Agreement Appeal: National Platform calls for greater publicity in Armenia-EU deal

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The Armenian National Platform of the EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum has expresses concern over the lack of action to familiarize the Armenian public at large with the contents of the Association Agreement that Armenia wants to initial with the European Union in several months.

In this regard, representatives of the National Platform issued appeals both to the government of Armenia and European Union institutions. They, in particular, called on Armenian officials to start a more open dialogue with society in order to avoid ‘distortions and possible manipulations of public opinion regarding European integration’.

“We cannot but be concerned over the fact that on the one hand we sign documents envisaging various reforms, but in practice very few changes take place. It cannot but have an impact on the public’s attitude to the contents of the documents, causing its mistrust,” Yerevan Press Club President Boris Navasardyan, who coordinates the National Platform, said during discussions on Monday.

Stefan Fule, the EU’s Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, who visited Yerevan last week, expressed confidence that the Armenia-EU Association Agreement will be initialed at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in November. The agreement would allow Armenia to become closer integrated with the European Union including within the framework of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area to be established as part of the process.

It is before the initiating of this Agreement that Armenia’s National Platform calls for the Armenian government to ensure an open dialogue as well as pursue policies that would be in harmony with the values declared in the Agreement, refusing to simply imitate fulfillment of international obligations.

The organization embracing a number of civic groups at the same time urges EU institutions to show more consistency in the application of its ‘more for more’ principle.  It is remarkable that representatives of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia as well as of the Prosperous Armenia Party were not present at the discussion despite the fact that invitations had been sent to them.

Opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Vladimir Karapetyan said that as long as the document was not made public one could not say with certitude that it did not include a provision that would be unacceptable to Armenia. Karapetyan reminded the Turkish-Armenian diplomatic protocols in which some saw a compromise on the Genocide recognition matter.

“Who would have thought that this government would agree to establish a commission of historians?” he said. Karapetyan stressed that the ANC was a proponent of European integration, but said it had a number of reservations.

“This is a first of all the inconsistency that we can see among some of our European partners. Before the presidential election Fule made statements on several occasions, calling on our authorities to adopt a new code, etc. But there was no response from the European side [to the lack of this reform]. During his latest visit there was no word of March 1 [2008 unrest] victims,” said the ANC representative.

Giro Manoyan, Director of the International Secretariat of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) Bureau in Yerevan, also raised concerns regarding Armenia’s possible involvement with the Russia-initiated Eurasian Union. He said that some ‘contradictory messages’ were coming from Russia and that clarity was needed in this matter.

“Even though Armenia’s authorities say that no condition of making a choice has been set to Armenia, the signals coming from Russia suggest that such a condition has been imposed on Armenia,” he said.

Source: http://armenianow.com/news/47697/armenia_national_patform_eu_association_agreement

EU/USAID Funded Silk Road Corridor Project Launched in Armenia

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The Armenian, Georgian, Greek, and Turkish partners of the Black Sea Silk Road Corridor (BSSRC) Project celebrated the official trans-regional launch of the project at Noravank Monastery in Vayots Dzor, Armenia on July 16.

BSSRC is a joint-project between NGO partners in Georgia, Greece, Turkey, and Armenia to create a 3000 kilometer-long tourist trail stretching from Thessalonica, Greece to Meghri, Armenia. The project will also fund the development of applications for iPhones, iPads, Android and Windows smart phones and tablets.

The Project is funded by the EU office through its Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme, with co-financing for Armenia from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) project.

U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia Traian Hristea, Ambassadors of Greece, Georgia, Italy and China, and representatives from the Armenian Ministries of Culture, Economy, Transport and Communication, as well as the Holy See Etchmiadzin delivered remarks during the event.

Participants watched performances from the Areni and ShatinVillage dancers and musicians, took part in a bread and salt ceremony with local villagers, toured the monastery complex, and visited a local winery.

“BSSRC is yet another chance to promote the Armenian civilization as part of the world’s cultural heritage. This project opens a cultural exchange with neighboring countries, which will also increase the competitiveness of the tourism industry and positively affect the quality of infrastructures and services. This project will enhance the significance of Armenia as a tourism destination, which is an important precondition for the sustainable development of the Armenian tourism industry,” noted Armenian Travel Bureau Head Hovhannes Margaryan.

“The Silk Road was an important trade route in history, and this historic destination contributed to the development of various countries. Today we are trying to revive the Silk Road Corridor as a tourism destination and a hidden treasure,” noted Firat Polat, Deputy President of the Economists’ Association from Turkey.

According to the Greek partner representative, Pyrrhus Mercouris, the new mobile phone technologies will allow visitors to access information and data about interesting places to visit and information on tourist services. This online system will be presented to tour agencies and tourism professionals, particularly focusing on how historic monuments and eco-sites are linked and displayed through GPS and on the mobile phone application, and how they can use the trail to promote tourism packages and thus make local attractions more accessible to tourists.

“This project links Georgia with Silk Road trails in Armenia, Turkey, and Greece, which is important in encouraging cross border communication and people-to-people understanding of the diverse cultures located along the Silk Road Corridor,” noted Simon Kopadze, Director of “Tadzreli” Foundation in Georgia.

Source: http://asbarez.com/111589/silk-road-corridor-project-launched/

USAID, Ministry of Justice to Improve Armenia’s Legal System

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On July 11, the USAID-funded Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) project and the Ministry of Justice of Armenia signed a letter of intent to implement business-enabling reforms in Armenia and develop the country’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system. The ceremony was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern and Minister of Justice, Hrayr Tovmasyan.

From July 2013 to December 2014, the parties will jointly implement a range of activities, including a thorough study of the current ADR system. Through the EDMC project, USAID will support the Ministry of Justice in the drafting of primary and secondary legislation and in conducting public hearings and roundtable discussions with stakeholders. The activities will seek to not only improve the system, but also to raise public awareness of the reforms and to build the confidence of the business community in the ADR system.

Following the signing ceremony, the EDMC project will host a high-level conference on July 12, 2013, with the participation of Armenian and American judges. United States federal judges Ricardo Martinez and Robert Lasnik will share the American approach to ADR as an international best practice, and will conduct a mock arbitration and mediation.

Source: http://asbarez.com/111333/usaid-ministry-of-justice-to-improve-armenia’s-legal-system/

US Geological Survey Completes Armenia Shale Gas Resources Study

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U.S. Geological Survey representatives have completed study of Armenia’s shale gas resources, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern said in response to a question from the ArmInfo new agency. He said that the U.S. specialists launched their work last year. Now, they are in Washington to process the data received. Thematic survey results will be presented to the Government of Armenia later, the ambassador said.

On August 3 2012, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Armenian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and the Isle of Man-registered International Minerals & Mines Ltd. It is paving the way for the exploration of Armenia’s shale reserves. Should large-scale commercial extraction proceed, Armenia’s energy find could grant the country a measure of energy independence and, with it, newfound geopolitical freedom.

The Aug. 3 deal comes on the heels of another agreement between the Energy Ministry and the U.S. State Department in June to cooperate in energy exploration, commercialization and investment. This agreement plans “cooperative assessment and technical studies of Armenia’s energy resources, including any potential shale gas resources.”

According to the Armenian energy ministry, the August agreement is the result of an international shale gas conference sponsored by the U.S. government, which has offered exploration grants to Armenia and other countries. Previous assessments suggest Armenia’s hydrocarbon reserves are small.

The US Geological Survey, which is identified in the June memorandum as a technical partner in the joint effort, identified 44 million tons of in-place shale oil reserves in the Aramus region based on a 1994 study. The Armenian government, however, raised the figure in a 2005 report (.pdf), listing 17 million to 18 million tons of shale oil reserves in Ijevan, Shamut and Jermanis and 128 million tons in Dilijan, reported the World Politics Review.


Armenian opposition leader meets with US official in Washington

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Opposition Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian, who was on a visit to Washington, met with Deputy Secretary of State Eric Rubin on Monday.  In a private meeting at the Department of State, the two discussed not only Armenia’s domestic democratic challenges, but also its international challenges, including “a righteous resolution to the conflict surrounding the Mountainous Karabagh Republic and a true recognition of the Armenian Genocide and Great National Dispossession of 1915,” according to the Heritage Party’s official website. At the same day, Hovannisian delivered a keynote address to an audience of diplomats, policy-makers, and intellectuals at the George Washington University Law School. The event, “A Conversation on Armenia,” was co-sponsored by the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, Policy Forum Armenia, and the Armenian Bar Association.  After the event he gave interviews to representatives of the local and international media. “The United States will recognize the voice of the Armenian people,” said the Armenian opposition leader, in particular. Hovannisian, who finished second in Armenia’s presidential race last February and continues to dispute the official reelection of President Serzh Sargsyan, pledged to go on fighting for a ‘New Armenia’ when he left Yerevan for a tour of the United States last month. The Heritage party leader called on all political and civic forces in the country to consolidate for a fresh push against the “de facto” government in fall.

Source: http://www.aysor.am/en/news/2013/06/04/raffi-hovhannisyan/

Philanthropic Support Fuels Growth for AUA Undergraduate Program

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The American University of Armenia (AUA) continues to garner overwhelming philanthropic support for its new undergraduate program, set to launch in the Fall of 2013. Recently, AUA received $50,000 from Dr. and Mrs. Noubar Ouzounian of California and $25,000 from the San Francisco Armenian Professional Society. AUA will utilize the generous commitment of $50,0000 by Dr. and Mrs. Ouzounian to build a strong foundation for the new Bachelor’s program.

“It is our intention to provide young Armenians the opportunity to obtain a world class education that will prepare them to compete on a global level and build for themselves and their country a brighter future,” said Dr. Ouzounian. “It was through my education at the American University of Beirut that I was able to elevate myself and have a higher standard of living. I would like to provide students in Armenia with the same opportunity through the American University of Armenia.”

The donation of $25,000 from the San Francisco Armenian Professional Society will enable AUA to outfit 5 mobile audio-visual carts to enhance undergraduate classes, lectures, and workshops.

“We believe in what AUA stands for and continue to support its mission for education and professionalism,” said Dr. Agheg Yenikomshian, president of the San Francisco Armenian Professional Society. “Our donation will make a positive difference in supporting the development of higher education in Armenia.”

The new undergraduate program is an unprecedented expansion that will quadruple AUA’s student body over the next five years.

“The university is proud to have supporters such as Dr. and Mrs. Ouzounian and the San Francisco Armenian Professional Society,” said AUA President Dr. Bruce Boghosian. “These gifts will allow AUA to further its mission of providing accessible, high-quality education for the next generation of Armenian professionals while making AUA a destination for international students.”

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values. AUA is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001.

Source: http://asbarez.com/110024/philanthropic-support-fuels-growth-for-aua-undergraduate-program/ 

East or West?: Armenia at geopolitical crossroads ahead of 2013 election

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An agreement on visa regime facilitation for citizens of Armenia traveling to European Union-member countries is due to be signed in Brussels today, December 17. Armenia has waived the visa requirement for citizens of EU countries who will travel to this South Caucasus republic after January 1. And this is in the case when Europe and Russia are unable to agree on visa facilitation.

The end of the year has proved rich for Armenia in terms of visits of European officials and activation of U.S. policies. Late last week Yerevan hosted a troika of top diplomats of EU-member countries – the foreign ministers of Sweden, Poland and Bulgaria, Carl Bildt, Radoslaw Sikorski and Nikolay Mladenov, respectively.

Welcoming the ministers in Yerevan, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan stressed the importance of deepening cooperation between the countries within the framework of the Eastern Partnership program. According to the parties, Armenia-EU relations are developing intensively. They also noted that Armenia has made good progress in negotiations on the Association Agreement, and the negotiations on agreement on the establishment of a deep and comprehensive free trade area have proceeded successfully. These agreements could be signed as early as in November 2013.

Polish FM Sikorski highlighted the importance of the February 18 presidential election in Armenia. “The election process, we believe, must rule out even the slightest possibility of formulating any accusation. This is very important from the point of view of the Eastern Partnership summit due to be held in Vilnius, Lithuania, next November,” he told a joint news conference of the three diplomats and Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian in Yerevan on Friday.

The visit of the EU diplomatic troika overlapped with the visit of the State Secretary of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, Yves Rossier. The Swiss diplomat said that Switzerland considers it important to develop mutually beneficial cooperation with Armenia. He discussed with Armenian leadership the possibility of expanding areas of cooperation and exchanged views on cooperation within international organizations.

Simultaneously, at the December 15 special convention of his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) that formally nominated him for reelection, President Sargsyan unveiled his election manifesto in which as priorities he mentioned the following: strengthening allied relations between Armenia and the Russian Federation and implementing programs to enhance strategic cooperation, development and expansion of friendly partnership with the United States, continued policy of rapprochement with Europe, strengthening of relations with the European countries.

In other words, Sargsyan is not going to get off the course of so-called complementarity”, but will deepen the foreign-policy “diversification” as far as it is possible. Russia does not seem to be quite satisfied with this course, and it is not a coincidence that the end of 2012 has also brought the news of Russian monopoly Gazprom planning to raise the price of natural gas for Armenia.

Russia’s prime minister, leader of the ruling United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev sent a message to the RPA convention delegates, warning that the decisions of the convention would “have an impact on the future of the country and, therefore, on the Armenian-Russian relations that have a nature of strategic partnership.” Perhaps he expected Sargsyan to include more categorical statements about relations with Russia in his election program.

For his part, in his message of greeting to the RPA gathering, President of the European People’s Party (EPP) Wilfried Martens confirmed full trust in Sargsyan, describing his reform agenda as the only credible agenda for the implementation of “significant and sustainable changes” in Armenia.

”We are all Europeans. Armenia belongs to Europe. We share the same heritage, and, therefore, the same fate. Due to the Armenian president and prime minister’s works, the RPA has proved to be the leader for changes. I have no doubt that after two months the Armenian people will make the right choice to have consolidated democracy and subsequent changes in the country,” the EPP leader added.

And in the White House, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, who was on an ‘innovative’ visit to the United States, was received by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. Meanwhile, Armenia was visited by U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Thomas Melia. During his meeting with the Armenian president the sides pointed out the importance of the process of democratic reforms in Armenia, and efforts aimed at ensuring the rule of law. It was emphasized that the development of Armenia is impossible without serious steps in this direction. Apparently, Washington intends to support Armenia’s “decisive steps”.


Armenian demarche?: Discussion of geopolitical choices on in Yerevan after Sargsyan skips two major ex-Soviet summits

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Discussions are on in Armenia regarding what other arguments Moscow may use to persuade Armenia to join the emerging Eurasian Union, a major post-Soviet reintegration effort initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan did not attend the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 28, nor did he travel to Astana, Kazakhstan, the following day for the EurAsEC summit there, which gave rise to speculations that thus the Armenian leader showed his determination not to bow to Russian pressure.

On May 30, while answering questions in the National Assembly, Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Shavarsh Kocharyan reaffirmed that Armenia is going to initial Association and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreements with the European Union in November, and if it joins the Russia-led Customs Union, it will not be able to do so. At present Armenia is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area, and that’s enough, Kocharyan hinted.

In order to attract Armenia to its reintegration zone Russia has recently used several methods. In particular, it has stated about the strengthening of its military base in Armenia and, through some experts, has been spreading rumors about the possibility of renewed hostilities in the Karabakh conflict zone.

Sergey Kurginyan, a Russian pundit who ardently advocates the establishment of the Eurasian Union, visited Armenia recently. He frightened Armenians with gay marriages and a possible law on incest in Europe, suggesting that Armenia should not deal with such Europe but should rather choose a healthier way – the Eurasian Union. He also said that Armenia alone would not survive and it had to join one of the empires.

Kurginyan also said that the United States and Turkey were building a Sunni zone in which Armenia will not survive without Russia. Earlier, Russia raised the price of natural gas for Armenia, which resulted in some anti-Russian sentiments in the country.

A number of Armenian pundits have also begun to actively promote the Customs Union and the continuation of the Armenian-Russian “strategic alliance”. In particular, many of them have tried to present Sargsyan’s decision to attend the summits in Bishkek and Astana not as a demarche against Moscow, but as an ordinary matter, saying that relations between Armenia and Russia remains “brilliant”.

Meanwhile, the latest CSTO and EurAsEC summits were very important for the future of these organizations. The CSTO summit discussed the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan planned for 2014 and the possible deterioration of the situation in Central Asia in this regard. The CSTO decided that it was responsible for this zone, which can become a hotbed of terrorism and drug trafficking.

By refusing to travel to Bishkek, Sargsyan, in fact, declared about Armenia’s non-participation in the CSTO’s future operations in Afghanistan or around it, which could spell a demise for the Russia-led defense pact of six post-Soviet nations that does not have combat experience yet.

As for the EurAsEC summit in Astana, Ukraine submitted its application for an observer status in the Customs Union during it. Ukraine also intends to sign an Association Agreement with the EU in November. Russia has failed to make Ukraine abandon this plan. The absence of Sargsyan from the summit could also mean that Armenia does not want even an observer status in the Eurasian Union.

One can already now come across headlines in the Armenian press like: “It only remains for Russia to send troops to Armenia” or “Who else would Moscow send to persuade Yerevan?”.

Meanwhile, Artur Baghdasaryan, the secretary of the National Security Council of Armenia, on Thursday denied any political motives behind President Sargsyan’s absence from the summit in Bishkek, stressing that Armenia’s relations with Russia remain “excellent."


Russian arms supplies to Azerbaijan trigger Armenian backlash

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The sale by Russia of offensive weapons to Azerbaijan caused a wave of discontent in Armenia. What particularly angered many local politicians and experts was the sale of Smerch rocket launchers, which are considered to be one of the deadliest weapons.

First Armenian political analysts and experts loyal to Russia had to prove that nothing bad had happened and that Russia did have the right to sell arms to Azerbaijan, as it gives Armenia weapons almost for free.

Then Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Nikolai Bordyuzha had to come to Armenia to assure partners in Yerevan that the sale of arms to Azerbaijan was pure business and that in order to “maintain the balance” Russia was also arming Armenia.

Not all in Armenia, however, were convinced and some experts and politicians began to even express opinions through media that Armenia should undertake symmetrical measures by refusing to continue to host the Russian military base, declaring about its withdrawal from the CSTO and moving to terminate its agreement on strategic alliance with Russia.

But the most remarkable thing is that this time around discontent was also raised in Karabakh. Independent Karabakh MP Vahan Badasyan made a tough statement, accusing the Armenian authorities of allowing themselves to become too much dependent on Russia to the degree that Moscow now determines the policy of Armenia in the Karabakh issue.

Then, in an interview with karabakh-open.info first commander of the Karabakh Self-Defense Forces (1990-91) Arkady Karapetyan accused Russia of preparing a ‘new genocide’ of Armenians in Karabakh. Describing the combat characteristics of Smerch systems, Karapetyan said he did not want to sit and wait until Azerbaijan uses this lethal weapon against his family. He said that Russia must choose – either business or brotherhood. And if it chooses business over brotherhood, let the Russians pay for the military base in Armenia, he emphasized.

On July 2, in Yerevan, during the presentation of the revised version of the book ‘Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Between Peace and War’ an interesting polemic took place between its author, senior associate at the Washington Carnegie Endowment specializing in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Thomas de Waal and Director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan.

“After the accumulation of a certain quantity and quality of weapons on both sides of the conflict the resumption of hostilities becomes unlikely. Accumulation of arms triggers the mechanism of deterrence based on threat. In this respect, I do not agree with Thomas de Waal that the likelihood of renewed hostilities has increased, on the contrary, it is decreasing,” said Iskandaryan.

De Waal, in his turn, stressed that along with the process of accumulation of arms tensions are rising in the region, which at one point will get out of control, as it happened during the First World War. Meanwhile, active citizens in Armenia are now discussing questions like: will the asymmetrical armament of Azerbaijan and Armenia by Russia lead to renewed hostilities and why the Armenian leadership does not express a tough stance on the matter?


Hayrikian considers it necessary to freeze relations with Russia

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Armenia should freeze its diplomatic relations and all the agreements with Russia, the chairman of Union for National Self-Determination (AIM) Party Paryur Hayrikian told a press conference today. According to him, Russia sells arms to Azerbaijani that constantly threatens to start a war against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. “The state does not take any steps in that direction so the opposition and citizens must unite, hold rallies and demand a change of power. If an attempted murder had not been committed against me and if I had become president of Armenia, I would have taken measures in that direction,” Hayrikian declared. Hayrikian was shot and wounded in January 2013 during his bid for the presidency.


Armenia to Sell Shares to Russian Gas Giant
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The Armenian government seems ready to sell its remaining 20 percent share in the domestic gas distribution network to Gazprom in order to subsidize the recently increased price of Russian natural gas delivered to Armenia. The Russian energy giant revealed late on Monday that its chief executive, Alexey Miller, discussed the matter in Moscow with Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian.

“In the course of negotiations the aspects of Russian gas pricing for Armenian consumers were discussed,” Gazprom said in a statement. “The meeting also looked into the possibility of increasing Gazprom’s stake in ArmRosGazprom (ARG) to 100 per cent.”

The announcement came amid Armenian government efforts to secure funding for subsidizing the Russian gas price, which officially rose by 50 percent to $270 million per thousand cubic meters in April. A 30 percent subsidy promised by the government has meant that the price hike will be much less drastic for Armenian households. Armenian officials have said that Yerevan is seeking a Russian “grant” to finance the subsidy. But they have given no details of that arrangement so far.

The Armenian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources refused to comment on the Gazprom report on Tuesday. A ministry spokesperson said that only Movsisian can give relevant explanations.

The government was already rumored last year to have ceded its 20 percent stake in ARG to conceal a secret rise in Russian gas price and make sure Armenian voters are unaffected by it until the February 2013 presidential election. Government officials dismissed this speculation, saying that the gas price remains unchanged. However, Armenian customs data showed that ARG paid considerably more for Russian gas than was officially reported in 2012. Opposition lawmakers were quick to criticize the government’s apparent readiness to place ARG under full Russian control. Gazprom currently owns 80 percent of the gas network.

“This once again shows that our authorities are not capable of doing anything,” said Artsvik Minasian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. “They can declare that we will get a grant but we won’t get it or will cede more state assets in return.”


Russia’s Putin expected to pay official visit to Azerbaijan

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to Azerbaijan, media in Baku reported today, citing diplomatic sources. “The visit of the president of Russia will take place in the middle of August,” wrote Novosti-Azerbaijan, quoting its “well-informed” source, who said that the two sides were at present preparing the program of the visit through diplomatic channels.

While there is no official announcement about the visit from the Kremlin, media in Azerbaijan speculate that cooperation in the oil and gas sector will become a focal point of Putin’s trip. The visit will come on the heel of the announcement of acquisitions of Russian offensive weapons and military hardware by Azerbaijan worth a total of $1 billion, which elicited a mixed reaction in Armenia, Russia’s ally and Azerbaijan’s military arch-rival in the region.

The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh is also likely to feature as a subject of talks between Putin and his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev in Baku. Putin has not paid a visit to Armenia since he returned to the Kremlin in the capacity of president in May 2012 despite at least two invitations from his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan extended during his visits to Moscow.

The last time Sargsyan invited Putin to Yerevan was during his trip to the Russian capital in March – the first foreign visit to be made by him since reelection the previous month.

Some observers have lately speculated about a growing unease in the traditionally good relations between the two strategic allies in the wake of Armenia’s bid to initial an Association Agreement with the European Union later this year which would presumably block the possibility for the ex-Soviet country’s future integration into the Russia-led Eurasian Union and other integration formats such as the current Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

On the official level, however, neither Yerevan nor Moscow have yet confirmed any differences over the matter. Moreover, the two governments have reportedly been boosting their military cooperation in the recent period.

Source: http://armenianow.com/news/47750/armenia_russia_vladimir_putin_azerbaijan_visit 

Manucharyan: Armenia-EU Association Agreement will be a slap to Russia

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Currently, Armenia is facing growing challenges, former member of Karabakh committee Ashot Manucharyan told reporters in Yerevan. “Europe and Russia have become major challenges for Armenia, but the biggest challenge is the situation in Armenia,” he said. The speaker stressed that Armenia should maintain friendly ties with Russia. “Armenia’s signing the EU Association Agreement will be a slap to Russia, and will lead to a response from Russia,” Manucharyan said. According to him, Russia has understood that gas could later be sold for market prices to Armenia as well as the issue of Armenian migrants in Russia could be raised, which would be a deadly blow to Armenia.

Source: http://www.panorama.am/en/politics/2013/07/19/manucharyan/

56 comments:

  1. Arevordi, this is a post that I posted on one of your other threads but you did remind us to copy and paste our comments on this post:

    Actually, wouldn't Armenia's political and economic fortunes improve if they actually followed the South Korean model of economic development? According to Ha Joon Chang's book, Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism, the South Korean economy had to enact protectionist measures to make sure that its infant economy actually developed into a powerhouse. What's more, the South Korean economy grew by actually deviating from the advice the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization gave them. (most notably they built a steel mill even though the Unholy Economic Trio told them that it was a very had idea)

    So I don't know if Armenia has its own set of patriotic entrepreneurs who could just create an industry that is not recommended by the Unholy Economic Trio, but I do believe that Armenia has a huge economic potential. Iran for example, developed an economy that is built to resist the illegal UN sanctions imposed on them due to their nuclear ambitions. Moreover, I recall reading in this blog that Armenian banks are constantly doing business with Iran despite the sanctions.

    Arevordi, if there are more Armenians that have the same mindset as you do, I highly encourage you guys to read more of Ha Joon Chang's books. He is an excellent economist.

    So with that comment taken care of, I do have another new comment that I wanted to bring up. You said in one of your oldest posts that all European nations have a chance to move away from the Anglo-American-Zionist bloc, and Turkey and Azerbaijan might also have a chance. How can Russia actually gain some more leverage in the Caucasus if they're maintaining good relations with Armenia and at the same time they're selling weapons to Azerbaijan? I am aware that the Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan is meant to be used as a stick to prod Armenians into having second thoughts on forging closer relations with the west.

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  2. Thank you Arevordi. I think this could not be more timely. I just cant understand what they are thinking in Armenia sometimes. Your suspicions that there is a east-west war going on in Yerevan is true unfortunately. One of the largest US embassy's in Armenia is definitely playing a role in all this. They had twenty years to implant agents in Armenia and the new generation of Armenians are growing up learning English and trying to act "Western". Its paying Western leaders dividends now. I just hope that this ends up being a well rehearsed show by Moscow and Yerevan. Dont you?

    Arto #1 :)

    PS: I remember you saying that you do this work all by yourself. I really don't know how you put all this together and make these difficult topics make sense but thanks again for your work.

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  3. Jerriko,

    I am not an economist. Having said that, I see some very major/fundamental differences between South Korea and Armenia. First, South Korea fits well into Washington's plans in the region (Washington needs South Korea's alliance for very serious geostrategic reasons). Second, South Korea is sandwiched between and has close relations with the top three economic powerhouses in the world (US, China and japan). Third, South Korea has unhindered access to the world via the Pacific Ocean. Fourth, Koreans are a very disciplined and ethnocentric people. Therefore, the Korean model does not apply to Armenia.

    I think we can discuss economic models for days on end. But in the end, we simply need to recognize that Armenia's main problems are geopolitical, geographical and bio-cultural. As long as Armenians continue acting like a bunch of unruly, overly ambitious gypsies and/or genocide recognition obsessed nutjobs; as long as Armenia remains blockaded in a volatile geographical environment; as long as Armenia is economically landlocked in a volatile geographical environment, as long as Armenia remains under the threat of war; as long as Armenia is subjected to a major tug of war between East and West, Armenia will continue hovering on the edge of being a failed state and no "economic model" will change that.

    Before we pick an economic model we first have to fix the Caucasus. The only salvation I see for Armenia is for Pax Russicana to return to the south Caucasus; for Armenia to settle the dispute over NKR; for Armenia to join the Moscow led Eurasian Union.

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  4. Arto #1

    Thank you for your kind words.

    I am not financed by any fund nor am I supported by any organization. I am self-reliant and self-driven. In other words, other than a close group of ideological colleagues, I do not have a support structure. This should be obvious to all readers because I am only able to produce one or two commentaries per month, all of which incidentally have a lot of grammatical errors. Anyway, I have studied history, philosophy, environmental sciences, theology, warfare and international relations most of my life. I believe that the highest form of learning is self-education and life is the greatest university. I have to say I have somewhat of a different perspective on the world. More importantly, I do what I do out of love and concern: Love for Armenia and concern for Armenia.

    PS: Yes, there is a possibility that this tension between Yerevan and Moscow is orchestrated by the two. Nevertheless, the Western presence in Armenia is very real and it is reaching critical levels.

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  5. Remarkable the warning of Kovalenko about embracing European "values": "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions". By doing so Armenia would not only "step on a slippery path". She would look strait into the abyss. The "European values" are the paving stones of the road to hell (idolatry, fornication, sodomy, male prostitution, thievery, greed, usury, robbery). Add apostasy. We have been warned for long.
    Romanian Anonymus

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  6. Arto,

    Young Armenians are also learning Russian too and Russia is popular among all strata of Armenia's citizens. I do not see liking the US and Russia as mutually exclusive.

    LG

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  7. I get my hackles raised everytime i hear that Armenia is a failed state. We are not a failed state. There might be areas of imperfection which require improvement; but this shiboleth about corruption and oligarchs and magnates and robbers is a old as the oldest profession and let's remind ourselves that corruption ,economic piracy, fiscal bucaneers and other pesky malingerers abound in other nations in much , much larger quantities and I might say in a higher sophisticated corruption mores.The warning here is to be on our guards regarding the nefarious and insidious infiltration by Armenian-Western ideologues. Armenians who get educated at American/European universities and then return to Armenia they bring with them the poisonous influence of their indoctrinated westernized ideology. Remember Shaskavili, western trained lawyer indoctrinated and then infiltrated into Georgia. Armenian politicians trained in the West run the same risks and they are potential intelligence operatives for their " patrons". There is nothing wrong with hearing what this EU association has to offer Armenia; as long as Armenia approaches these hearings with an independent stance and sovereign action. We also require understanding about the features of the Eurasian membership pact., which Russia apparently is so eager to enroll us in. A customs union with the Eurasian compact raises a question mark how to implement a common customs zone withou common borders.It is becoming more and more imperative for Armenia and Russia to find a way to a common border. It is understandable that the EU-American bloc has strategies and plans for the Caucasus. It is understandable that Russia has also her plans. It is patently clear that Armenia does not feature ( distance and location one of the hurdles) in America's-EU bloc strategy other than a consumer value unit in their economic configurations. From Armenia's perspective the EU is too far away , our closest proximity to them is our mortal enemy and no agreements can ever be reached with the Turks until the wrongs of the past are righted. The protocols that our government signed with the Turks, under Western pressure offered Armenia zilch, nothing, other than the opening of the border. No one is questioning what value in material terms is the opening of the border with the Turks to Armenia, but it was obvious it had no value for the turks since they, fortunately for us, did not ratify it. Our landlocked situation needs to be acknowledged and we must realize that the only way out is through our existing alliance with Russia. Neither the EU, nor America will assist Armenia in breaking out from a landlocked geographical predicament. There are dreamers who are piping the tune of western armenia being devolved to Armenia via Western efforts and fostering. This is sheer fantasy. First Turkey needs to be discarded and dismembered by the Americans-EU bloc , and if there is a dismemberment this will be caused by factors outside the West's involvement. Armenia is in an invidious corner. What value do we have for Russia, is something that is enclosed in the Russian strategic minds. One thing is certain and not worth even debating it, is that if Russia downgrades Armenia's strategic value to her, we shall be in dire straits and no amount of " Western cajoling" can effectively protect us. We are not only landlocked but held in a pincer forcep of hostile and predatory enemies.. Turkey in the West ( a western outpost or base of operations) and Azeri turks in the east. Armenians in the diaspora must help and aid to the building of our armed forces. The diaspora must not be concerned in trying to make Armenia a copy cat of some decadent , debauched and degrading Western cities. I do not believe, in spite of the highly toxic western influence in Armenia, that the Armenian government of the day will negate her strategic and vital interests forged with Russia, in preference to a chimera from EU-amerika bloc. the size

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  8. Arevordi

    "I believe that the highest form of learning is self-education and life is the greatest university."

    Thats awesome. Thank you.


    LG,

    I agree with you my friend that liking Russia and the US is not mutually exclusive. I also like a lot about the US but liking US in Armenia runs the risk of opening up to the US, which runs the risk of wanting to move to the US, which runs the risk of opening up to US values, which runs the risk of opining up to US agents. Isnt thats whats going on now? Also dont kid yourself English is more popular amongst the Armenian youth. This will only get worst.

    Arto #1

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  9. The fact that part of the Armenian government is partly pro-western explains a lot of things. When you have 2 different agendas put in one basket, then OF COURSE your country will stagnate and suffer economically, socially and culturally. The reason of Armenia's problems is not the monopolists, it's the "cohabitation" of 2 different forces which are in reality fighting each other indirectly, duscretly from the public's view. However, since the Western side has a much power powerful propaganda force (media outlets, NGOs, the English language), they get to blame the country's leadership(including their own pawns such as PM Sargsyan) and attack Russian and Armenian interests. So-called complementary politics is hurting us because at this rate, with the propaganda power on the western side, the NKR clan and their friends will start having numerous obstacles, which will in their turn keep Armenia in this stagnated state or worse.

    If the entire government was composed of people following a pro-Russian agenda, Armenia would have progressed at a quicker rate. I'm sure Kazakhstan and Belarus have made better advances than us because of their policy (and because both are "dictatorships")

    Former Yerevan mayor Karen Karapetyan suddenly got out of the Armenian political field and went to Moscow. In one of Arevordi's former blog posts, it is mentioned that he could be the next possible president of Armenia.

    "When Karen Karapetyan prematurely vacated his short-lived position as mayor of Yerevan to assume a high level position in the Russian Federation, there were some rumors that Moscow was temporarily pulling him out of the political muck in Yerevan to groom him for the Armenian presidenc (...) Karen Karapetyan is an ideal manifestation of today's Armenia and Armenia's Soviet past. He is an example of a person that has drawn the best from both worlds. The man is well-educated, professional, wealthy, has stage appearance and, very importantly, he has very good connections in Moscow. He is an excellent example of what Armenian-Russian relations can be and should be. He is definitely not one of Armenia's 1990s era derived criminally-inclined-chobans-in-Armani-suits, nor is he one of Washington's many whores infesting the streets of Yerevan today. In my opinion, Karen Karapetyan would make an great president in Armenia. "

    http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-living-leagend-will-be-visiting.html

    If all this is true, and if it happens in the way we predict it to be, only then we will see some genuine changes in Armenia, changes that will make the Armenian people support its leader, contrary to the propaganda that will be spreading poison.

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  10. Let us focus on geographic realities, since the decision of dealing with the West (EU) or the North (Russia) has a geographic dimension into it.
    Extraction of Earth resources and their processing into goods, as well as transporting the commodities to the centers of consumption should be the logical pathways we should be checking in case we are lost orienting ourselves.

    Clearly Russia takes advantage from this and has its Northern trans Siberian corridor already running in full capacity and they are planning numerous additional pathways to boost gains and consolidate their position as transit choice.

    Meanwhile there seem to be an emerging "Iron Silk Road" and here's an illustrative map of the existing network and some proposed routes.

    http://www.regionalentwicklung.at/files/iron_silk_road.jpg

    So when Arevordi speaks about a North South corridor, I would like to understand the substance of this corridor, what goods it carries? and what volumes? who backs the project? And compare that with the volume of goods that is transferred East to West, which is more profitable? The route's profitability will be an indicator of security and stability. Morever the when minerals extraction routs coincide with distribution routes, then it's an additional reason to increase the security of the pathway and invest more funds into implementing necessary infrastructure. If we are worried on the security of Armenia, we better align ourselves with the supply chain flow and stop chasing non-existant routes that have no backing by serious entities.

    If Russia was serious about any North South corridor in Armenia, it would have long ago constructed a railroad from Meghri to Yerevan as well as exerted serious pressure on Georgia to re-open the Abkhazia railroad, that so far seems a very distant event not to happen any time soon.

    So looking West is not bad idea, I say what Georgia does, we should follow. There is a risk that we remain in isolation for another episode in history, the free trade Agreement is a very rare opportunity to break the blockade imposed on Armenia and gain access to the world's largest consumer market, in fact, considering the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Area, Armenia gains Access to the world's largest free trade area while positioning itself in the middle of the Iron Silk Roak, one needs not to be very intelligent to foresee the potential benefits.

    AJ

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  11. AJ,

    Besides a north-south military and political axis, foundations are currently being placed for a north-south trade axis as well. Yes, I am talking about the railroad project that is envisioned to service Russia, Southern Caucasus and Iran. Details about the railroad itself is something you have to look up for yourself but from what has been reported, it is envisioned to be a tributary to the Trans-Siberian network.

    This project is basically Moscow's answer to a Western railroad project which of course runs through Azerbaijan Georgia and Turkey (similar to the Western financed energy pipeline). This Russian sponsored project, which was conceived during the Soviet period, was placed on hold due to geopolitical obstacles that were presented your friends in Turkey and the West during the past twenty somewhat years.

    I have posted some blog commentaries about this topic in the past. If interested, do a search for them.

    This is not a theoretical matter. Work on the railroad has already begun in Abkhazia, Armenia and Iran. And one of the financial participates (at least according to some news reports) seems to be China. But Moscow and Tehran seem to be the primary financiers of the project, they have already invested a lot of money.

    Needless to say, Georgia has been, literally speaking, the 'missing link'.

    But again, a lot has changed since 2008. From what I can tell, there are periodic negotiations taking place between Moscow and the now more Moscow-friendly government in Tbilisi. Signals from Tbilisi seem promising. So, if they have invested the money and if they have already started the work, convincing Tbilisi will not be too far off. At the very least, it seems to be heading towards that direction.

    Nevertheless, from what I can tell about you based on your comments, you either have not given any of what you say much thought or I'm wasting my time with you. You are basically wishing Armenia closer integration with EU through Turkey - at the expense of angering our strategic partners in Moscow.

    You again failed to make a real case for closer integration with the failed EU. You again fail to take into consideration serious geopolitical factors such as Moscow's interests. You again failed to give Armenia real alternatives - because in reality they don't exist.

    Anyway, what you are saying is dangerous, irrational and politically foolish on many levels and it will not happen for a variety of reasons.

    Instead of nitpicking anything and everything proposed by Moscow, I suggest you put aside your Russophobia (the Cold War ended by the way) and seriously give some thought to the things you are suggesting. I hope you are not arrogant enough not to be self-critical, not ill-informed enough not to see the big picture and not wise enough not to connect the dots.

    I can go on and on about this topic but it would be a waste of my time because you have made up your mind, not to mention that I don't have the time or the patience to spoon feed information and political wisdom to every one that just happens to come by and challenge me.

    If interested, please be my guest and go through my older commentaries.

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  12. I take a look back and use the benefit of hindsight.In 1975 Romania started to build a huge petrochemical industrial complex at Cape Midia, near Constanta. In parallel it resumed a "stalinist" project : the Danube-Black Sea Canal, project initiated in the first years of the Communist regime, but abandoned shortly after.
    It was surmised that the Petromidia destination was to refine the oil shipped across the Black Sea and to carry it further along the Danube to Europe. It was the shortest possible way to the heart of Europe. Black Sea-Danube-Yugoslavia to Trieste. That goes a long way to explain the turmoils which led to the split of Yugoslavia in the '90s as well as the wars in Chechnya. The "West" (i.e. USrael) put all their efforts in the building of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (with a derivation through Kossovo to Albania)and the sabotaging of the Black-Sea-Trieste pipe line.
    Romanian Anonymus

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  13. @AJ

    Are you Armenian? Do you listen to yourself? What Georgia does we should follow? And then what genius, lose Karabagh and kiss up to Turks? Where do people like you come from? Jeez!

    Arto

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  14. "I say what Georgia does, we should follow"
    The utter stupidity of that statement stopped me in my tracks as I was reading the comments on this thread. Georgia, unlike Armenia, is a failed state in every sense of the word. Why the hell would we want to "follow" the policies of the scum that have driven Georgia into a hole they will never get out of over the past decade?

    Georgia is situated to be a trade hub, has access to Europe via turkey and via the Black Sea. It hosts azeri pipelines and it has the unique privilege of extorting cash out of its southern neighbor through sky-high transport costs. Yet it remains a military and economic joke, and its people are no better off than Armenia's (except of course for those famously disciplined police officers who do not demand bribes from drivers... you know, when they are not shoving broomsticks up the asses of political prisoners).

    You sound like you read a lot of crap from armenianow.com, hetq.am, radioliberty, and the eurasian daily monitor and civilnet.am. You may even work for one of those propaganda outlets. Posting replies to you feels like a waste of effort, but here's some unbiased reporting on Georgia's economy.

    Is there a middle class in Russia?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laYsrwFtoOw


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  15. There are 2 things which are puzzling me regarding this issue:

    1. A part of me thinks that President Sarkissian is too intelligent to piss off the Russians. I don't think he'd be naive enough to bite the hand that feeds him and his country. Maybe I'm delusional or don't know enough about Armenian politics but this is how I feel about the man. Tigran and the other Sarkissian I'd believe are potential western puppets but the president doesn't come across that way, yet he's the one that seems to be pushing enthusiastically for Euro process. Why?
    2. The other thing I"m really surprised about is the speed at which Armenia is moving to such an agreement. It seems like Europe has "chosen" Armenia for this process rather than it's economic darlings Georgia and Azerbaijan. Does Georgia already have such trade agreements with Europe? Is this in any way tied to the potential opening of the railway link through Abkhazia? If Europe is trying to weaken Russia's presence in the Caucasus and if Europe has nothing economically to add to Armenia then what exactly is our president after? Is it mere ideological bullshit or is there a geopolitical game that is being played out?

    Arto#2

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  16. AJ,

    I suggest you read Arevordi's blog sections named "A message for our EUrotic idiots", "What can EU member Bulgaria can teach Armenia?" and "Armenia has only one choice". Sarkis is right, you are probably a Armenia Now, Hetq and Radio Liberty junky. Still trying to wrap my mind around your Georgia comment. Are you Armenian?

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  17. In my view what is going on is a political ploy , or gambit, to procure a strong negotiating position. It is inconceivable, unless the nest of sell outs infests all sections of society,that tArmenia will align herself with the EU association. It is anathema to our national interests and survival. On the other hand who knows what the Eurasian union implies and its derivative advantages for us ??.it does not appear to be a matter of choices, I don't see any Armenian government presently undermining our alliance with Russia. Such an action or political conduct would be suicidal..It would serve solely EU strategic interests which are divorced from the national interests of Armenia. To the EU Armenia is perceived as potential province on their fringes, a pawn in their Caucasian chessboard to sacrifice at the earliest convenience. Also I also fail to see how the Russians would allow such a situation to develop. Any closer approaches to the EU implies a purely economic and mercantilist window. The road to the EU passes through Turkey, that in itself poses a mortal threat which can not be overlooked. We must work hard and make ourselves important and indispensable in Russia's strategic interests in the Caucasus. Ultimately Armenia and Armenians must understand that our reliance rests in our armed forces. When the war comes, and it will come as night follows day, the army would defend and repulse the enemy . It is not our choice to enter into an armamentist race with Turks in the east, it is an unrenounceable duty. The diaspora must understand this and stop sending armies of NGO 's and " peddle psychopathic democratic theories" and other insidious and self defeating dogmas imported from abroad and focus instead and concentrate every ounce of energy in making our armed forces and invincible factor. No imported western economist, no corrupt foreign political ideologues, can in the final crucible save us but for the armed forces. We have to transform our landlocked location into an impregnable fortress, that is the destiny of our homeland in the foreseeable future.

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  18. Arevordi,

    First, I am not 100% sure if Serj Sargsyan and his colleagues are as pro-Russia as you describe. I may be wrong, but I find them passively neutral when having to choose between Russia or US/EU.

    Second, I think Russia is limiting its actions in Armenia to the economic and military aspects and ignoring/neglecting soft diplomacy tactics (emotional, psy-ops, propaganda etc.). As an example, just watch the US ambassador appearing at every opportunity (from cultural events to dolma festivals), mingling with the common Armenian. Where are the Russian diplomats?

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  19. It is with sadness that we see the entire Armenian nation, including the diaspora armenians obsessed with a purely materialist orientation. It is admirable to see how the diaspora wishes to see material well being in Armenia reaching Western standards, and how seemingly Armenians from Armenia are herded into planes, and buses to emigrate. The spirituality and the sanctity of the homeland is totally ignored. The root of the problem might be in the diverse configuration of our race. Armenians living in America have become Americans with an Armenian name. Their mental framework and thinking are Americanized and their calculations of what is good for Armenia stems from those principles. I would hesitate to consider counsel and advice from America's Armenians. They have achieved great thing in the land of America, they have amassed wealth and provide assistance to the homeland. When they begin asserting themselves with their supercilious human attributes and start pontificating what is good for Armenia, the limit of their blessing is exhausted. I have also found Turkish Armenians being more Turks than Armenians ? The Armenians in turkey are quite happy cohabiting with their butchers. I would imagine Lebanese Armenians also having a well molded Arab orientation. Therefore we have an unenviable mix of strains making up the Armenian race, each strain championing each own brand of what is best for the homeland. These diaspora needs and must transcend their limited and restricted horizons, a difficult transition , based on sheer materialism, consumerisms and economic utopia plus their environmentally acquired cultural trappings, and think in terms of spirituality and the uniqueness of our historical experience. A diasporas coming to the homeland must understand the spirituality of homecoming and leave behind his materialistic frame of mind and the impossibility of imprinting his adopted country,s cultural and moral profile in the homeland. .

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  20. Ok, first let me say to some of the commentators, showering insults will not add any logic to your arguments.

    I look at the trade agreement with the EU from an economical angle, I have no problems with the West,as much as I have no problems with Russia or China. I do not see the world polarized into East vs.West or North vs. South.We now live in a new multipolar world, and if we like it or not, the West is still first among equals, so to advance arguments that the West is sinking into the abyss and will cease to exist in a few decades is detached from reality, the same statements can be said of Russia and China who probably have a much shorter expiry date than the EU.
    The Economic and political west still exists in full force, in my humble opinion it would be unwise
    not to benefit from an existing economic zone, specially when our ally is a very close economic partner to the West, one has to simply check the numbers on trade volume between the two to realize this simple reality. Russia is even poised to become the largest export market for European cars to state one example, add to it the North stream gas pipeline, the depth of the strategic partnership between Russia and Germany is very encouraging
    and we should follow the lead in doing the same but at much smaller scale, just enough to bring some economic stimulus to our impoverished nation.
    I find it unacceptable for Armenians to live in fear from Russia because such fear is self induced and probably it is Turkish-Azeri groups that do not want to see Armenia having proper relations with the West and further continue its isolation in the world community. Considering the tightened economic conditions of Armenia, Russia being our ally should be among the first to encourage Armenia to trade with the West, because it runs parallel to their own orientations.

    A north south military axis can materialize between Iran and Russia without the need for a Caucasian corridor since they can transfer heavy military equipment via the Caspian basin.
    For the Caucasus corridor you need the inclusion of Georgia or Azerbaijan. So far there are no signals that Georgia is about to make a shift.
    When it comes to the policies with the West and military-econmic alignments, there is no changes after the election of Ivanishivilii, same policies as before still persist. Until some clearer signals emerge from Georgia, all expectations for a policy shift is premature.

    Even if an economic North South corridor is established, the route runs through Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia, again Armenia lies at the periphery and has no strategic value to offer to Russia. By the way Azerbaijan is a participant in North South transport corridor and has even hosted this year's conference.


    AJ

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  21. I do not find details about the railroad you talk about. Neither do I find any investments you mention. So far I see only empty talks and promises from both Iran and Russia.
    At present there is only one shady Rasia FZE Dubai based consortium who are only conducting a feasibiilty study of a North-South railway in Armenia.
    The findings of the study are not available so I have nothing to say on it, this is ofcourse if there was any study at all, and even if there were one, it sounds like a bluff to add pressure on Azerbaijan to open the rail connection at the gateway
    that Iran has built on its border with Azerbaijan.
    The estimated costs of such an Armenian railway is also ridiculously high considering the number of tunnels and bridges that need to be constructed to overcome the topographic and climatic barriers of Armenia's southern landscape.

    So to summarize, there is no substance on any North South rail corridor. And even if there were to be one, it would pass through Azerbaijan, not Armenia.

    Please do not tell me to read your old commentaries, because I have done that by the time you have written them. I am a long time follower (previously posting with user name, Aroutin).
    And according to your previous commentaries, you have stated clearly that Armenia's most important objective is to break the economic blockade and gain an outlet to the Black Sea and also open its borders with Turkey.
    I should remind you to read your own commentaries because you were a clear advocate of normalising relations with Turkey and heavily critisizing ARF'ers who were hell bent against the signing of protocols.
    So there was no need to for you to have added "your friends in Turkey" statement.

    And since you emphasize that Georgia is the missing link, and I fully agree on that, for that reason I stated "what Georgia does, Armenia should follow", but one Qaj Nazar failed to grasp the meaning of my statement probably was too high listening to "Hay Qajer" song.

    If you have concrete information on any investments spent on construction of Tabriz-Meghri link, or Meghri-Yerevan, please share that info since contra to what you claim, I have not made up my mind, and to see such construction plans taking place would reaffirm my convictions on the viability of a North South corridor running through Armenia.

    Meanwhile, the most promising outlet for Armenian goods is through Georgia, the construction of North South Armenian highway has this objective in mind, to transport goods to and from the Black Sea ports.
    If Georgia should sign the trade agreement with EU, then the Customs boundaries between EU and Armenia would be delineated just at the border with Georgia.
    Importing of Armenian goods into Georgia would have confront EU bureaucratic hurdles, and so will the shipment of goods to Russia even prove to be more difficult.
    So to make our enemies happy, if Armenia should not sign the agreement with EU, let's expect a few more decades of isolation, poverty and demographic decline.

    To make it clear, I have no Russopobia whatsoever, add to it not so fond of Western civilization. In fact I am a proponent that Armenia joins the Customs Union (but without exlcuding the EU trade Agreement due to the economic potential I see).
    If we can secure conditions to join the Eurasian Economic union after signing the deep and comprehensive trade agreement, I'm all for it.

    And I think our government has the same mindset. Hence there is a constant emphasis on "And..And" policy.

    AJ

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  22. Zoravar,

    I personally think President Sargsyan is of Armenia's pro-Russian camp. He is a smart man, a good strategist and well experienced. Therefore, how can he not be? Moreover, his time in office has seen the flowering of Russian-Armenian relations. I still think there is a deep ideological and political divide in Yerevan. Perhaps this is wishful thinking on my part.

    I FULLY agree with your comments about Russia's diplomatic presence in Armenia. As I mentioned in my blog commentary, knowing that it simply cannot compete with the West in the realm of PR and psy-ops, it is resorting to old fashioned methods of control and influence. Anyway, this is one of the areas where an Armenian delegation (i.e. lobbying) to the Kremlin could be effective.

    Russia does not have the organizational infrastructure or the political culture to engage in any meaningful or convincing bullshit campaign (i.e. PR, psy-ops, wining the hearts and minds) like that of the Western world's. Moreover, Russia is itself still a developing nation with a lot of serious sociopolitical problems. Therefore, by nature, it cannot be looked up to from the global sheeple's perspective. Therefore, we must accept the fact that global trends will be set by the Western world for the foreseeable future and learn to navigate in this reality.

    Sadly, however, very few of us see the big picture and are able to connect the dots.

    Like I said, while Moscow controls the Armenian head, the West is systematically coming to control the Armenian body - and every single one of our officials (homeland and diaspora), every single one of our political pundits and every single one of our organizations are either indifferent or actually happy about the situation.

    The political process we see take place in Armenia is essentially how we kept losing our independence time and again for the past two thousand five hundreds years.

    At the end of the day, as some of the commentators here have suggested, I hope this is all a ploy between Yerevan and Moscow or at the very least a method with which to give Yerevan better leverage with Moscow in negotiations over the Eurasian Union...

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  23. Anatoly Torkunov, the head of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, speaking Saturday in Yerevan at an Internet conference on Armenia’s geopolitical role in the system of the contemporary international relations

    "The country's commitment to the diversification of the economic and political contacts with the European institutions and the Euro-Atlantic alliance is welcome, but Torkunov noted that they should be part of a general discussion of foreign policy in which the participation of Russia, at least, is appropriate."

    http://vestnikkavkaza.net/news/politics/42919.html

    Quite a rational advice I would say.

    AJ

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  24. Focusing back on the important topics, let me start off by thanking Arevordi for his very important and informative analysis. It's truly remarkable to see these important truths being discussed here today, at a time when discussions (especially those in the English language) about Armenia's geopolitical concerns are almost always composed of psych-op agents spewing poisonous rhetoric aimed at stagnating any healthy national development. I'm very impressed at the breadth of the dangers which face Armenia this blog analyzes, both from outside Armenia's borders and internal weaknesses Armenia faces. Keep up the good work, Arevordi.

    It's troubling to see that the question of "which way should Armenia go" is even up for debate. A part of me had wanted to believe that Armenia's orientation into the Russian sphere, safe from the clutches of globalism, nato and the west-turkey was a done deal. But I guess we all knew this was coming, because a nation like Armenia, being saturated from top to bottom with western agents and western brainwashed lunatics, would sooner or later have to face the day of reckoning. So long as jon hughes, alik arzumanyan and his whore american (possibly jewish) wife, the Armenian "Church" of the Brotherhood and hundreds and hundreds of other cockroaches like them continue to infest our homeland, we will always be one slip up away from reverting back to 1990s level instability and decline (if not worse this time around). Once again, it's up to the far-sighted, true Nationalists to lead Armenia away from the dangers of relying on the false promises of the west. I really hope what we are seeing here is another protocos-style game being coordinated between Yerevan and Moscow.
    **
    Anonymous at July 22, 2013 at 6:30 AM: I agree, hearing that defeatist crap that the turks and azeris and kikes like to throw around that Armenia is a "failed state", or that it is "not a real country" or "not a normal country" really gets my blood boiling. I agree with most of your comments, but Arevordi has written a few commentaries about how the Protocols were a game played by Moscow and Yerevan, which caught the west and ankara off guard and completely back-fired on them. Basically, the theory being that if turkey agreed to open borders with Armenia, azerbaijan would throw a hissy fit and the ankara-baku axis would be harmed. If turkey then renounced (as it did), Armenia would win a lot of points on the international stage and get some diplomatic room to breathe. And if the border opened, then the Russian military in Armenia and Russian own Armenian transportation, energy and other industries would gain from trade through Armenia-turkey, while georgia and azerbaijan would lose leverage they held over Russia and Armenia.

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  25. Anonymous at July 23, 2013 at 2:29 AM: Frankly, Armenians in the west are a hopeless, lost cause. I do not see a great majority of them contributing in any serious way in Armenia, and even less so given that their organizations and media have long been infiltrated and corrupted. Armenians in the west today remind me of the large numbers of Armenians during the medieval period who converted to Greek Orthodoxy from Armenian Apostolism and lived in western Asia Minor. Those "Armenians" also probably had big ideas of molding the Kingdom of Armenia in the image of their masters in the Byzantine Empire. All they managed to do was harm Armenia and then assimilate into Greeks, who were then assimilated into turks. The only thing I'd add to this is that natives of Armenia and Artsakh are no less prone to materialism and decadence. Those things fill the void people have when they do not have a true ideology to guide them. That void must be filled with Nationalism (or as some may phrase it, with "God, family and country"). Otherwise you have people who feel empty on the inside and who then readily abandon the county, or sell out to foreign-funded organizations, or who fall victim to cults and radical ideologies. Globalism by design attacks true ideologies and then offers materialism as a cheap replacement.
    **
    Zoravar, I completely agree that Russians are wasting a lot of opportunities they have to score soft diplomatic points. I see an absence of Russian-controlled media, vitally a television network, which can negate American efforts. Perhaps one of the Russian-Armenian business leaders can establish a Kremlin-linked network. They can air regular programs highlighting Armenia's massive arsenals of Russian provided weaponry; they can air documentaries about Russian-Armenian heros from the past whose legacy are often neglected today; they can do special reports on how Russian-Armenian joint economic projects are revitalizing industry and employing Armenians; they can even broadcast war reporting from Syria (utilizing film from ANNA) and repeatedly highlight how Russia today is defending Armenian in Aleppo from turkish/western terrorists. Divide programming between that and some music concerts and some dubbed films and there is no reason why they would not establish themselves inside of Armenia. They have A LOT of material they can work with... A few of Burjuin's photos and videos is usually enough to emphasize the importance of Russia in Armenia, and some targeted programming can really exploit that.

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  26. Congratulations A.J., you are officially the first person I have seen on this blog who can genuinely be called a troll. The biggest insult is to come to a forum where vital geopolitical matters regarding Armenia and geopolitics are discussed, to then post a flawed argument postulating that Armenia would somehow benefit by joining a flawed entity like the E.U., and to then completely ignore the respectful responses posted by other commenters, to dismiss completely and not reference even one of the many sources which have been provided to you, and to then respond by playing the victim for a sentence or two before copying and pasting your same debunked argument that Europe's collapsing economy will save Armenia. ... I consider your type of person to be most dangerous to Armenia, these are the same professional sounding lunatics who mask dangerous anti-National, globalist ideas behind a veil of legitimacy and discreetly slip them into the pre-packaged rants of western agents to be consumed by Armenia's politically illiterate peasantry.... Let me save the readers of this thread some of their valuable time by summing up AJ's next multi-paragraph post: "the EU will improve Armenia's economy with the same magic it used to improve turkeys; despite talk of the world being on the verge of war, Russia and America have agreed to respect each other's spheres of influence and the world is moving towards integration; the west's economic policies are actually sustainable; the best days for Georgia, the EU, and American hegemony are actually still ahead of them..."

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  27. Russia will exert her influence and clout to shape the Caucasus according to her national interests. Along the way armenia will align her policies and national interest to collude with Russia. The west and the EU may try as hard as they can to penetrate these areas, they may succeed temporarily, ultimately the regional inhabitants will have command of the situation . There is every reason to believe that sooner or later Russia will demand her territories which she controlled in Tsarist times to be returned. In 1945 Stalin demanded the return of Kars and Ardahan , on behalf of Armenia to the USSR. Those claims will be re vindicated one day, one day. Armenia coming under the orbit of the EU or the west is like Mexico or Venezuela falling under Russia.s orbit. Plausible, but improbable. Armenia and Russian national interests are aligned. Hence the existing alliance and other treaties between both nations. The EU will make effective use of the Armenian diaspora living in the West to achieve or obtain some leverage towards her political ambitions. These efforts , if successful, will be short lived . Of course there will be commercial and other exchanges, but Armenia in her current situation is only useful to the EU, America as a destabilizing factor in the Caucasus, similar to Georgia,s role. Their global strategy is to encircle and weaken Russia, destabilizing the Caucasus is one their first steps toward attaining those objectives..

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  28. I'm still trying to grasp the details of everything but it seems that since Russia has already taken control of all of Armenia's strategic infrastructure (gas distribution, electricity generation and distribution, railway...) and Russian intelligence and military assets have become deeply imbedded in Armenia, then Russia has nothing to fear about losing Armenia. I believe the current Armenian government has played its cards well by allowing all this to happen, not to mention the latest CSTO agreements and the beefing up of the 102nd base in Gyumri and the new Russian-Armenian military industrial complexes that are about to be established in Armenia. After all, President Sarkissian's first foreign visit after election was to the Kremlin which I think says something too. I don't think there is anything more Armenia can do to convince the Russians that they are together with them for the long run. At this stage I don't even think the Armenians have a choice. As far as the European free trade agreement is concerned, if nothing else if it manages to eliminate the crushing tariffs the Georgians are placing on Armenian goods then this would be a terrific gain. Then Armenian goods can be sold in Russia as well up to 25% cheaper than now. Like I said before, I'm new to the geopolitical world but wouldn't logic dictate that a stronger and healthier Armenia is better for all? Doesn't Russia want an Armenia who can actually pay for its weapons and pay full price for Russian gas instead of being a burden on the Russian economy?

    As far as the railway link between Armenia and Iran is concerned, I thought there already was one via Nakhichevan. Wouldn't it be cheaper to annex this territory at the next available opportunity, firstly for historical justice, secondly to restore this railway link?

    Arto#2

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  29. I apologize for the late comment update. I recently arrived in Armenia and I was having trouble signing into the blog.

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  30. Arto #2
    You have raised some very valid points.
    As you mentioned, Russia has already taken control over most of Armenia's infrastructure, it has a solid military presence and most importantly has secured Armenia as it's strategic ally.
    To quote Alexander Dugin from a 2008 interview "Russia has taken everything possible from the strategic alliance with Armenia and it can not give more to Russia, while most depends now on Turkey and Azerbaijan"
    So we should look at the orchestrated tensions between Moscow and Yerevan lately, vis-a-vis the strengthening of Azerbaijani-Russian relationship not only regarding the 1 billion USD arms deal, but also regarding ongoing joint projects in the spheres of energy and transportation, and last but not least, the purported visit of Putin to Baku.
    The trade agreement that Armenia is about to intial with the EU does not pose any short term or long term strategic risks to Russia. In fact, I would even contemplate on the idea that Russian enterprises operating in Armenia might even benefit from such an association. One can think of various financial mechanisms to expolit such conditions (i.e. EU affiliated country under Russian control). As a similar example one should draw analogy with Cyprus, the most popular offshore choice for Russian private capital until it signed the EU bailout deal and much of this capital was lost . Armenia can become a safe haven for Russian capital similar to what Cyprus was and even better, they do not have to worry that such drastic turn of events (such as the one in Cyprus) could occur because Russia has a strong leverage over the Armenia government.
    Within the same analogy, worth to remeber that Cyprus is an EU member state that currently is negotiating with Russia to host its mediterranean naval fleet.
    I would like to state that President Sargysyan is not so foolish or naive to have proceeded with the EU deal without having received a green light from the Kremlin.
    So an alternative interpretation for the negative signals that have been sent to Yerevan from Moscow, were possibly intended to prepare the stage for Armenia's EU agreement , furnish the public mood to proceed forward and in parallel make tactical advances with its relations to Baku.
    Please consider that if Moscow gains significat leverage over Baku and is able to draw the energy flow towards Russia, then Georgia's position as a strategic East-West transit state will be severely weakened. Thus, Moscow will strenthen its position vis-a-vis Baku and Tbilisi simultaneously.
    I would also like to mention that one aspect of the Eurasian Union goals and probably a very important one, is Russia's plan to contain the situation in Central Asia by limiting the encroachment of Chinese investments through its porous borders with Kazakhstan. For the Caucasus I do not see yet ripe conditions for membership of the current states in the Union without resolving first the frozen conflicts, and I think Russia is more keen on boosting bilateral relations with all three or more states in the region rather than directly integrating them into the a single Union.
    PS: There is a frozen rail link between Iran and Armenia that runs through Nakhichevan and is a very viable option for a North South corridor. So in case of a potential war with Azerbaijan over Artsakh, I would envision that Nachichevan is well under the army's radar.
    I find it interesting that a few weeks ago, the General Director of the South Caucasus Railway JSC Victor Rebets discussed the prospects of construction of the Southern Railway from Iran to Armenia during a visit to Tehran, but what I found bizzare is that he also spoke of the possibility of building a logistics centre at "Yeraskh" station, that lies on the border with Nachichevan, so he was not exactly referring to the proposed rail link running from Meghri to Gavar as previously reported.
    @Arevordi, welcome back, and I hope you have filled up some good energy from our homeland and have brought us some fresh insights
    AJ

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  31. AJ,

    I'm afraid you may have an alter ego. I liked "Aroutin" much better. I simply cannot agree with your comments about Georgia, Turkey and the West. It seems that as intelligent as you are, you are unable to see the bigger picture and connect the more subtle dots. Please do not take any of this personally. I am not trying to insult you. We just have some fundamental differences in the way we see the world.

    Yes, Anatoly Torkunov does make a good point. As I said, Moscow's problem may be that Yerevan is not coordinating its actions with Moscow. At the end of the day, Russia guarantees Armenia's survival and Russia is desperately trying to stop Western advances into the Caucasus. The least our officials can do is be a little more mindful of this. Controlling Armenia's infrastructure does not ensure Armenia's allegiance. Russians officials have good reason to worry about the political culture in Armenia.

    Everything here, from the typical official to the average folk, is up for sale. Armenians remain one of the most politically illiterate peoples on earth. Western values are saturating the country and the political opposition here is only in the business of spreading fear and panic.

    PS: The Russian sponsored railroad we briefly discussed is a very serious project. Just because little is being written about the matter in the mainstream news press does not mean it does not exist.

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  32. I switched to using my initials, that's why the change of username. No ego alteration expected. I only try to look at the situation from different angles that sometimes may irritate some rigid thought constructs.
    I firmly believe that Serge Sargysyan would not have advanced the EU talks without Russian agreement. So I think it was co-ordinated and the first official visit to Putin says enough to define the priorities of the Armenian officialdom.
    Again we can dive deeper into the prospects that Russian and European corporations would benefit from the EU association. Some think it's all about exporting Apricots and Brandy to some EU states. I don't think the ambitions of greedy businessmen stretches only so short.
    More info on the Cypriot analogy explaining how might a potential tax haven work. Finacial expert opinions is more than welcome here
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubtv_BflAIA

    Meanwhile it is worth observing how the Turko-Zionist piglets are angry at the recent developments. Please read attentively and try get nauseated while sniffing Jewish poison.
    http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/human-rights-abuses-the-eu-doesnt-boycott/2013/07/29/

    http://www.historyoftruth.com/news/european-union-faces-russia-with-opening-to-armenia#.UfggOLD8LIU
    I expect enhanced Russian economic interest in Armenia, it is much better for Russia if Armenia can be an outlet for a larger market and opportunities rather than be a very limited economy with only a couple of million consumers.
    Yesterday there was the opening of the Free Economic Zone in Armenia, and not surprisingly, Maxim Sokolov, Minster of Transportation in the RF has cut the ribbon.
    More here
    http://www.noodls.com/view/170E9749181A2775A83E19D5932ED50B35410CC1
    What's so special about the FEZ? Data directly from their website
    •the income tax - 0%
    •the VAT - 0%
    •the import customs duties - 0%
    •the export customs duties - 0%
    •taxes to dividends - 0%
    •taxes to the real estate and to property- 0%
    The list above would make many individuals worldwide very joyful.
    And here's the kind of investment domains they are after
    •electronics (electronic instruments and devices, microelectronics, digital technology);
    •precise engineering (including exact instrument-making industry);
    •pharmaceuticals and biotechnology;
    •information technologies and software;
    •alternative energy (including energy-saving technologies);
    •industrial design;
    •telecommunications (development and production of technological equipment, systems and materials for the transmission of data/information);
    •other directions of area of high and science intensive technologies.
    Last time I read the news I don't think Armenia was a major producer of the items in the list above.
    http://www.fez.am/eng/index.php?o=8#metka
    Only because I am following these developments on the financial front doesn't make me a materialist person, I'd be happy living in a mud house but here we are talking about national interests and collective behavior, and typically Armenians are not much different to other populations who are mostly after material well being and comfort.
    PS: I am glad to hear that the railway issue is being handled seriously. Would love to know more. I wonder what interests do the Chinese have in Armenia except for the Copper ofcourse. Would be a good exercise to view Armenia's position from the Chinese perspective apart from the Uygur-Tukric angle. To see if there are some economic-military plans.
    AJ

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  33. AJ,

    If not wanting to piss-off our only ally and play vague games with Western powers, Turks and Georgians is considered a "rigged thought construct" than so be it.

    Yes, as long as Armenia is securely in Russia's orbit, Russia does not have much to fear from a prosperous Armenia opening up to Western trade. But how do we define secure relations, especially in an age where Western powers control all the global levers? Better yet, how do Russian officials define secure relations? This is not a clearly defined topic. Therefore, we will not have clear answers.

    I suspected a show from the beginning. No one can deny that Russian-Armenian relations have flowered during the past five years. BUT, there remains a strong Western presence in the country. If this goes on like this, the country will be faced with serious problems in the future. I am not 100% sure if Yerevan is playing a cleverly coordinated game with Moscow - similar to the game Yerevan played several years ago when it signed the dreaded "protocols".

    Signals from Moscow have been worrying. Could they also be part of the show? Maybe, maybe not.

    Not knowing what is going on behind closed doors, I thought I getter use this topic to highlight once again why Armenia needs Russia in this blog.

    Anyway, I have no problems with Armenia opening up to the EU via Turkey or Georgia IF that does not damage Armenian-Russian relations; if Armenia can protect itself from dangers posed by Western powers (seen and unseen); if Armenia will not become dependent on Turkey or Georgia; and if Armenia can retain the option of also joining the Eurasian Union.

    I gave a feeling that both the West and Russia will not tolerate Armenia's two pronged approach. In which case Armenia has only one option.

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  34. @Arevordi

    Dont worry too much my friend its all a game, yes just like the protocols. Here is latest proof of the flowering of Russian-Armenian relations:

    http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/25060452.html

    Disregard the negative connotations of the CIA generated article. Anyway, enjoy your stay in Armenia.

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  35. http://asbarez.com/112209/us-intel-report-all-armenians-demand-lands-from-turkey/

    Some interesting things on how the CIA studied the Armenian community in the US even during the formative era of the organization around WW2. Sassounian does not address the root causes directly, but it is obvious that the CIA worried about the Armenians in the US having a natural tendency to be Pro-Soviet once it became clear that Armenia would remain in the Soviet orbit for the forseeable future (just as today it is clear Armenia can only exist under Russian protection). They also probably were worried by the thought of their future Nato puppets in ankara losing strength or territory to the Soviets/Russians/Armenians.

    This just goes to corroborate Arevordi's repeated assertions that intelligence agencies (particularly the anglo-american-zionist ones) devote a lot of resources studying the patterns of behavior of races and ethnicities, and therefore to a certain degree they can predict our behavior better than we can ourselves.

    Also it would be interesting to know how the CIA followed up on the data they accumulated... Was this the point at which they intensified their penetration/infiltration of the Armenian political associations in the west, leading them to the pitiful state they are in today as tools of the west?

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  36. It is a Russian-bolchevik historical faux pas what followed the Brest Litovsk peace agreement and the subsequent repugnant bolschevik behaviour and political conduct with turkey at the expense of armenia. There was no political reason for the Bolcheviks to grant and cede Tsarist territories to turkey, Kars, Ardahan, Surmalu and further extensions. Another delinquesnt faux pas and unforgivable sin of Stalin was not to press for the return of these territories at the end of WW2. Armenia paid with 250000 of their finest men dead for the Bolchevik victory over Germany. What did they got in return ? Zero. The turks stayed neutral and got everything they had plundered at the end of WW1. Historical turpitudes, which cost us greatly. Russias policies towards the turks must take into account historical legacies. We can not continue being pummeled at the receiving end of the butt.Hopefully the Russian will come to its senses. Armenia is in a pretty compromising and uncomfortable position. The western orientation will always be there, now more than ever with the impact the diaspora ( western diaspora) will have on our way of life. The russian orientation can never be negated . Therefore we are in between a rock and a hard place. It is interesting to see the large number of western diasporas entering the country with their tunnelled optic and programmed views on how Armenia can benefit and prosper. There is a tug of war, a pull in opposite directions. However there is nothing in concrete , apart from setting up a stock exchange and bonding the national economy to the Lazar Freres, Rothschid, Goldaman Sachs, Lehman Bros fiscal and banking fraternities, the West can be of survivalist gain for Armenia.The gate to the West passes through Turkey,( what Armenian would want to pass through that hell hole ?- surprisingly there are many of them around) as the political configuration stands today. Should Russia, in the unlikely event, drop Armenia, we will end up in the turkish melting gravel, and that is too ghastly to contemplate.

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  37. Very-very well said, Anonymous (July 31, 2013 at 10:42 AM)

    I would like to emphasize the urgent need for Armenian lobbying efforts in the Kremlin (and pray that Russia stays in Russian hands).

    Unfortunately, the Armenian Diaspora is fast becoming a liability for the Armenian state.

    Financial ties with Western entities will prove destructive for Armenia in the long term.

    At the end of the day, we must all come to the realization that "racist" Russians (Christian Slavs) are Armenia's best hope in the south Caucasus.

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  38. "At the end of the day, we must all come to the realization that "racist" Russians (Christian Slavs) are Armenia's best hope in the south Caucasus."

    The anglo-american-zionist west has thoroughly politicized, jewed, and weaponized the English language. This is especially damaging to the Armenian-American community, because they think in English. Weaponized English (akin to the "Newspeak" described in George Orwell's book "1984" about an all-encompassing totalitarian dystopia) truly limits and twists the way English speakers think about, express and understand ideas. For example, the concept of anti-gay forcibly becomes "homophobe", which twists the healthy concept of opposing a diseased and uncouth man, and falsely ascribes it as a supposed "fear" of faggotry. In the same way, abortions are forcibly twisted into "women's reproductive health". The dissolving of the Earth's unique and diverse cultures into one featureless, internationalized, and docile "brown man" is laughably sold as "promoting diversity". And filling the shores of European, American, Russian (and if they could, even Armenian) cities with racially and culturally opposing peoples, and thus setting up a coming clash of cultures and ruinous racial wars, is sold exactly as the opposite under the motto "diversity is our strength". The list goes on and on...

    An sadly, national consciousness and a desire for national conservation are labeled as "racist" and "bigoted". LOVE for one's own nation, race, ethnicity, language, culture and compatriots are automatically and decietfully labeled as "HATE". In truth, the only hate-filled people are the anglo-american-zionist scum who run the west, they hate the world and the races which inhabit it and who wish to subjugate and destroy them. And that is how Russian patriots are labeled as "racist" when they stand up for Mother Russia. Or how Golden Dawn's passing out food to needy fellow Greeks being labeled as a criminal offense in Greece (http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_23/07/2013_510873). And how Armenians who oppose globalism , or protest nato and its crimes from Serbia to Syria, or who expose western agents in Yerevan or debunk western pseudohistorians who falsify Armenian history, are labeled "racists", "ethnocentricists", "bigots" or "ultranationalists".

    The west would love to destroy the national will to power in Russia as well as in Armenia. Let's imagine for a nightmarish second that they succeeded infecting Russia as they have Germany. Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl's son Peter married a turkish cunt in Germany (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2000/dec/20/johnhooper). There are no shortages of turkic whores around the Russian federation. If Putin, Lavrov. Ivanov and others had turkic or azerbaijani in-laws, then Armenia's multi-millennia history would write its final pages within a generation.
    So given our limited options, we need to start looking at headlines screaming "Russian racism", and learn to look past them as "Russian nationalism" and ultimately see "Russian allies of Armenia".

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  39. raffi hovannisian agent zaruhi boztanjyan trying to provoke Moscow.

    http://asbarez.com/112259/armenian-official-applies-to-pace-to-penalize-moscow-mayor/

    To remind everyone, these are the same "Armenian" scum who stood by the turkish and azeri delegates in March 2008 calling for the suspension of Armenia's membership and voting rights in front of Euro organizations.

    These Armenians who insist on "following everything georgia does", mainly pissing off Moscow by trying to drag European super-national organizations into spheres where they do not belong, are a major liability for Armenia.



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  40. Raffi, zarhui an company should be barred from representing Armenia. Where was zarhui and Raffi and PACE when the Hungarians released the murderer of the Armenian officer? Where were these people hiding ? They are trying to cause a storm at the expense of the unfortunate Hrachia. If this a moral complaint against Rusia, it should be taken up by both governments. Why internationalize the issue. . These people are dangerous within ou body politic. We got rid of the judaized Levon, and now we have Raffi, the Americano , trying to lay down the ground rules for the nation. A failed lawyer back in L.A, came to Armenia, he will also fail in the homeland, but he,ll cause damage along the way. Zarhui is wasting her energies and time with PACE and her tawdry , shop worn liberal,judaized cliche accusations of race discrimination, hate, and other judaized one liners in the globalist, multiculturalist lexicon. The woman is doing her job, anti Armenian partisanship, filthy political opportunist and a blatant advertisement for ideas, concepts and a world view that have no room nor space in the homeland.

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  41. Russian border soldiers shoot and kill turk trying to sneak into Armenia

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZMc_vTDcIk

    The Russians in this video state that the identity and intentions of the dead turk are under investigation.

    The controlled "Armenian" press is reporting the story from sympathetic, "innocent turkish shepard" point of view.

    http://asbarez.com/112316/turkish-shepherd-shot-upon-crossing-armenian-border/

    I wish the Russian and Armenian news would have a press day about this incident and reinforce in Armenians' heads that Russia is Armenia's protector. Otherwise the agents of the west could spin this into a "the evil Russians are preventing Armenian-turkish reconciliation because they want to keep Armenia poor, weak, isolated and dependent". I'm beginning to wonder if a few of the sickest layers of Armenian society will attempt to paint the dead turk as a saint to be honored with the memory of Manvel Saribekyan.

    http://asbarez.com/86171/armenian-captive-found-hanged-in-azeri-prison/

    Anyway cheers on this development, I hope to see a show of support for Armenian-Russian ties in Yerevan over this latest event. We need to form a large, Nashi-style youth organization in Yerevan immediately to counter the cockroaches working for the west. "Gay 'pride'" and protests over 13 cent increases in bus fare attract our self-destructive peasantry out to protest. But positive developments such as a demonstration of the security of the Armenian-turkish border, or the banning of GMOs from Armenia, don't even attract small marches of support

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  42. Relations with Russia are entering a sour phase ? The agreement with the EU is very much under wraps; it is a secret agreement and no one seems to be aware of its conditions nor of its consequences.
    And where does this places Armenia viz a viz Russia and the Eurasian customs union ? How can relations improve ? On what basis can we get everyone on the right footing. The arms sales to Azeri is not an issue, as long as the Armenian armed forces are beefed up technologically and in materiel superior to those supplied to Azeris. If Russia had not sold arms, the Azeries would have got them from Israel, or some other country. These EU agreement is due for a signing ceremony in November. A lot of things can happen between now and then.

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  43. Regardless of our orientation, we do have a serious demographic catastrophe unfolding before our own eyes. I was grieved when I heard Serge saying he did not see a problem. I was equally grieved hearing Raffi speak on eschatological terms about the problem. Serge does not see the problem ? For Raffi, who claims that 200000 Armenians left the homeland in the last 5 years it is a demographic ticking time bomb. Raffi utters glib promisses , dazzling statements of " democracy, transparency, justice, prosperity ,jobs, jobs and more jobs, family, traditions, nationalism, all music to the ears. Whether he can deliver all the promissed cornucopia of utopias, it is another topic. In contrast we don't hear much about Serge's partys programme, plans and projects. They are masters at suddenly presenting us with a fait accomplit. The Protocols with the genocidal Turks is an example of this; the football diplomacy and merrily applauding turkish goals ,is an example of this. On the Karabakh issue; Raffi is for recognizing the NKR. Serge is quiet. Artsakh is Armenia, Artsakh is inextricably linked to the motherland. It goes without saying that we can not afford to deplete the motherland of its inhabitants. It is also a matter of supreme importance to begin fostering the return of Armenians abroad to the motherland. Artsakh has to be populated, we can not leave those beautiful spaces open and underpopulated. A western orientation will not achieve any of the goals which Raffi trumpets so lustily ( the man is an excellent actor, beefed up with funds from his American pals he is in a comfortable position to promise the earth and deliver saw dust).

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  44. Anonymous (August 8, 2013 at 3:35 PM)


    Armenia's political landscape is an utterly desolate place populated mostly by foreign mercenaries and chobans-in-Armani-suits. The situation of the Armenian Diaspora is even far worst. And the typical Armenian today is more of a problem for Armenia than an asset.

    The above is why I laugh at those who say Armenia can do this and Armenia can do that. The reality is we don't have the tools, the levers or the power to do anything on our own. Armenia is a developing nation with several fundamental, strategic problems. As long as these problems are not solved, Armenia will remain underdeveloped and on the edge.

    I am not talking about Armenia's dwindling population. I am talking about the overall geopolitical situation of the south Caucasus.

    The Caucasus is merely one bad event away from turning into a Turkic-Islamic playground. This is the Caucasus' natural tendency. This is something we need to seriously wrap our minds around. With a weakened Russia in the region the region will return to its Turkic-Islamic natural state. We need a powerful Russia in the south Caucasus. We need Russia's alliance more than we need anything else in this world, including our diaspora. What we need to do is to better exploit Moscow's desires in having a foothold in Armenia. In other words, we need to better exploit our strategic alliance with Russia.

    I keep returning to the topic of Russian-Armenian relations not because I am obsessing over the topic as some think, it's because EVERY SINGLE Armenian issue is in some way connected to Yerevan's relationship with Moscow. I also emphasize Russo-Armenian relations because I see it as being the ONLY option we have that can safeguard Armenia and help it develop. The key to Armenia's success is not found in the West, it's found in Russia. We know why the West is in the south Caucasus. The West will only start Armenia down the path of ruin.

    The key to peace and prosperity in Armenia and in the south Caucasus lies in Pax Russicana. Discussing other matters is a waste of time.

    Having said that, I still think Serj Sargsyan is the lesser of all evils that currently exists in Armenia. Moreover, it's silly to even bring up Rafi's stance on Artsakh. Raffi is an opportunist, a populist and an agent of the West. Raffi will tell the sheeple whatever they want to hear. At least we know why Serj is sometimes quiet when it comes to Artsakh. It's all about the devil we know begin better than the angel we don't.

    PS: The so-called "protocols" was a major political victory for Yerevan and it held a lot of potential for Armenia.

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  45. Anonymous at August 5, 2013 at 3:21 AM

    I sense by your post that you do genuinely care about Armenia, and I appreciate that. But I think you are looking at the protocols in the wrong light. Consider the following:

    President Sargsyan would never have gambled on something like the Protocols. At that level, all things are rehearsed, and all possible outcomes are studied and securitized over. Just like a game of chess, which BTW the President excels at. Looking at the protocols without emotion, what Armenia did was propose that turkey open the border in exchange for a historian's commission. I know this may sound immoral, unethical and dirty, but Armenia has no choice but to play the diplomatic game with turkey and the west. President Sargsyan, indeed no Armenian president or official, is ever in the position to talk tough to turkey, or to defy the various international actors at play in the region. Now Armenia knew that the west would like to see the Armenia-turkey border open both as an opportunity to weaken the perceived need for Russian troops in Armenia, as well as a route for alternate pipelines from azerbaijan to turkey. Keep in mind this was the time that georgia became increasingly apparent as an unreliable and unstable trade route. Also note that as much as we don't want to admit it, open borders with turkey would help Armenia's economy to a certain degree. Even the first Armenian Republic in 1918 negotiated with the turkish government, which was still full of Young Turk party members, in order to break the blockade of Armenia.

    So knowing that, Armenia also knew that if turkey opened the border with Armenia, the azeris would go ape-shit crazy. That "two states, one nation" garbage would fly out the window. The turkish embassy in baku would come under attack. The azeri president would have to save face by taking a tough line on turkey lest his people revolt against him en masse for such an international defeat. With nowhere to run, and with Russian-backed Armenia and Artsakh standing strong, the azeris would face total isolation. There only move would be to turn to Russia, since the azeri relationship with israel rules out turning to Iran. And as Russia sees more strategic interests in Armenia than in azerbaijan, the azeris would effectively have been dealt an Armenian "checkmate".

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  46. By standing firm on Artsakh, President Sargsyan set a trap for turkey. If turkey accepted the protocols, azerbaijan would be isolated. If turkey rejected the Protocols, Armenia would win nearly endless diplomatic maneuvering room, and would always argue to the international community that Armenia was reasonable, the turks set conditions after the deal had been signed. The Armenian victory was obvious from the early stages: during the signing ceremony itself the short speeches that the Armenian and turkish foreign ministers wanted to make were taken off of the schedule, when Armenia's foreign minister (with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov present) protested turkey's planned reference to Artsakh in his statement. It seems the turks realized too late the trap they had fallen to.

    Regarding the genocide issue, remember that for years both turkey and the political west have been using our tragedy as a trump card in their political games. This is especially true when the west needs a concession from turkey, it is at that point when "Genocide recognition bills" are introduced to Congress and various European parliaments. What Armenia did was very cleverly make it appear that it would compromise on the Genocide issue, knowing full well that the previously mentioned "Artsakh trap" was already built into the protocols. And as a backup measure, Armenia's Constitutional Court issued a ruling that "pursuing international relations with turkey cannot call into question the Armenian Genocide". In other words, the commission that turkey was so happy to see would have been reduced to discussing the exact nature of the reparations owed by turkey to Armenia.

    I know it sounds dirty, but that is the nature of politics and international relations. What President Sargsyan did was to say everything that turkey and the west wanted to hear, and then he continued pursuing Armenia's national interest all the same as before. He faked some claps for the turkish football team to look like a good sport, and then he returned to Yerevan and continued the acquiring SMERCH artillery and S-300 air defense for Armenia and Artsakh. In geopolitical terms, it was a MASSIVE win for Armenia on every level.

    As to the recognition of Artsakh, Raffi uses that to score points at home. By pretending that Armenia and Artsakh are separate entities, Armenia both frees its hands to develop international relations and negotiate as officially a non-combatant, while at the same time it always falls back on "no agreement can be finalized without the approval of the Artsakh Armenians". Just diplomatic games. Serj talks a neutral game while arming his native Artsakh with the most modern weapons possible. Raffi just talks out of his fat, flabby ass whenever it is expedient for his own personal ambitions.

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  47. Lastly, regarding the demographic situation, noone is forcing Armenians to have so few children. The average female fertility rate is below the replacement level of 2.1 child per women. The abortion rate, however, is astronomical, particularly the abortion of female babies. Armenia's birth rate is still higher though, than those of Germany and several other very wealthy western and central European states. In fact, apart from France's relatively high native birth rate, most of the demographic growth in Europe has been through immigration of blacks, asians and muslims. Armenia's demographic problem is not because of the Russians, or corruption or even the turks. It is due to Armenians' lack of values, our doom-and-gloom inspired lack of confidence in ourselves and our future, and the overall effect of decades upon decades of damage to our national psyche and to our morals as a race.

    Arevordi has several, several excellent entries on all of the points I mentioned above. Most of the ides I just posted come from his earlier work.

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  48. In regards to the protocols it can be considered a political plus for Armenia thanks to Turkey's refusal to sign them. The paramount driving motive of the protocols was the opening of the borders. The opening of the border, in current circumstances and Armenia's position, would not have been a blessing. The political price Armenia would pay for that is the cleansing of memories past, and an implicit renunciation to our historical claims. Had it happened Armenia would have fallen hook line and sinker into the Turkish arch of economic dependence, adopt and adapt to Western orientation, and be economically swallowed up into the Turk!s economic network, which is after all American dominated and orchestrated. In simpler terms we would have become in time a Turkish satrapy. With Azerbaijan in the East the pincer movement would eventually have cracked any semblance of Armenian sovereignty. With hindsight, which is an almost perfect science, a rapprochement, protocols, opening of borders, normalization of relations with the Turkish state is a non starter. Armenia is a stumbling bloc in the Turks panturanic movement. Armenia is a target for elimination by the two Turkish states. Russia's reliable historical allies has been Armenia. Russia is cognizant of the fact that her foothold in Transcaucasia hinges on Armenia remaining strong and vital for her geopolitical aspirations. Russia is also cognizant that if Armenia is removed as a bulwark against the panturanists, he position in Transcaucasia would be untenable ,this situation will then render her vulnerable to American encirclement and a gateway into Russia herself. Azerbaijan will sooner or later unleash her military forces against Armenia,, under the pretext of recovery of Artsakh. Russia's attitude and reaction would be critical to any outcome of the conflict. As the configuration is arrayed against Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan, the Armenian position is weak but sustainable. Add USA and Israel on the Turks side, and the balance tilts warily against us. They say the Russian army in Gumry will not allow this. We have to see. At the moment we do have Pax Rusicana in Transcaucasia. We have to hope Russia's political motives stay focused and ensure this PAX in the region on their terms. Times are hard for the homeland. The diaspora is helping, they should help more and contribute more and more. For every single diasporan there should not be any other priority in their lives than the continual survival of the homeland. They should also wipe out weird ideas off their minds of importing carbon copies democracies, political parties with un Armenian concepts and philosophies, and all the inane trappings of western models into the homeland.

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  49. So it's five years since the war in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and the Caucasus has never been the same. Is it true that Georgia and Armenia don't get along well?

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  50. Anonymous

    Please read the following blog entry from October 2009 - http://theriseofrussia.blogspot.com/2010/08/looking-at-armenian-turkish-relations.html

    Had Turks known that they could overwhelm Armenia economically or in any way by opening their borders, they would have done it many-many years ago.

    Turkish goods already saturate Armenian markets. They come via Georgia where Georgians make money as middlemen. If Turkish goods are already freely coming into Armenia, why not cut out the Georgian middleman?

    Turkey is in no position to pose any kind of threat inside Armenia. First, most important sectors in the country are already firmly controlled by Russian-Armenian entities. Second, Armenian "oligarchs" and Russian interests here would eat Turks alive.

    What do you think has stopped Turks from flying here and buying whatever they wanted during the past twenty years? The Diaspora?

    One day our "democracy now" idiots will come to the understanding that the existence of our "evil oligarchs" have indirectly secured the future of Armenia. As weird as it may seem to the average person, I sleep better knowing that our oligarchs are in control in Armenia. I am not in any way making excuses for the unethical behavior of our oligarchs. The nation is hurting because of their gluttony. But, for me, a nightmare scenario for Armenia would be when Western, multinational corporations start pouring into Armenia. Then you'll see Armenia turn into a Turkish playground and every single one of Armenia's oligarchs then will be based in places such as Brussels, London, Washington and Tel Aviv.

    Other things to consider: President Sargsyan first reached his hand out to Ankara from Moscow in the spring of 2008. Russia and Georgia went to war 2/3 months later, in August, 2008. Ankara announced its desire to form a "Caucasus Union" with Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in the immediate aftermath of the Russo-Georgian war which saw Russian forces occupy almost half of Georgia and cut off energy supplies to Turkey. Faced with economic disaster, Gul visited Armenia - out of fear and desperation. Armenia had suddenly become a pivotal player in the region in the months after the Russo-Georgian war. The dreaded protocols were the natural progression or by product of the aforementioned geopolitical dynamics in the region. It was a brilliant display of Armenian diplomacy and Russian power projection.

    Stop thinking in conventional and stagnant terms. Armenia has two fundamental/core problems today. They are: The geopolitical situation in the south Caucasus and Armenian genetic/cultural traits.

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  51. Arevordi,
    Any detailed and honest study of our history, especially the last 150 years will reveal that there have been some very influential forces involved in the genocide of the Armenians, namely the British intelligence community, made famous by Lawrence of Arabia's claims that Armenians must never be allowed to govern their country as they will end up controlling all the surrounding countries in the region to the detriment of British geopolitical/economic interests. The Jewish involvement in our genocide is well understood, nothing more to say about that. The Turks have been a tool at the hand of these global elites and have had a few Pan Turkist dreams of their own. At the turn of last century Armenians with their "genetic defects" as you like to keep mentioning seemed to have gained nearly 100% control of the Ottoman trade and industry as well as a large control of Georgian and Russian as well. They made up a very large percent of the intellectuals of these nations. My point here is that it is interesting to me how our enemies have understood very well the extent of our capabilities based on our cultural/genetic traits and have done their best to deprive us of a viable nation so I don't understand why you keep belittling and ridiculing our traits and presenting them as inferior to slavic. Despite the far worse living conditions in Armenia I would venture to say that we suffer fewer social problems than the Russians do. However I would say that 100% of our problem as a nation is GEOPOLITICAL rather than genetic/cultural. The destruction of a nation takes on both mental and emotional dimensions and thus we can say that we are damaged goods, but this is not a genetic trait and can be restored within a couple of generations given the correct geopolitical conditions. The fact that we were leaderless at the turn of the century and thus vulnerable does not make us inferior, just unlucky to be surrounded by competing empires.

    Arto2

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  52. Relations between the Armenian and Georgian people's is fine. During summer vacations a large number of Armenians trek to the georgian coast in the black sea. At governmental level they might not get along as well as it might be expected. The
    Georgian enjoy brotherly relations with Turks, and of course Azerbaijan. In a hypothetical confrontation expect the Georgian government to take up positions favorable to Azerbaijan. Besides we need to recognize that Georgia is a western enclave, a semi American-NATO outpost. There is strong crypto Jewish elements in the Government in Georgia, Israel is very much in a protagonist role. The ousting of western influences , through Russian intervention will invariably play on Armenia's favor, as a Russian ally. The multinational invasion of Armenian territory is an ever increasing threat. Open the border with Turkey and the multinational invasion would become an unstoppable torrent. We are engaged in discussing Heritage party's presence in the political scene as inimical to Armenia's national interests, but there are other more " democratic" elements " within Armenia which pose threats too. L.petrosian' step by step approach policies to the Karabakh question is just one example. Such policies can be adopted and pushed forward by un nationalist groups. L Petrosisan wife is Jewish, his son studies or studied in Tel Aviv. L petrosian has a home in Israel. There one has a typical example of a " plant" within Armenia's heart to do the bidding for Alien interests.

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  53. @Jerricko:

    Relations between Georgia and Armenia are complex and multi-layered. As between governments, Georgia has many enemies, namely in the form of South Ossettians, Abkhazians and potentially even muslims adjars. So the Georgian government is not keen on making an enemy out of Armenia. Conversely, Armenia has powerful enemies in turkey and azerbaijan, who have blockaded Armenia's borders. This leaves the Armenian government dependent on the Georgian and Iran routes to connect with the outside world. In fact, Armenia is the one entity pushing hardest for an opening of the Georgian-Abkhazian-Russian border and railway, because it would help reduce shipping costs for Armenian goods to Russia (which otherwise have to go through Georgia then by ferry to Ukraine and then overland to Russia). So both states have pragmatic reasons to maintain working relations, and they for the most part do so. Tensions will continue to exist as long as georgia remains saturated with American, European, jewish and turkish agents.

    That being said, almost every Armenian I know has a terrible opinion on the Georgians. They are described as untrustworthy, cutthroat, backstabbing cowards (ie typical Caucasians). Armenians, as well as turks, azeris and israelis do visit Georgian beaches during summer, in fact it used to be a popular resort area during the Soviet era. There exist many issues between the two peoples, which are currently being held back because of bigger issues facing both nations. These include:

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  54. The Javakhk region of Georgia is Armenia populated, and the ethnic Armenians are regularly discriminated against. The Georgian government utterly fails to develop the Javakhk region, and most Armenians suspect it is because the Georgians are waiting for the Armenians' conditions to get so bad that they will emigrate. Additionally, Armenian language usage is not allowed in the local government in Javakhk, despite the region being something like 90+% Armenian. The Georgians even reorganized the borders of the Javakhk province, merged with with ethnically Georgian Samtskhe province, called it Samtskhe-Javaketi and moved the regional capital from Armenian-majority Akhalkalak to Georgian-majority Akhaltskhe. Armenian activists like Vahagn Chakhalyan are occasionally arrested by the paranoid saakashvili regime and branded as "agents of Russia".

    Georgians also have an annoying habit of trying to claim the remains of old Armenian Churches and pretend that they were "georgian" churches. Georgia's capital Tblisi (Tiflis) used to have an Armenian plurality during the Czar era, and there were dozens of Armenian churches there. The jewish bolsheviks shut down most of the churches, and now the Georgian church tries to steal the non-operating churches for itself. They sometimes destroy Armenian graveyards, tombstones and Armenian-language inscriptions from old churches and monuments. In this way they are no better than the turks. The most famous example of this is the Norashen Armenian Church in Tblisi... Part of this is because they feel inadequate in their own culture and must therefore compensate by stealing from Armenia. The georgian orthodox church in the very early years was subject to the jurisdiction of the Armenian Catholicosate. And the most celebrated Georgian royal family, the "Bargationi" (ruled georgia on and off from the eleventh century to the 1800s), are an acknowledged branch of an old Armenian Royal dynasty "Bagratuni" (ruled Armenia from 860-1064). The georgians suffer from a deep inferiority complex.
    Also note that georgians as a people have often displayed cowardliness on the battlefield as a national trait. During WW2, some georgians allied with Germany, but then when the war started to turn against Germany, they committed a cowardly midnight "uprising and frantically started killing their sleeping German comrades (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgian_Uprising_of_Texel). And during August 2008, we saw the georgians set some world records in "fastest time time to abandon civilians on the front line and retreat from frontline to capital city"

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  55. Oh I also forgot to mention the so-called "Meshketian turks". Stalin deported these turkish-georgians during World War 2. They live in Central Asia. Our "saviors" in the "European" Union have been trying to fund and organize a "repatriation" of the meshketian turks to georgia since the collapse of the USSR. georgia has agreed in principle, and decided to settle these turks in Armenian-populated Javakhk region. If this "gift" from the Euro-assholes ever came to fruition, then Armenia would effectively be surrounded on EVERY single border by a ring of millions upon millions of turks (the Armenian-Iranian border is populated by ethnic azeri Iranians on the Iranian side). This is one of the major threats on the horizon for Armenia, and an example of why the political west's objectives in the South Caucasus pose a threat for both Armenia and Russia.

    Of course, as Arevordi has explained, it is no surprise that the west wants to see turks and turkic peoples move in to the areas of the Russian sphere which they have targeted. After all, turks are numerous, have a thoughtless follow-the-leader mentality and are easy to manipulate. They are and will remain the west's favorite tool and preferred regional minions for decades to come.

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  56. Arto#2

    Please read carefully the things I write about Armenian traits and assess them in the context of the commentary it appears in. I do realize that at times I get overly critical of our people, but I ask you to also realize that I do this for a purpose: We as a people are not self-critical enough. We need to recognize that we have serious flaws, as well as great attributes. We have very powerful/positive traits: Intelligence, talent, creativity, cunning, resilience, physical strength, family oriented, etc. And we have very damaging traits: Individualistic, arrogant, aggressive, controlling, flashy, jealous, materialistic, etc. If you do not see the very damaging traits in us you are just not looking. Ironically, some of the "positive traits" we have, like being cunning and individualistic also works against having a stable/powerful society. The most powerful nations in the world have historically been nations where a small minority of wolves have controlled a vast majority of sheep - or a nation where a tiny elite controls a vast majority. That simply does not work with us.

    Anyway, our enemies know our strengths and weaknesses much better than us Armenians.

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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 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 for me because I had no assistance from anywhere. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside urged me to keep going; and I did. When Armenia joined the EEU and integrated into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago I finally felt a deep sense of relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my back. And when Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan reemerged in Armenian politics, 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 internal 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 anything 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 moderate the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what readers of this blog 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. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself.

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, going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Posts 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 Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you for reading.