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The Armenian goal in own gate

The Armenian goal in own gate

August 6 2018 LJ cover – Армянский гол в свои ворота
Tags: Armenia, Politics, Analysis, Russia, Caucasus, Azerbaijan, War, West

Armenia, it seems, follows Ukraine becoming the contender for the title of the main political newsmaker in Russia. Recently, the newly-minted Prime Minister Pashinyan threw out another trick - conditionally arrested the CSTO Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov. 26 July in Gen. Gen. were charged with overthrowing the country's constitutional system. On the same day, similar charges were brought against former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan. 27 July he was arrested.

According to the investigation, the former president of Armenia and the current CSTO secretary general overthrew the constitutional system in the country during the forceful dispersal of 1 demonstration 2008 March. The demonstrators were unhappy with the results of the presidential election.

The prosecution of the Special Investigation Service was rather strange. Since at that time under the Constitution Armenia was a democratic country, and Kocharyan introduced a state of emergency that infringed upon human rights, Armenia immediately ceased to be a democratic country. Accordingly, Kocharian overthrew the constitutional system and usurped power, which is a terrible crime. Get this case into the hands of, for example, an American or Dutch judge, he would have decided that investigators are mocking him ...

Nevertheless, something happened that happened. 31 July, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a tough statement to Yerevan. The head of the Russian foreign ministry said that the events of the last few days "run counter to the recent statements of the new leadership of Armenia that he has no intentions to pursue his predecessors for political reasons." After that Khachaturov was quickly released on bail.

For those who are not very versed in the intricacies of geopolitical movements: just imagine that the Norwegian authorities would have arrested the NATO Secretary General (currently he is a Norwegian citizen and former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg). It would be interesting to see the reaction to this passage in the US ...

The rotation in the CSTO began not so long ago, and Khachaturov was the first secretary general (according to the alphabetical order of the member countries), who was appointed to this post.

The ex-President of Armenia and the Secretary General of the CSTO were set up by the Special Investigation Service of the Republic. This mysterious structure was created in June on the initiative of Nikol Pashinyan himself. It was headed by former deputy prosecutor of Yerevan Sasun Khachatryan, the brother of the chairman of the Armenian Board of Directors of the Soros Foundation David Khachatryan. The latter at one time took an active part in the "velvet revolution", pushing Pashinyan to power. Well, the debt, as they say, is paid in red.

For Moscow, this geopolitical feint has become not just a slap in the face, but an extremely unpleasant surprise. The irritation of the official Russian authorities was immediately brought to the broad (including the Armenian) public through several channels (obviously, for greater persuasiveness, to direct the course of thoughts of the latter in the right direction). The newspaper Kommersant issued a planned leak on the grounds that Moscow is stopping the allocation of a loan to supply Armenia with weapons. The amount is rather large - 100 million dollars. "There is growing awareness in Moscow that, perhaps, the new leadership of Armenia is in too good a relationship with the West, and possibly with American special services," writes Kommersant. So far, only "understanding." But it "grows". Up to what level it will grow in the end - an interesting question. Khachaturov is unlikely to be replaced by another Armenian politician, friendly to Pashinyan. This will in fact mean that the staff of the CIA will sit on the post of secretary general of the CSTO. Moscow will never do this. But what will it go for? What will be our "cunning plan" and "asymmetric answer"?

Partially, the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Konstantin Zatulin answered him. If Armenia's choice is not in favor of Russia's interests, it can lead to "very different domestic and foreign policy outcomes," he said, speaking at the "Echo of Moscow". He also added that Armenia can not ignore that today its security is guaranteed in many respects by membership in the CSTO, the presence of the Russian military base and the supply of arms from Russia. Remember, they say, why you still do not have a war. "In the relations with Russia, the arrest of the CSTO Secretary General is fraught with a loss of confidence at a high level, because words are words, and actions are actions," said Konstantin Fedorovich. - This act can not but damage the image of the organization itself. Here the question of the correctness of the CSTO statute is raised, where the main burden of obligations is borne by the Russian Federation. "

Like this. I carry the burden to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, but Armenia takes the secretary general.

"Red line"

A large cohort of Armenian experts and political scientists, as if on a team, delayed the same song of akyn: "Whatever we do, we do it from national interests", "this is our internal business", "do not interfere in our internal affairs" text. I would like to remind them all that in reality Armenia also has foreign policy obligations, in particular the CSTO and relations with Moscow, and here their freedom of thought and flight of fantasy are severely limited.

In the context of these rights and freedoms, the Armenian authorities have crossed the red line of what is permitted. Even formally, the authorities of the republic can not just stand up on the wrong foot, arresting the CSTO Secretary General, as this is contrary to international law.

Pashinyan's difficult choice

Of course, Armenian radicals, who led Pashinyan to power, constantly demand endless investigations in relation to the former authorities. They are eager to dig deeper, plant more, burn hot iron three meters deep. And since it is not yet possible to seriously reform the economy of the country and raise the standard of living of the population at the prime minister (and most likely, it will not work out), we have to conform and prove our loyalty at least to the curators. Before Pashinyan there is an uneasy choice: either send your colleagues yesterday to a well-known people's address (which his yesterday's circle will not forgive him), or fulfill their demand and thereby sharply complicate relations with Russia. He chose the second option. To understand with colleagues did not have neither spirit, nor political will.

Admittedly, these are not the first serious frictions between Moscow and Yerevan. Armenians had previously disliked the sale by Russia of Baku of modern weapons of mass destruction, the very fact of having Russian bases in their republic. Russia sharply opposed the attempts of Yerevan to sign an agreement with the European Union. Even the "electric maidan" was organized, when hundreds of thousands of Armenians went to the square to protest against the increase in prices for services provided by Russian companies. In the end, disputes were somehow resolved, Moscow always acted on the principle of "understand and forgive." I think that Armenian politicians are now convinced that in the final analysis Moscow will "understand and forgive."

Forgive me? Time will tell. According to expert Andrey Epifantsev, Moscow will take some measures this time to show its discontent, but all this will be within the framework of reasonable. Perhaps, Armenia will lose its chairmanship in the CSTO, and Moscow will increase arms supplies to Azerbaijan. But this all and will be limited.

If tomorrow the war

There is another point of view. If Pashinyan acts in line with his claims, the general complication of the geopolitical situation in Transcaucasia may lead to another round of conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Moreover, not so long ago a large-scale clash of troops took place on the dividing line, and the parties lost about one hundred people killed each. Thus, Aliyev demonstrated to the entire world community that the issue of Karabakh for him is by no means closed.

Many military experts are convinced that Azerbaijan is unable to conduct an intensive, modern war for more than one week (just as much as the last military conflict lasted). After a week of positional battles, aviation (or missile) strikes by Armenians will follow the oil refineries and factories of the neighboring country, which will lead to a number of catastrophes in the republic, and it is possible that the collapse of all of its industry. On the territory of Armenia there is only one militarily strategic object - nuclear power plant. But it will not be bombed by Russia, Iran, or the S-400 complexes located in the approach area.

In addition, in Azerbaijan in the event of war, separatist sentiments in the Lezghin, Talysh and Avar regions will instantaneously become more acute. The split within the Azerbaijani elite will also intensify. Kurdish and Turkic parties will again meet here in a deadly battle.

In addition, the Azerbaijani army, with all its modernization, is unable to conduct active offensive operations in a rather difficult mountainous area. Armenians, on the other hand, turned the territory they occupied earlier into a real fortified area (again, not without the help of Russian specialists).

There is a serious psychological component. Azerbaijanis have historically been a trading people. This kind of activity they mastered in perfection. To make sure of this, it is enough to look at any vegetable market from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad. They have never been fans of war and any martial arts. Even in the Soviet Army they were sent to serve reluctantly: in its slender ranks came the one who could not pay off from time to time from the local military commissar.

Karabakh Armenians are fans of the war, warriors in spirit. The well-known cult Chechen rebel Khadzhi Murat was once captured by the Karabakh police along with the Lezgian volunteers. The Karabakh people killed him. In the army (both Russian and Soviet) they went to serve with pleasure. The career of a military man, and especially of an officer, has always been in honor here. In the Great Patriotic War, a small mountain republic gave the country a record (per capita) number of marshals and generals.

But in the case of Russian non-interference (which Zatulin may have hinted at), and with the tacit consent of Moscow to help the brotherly republic, military experts of the Turkish army, actively fighting in Syria, can come. And the Turks in the Middle East have accumulated a lot of experience. They also have their own military-industrial complex, which is now undergoing field trials in Syria. And no one prevents the Turks from putting his run-in patterns to a neighboring friendly republic.

In general, the situation in the Transcaucasia has escalated. The red line is broken - from the Armenian side. We are waiting for the continuation.

Igor Moiseyev
Military Review
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