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Armenia stands confused amidst geopolitical shifts

26 February 2015 19:20 (UTC+04:00)
Armenia stands confused amidst geopolitical shifts

By Mushvig Mehdiyev

At such a time when Armenia has lost much of its military weight, dwarfed by its own internal struggles and economic hardship, can the world's elite forces really say they still need this post-Soviet country?

Armenia has struggled to find its footing, forever a satellite of Russia, torn in between western powers' need to create a buffer to Russian hegemony and their desire to achieve their political survival.

Though Armenia seems to have fallen under Moscow's sway that is not to say that the western powers have lost all interest into this small South-Caucasian country. If small and economically bankrupt, Armenia remains a geostrategic pawn.

"Armenia is neither an important nation, nor an ally of the US," Jason Katz, the principal of Tool Shed Group, a consultancy that advises foreign governments, NGOs and corporations in the realms of strategic communications, politics and policy, said in an article published in the U.S. Roll Call online newspaper.

Calling Armenia a vassal of Russia, Katz explained that how Armenia actually recently turned away from the West by joining Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union. The EEU seeks to act a counterweight to the European Union.

"Armenian borders and airspace are even patrolled by the Russian military," Katz added.

Katz also spoke in his report of Brad Sherman, a democrat representative from California, who only recently attempted to reach out to Armenia in efforts to strengthen the mutual ties which exist in between the US and Armenia.

Sherman wrote that as a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, he has focused on recognizing the unproven “Armenian genocide”, increasing aid to Armenia and Armenians of Georgia's Samtskhe-Javakheti region, as well as the separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh. Sherman's biased address pushed all limits when he urged to "hold Azerbaijan accountable for its actions against Armenia."

Katz severely criticized Sherman's baseless claims, saying: “Why would a member of the US Congress go so far to offend not one, but two of America’s most important regional allies - Azerbaijan and Georgia?”

"In reality, Armenia is not an important nation to the US, but it is however indispensable to the Iranians and the Russians," added Katz. He translated Sherman's efforts as the manifestation of his own political self-interest. Since California is home to much of the Armenian diaspora, Sherman was simply trying to score a few political points.

While commenting on Armenian nationals living in Nagorno-Karabakh and Javakh, Kratz said, "The whole world, including the US has admitted that Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region has been illegally occupied by Armenia."

Back in the 1990s, Armenia invaded and occupied several Azerbaijani regions, among which the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Ever since the region has known unrests. As a result of Armenia's armed invasion, 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory fell under Armenian occupation.

Although the OSCE has attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the conflict, Armenia has systematically derailed peace talks, preferring to revert to armed aggression and war crimes rather than engage in peace talks.

"As for Javakh, it is a region within Georgia with compact Armenian minority and subject to territorial claims by some more radical Armenians. Actually, many Armenians in Javakheti region of Georgia, as it is properly called, carry Russian passports," Kratz noted.

The Central Asian and Caucasian Studies in Sweden has already warned that Javakheti - province in southern Georgia - could become the next South Caucasus fault-line. Once again Armenia finds itself at the center of a territorial dispute.

Moreover, Yerevan has been very active behind the scenes, resorting to issuing threats and warning against Georgia should it dare engages in acts of violence against the Armenian political movements in Javakheti. Yerevan issued a series of statement in which it threatened Georgia of pending actions should "its nationals" suffer violence.

As tensions continue to simmer in the South Caucasus, western powers remain on the fence when it comes to Armenia and its role within their own political agenda.

Uncertain itself of the direction it should take, Armenia remains weak and divided, a political conundrum which sooner or later will unravel under the weight of its own treachery and political inadequacy.

In a nutshell, modern Armenia is not more than an empty institutional shell with no real own geopolitical stance.

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Follow Mushvig Mehdiyev on Twitter: @Mushviggo

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