The recent statement by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev about claims to Zangezur at the summit of Turkic peoples in Baku was by no means accidental, Armenian second president Robert Kocharyan wrote in an article for Sputnik Armenia.
Touching upon the issue of a new stage in world politics, he noted that “we are witnessing fundamental changes in world politics, when the undisputed US leadership is effectively challenged by new rising global players.”
According to him, a world leader who has exhausted the resource of dominance, but does not want to give up his positions, is unsuccessfully trying to hinder the growth of power and influence of growing rivals.
“Such processes are known to history, well studied by experts and are always accompanied by uncertainty, instability, and often also large and small wars,” he noted adding that “the current situation requires deep understanding and a well-defined foreign policy that can neutralize new challenges and threats for Armenia and Karabakh.”
According to him, this is a new unfolding reality of world politics that should be reckoned.
“Moreover, this reality has a direct impact on security in our region. Just a few years ago, the US and the EU were both the main allies and constraining factors for Turkey. However, the shouts of Washington and Brussels had zero effect on Turkey when troops were sent to Syria. A warning letter from US President Donald Trump to Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in the bin of the Turkish leader. Only the Russian presence in Syria had sufficient exposure potential that could stop the Turks. Today, Russia remains the only deterrent to Turkey in the region. The actual role of the countries of the region in regional affairs has become decisive,” he added.
According to him, it is also clear that relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan have further strengthened.
“The recent statement by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev about claims to Zangezur at the summit of Turkic peoples in Baku was by no means accidental. This is a step towards the actualization of the forgotten idea of geographical continuity of the settlement of Turkic peoples,” he said.
In this situation, he noted, the cooperation with Russia in the field of security becomes even more important. “Only irresponsible or recruited politicians can today insist on the withdrawal of the Russian base from the country. The Kurdish tragedy in northern Syria should be a clear lesson in the effects of political myopia,” he added.
“What is the political landscape of Armenia today?” Kocharyan wonders. “With the exception of a pair of technocratic ministers without political subjectivity, the government and core of the parliamentary majority are made up of people fed by US grants.”
According to him, media support to the authorities is provided exclusively by pro-Western media, at the forefront of which is Radio Liberty (Azatutyun). All pro-government parties, politicians and nongovernmental organizations have a clearly expressed anti-Russian orientation and usually sit on Western funding.
A party with a terrorist reputation (Sasna Tsrer party. - ed.) actively supports the PM Nikol Pashinyan, aggressively advocating for the immediate withdrawal of the Russian military base from Armenia.
“On the other hand, parties and politicians oriented towards full cooperation with Russia do not support the current government and absolutely do not trust it. Everyone believes that the pro-Western political views of the authorities, faced with dependence on Russian energy sources and the market, are being transformed into mercantile pragmatism,” the second president noted. “The picture is really paradoxical, and how long the “geopolitical split” of the ruling elite will last depends only on opportunistic circumstances.”
What is the situation with the Karabakh settlement in the context of global and regional processes? “There is a weakening of our negotiating positions due to gross mistakes of the Armenian side.”
As he noted, the prime minister’s statement “Artsakh is Armenia—period,” led negotiations away from the principle of self-determination of peoples into an undesirable plane of the territorial integrity of states for us.
The elevator contacts of Pashinyan and Aliyev actually nullified the agreements that were very important for us reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg.
The contradictory statements of the Armenian leadership, the lack of a clearly formulated position on the settlement cast doubt on the constructiveness of the Armenian side. Moreover, this perception of our position has already gone beyond the framework of evaluations of intermediaries in the public sphere.
There was unpleasant sediment after an interview with the Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan with BBC. All this plays a role in lowering the threshold for the resumption of hostilities by Azerbaijan under the pretext of the obvious senselessness of talks and the right to restore its territorial integrity.
The ceasefire potential also decreased because the world community had a markedly reduced resource for peace enforcement due to the growth of global contradictions. We must also understand: in the event of war, its scale and devastating consequences will be incomparably harder than anything that has happened so far, Kocharyan states.
According to Kocharyan, the country's security depends not only on the combat readiness of the armed forces, or the quality and quantity of weapons.
"Public sentiment and consensus around national tasks are no less important factors,” he said. “The complicated relations between the ruling elites of Karabakh and Armenia, the demonization of war heroes, the humiliation of the generals who had gone the battle, the disrespect for the memory of the dead servicemen are extremely dangerous demotivators of the patriotic resource of society.”
According to him, the practical freezing of the defense budget with a 20 percent increase in military spending by the opponent is extremely suspicious and impossible to characterize outside the framework of conspiracy theories and profanity.