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June 19
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YEREVAN. – Syunik Province of Armenia has become an arena of conflict of interests of the major players. Analyst Tigran Abrahamyan, a former security adviser to the Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) President, told this to a press conference Tuesday.

According to him, the process in Syunik has become a factor for foreign players, including aimed at weakening of the regional influence of Russia and Iran, which do not know how far the Armenian authorities are ready to go in their concessions.

The analyst recalled the statement of the UK ambassador to Azerbaijan about the desire to see a multinational peacekeeping force in Artsakh, and which is aimed at weakening Russia's influence in the region.

As for Iran, Abrahamyan noted that about nine months ago it had a predictable and approximately 130-kilometer border with Artsakh, but now this border does not exist. "This is a problem for Iran. It realizes that if Armenia loses control of Syunik, this part of the border will be under a blockade," the analyst said.

According to him, Armenia’s border demarcation with Azerbaijan may take decades, and this creates risks of long-term instability. This conclusion, as the analyst explained, can be made based on the experience of such a process with Georgia, which has ended with a maximum of 5 percent.

Abrahamyan stated that the saddest thing is that all this is happening in the territory of Armenia due to the lack of balanced decisions by its authorities.

He recalled the explanations of the Armenian authorities in connection with the handover of the Kashatagh (Lachin) and Kovsakan (Zangelan) regions: as if due to the threat of war. "If so, this argument can be put forward in the case of the current processes in Syunik and Gegharkunik, too" the analyst concluded.

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