December 04
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Iran is the only country that can be a deterrent for both Turkey and Azerbaijan. Second President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, who also heads the opposition "Armenia" bloc, told about this to a press conference Wednesday.

"Yes, we [i.e., Armenia] have a problem with Turkey and Azerbaijan, and we should look at which other countries have these problems and build cooperation bridges with those countries. This is geopolitics. China may also have interests. I see some steps in that direction in the last few days. Now, I don't know if they are formal, demonstrative steps or if they will have a certain continuation. But those steps had to be taken immediately after the defeat [in the 44-day war in the fall of 2020]. And more precisely, it had to be done since 2018 because before that we had quite serious relations with Greece, with the Greek Ministry of Defense. The question is what your intention is. If you have formulated a completely different goal for your country, those questions become secondary. If you think that you will have eternal friendship with Turkey as soon as the border opens, there will be no more danger, you are not looking for relations with those countries that have problems with Turkey," he said.

Kocharyan noted that the world is going towards more polarization, and against that background, being guided by theories that have nothing to do with world trends.

Reflecting on France, the ex-president said that this country has always been friendly to Armenia.

"Of course, France has issues with France, and we need to work with them. But to pin hopes that France can send troops here and to think that the troops of a NATO member country can, for example, be stationed in Syunik [Province of Armenia] and you won't have any issues with Iran, that would also be childish. For that, we need to put all these factors in combination with each other and try to understand which the most correct direction is," he emphasized.

And asked whether Armenia needs to make a specific choice between Russia and the collective West, or whether it is necessary to work in different directions, Kocharyan responded: "It is obvious that the corridor of complementarity has narrowed significantly. But that does not mean that we should not communicate with the West; yes, we should continue the contacts. Let's look at the scenarios. If Russia comes out of this war [in Ukraine] weakened, it is obvious that its influence on Turkey and Azerbaijan will significantly decrease and the influence of these two countries in the region will increase; this is not in our interests. There is not a very complicated scheme here. It is not in our interests for Russia to come out of this war weakened. If it comes out strengthened, then [Azerbaijani president] Aliyev will not dare to say, ‘No matter who wants to call me,’ which is what he is saying now."

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