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Armenian-Russian relations are in crisis, whereas Azerbaijani-Russian relations are at least in some phase of development, political scientist Alexander Iskandaryan told Armenian

"It cannot be said that there is no collaboration at all between the ministries of defense and foreign affairs of Russia and Armenia. Many Russian organizations—for example, the Russian army, Russian border guards, Russian business—operate on the territory of Armenia. Accordingly, there are connections both with that and other ministries.

But the crisis is obvious and has been obvious for a long time, maybe since 2020. This is due to many parameters, the main ones of which are the Karabakh war of 2020, the Ukrainian war, and the disappearance of the NKR [(Nagorno-Karabakh Republic)].

There is disappointment on both sides. From the Armenian side, there were unjustified expectations that Russia would remain a security monopoly in the South Caucasus and would be the security provider of Armenia. Russia is jealous of any aspiration towards the West in those countries that Russia considers to be in the sphere of its interests," Iskandaryan noted.

According to him, the importance of Azerbaijan for Russia is increasing, taking into account the fact that the western border of Russia is completely closed off.

Iskandaryan believes that the narrative of leaning towards the West is quite popular in Armenia and is a tool for working in the domestic political market.

"At the same time, the discourse of the choice between these two is simplistic; it is for people who do not have a clear idea of how politics works. Azerbaijan, for example, does not make any civilizational choice; it works with the West, with the Russians, with the Iranians, with Israel.

Armenia has not always pursued a pro-Western policy, even if we talk about Armenia after 2018. The policy of the Armenian authorities is opportunistic. Previously, [Armenian PM Nikol] Pashinyan had said that ‘Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)] is Armenia and that's it!’ In addition, we remember the behavior of the new elites in interaction with Russia, Pashinyan's frequent meetings with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. In 2021, the reform of the [Armenian] army was being prepared with the Russian model, with a very considerable contribution from Russia. All this was stopped due to objective circumstances.

Azerbaijan has something to trade, but we have nothing. We gave everything we could, and any political interaction is a cake.

Instead of long, delicate work, Armenia is constantly trying to find one simple solution. Now Armenia is passing from one myth to another. Before, there was a myth that Russia will save us, and now a myth that the West will save us.

The French will come, [US President Joe] Biden will say something, we will delimit the border [with Azerbaijan], we will give territories [to Azerbaijan], after that everything will be fine. Everything will not be fine either after the signing of the peace treaty or after the border delimitation.

In order to solve the problems, it is necessary that people hold office in the country not in accordance with loyalty, but in accordance with competence. An attempt is made to unite the [Armenian] nation around the idea of security, etc.,” Iskandaryan emphasized.

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