Where does Armenia stand internationally?
I really think Russia has been and is the reasonable part in Ukraine, and mostly other conflict zones, like in Syria. I don’t understand the logic that what Russia did was wrong. The strongest part will always seems to be right, but seldom is.
In Norway people are mostly ignorant – family and job is everything. Media is PR. Lies and truth is blury. Who cares anyway?
People is so happy with them selves that they think it is ok to go and bomb another country just to install Norwegian values, even if they know that what’s really happening is that we expand imperialism, steal their raw materials and force other countries to do what we say.
Norway earns its money on oil, Oljefondet, and selling of weapons around the world – who really cares what these countries do, just we are able to sett weapons to them.
Norway is a good friend of Azerbaidzjan, and critize Armenia, because Armenia show loyalty to Russia. This even if Russia is correct, and the NATO countries the aggressors.
It doesn’t depend on who has right or not, but who’s side you are on. There are double standards everywhere. I think it is courageous for Armenia to be on the side with Russia, even if the country maybe doesn’t have any choces.
I think the current regime in Yerevan has a position, even if it is not necessarily that Armenia agrees with Russia in everything. All the countries who is part of the US empire, including Norway, does the same towards the US, which is much more aggressive and bully.
Norway is investing nearly 30 % of Oljefondet in the US, while stepping out of Southern Europe (after the crisis in 2008) and only 1 % in the poor part of the world, who stands for 12 % investments globally.
If Armenia did a U turn at EU association negotiations I think it was a correct decision. It is more important to be independent. Everyone knows the terms of being a part of EU and its custom union. Armenia is simply doing the correct thing.
I think it is a good thing to focus on showing that Armenian sovereignity is not fully lost yet and Armenia needs Europe to uphold it, to be able to show to our Russian partner that there are alternatives, but I still think we should tell the truth about the Western politics and double standards.
Between Turkey and Russia: Armenia’s predicament
NATO has drawn up plans to strengthen military co-operation with the former Soviet states on Russia’s southern flank after the Kremlin’s seizure of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea. A NATO committee has drafted plans “for promoting stability in eastern Europe in the current context” by increasing military co-operation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Moldova – all in Russia’s “near abroad” and considered by Moscow as falling within its sphere of influence.
A confidential seven-page paper leaked to the German news weekly Der Spiegel proposed joint exercises and training between NATO and the three countries, increasing the “interoperability” of their militaries with NATO, and their participation in NATO “smart defence” operations. The paper also proposed opening a NATO liaison office in Moldova, military training for Armenia, and projects in Azerbaijan aimed at securing its Caspian Sea oil and gas fields.
The US has reinforced NATO air patrols over the Baltic and dispatching aircraft to Poland. The foreign ministers are expected to discuss how to contribute to the precautionary moves, with Britain, Denmark and Germany offering to supply more air power. Training for Ukrainian forces and freezing of military co-operation with Moscow were also to be discussed.
“We should do everything we can to reassure our friends and colleagues in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia and in Poland that we really believe in their Nato membership and the guarantees that we have given them,” the British prime minister, David Cameron, said.
Britain’s defence secretary, Philip Hammond, said the UK was considering increasing its participation in NATO military exercises in eastern Europe. “Certainly one of the things we are looking at is a greater participation in exercises in the Baltic states, the eastern European Nato member countries, as a way of reassuring them about our commitment to article five of the Washington treaty, the mutual guarantee,” Hammond told the BBC.
Article five is the “all for one, one for all” pledge that obliges NATO to come to the military rescue of any member state that is attacked. While Barack Obama has declared that NATO must respond to the Russian force with “strength and conviction”, there is a sense among NATO diplomats that the Kremlin’s strategy has reinforced Nato’s raison d’être, boosting the arguments for its continued existence against regular calls for its dissolution as a cold war relic.
While it is has been focus on boosting security in eastern Europe, there have also been calls to establish NATO bases in the countries of the former Soviet bloc. NATO avoided such moves during the alliance’s expansion to eastern Europe in the 1990s for fear of antagonising Russia. The topic is still controversial and would be likely to run into resistance, especially in Germany and elsewhere in western Europe.
Diplomatic relations between modern-day Armenia and Russia were established on April 3, 1992, but Russia has been an important actor in Armenia since the early 19th century. The two countries’ historic relationship has its roots in the 1827-1828 war between the Russian Empire and Qajar Persia during which Eastern Armenia fell under Russian rule. Moreover, Russia was often considered a protector of the Christian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, including the Armenians.
After the dismantlement of the Soviet Union, Armenia has been considered as the only ally of Russia in all of Transcaucasia. The positions of Russia and Armenia in the majority of key international problems are coincident or close. Armenia shares the approaches of Russia, directed toward strengthening of the CIS.
Armenia–Russia relations are the bilateral relationship between Armenia and the Russian Federation. Both countries are strategic allies and form an axis in the Caucasus along with Iran. Armenia and Russia are both members of a military alliance called the CSTO along with four other ex-soviet countries, a relationship that Armenia finds essential to its security.
Among the contracts and the agreements, which determine intergovernmental relations – a treaty of friendship, collaboration and mutual aid of 29 August 1997 are a number of the documents, which regulate bases of Russian military units and liaisons in the territory of Armenia.
Russian–Armenian interaction in military affairs is directed toward providing the safety of both states, of the southern flank of the collaboration of the independent states, and stability in Transcaucasia. The Armenian armed forces participate in the bearing of standby alert within the framework of the integral system PVO – air defense of the CIS. Collaboration between the Defense Ministries of Russia and Armenia is achieved on a regular basis.
The 102nd Russian military base is stationed in the territory of Armenia. United Russian–Armenian troop groups are formed. The boundary group FSB of Russia in Armenia together with the Armenian frontier-guards bears the protection of the boundaries of the republic with Turkey and Iran.
The chief commander of 102nd military base Andrey Ruzinsky said in an interview that “If Azerbaijan decides to restore jurisdiction over Nagorno-Karabakh by force the [Russian] military base may join in the armed conflict in accordance with the Russian Federation’s obligations within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).”
The deployment of the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri remains the subject of heated debate. Some believe that that the Russian base guarantees security for Armenia, while some are convinced that the base threatens the sovereignty of the country.
Any military base located outside of Russia is a guarantee that in the event of military action against any such country, Russia will enter the conflict on the side of that country. Otherwise, there would be no military bases deployed there. This is clear. If Turkey attacks Armenia, it will be treated as an attack on Russia. Russia would fight on Armenia’s side with all its might.
If necessary, Russia could use nuclear weapons against Turkey, both tactical, and if need be, strategic. This is defined in the military doctrine of the Russian Federation. Armenia is fully protected with the Russian umbrella of both conventional forces as well as strategic nuclear forces.
There is a commercial relationship between Azerbaijan and Russia. Russia spent a significant amount of money on Gabala radar station (RS) in Azerbaijan, as well as its military bases in Central Asia. There are sales of Russian weapons, including the offensive ones, to Azerbaijan.
But Russia and Armenia are allies. Russia will not fight for Azerbaijan, but will fight for Armenia. Armenia is part of the overall defense of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Armenia cannot maintain effective means of defense because it’s quite expensive.
The presence in the country of the Russian Federation base equipped with anti-aircraft missile systems S-300 and MiG-29 and able to provide a reliable defense against threats to Armenia of a certain scale, that is, something that can be fought off with their own forces and resources. In case of a more serious threat, additional forces and air defense and fighter aircraft may be redeployed there.
However, the question of who needs the base more – Russia or Armenia – often turns into a pointless debate about dependence. Given the strained relations between Turkey and Armenia, the Karabakh conflict and open support that Ankara provides to Baku in this conflict, the 102nd Russian base plays an important role in ensuring the safety of Armenia.
The presence of the Russian military base in Armenia is equally convenient for both sides. Russia wants to push the frontiers of air capture as far from its borders as possible. In turn, Armenia is interested in protecting its sovereignty.
The presence of the Russian military base in Armenia implies protection of the interests of this country. If some Armenians serve in the Russian army, the base is a natural element of the economic system in Armenia and aids in the consolidation and development of the economy of the country.
Armenia cannot exist without the patronage of major powers. If Russia leaves Armenia, the United States will come back. This is the only possible solution. The mere presence of the Russian military base is a guarantee of the sovereignty of Armenia. Moreover, the composition and size of the military base, and its primary task of defense, rule out the possibility of any significant impact on the internal political life of Armenia. Fighter jets can in no way affect the political life of this country.
After having been faced with the choice of becoming a member of the Russia-led Customs Union or signing the Association Agreement with the European Union, Armenia chose the first option. The decision on Armenia’s joining the Customs Union was announced by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan on 03 September 2013.
On 02 December 2013 Vladimir Putin arrived to Armenia on an official visit with an unprecedentedly large delegation. The heads of the two states discussed Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union and signed 12 agreements on enhancing cooperation in a number of key spheres such as security, economy, energy and others. Russia also reduced the gas price for Armenia from 270 to 189 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters and enlarged the existing Russian military bases in Armenia.
Russia has lately been offering a large batch of top-of-the-line tanks to Armenias’ foe, Azerbaijan, and it’s emerged that there are other such deals in the works, as well. Russia will shortly deliver another batch of TOS-1A “Solntsepyok”multiple-launch rocket systems to Azerbaijan. The deal to buy those systems was announced last year, but at the time it was reported that it would be for six; now the number has grown to 18.
In addition, Azerbaijan is reportedly in talks with Russia to buy Bal-E coastal anti-ship missile systems. Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted “an informed source in the Russian military-industrial complex” as saying that “negotiations will start later, now there is an understanding that our Azerbaijani colleagues are counting on the purchase of one division of the system.”
Naturally Armenia, not having any navy, will not be threatened by the anti-ship missiles. But the Solntsepyoks, on top of the earlier offer of 100 T-90 tanks, is rankling in Yerevan. Expert opinion was divided on the impact of the deal. Some downplayed the news:
“The delivery of 100 tanks to Azerbaijan will not have any significant impact on the military balance. But we’re concerned about the fact that Azerbaijan keeps on purchasing attacking vehicles. Over the past three years, Azerbaijan has increased its military purchases, particularly the purchases of attacking vehicles for 400%. If this tendency continues, then it might pose a threat for us,” said analyst Hrachya Petrosyants in an interview with Armenian website Mediamax.
For Moscow the situation is contradictory, which can be called so – “to be between two fires”. The fact is that on the one hand, after the entry of Yerevan to the Customs Union, Russia can no longer remain neutral in the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict. Indeed, in the case of an armed conflict between the two countries, Moscow will also have to protect its economic interests in Armenia.
On the other hand, in August of this year, Russia and Azerbaijan signed very lucrative contracts in the energy sector, and therefore Moscow will not be able to come out openly against Baku on the Armenian side in case of a military aggravation. Such inconsistency will certainly affect the relations within the Russian political elite about the mechanisms for solving the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh.