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Economic Protests Or Electric Maidan? Part I

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For more than a week, the mass protests have been going on nonstop in Yerevan, the capital of the post-Soviet state, Armenia, which involved thousands of people. All brought together by the dissatisfaction of the increased prices of electricity tariffs scheduled for August this year. During the protests, over 200 activists were detained by police after they refused to withdraw. Police officers have seized knives, batons, knuckle dusters and metal rods.

Some days later, on June 24, Armenian protesters refused to meet the president, Serzh Sargsyan, and continued the turmoil on the presidential residence. On the seventh day, the activists have rejected to dismantle barricades in the central of Yerevan. Despite the brutality among the activists, the police have given thumbs down tEconomic Protests Or Electric Maidan? Part Io any action against demonstrators. Since day one, June 18, it has been a troublesome week for the Armenian inhabitants.

Aside from economics, is there a political ulterior motive for this outcry?

Russian MP, Igor Morozov, presumes there is a political agenda behind this monetary protest.

His commentary, which he told to RIA Novosti, over the latest outcome in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan:

“Armenia is now close to a coup d’etat with use of firearms. This is going to happen unless President Serge Sargsyan learns some lessons from the Ukrainian Maidan and makes some conclusions. Back then the Ukrainian opposition also refused to meet with President Viktor Yanukovich and started to appeal to the European community. It was also the time that visiting politicians from Europe started to deliver addresses before the rallies. It should be noted that the US embassy in Armenia was among the largest American missions in foreign countries, outscaled only by the diplomatic mission in Iraq, even though Armenia is a very small country”

Further, Konstantin Kosachev, The head of the Federation Council’s Foreign Relations Committee, has also expressed his concerns for the approaching aftermath of a so called ‘color-revolution’- the overthrow of a democratically-elected governments by means of mass street protests.

“So far the situation appears to be developing as a conflict among people who are unhappy with their socio-economic well-being. But we should not deceive ourselves, all color revolutions developed in similar scenarios.” – Konstantin told RIA Novosti.

The query is, what convinces Russian and other foreign politicians that the Armenian economic protest is a ‘secret’ revolution which has an aim to overthrow the current government?

Before everything else, when I read on the news that a protest is going on due to the increase in prices of electricity tariffs, I found this quite reasonably understandable, as my knowledge of Armenia lead me to the statement that the country is not fully developed and still have to endure many economic barriers. On the other hand, it made me call to mind an article, which was called ‘Azerbaijan should be very afraid of Victoria Nuland’, I’ve read in the beginning of the year 2015. I had also to dig into the past of my Facebook timeline to find the article I’ve shared a few months ago, exactly on March. It’s a comprehensive article about the role of Victoria Nuland in ‘color-revolutions’ (see Kiev’s Maidan coup-d’etat), and mainly the Armenian-Azerbajan conflict, where a war between these two countries, only one country will come out victorious: USA

I’ve read this article again, and some lines are worth reading to comprehend the privileged information behind the political implications of this economic protest:

“Armenia is arguably the weakest member of the Eurasian Union, and is thus the most prime for any external destabilization attempt. As the world has seen, the US will even go as far as instigating a war on Russia’s borders (the Ukrainian Civil War) just to hamper its regional integration efforts in the west. Could it also try to instigate a new war in Nagorno-Karabakh, too, in order to facilitate this goal in the south? Azerbaijan doesn’t know what matters Nuland discussed with Armenia behind closed doors, nor what convincing promises or irresistible threats she may have given Yerevan. The authorities can no longer be assured that Azerbaijan’s enormous energy reserves guarantee it a safe place in the US’ regional vision, especially considering the caustic language the US has used since the closing of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. If America is successful in instigating a continuation war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, neither of the two states would emerge as the strategic victor, since it’s the US that would ultimately triumph because it would have succeeded in destabilizing Russia at the entire Caucasus’ expense.

Given the fact that Azerbaijan can no longer trust the US to not conspire against its internal or external affairs, it is necessary for the country to tweak its foreign policy in order to best safeguard its interests. This means that although Baku cannot outright reject Washington or forget the two-decades-long history of fruitful cooperation with it (nor should it), it must pragmatically reorient its policies to adapt to multipolarity. By this, it is meant that Azerbaijan should look to diversify its partners and foreign policy dealings, namely, in the direction of Russia and Iran, the two neighborly countries that would support its leadership against any US-inspired plot against it. Although there are certainly challenges existing in bilateral relations with Iran, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome in the interests of preserving Azerbaijan’s prosperity and protecting the country’s overall population from any unwanted trans-Atlantic tinkering that could endanger it.

Despite the fact that the US is most definitely interested in seeing Azeri energy power the EU, it is not yet known whether this objective of EU energy diversification is more important than the one of Russian destabilization. Under such circumstances, Azerbaijan must carefully walk a tightrope between the West (US/EU) on one hand, and the East (Russia/Iran) on the other, and if it is successful in delicately balancing between both worlds, then it can pivotally reap the resultant benefits thereof and propel its global prominence”, – Andrew Korybko, political analyst and journalist of Sputnik.

Does this portend a new brewing proxy war between Armenia and Azerbaijan as an ambition for the destabilization of Russia?

Author: A. N.

To be continued…

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