Political Crisis In Armenia May Open Door For Military Escalation In Nagorno-Karabakh

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Political Crisis In Armenia May Open Door For Military Escalation In Nagorno-Karabakh

A crowd of pro-opposition protestors

On April 23, Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned following a series of large opposition protests in the country’s capital of Yerevan. On the same day police released the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, whom was detained on April 22.

“Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong. The situation has several solutions, but I will not take any of them. That is not mine. I am leaving office of the country’s leader, of Prime Minister”, Sargsyan stated. “The street movement is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand.”

The protests in Armenia began on April 13 the country’s ruling Republican Party had nominated former President Serzh Sargsyan for the prime minister’s post. By April 22, the police had detained three opposition leaders, including Nikol Pashinyan, and nearly 200 protesters in Yerevan, who had been demanding to take the euro-integration course. By April 24, police had released almost all the detained people.

The current political crisis reveals a polarization of the Armenian society. Over the last decades, the Sargsyan’s government posed as an ally of Russia. Yerevan was formally supporting Moscow, but on the same time was attempting to keep working relations with the EU and the US.

The country’s opposition has another vision. It vows to defend the nation’s freedom from the alleged external threats, which could jeopardize Armenia’s interests. In the framework of this concept, Armenia has to limit its relations with Russia and develop the European integration course.

Opposition supporters say that the partnership with the EU and the USA will contribute to a balanced economic performance of Armenia.  At the same time, they accuse Russia of restricting rights and freedoms in its sphere of influence.

The political instability increases risks that Armenia faces at the international scene, including a risk of military escalation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Azerbaijan, a long-standing Armenian rival, may exploit the current situation to a new attempt to capture Nagorno-Karabakh region, which it sees as own territory, by force. Such situation was observed in 2008 when an unrest in Armenia [8 people were killed and over 250 were injured during riots on March 2, 2018] led to a military escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh. On March 4, 2008 fierce clashes erupted between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces on the contact line causing casualties among the both sides.

Turkey, a powerful ally of Azerbaijan, will likely provide political, media and other assistance to the Azerbaijani side in case of the escalations. In turn, Russia, which is currently the key Armenian ally in Southern Caucasus, seems to keep a neutral stance.

On April 23, Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the ongoing political conflict in Armenia is “exclusively an internal affair” and any Russian action would be “absolutely inappropriate”.

It is interesting to note that one the same day, media reports appeared that Azerbaijan had concentrated manpower and military equipment along the contact line with the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which is de-facto controlled by Armenia.

The landlocked mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is the subject of an unresolved territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, but most of the region is governed by the Republic of Artsakh (formerly named the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic), a self-proclaimed state with deep links to Armenia.

If Armenia chooses the European integration instead of the alliance with Russia, Moscow may lost its military base in the country. Russian forces deployed in the 102nd military base in Gyumri allow Moscow to oversee and control the situation in Caucasus.

However, the breach in the Russia-Armenian relations will likely impact the Armenian foreign policy course and thus lead to the Russian troops withdrawal from the country.

Here comes the risk.

Russian troops deployed at the 102nd military base also provide security at the Armenian border with Iran and Turkey.  If Armenia shifts its foreign policy and aligns with the US-led bloc, it will have to deal with security threat using own capabilities or to ask new allies in Washington to defend it.

The only problem is that if the US occupies a place of the key security partner of Armenia, it will little care about the national interests of its junior partner.

Considering all these risks and the deepening political crisis, the capability of the new Armenian government to provide an independent and successful foreign and internal policy remains the main question.

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  • this name is better

    things are getting interested in armenia

  • this name is better

    is marijuana popular in other countries besides the united states and canada ?? i’m curious to know

    • Shaul

      As a seaman I have traveled the length and width of the world. I found it all over the world with different names and qualities. Without inhaling, I experienced the best in Pakistan.

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        with out inhaling? Is your nose getting longer, or not yet?

        • this name is better

          even if the man did inhale no big deal its just weed

  • Winnie Eldrup

    It’s an internal affaire in Armenia – nothing to do with a color revo or Russia. The former president wanted tn stay longer – but people rejected. USA and Soros shall keep away – the armenian people are not interested

    • JEinCA

      I sure hope you are right because NATO would love to make Armenia it’s newest military outpost. I wish nothing but good things for your country. I have Armenians married into my family. Armenians are my Christian brothers and sisters.

    • Ariel Cohen

      EVERYTHING has to do with these so-called color revolutions and Russia. In this case Russia will more than likely allow Armenia to choose its path, then very quietly allow Turkey and Azerbaijan to put the pressure on, forcing the US into another lose-lose situation, where it will further alienate Turkey plus Azerbaijan . .

    • velociraptor

      finally came another guy, who knows the truth!

    • psychodrill

      There is no such thing as an internal affair when it comes to geopolitics.

    • headhunter888

      Of course it’s a color revolution and it has EVERYTHING to do with Russia you fool. And besides, if velociraptor likes your posts, there must be something askew . .

  • Goodoldinandout

    What a bunch of morons.

  • Pavel Pavlovich

    One more defeat. How long until we get a Cuban Crisis to bring to a close this godless worldwide tyranny…

  • velociraptor

    Karbach is lobg time lost. Armenia is a poor country, Azerbaydjan is rich country. They heve much better army. Russians hever hed miny to really help their allies. And now will lose also armenia. Not because of yanks, juice, but russian stupidity. Their influence dramatically falls in central asia. Those countries will use latin letters insteaqd of azbuka and torn to china from russia. Again result of stupid russian politics. Because ruskies plays games (chess) and other nations live the life!

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    Iran and Russia will not supply gas and petrol to an Armenia ally of NATO like Ukraine!…of course Azerbajan will retake Nagorno Karabaj and also will not supply Gas and Petrol while Karabaj be under Armenia!…Russia dont need Armenian bases…it would be better to close ties with Azerbajan and Turkey!

    • velociraptor

      you know nothing!

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        velociDumb

        • velociraptor

          thats all, what you are able, loco!

    • v76

      Russia will supply gas to whom ever pays for it nato or not…. business is business.

      And you never burn a bridge in anger, you only burn bridges when you know you’ll never need to cross it again.

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        Not bussiness..Ukraine now pay 2 times more price before Maidan!

        • velociraptor

          you are too stupid to understand him.

          • Manuel Flores Escobar

            are you a US Parrot?…

    • Horace Lacondeta

      what a load of bs…..
      I ll respectfully suggest you to find another hobby, like embroidery.

  • JEinCA

    If Armenia goes the US/EU/NATO route it will be completely isolated and will become dependent upon another NATO vassal in the region (which is Georgia). It would be better for Armenia to maintain close relations with Russia and seek to better relations with Azerbaijan and reap the benefits of Eurasian integration and the New Silk Road Project. There’s nothing the West can offer Armenia but vassalization, perpetual poverty and endless war.

    • v76

      This^

    • Ariel Cohen

      Just like the failed state of Ukraine..

    • velociraptor

      armenia tried to be close to russia. and got extremly poor. armenians dont want russia anymore. they will try western allies. their freedom.

      • Paul

        Their freedom? Lol, integration with the West means selling off your assets to the IMF.

        • Boris Kazlov

          Don’t worry about velocicraptor, she is a U$AIPAC tool.

      • headhunter888

        You have been watching too many American movies and it looks like they got their propaganda hooks into you…poor creature

        • velociraptor

          far not. i was in armenia. one of my best friends has armenian wife. i know lot of about that country. i suggest you, ho there for 1-2 weeks. ;)

  • Icarus Tanović

    Lets put it straight this way:
    Opposition supporters say that the partnership with the EU and the USA will contribute to a un-balanced pandemic influx of Cia sponsored wahabie terrorists to the state of Armenia.

    • S Melanson

      Excellent! Glad you corrected the glaring typos in the opposition’s statement. This is much more coherent and out of gratitude, expect opposition leaders (CIA agents) to ask you to do their campaign brochure. May I humbly suggest the following title: Project for a new American Failed State.

      • Icarus Tanović

        No problem N. F. A. S.
        Second row:
        Decades long delirium.

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    Soros road map= Colours revolutions are always where Russia have military bases or strong economic interest…Ukraine ( Crimea), Moldova ( Transniester),Georgia( to allow gas pipeline from Azerbajan and hit Russia Gazprom), Libya ( to hit future contracts with Russia during Gadafi),Syria ( Naval base of Tartus) and now Armenia( military bases)….of course Soros dont have interest in Mexico( rule by Drugs cartels), Taiwan ( not umbrella revolution in spite of be a non state in UN), Morrocco ( rule by King-dictator), African states ( because most of them are always under pseudo EU colonial goverments)……

    • velociraptor

      bbbbuuuuulllllsssshhiiiitttt

    • velociraptor

      bullshits

      • Manuel Flores Escobar

        your favorite US food..

        • velociraptor

          your favorite products :))))

  • Kongsak Vongshusri

    Armenia will has chaos and bloodshed likE SYRIA ,RIBYA.

  • Sinbad2

    Expect many countries to be destabilized, as America vents its rage at being defeated in Syria.

  • Ma_Laoshi

    “To preserve our independence, we have to integrate with the EU”?! Heads are spinning; how did this work out for Ukraine? Anyway at first sight it seems to be the usual picture: Washington pushes hard, Turkey and Azerbaijan push hard, while Russia is apparently out to lunch, and calls for restraint instead.

  • Barba_Papa

    The problem for Russia with all these color revolutions is that its allies are extremely susceptible to them. They are usually run by old Soviet technocrats who have no clue how to run a decent economy. As a result there is always high unemployment and a stagnating economy, together with a repressive leader who doesn’t like opposition, which are always a recipe for disaster. That is how the Arab Spring managed to gain so much traction. Or the Maidan in Ukraine. All the revolutionaries then think that afterwards the West will come in with cash and prizes and everything will magically turn around. Only to learn that the West will not come in with cash and prizes and that it takes herculean efforts to turn the economy around. Often with increased hardships as privatization of state assets will see many without a job. Even in the EU are many East European countries still struggling with turning their economies around. And those countries DO get cash and prizes from Brussels.

    Long story short, the West has little to offer to these people, but their own leaders appear to offer even less, so beware of color revolutions.

  • headhunter888

    Seems to be another possible color revolution, where the west is opportunistically tapping into the frustrations of the people, as in Ukraine, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt etc. But Armenia is extremely vulnerable, being completely surrounded by enemies. Russia doesn’t need to do much except sit back and allow her pit bulls (Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan) to start nipping at Armenia’s heels. Attempting to defend her new vassal state will cause the US to further alienate Turkey, plus the Azeris and will also provide a nice easy missile target for Iran in case of war . .