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  • Minsk Group Co-Chairs to Assess Djulfa Destruction

  • YEREVAN—After meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian, the co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group pledged that they would visit the site of the destroyed Armenian cemetery in Djulfa during a scheduled stop in Nakhichevan, reported the presidential press service.

  • The Co-chairs, Russia’s Igor Popov, the US’ Robert Bradke and France’s Bernard Fassier, accompanied by Andrzej Kasprzyk, the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office met with Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.

  • The co-chairs briefed the Armenian leaders on their earlier talks with Azeri leaders and presented the members of the OSCE Assessment Mission, which is scheduled to monitor the line of contact between Karabakh and Azerbaijan and is on a fact-finding mission to the region.

  • Sarkisian emphasized the importance of objectivity in the OSCE’s final report after he was briefed on the details of the mission and its objectives.

  • The co-chairmen met with Azeri president Ilham Aliyev earlier in the day in Nakhichevan, where similar discussions were held.

  • Following that meeting, Fassier, the French co-chairman, told reporters that the relevant meetings and the route of the OSCE fact-finding mission would be determined in Stepanakert, after the mediators meet with officials of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

    1. The French official expressed hope that the mission will conclude its activities by October 13.


    Armenian-Russian partnership is gradually converted into unilateral dependence of Yerevan on Moscow

    By Ashot Safaryan, 6 October 2010, ArmInfo.
    2010-10-06 14:25:00

    Interview of Dr. Nikolai Zlobin, Director of Russia and Eurasia Project at the World Security Institute, with ArmInfo news agency

    Mr. Zlobin, how much grounded are the concerns with growing dependence of Yerevan on Moscow, and what mechanisms can one find to dampen it?

    Russia’s influence on Armenia may be as much as the latter wants. Moscow will try to have as much direct and indirect levers of influence on Yerevan as possible, starting from military bases up to economic dependence. I think that Armenia, like any other state, should first of all care for its egoistic interests in its relations with Russia and not think just of favoring Moscow. In its foreign policy, including with regard to Armenia, Russia cares for its own interests and acts in its favor and not in favor of Armenia. It is especially obvious in the issues where the two countries have different viewpoints. Therefore, I think the best method of dialogue with Moscow for Armenia is to insist on its positions and assert its state interests. Such language is understood in the world policy best of all.

    Is the state of our country so serious in fact?

    Today Armenia has turned out to be in great dependence on Russia. I understand that a lot of things objectively happened by virtue of historical processes over the past twenty years. However, I think that the available positive turn into a negative one at some stage. The guarantees given by Russia to Armenia for assurance of its security, economic development and survival become a brake for independent development of the country at some stage. One should not protect someone for a long time, since, conventionally speaking, this someone further loses an ability to conduct own defense. And I think the time has come for Armenia to wonder whether it is ready to head into the global level, improve its relations with the countries ready to cooperate with Armenia no less than Russia, and whether it is ready to become a player in many fields. It largely depends on the readiness of the Armenian elite, the society, but not on Russia’s desire. Yerevan should not entitle others to determine its foreign policy, be it Russia, Turkey or the United States. If the Armenian elite does not solve this problem today, the country may turn into an economic, political and military vassal of Russia. Under all the pluses of the Armenian-Russian cooperation, it will negatively affect the development of the Armenian self-conscience, the stage and the country's future.

    What scenario of the Karabakh conflict settlement is most beneficial for

    Russia benefits from the frozen conflict, since it ties hand and foot of both Armenia and Azerbaijan. There is the OSCE Minsk Group which involves the leading players into settlement of the problem, and participation in the negotiations is profitable for Russia. Moscow needs the conflict to remain unsettled to maintain its significant role in discussion of the regional problems. I am convinced that Russia needs no military solution of the problem, and it is fundamentally interested in longer existence of this and similar conflicts, since the Karabakh conflict, as well as other similar
    conflicts justify the political intervention of the leading powers, in
    this case Russia, into the South Caucasus. The demand for Russia, first of all by Armenia, would be lower without the Karabakh conflict. Perhaps, it sounds somewhat cynical, but it is much easier to build a foreign policy based on conflicts than on friendship.

    Last year Russia and the United States expressed a desire to “reset” their relations. Can one speak of the real results of this revision of relations?

    I think that the term "reset" was invented for the narrow-minded people. When somebody does not know what to do with the computer, he pushes this button and hopes it will regulate everything itself and start functioning. As for the Russian-American relations, we understand that "reset" is mainly the imitation of improvement of relations in the situation when there are no relations at all. Russia and America do not understand the core of their relations. These are the two countries living on the planet but in different sun systems. They seem to understand something should be done. In particular, they signed an agreement on offensive arms cut, but this document resolves no problem. It is very much possible that in autumn both parties will ratify it, but nobody knows what will happen later. The relations are good, as in fact
    there are no relations. For this reason, all the time they return to the
    topic which was discussed at the time of Brezhnev and Nixson, I mean the
    topic of weapon. The logic of “reset” is the following: new and energetic
    people have come to power in both countries, that's why new page of relations should be opened. Is better than worsening of relations, but the main danger is hidden in the fact that there is nothing in this 'reset'. The relations may start worsening as soon as they understand that it is impossible to invent anything.

    Does the same uncertainty in the specified powers’ positions concern the South Caucasus as well?

    Of course, it does. Unlike Russia, which is a Caucasian state and knows the region firsthand, America occurred here by occasion and is a newcomer in the Caucasus. Being present here seems right to Washington. But it is not clear what to do and what are the national interests of the United States in the Caucasus. This situation affects also the positions of Moscow that cannot understand if presence of Americans in the region is good or bad. It seems to be bad considering that the USA has been an enemy for 50 years and now has occurred near the southern gates. On the other hand, Russia is not sure that it is able to assume responsibility for the entire Caucasus. Moscow is in some confusion being unable to retain the Caucasus as the zone of its influence. This
    uncertainty, mutual intimidation of Moscow and Washington ignoring the interests of the countries in the region cannot continue long. What is the most disturbing there is unwillingness of the parties to open their cards and sit at a negotiating table.

    What about Turkey? Will it be able to conduct its own policy in the region
    against the background of discrepancies between Moscow and Washington?

    Turkey is a country which is dynamically developing. Moreover, the political mentality of Turkey lags behind its technical and military development. Of course, it is better than to be in depression, but on the
    other hand, such development creates problems in the policy. The country is bigger and more influential than Turkish politicians may imagine. They
    have just started understanding it and studying new tools of their participation in the world policy. These attempts are often shy. In particular, the relations with Armenia have become a good test for Turks. They failed the exam as they were not ready to understand they can open the door and live in other conditions with the neighbor. It seems to me that at present Turks are searching themselves on the global map of the world and make some movements which are not so much logical. As for Armenia, the process of the dialogue starting with Ankara is a good opportunity to enter a new level of foreign policy. To be honest, I welcome the aspiration of Yerevan to open the door and establish dialogue with its western neighbor. In this sense, the Armenian leadership is more progressive than the Turkish one.

    How far can Turkey go in its development, taking into account the
    Pan-Turkic ideas?

    The desire to endlessly increase its influence is a logical phenomenon for any country. It is a different matter whether the other players allow that. I mean not only Turkey, but also the USA, EU, Russia and China. It is very important to see the reality. Turkey successfully develops and the Turkish elite is in euphoria. When a man is suddenly awaken from drowsiness, his brain is buzzing and he perceives reality inadequately. Turkey has jumped to the global level too rapidly and lost adequate perception of reality. The same may happen in Armenia when the doors are opened, the country’s role will considerably increase; however, it is extremely important to remain within the limits of what is real at the moment.

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