Armenia: Ground for experimentations
Yet another look at the EU mission
ANALYTICS 25 January 2023 - 11:07
Much has already been said about the new, more expansive (officially 100 people) and much longer (span of 2 years) European Union’s mission arriving in February. In fact, this runs counter to the outcome of the negotiations, including in Prague, where it was specified that the European mission would consist of 40 people and would last only two months. The first EU monitoring mission was indeed small and left Armenia two months later. By its current decision, the EU is helping to exacerbate the situation, not stabilize it. Moreover, it calls into question the very mediation mission of EU Council President Charles Michel.
There is no doubt that France’s neo-imperial plans to consolidate itself in the South Caucasus with the help of Armenia are behind this action. It is obvious that this aspiration of Paris is echoed by some politicians of the European Union who try to raise the international status of their organization despite having economic ties with Azerbaijan. It is also likely that this initiative has been endorsed by the US, without which, in today’s turbulent global security environment, the EU is unlikely to dare to act. Washington’s democratic administration seems to have its reasons for not interfering with the ambitions of the “Old World”, as long as they do not contradict their own.
President Ilham Aliyev declared the long-term mission inadmissible for Azerbaijan during the Prague meeting last October, as well as in an interview with domestic TV channels on January 10. On January 24, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry gave a detailed statement, which, inter alia, expresses the inadmissibility of using the EU mission “to disrupt the process of normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, including in the context of the border delimitation process, which should be carried out exclusively on a bilateral basis”.
Our country has an arsenal of means, both political and military, to prevent any provocation aimed at curtailing the negotiating process. At the same time, it is obvious that the said EU decision is directed not only against Azerbaijan, but also against three other countries, or to put it more precisely, powers.
The EU’s first attack is aimed at Russia. Taking advantage of the fact that it is now entangled in the conflict in Ukraine, the West is doing everything possible to get Armenia out from under the Kremlin’s influence. Thus, it inserts another link into the chain of Russia’s encirclement by unfriendly states.
Even before the EU’s decision, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, by the way, said, that the mission could be counterproductive if it was to be deployed without Azerbaijan’s consent and that instead of building confidence on the border, it will create additional stimuli.
Interestingly, the text from the decision to send a mission to Armenia is kept secret from the public, although previously such types of documents were in the public domain. Probably, there are other surprises that are unpleasant waiting for Russia.
According to Russian Telegram channels, which are close to the security agencies, the Armenian side is actively working to expand the approved mission to reach the status of a one, with a significant increase in the number of personnel, up to 2,000.
There are many questions regarding the mission, such how it will be carried out, how often these people will be at the observation posts at the border and how long they will spend in the offices of the Armenian Government. And what if they will be not 100, but 2000, according to Russian sources? Perhaps most of these people will still sit in Yerevan and reformat the national defence and security system, including working with electronic databases, linking them to the existing European ones.
One is curious of how this process will take place, given that the entire system of the defence and security of the Republic of Armenia is tied to the Russian factor - from the highest ranks down to the databases. How will the imminent conflicts on the ground be resolved? What will happen to the Russian military base in Gyumri?
It is possible, however, that a narrow circle of those is already informed on the redeployment of personnel of the Gyumri base to the Ukrainian front…
The other power, the recipient, so to speak, of the European demarche is Türkiye. In fact, its membership in NATO is not devoid of negative logic, that is, the West keeps this country in the alliance not to use the Turkish army in its operations, but to prevent it from maneuvering against its interests. Meaning keeping it handcuffed.
The courageous actions of the Turkish army against Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq have greatly shaken the belief of Western partners in the humility of the Turks. Looking at Türkiye’s foreign policy in a broader context (including its ambitious plan to turn the country into a gas hub for Europe), from Central Asia to the African continent, one must conclude that the West is determined to limit Türkiye’s geopolitical ambitions. One additional irritating factor for Washington is that Türkiye’s geopolitical expansion has nothing to do with the Western liberal project. If the last statement is somewhat conditional in relation to Russia, which has not formed an ideological basis for its expansionist project, then Erdogan’s calls for the unification of the Turkic world are a horror for the “progressive” Western public. It is easier for the West to deal with extremist Islamic groups than with the institutionalized and high-tech Turkic project proposed by the Turkish agenda.
Thus, Ankara became an obviously uncomfortable player for the Western neo-liberal elite. One should not be confused by Türkiye’s membership in NATO - for both sides, this is a matter of bargaining. NATO still needs Türkiye, but it also still needs its Western partners, particularly for the supply of some key weapons. The demarche of the Swedish government, which authorized the sacrilegious burning of the Quran in front of the Turkish Embassy, is illustrative. When you think about it, there is nothing wrong with this demonstration with the principles of freedom of expression, the rejection of which would shake the existential values of a European country. If you were to conduct a racially motivated act elsewhere, it wouldn’t have caused much scandal in the Islamic world. On the other hand, the banning of it in front of the Turkish Embassy would be a matter of purely political and ethical expediency and would not cause resentment of the liberal public. However, the permission of this location is a clear demarche of the Swedish authorities against Türkiye. Does Sweden itself need this before considering its accession to NATO, where Türkiye has the right of a veto vote? The answer is clear. It appears that some supranational forces have given an order to go for a confrontation to provoke Türkiye in order to watch its response methods ahead of time.
If we consider the events in the focus of this logic, the landing of the “European troops” in Armenia is likely to drive a wedge into the zone of expansion of Turkish influence. There are only a few months left until the presidential election in Türkiye, which means that until Erdogan wins (if he wins) it will be necessary to score the most points in this confrontation.
It is possible that Ankara and Moscow, under these conditions, will go for a series of tangible mutual preferences, which we will witness in the very near future.
It is curious that Iran, which is actively seeking extraregional forces in Azerbaijan, has not yet reacted to the EU’s initiative to deploy military activities near its borders and continues to strengthen close ties with Armenia. It is difficult to stop oneself from not pointing out the basics and not recalling into which country Ayatollah Khomeini was taken from Iraq (after 14 years of having been there) only a few months before his eventual return to Iran following the overthrow of the Shah. Is it possible that Iran’s conflict with the West is not as harsh as it seems?
What could be the price of Armenia’s miscalculation?
It would be interesting to mention one aspect of civilization. If there are no excesses, Armenia will slowly but surely become the domain for European uniforms, ranging from soldiers to advisers to the Prime Minister from the Western special services.
Armenia will be “protected” by French bayonets... and it will be possible to lay it to rest.
After all, the paradoxical truth is that it is under the patronage of Europe the “stone land” risks forever losing its identity. There will be at least a cultural “saigonization” of society. The population will begin to serve high masters, who, no doubt, will not stand idly in imposing their rules, norms and values.
Shouting about the mission of the defenders of Christian civilization thousands of miles from the addressee is easy. But when Europe comes to their home, the Armenian people will realize how wrong they were and how much they have screwed up... After all, the Armenians are a patriarchal people, much more patriarchal than Azerbaijanis. The Europe that is about to arrive is not a patriarchal Christian Old World - with merry Christmas and cozy abbots, but a liberal region with a strict agenda, Locksmith Samvel and Floorlayer Edik hating, meaning the Armenian people.
And it is not a wildly abstract scenario, one when the Catholics of all Armenians, watching the passing gay parade from the window of the Echmiadzin cathedral, order their sorrowful servant to bring ink, pen and paper in order to personally draw a letter, cheap yet full of remorse addressed “to the Turkish and Azerbaijani brothers” with a plea for an early rescue.
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