Talks about blockade of Karabakh Armenians - utter nonsense, Russian pundit says
    Caliber.Az interview with Anton Bredikhin

    INTERVIEWS  06 February 2023 - 17:25

    Matanat Nasibova

    Caliber.Az presents an interview with Russian expert Anton Bredikhin, scientific director of the Centre of Ethnic and International Studies, and editor-in-chief of "Arkhont" magazine.

    - What is your attitude to the forthcoming arrival of the EU long-term mission in Armenia? What plans does the Armenian government have in this regard?

    - The deployment of a European mission in Armenia is a global challenge for the whole region. It is a threat not only to Azerbaijan but also to Iran and other countries because not only EU but also NATO militaries will arrive in Armenia under the pretext of a civilian mission. Accordingly, if we call things by their proper names, the presence of European Union militaries equals the presence of NATO militaries. This already means that a military contingent hostile to Russia and its allies is deployed in Armenia, which is undoubtedly a serious challenge for Moscow. All of this suggests that Nikol Pashinyan has gone beyond all bounds, which could lead to the most unpredictable consequences for his regime.

    - Yerevan continues to ignore Moscow's proposal to deploy a CSTO mission on a conditional basis with Azerbaijan. What steps do you think Moscow will take, including calls for the withdrawal of the Russian military base from Gyumri?

    - Russia will not introduce new troops into Armenia's territory in any format. Meanwhile, the Russian border guards and the Russian military base in Gyumri will remain in place regardless of whether Armenian authorities want it or not. It is important for Russia to keep its troops in Armenia in order to ensure the stability of the region. Therefore, we are expecting more conflicts and possible clashes with the arrival of the European mission there.

    On the other hand, let me remind you that we have already had such an experience in the post-Soviet space, when Russian bases were replaced by American bases, for example in Kyrgyzstan. What was the result? It led to the continuation of the "orange" revolutions in the republic, and eventually, they realized that it was not worth pursuing any other, namely the American way. That is why the republic left to join the CSTO. I believe Armenia should not follow the same path, it should realize that despite some anti-Russian speeches paid for by American NGOs, the base in Gyumri and the Russian border guards will remain in the country.

    - The Armenian side is traditionally trying to present itself as a victim, now imposing to the world the myth of the "blockade of 120,000 Karabakh Armenians" in connection with the peaceful action of Azerbaijani eco-activists on the Lachin road. How would you comment on this false position?

    - The Armenian side's attempt to portray itself as a victim in front of the whole world is part of Pashinyan's current policy. The aforementioned figure is a political symbol, a slogan used by the Armenian authorities in their information warfare. Undoubtedly, it is a false statistic and utter nonsense. The reality is that Azerbaijan and Russian peacekeepers jointly contribute to maintaining a favourable atmosphere in the region and to ensuring the lack of obstacles in the energy, agricultural and humanitarian spheres.

    - How do you assess the chances for a peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan?

    - In my view, in the current situation a peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan will again have to be forgotten for some time due to the EU factor, which is likely to be destabilising.

    - What do you think about the normalisation of Armenian-Turkish relations?

    - There may be some positive developments between Armenia and Türkiye, but it is not certain that they will be taken seriously by Armenian society. It is therefore possible that there could be complications in the negotiations.

    - What political processes may take place in the South Caucasus in the foreseeable future?

    - Unfortunately, military clashes are not ruled out in the South Caucasus for the foreseeable future because of the many tensions that arise again and again.



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