Russian expert says S. Caucasus nations not interested in EU mission, unlike Pashinyan
    Caliber.Az interview with Andrey Koryakovtsev

    INTERVIEWS  23 February 2023 - 11:38

    Huseyn Safarov

    On February 20, the European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) officially started its work. The total number of the mission will be about 100 people, including about 50 unarmed observers. The mission will last two years and, according to the EU Council statement, is sent to Armenia to "promote stability on the notional Armenian-Azerbaijani border, to build confidence and security in the Karabakh conflict-affected regions, and to contribute to the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan." Moreover, it will operate exclusively on Armenian territory.

    It is worth noting that Moscow took the news of the arrival of European observers in Armenia negatively. The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that they "note that Armenia, having failed to bring the CSTO mission to its logical conclusion, preferred to opt for the EU" and that the "EU attempts to gain a foothold in Armenia at any cost and to squeeze Russia's mediation efforts could damage the fundamental interests of Armenians and Azerbaijanis in their aspirations for a return to peaceful development in the region".

    Andrey Koryakovtsev, an analyst with the Russian Institute of New Society, makes the same point, stating in his comment for Caliber.Az that "there can be no independent observers in contemporary military conflicts".

    "Their presence in an area of conflict is inevitably linked to someone else's interests. This may, of course, coincide with the interests of the nations involved in the conflict, but may also overlap and conflict with them in whole or in part. It seems to the Armenian elite that France and Germany are located in the Caucasus if they believe that the interests of these countries can somehow express the aspirations of the people living in the Caucasus region. But from all appearances, it is exclusively the interests of the Pashinyan government - a government of provocations. It is in this vein that the presence of these 'observers' in the region should be seen," believes our interlocutor.

    In confirmation of his words, Koryakovtsev draws a parallel between the EU civilian mission and the OSCE mission.

    "On the one hand, we can draw attention to a relatively small number of these observers. We can also say that they are sent to a 'hotspot', so they should be armed. However, on the other hand, it is reasonable to draw parallels with the OSCE mission in the Russian-Ukrainian and Armenian-Azerbaijani conflicts. As the OSCE mission has been deployed, not only has its futility in pacifying the region become apparent, but also the harm caused to the civilian population. This, of course, suits Pashinyan's government, but will it suit Russia and Iran, not to mention Azerbaijan and Türkiye? The question is not rhetorical. The answer is, of course, no," the Russian political analyst is convinced.

    Koryakovtsev concluded by suggesting that the decisive position of the Russian military, with the direct or indirect support of forces sympathetic to Armenia, would formalise the presence of these "observers" and make it meaningless, including for the Armenian government.

    "Russia's goal in the Caucasus is to prevent a large-scale war between its peoples, and it will not allow it," the analyst concluded.


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