"Armenia's inept behaviour will lead to its disappearance from political world map"
Caliber.Az talks to Polish expert Yakub Koreyba
INTERVIEWS 30 November 2023 - 12:57
In an interview with Caliber.Az, prominent Polish political scientist Yakub Koreyba pondered over the Azerbaijan-Armenia settlement process, US strategy in the South Caucasus and the diminishing role of the EU.
- Mr Koreyba, how do you assess the current balance of power in the South Caucasus after Baku fully restored its sovereignty over Karabakh?
- I believe that in any international situation, one should see pluses and positive aspects. For the previous thirty years, the situation in the South Caucasus was very pessimistic because of Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijani territories, which turned out to be a tragedy for the entire Azerbaijani people. Therefore, all that is associated with this region during this period of time is occupation, separatism and refugees. Today, the situation in the region has fundamentally changed. Taking into account that we all live in a period of active turbulence in the world and changes in the political balance of power on a global scale, a fundamentally important factor is the fact that Azerbaijan has virtually single-handedly neutralised the conflict potential in Karabakh, preventing the region from becoming another springboard for war. Therefore, the fact that the South Caucasus has not turned into a clash of interests between the great powers is very positive.
- Does your optimism extend to the openly pro-Armenian policy of the US in our region?
- This issue should be considered in a more detailed context. The fact is that now there is a global clash between the US and China with the participation of some other countries - Germany, France, Russia, and India. The main issue here is the rivalry between the US and China for world supremacy. Within the framework of this confrontation, zones of influence are being divided, with each of the great powers seeking to secure a niche for itself. From this point of view, I would not say that the US is specifically pro-Armenian. In fact, Washington is deeply indifferent to the fate of Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Poles, all but themselves. Even despite France's pro-Armenian stance, they serve the interests of the Armenian lobby there not because they sympathise with Armenians, but for the sake of their own goals. To a greater extent, this is due to the fact that Armenia does not command the respect of the great powers. Without any bias, I can say that Azerbaijan is respected. I should note that I do not harbour any ideological convictions of pro-Azerbaijani orientation, not at all. Rather, I am basing myself on my personal observations, which I have always drawn on during my visits to your country.
Maintaining a strong position in the South Caucasus is crucial for the United States to prevent China, Russia, and Türkiye from taking advantage of the situation. The growing regional leadership of Türkiye is causing concern in Washington, which holds the belief that the US should be the sole decision-maker in global matters. As a Pole, I view the increasing influence of Azerbaijan and Türkiye positively as it aligns with Poland's interests. However, I hold a different opinion when it comes to Russia, whose interests are in opposition to Poland's. From the US perspective, any country that makes independent decisions is viewed as deviating from the norm. For Secretary Blinken, it is essential that leaders like Erdogan and Aliyev seek permission from the US before making important decisions. This perspective is purely American, and it is necessary to consider the problem on a broader scale rather than from Washington's pro-Armenian interests.
- Nevertheless, it is fundamentally important to Washington that the peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan be signed on the American negotiating platform. Isn't it?
- Indeed. They do not care who owns this or that territory, they do not care who lives where and controls what. What they care about is that all this happens under their control.
- In your opinion, what is the probability of a peace agreement between Baku and Yerevan and in what timeframe?
- For Armenia, the conclusion of a peace agreement with Azerbaijan is the last chance to preserve its statehood. But so far we only see Yerevan torpedoing this issue in every possible way. Armenia in general risks disappearing from the political map of the world, because it does not know how to build normal relations with its neighbours and generally behaves like a psychopathic country. What good has Armenia done in the last thirty years? Nothing. I was in Armenia and saw with my own eyes the deplorable state in which the ordinary population of the country lives. The society is embittered and is constantly looking for the culprit of its misfortunes. Armenians blame Americans, Turks, Russians, and everyone but themselves.
- I would like to hear your opinion on the EU policy in the South Caucasus. You will not claim that Europe does not encourage Armenian "desires", will you?
- As a resident of the European Union, I am disappointed with the current policies of the EU in the South Caucasus. The EU was once a symbol of high standards, but it appears to be losing its way. It is unclear what the EU's goals and identity are, as well as whose interests it serves. The resulting political chaos has led to institutional arbitrariness. Different EU institutions act independently, each pursuing its own interests, often with corrupt elements. For example, the decision to send an observer mission to Armenia seems disconnected from the EU's interests and external relationships. The EU's moral decay is evident in the way that lobbyists behave, turning it into a frivolous market.
- No matter how ridiculous it may sound, Armenia is nurturing the idea of EU membership. Do you think Yerevan has a chance of becoming an EU member?
- From a technical and legal point of view, Armenia is a state that supports separatism. And this is incompatible with European values. Therefore, I think that this country has no prospect of becoming a member of the EU, no matter how much Yerevan dreams about it.
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