Armenia hinders regional integration, pundit says

    REGION  06 December 2023 - 10:46

    Armenian political analyst Grigor Balasanyan has said that Russia and Iran are closing the region to Western interference, and the Caspian format together with the "3+3" platform serves this agenda.

    He made the statement in an interview with Armenian media, commenting on the creation of the Caspian Council, which was announced at the meeting of the foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan in Moscow, Caliber.Az reports.

    On the margins of the event, the Russian minister met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, during which Sergei Lavrov said that the "3+3" format on South Caucasus issues (Armenia, Russia, Iran, Türkiye, Azerbaijan and Georgia) is taking shape, and Moscow considers this platform promising.

    Balasanyan said the Caspian platform and the "3+3" format are organically linked to each other, and Russia together with Iran actually close the region to interference from players from outside, particularly the West.

    The expert recalled that the documents related to the legal status of the Caspian Sea clearly stipulate that warships and armed forces of third countries cannot be based in the Caspian Sea. Now the creation of the Caspian Council only gives a final shape to this principle.

    Moscow and Tehran are supported by Ankara on this issue. It was not by chance that Lavrov recalled the "3+3" platform, as in this case, it is a complementary link in the overall process of "regionalisation".

    Undoubtedly, these processes are of significant importance for Armenia, which, on the one hand, has agreed to participate in the "3+3" and, on the other hand, insists on Western platforms for negotiations with Azerbaijan. But in this case, the Armenian leadership is pursuing a dangerous line for the country, contrary to the warnings of Iran, continuing to insist on the "westernisation" of negotiations with Azerbaijan.

    "The Armenian authorities do not want to listen to Iran's warnings about the inadmissibility of involving third players in regional processes, and Yerevan does not understand Tehran's messages. We need to understand that any agreement reached in Western formats will not be implemented. Azerbaijan will in any case refuse to fulfil them, and, unfortunately, it will be supported in this by Russia, Iran and Türkiye. All of them will seek to 'regionalise' the problems under discussion, not allowing the participation of non-regional forces," Balasanyan believes.

    Yerevan should have adopted a more flexible and forward-looking stance and abandoned its insistent attempts to go to the West.

    With geopolitical centres clashing, Armenia unwittingly becomes a factor hindering regional integration as Russia and Iran present it. Balasanyan is sure that Armenia should not take an anti-Russian and anti-Iranian stance.

    He calls in vain the fears of the Armenian leadership that discussing regional issues with regional players will infringe on the interests of the country. Yerevan should understand who is really capable of solving regional issues.

    "We have to ask ourselves the question, are the Western centres we rely on capable of influencing regional actors, forcing them to change their position on this or that subject? The view that we should rely on the West was outdated 10-15 years ago. The same example of Ukraine shows how it is possible to destroy a country and then say, sorry, we have no more money for support," he added.

    Balasanyan recalled the recent statements from Washington that the funds for supporting Kyiv are running out. He does not rule out that a similar situation may occur with Armenia if its authorities continue the current policy.

    Caliber.Az

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