The Coming Russian Defeat in the Caucasus

David Boyajian argues convincingly below that the proposed Turkish – Armenian Protocols are not just a bad deal for Armenia but are a catastrophe for Russia. The Protocols, says Boyajian, will lead to domination of the entire Caucasus, and probably more, by the United States and NATO, thereby resulting in a major defeat for Russia. Russia reportedly favors the Protocols. You have to wonder whether the Kremlin is thinking straight these days or, as Boyajian claims, making a major blunder. We all know that Russia has a major influence on Armenian policy. Readers who oppose the Protocols may wish to send an email to the Russian Foreign Ministry to tell Russian leaders, particularly Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that the Protocols will lead to a disaster for Russia, not just for Armenia.

Russian Embassy and Foreign Ministry website: http://www.russianembassy.org/
Email addresses: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

David Boyajian argues convincingly below that the proposed Turkish – Armenian Protocols are not just a bad deal for Armenia but are a catastrophe for Russia. The Protocols, says Boyajian, will lead to domination of the entire Caucasus, and probably more, by the United States and NATO, thereby resulting in a major defeat for Russia. Russia reportedly favors the Protocols. You have to wonder whether the Kremlin is thinking straight these days or, as Boyajian claims, making a major blunder. We all know that Russia has a major influence on Armenian policy. Readers who oppose the Protocols may wish to send an email to the Russian Foreign Ministry to tell Russian leaders, particularly Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, that the Protocols will lead to a disaster for Russia, not just for Armenia.

Russian Embassy and Foreign Ministry website: http://www.russianembassy.org/
Email addresses: [email protected] [email protected] [email protected]

The Coming Russian Defeat in the Caucasus

By David Boyajian, Newton MA,  28 September 2009

Russia will be well along the road to total defeat by the US and NATO in the Caucasus and beyond if the recently proposed Armenian – Turkish “Protocols” are ratified.

Within two months after ratification, Turkey would be required to open its border with Armenia.  Subsequently, or perhaps simultaneously, the Azerbaijani – Armenian border will open if, as appears increasingly possible, an Artsakh (Karabagh) peace agreement is signed.

Regardless of whether the Azeri border opens, a fully open Turkish – Armenian border would inevitably result in US and NATO penetration and subjugation of Armenia.

Let us look at US and Russian policy in the Caucasus, both past and present.

The West’s Goal: Domination

For two decades, the West, as well as Israel, has dreamt of dominating the Caucasus, which is the gateway from Europe and Turkey into the oil and gas-rich Caspian Sea region.  To do so required ripping the Caucasus’ three ex-Soviet countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia – from the Russian bear’s claws.

The US and NATO have largely succeeded in doing so.  The West has already built two major gas and oil pipelines – BTE and BTC – from Azerbaijan’s Caspian coast, through Georgia and Turkey.  The US insists that all pipelines bypass Russia and Iran.

Though Georgia and Azerbaijan are under continual Russian pressure, both are NATO candidates and have aligned themselves with the US.

That left Armenia, perhaps Russia’s only real ally in the world, as the sole obstacle to total American domination of the western land route into the Caspian.

By coaxing Turkey to open its border, Washington is now trying to lure Armenia away from Russia and into the infinitely richer and more modern, attractive, and democratic Western/NATO bloc.

Wealthier, stronger, and about thirty times larger and more populous than its small, besieged eastern neighbor, Turkey has been picked for the lead role in the West’s seduction of Armenia.

Armenia’s Importance to US Strategy

Until last year’s Georgian – Russian war, the US had been silently pleased with Turkey’s blockade of Armenia.  Washington hoped the blockade, imposed mostly due to the Artsakh war, would create economic pressure on Armenians to resolve that conflict.

Note that only an Artsakh peace agreement could fully pry open the Azeri-Armenian-Turkish corridor that NATO and Washington craved. [See the author’s “Why Artsakh Matters to the West and Russia” on Armeniapedia.org.]

But the war in Georgia cast doubt on that country’s ability to continue hosting western-bound pipelines.  For the US, the only alternative to unstable Georgia is Armenia.  This explains why Washington has been dramatically stepping up pressure – and the “Protocols” are part of that pressure – on Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to resolve their differences and thereby create a new American path into the Caspian.

How does Russia feel about Armenia’s border issues?

Russia’s Fatal Mistakes

The Kremlin had long been silently pleased with the closed Turkish – Armenian border and the Artsakh stalemate.  After all, these prevented the US from penetrating Armenia and dominating all three Caucasus countries.

Now, however, confidential and other sources indicate that Moscow favors both the Turkish-Armenian “Protocols” and an Artsakh peace agreement.

Russia reportedly hopes that trade across the Turkish – Armenian border would enable it to profit from its ownership of Armenian industry, particularly electricity production and transportation.

However, given Armenia’s small economy and size, the extra revenue for Russia would not be considerable.

The Kremlin is also reportedly worried that a new Russian – Georgian war would hurt Armenia’s economy since most Armenian imports/exports must now go through Georgia.

Thus, Russia allegedly hopes that an open Turkish – Armenian border would give its Armenian ally an alternative import/export route in case of a war.  Yet, given its alliance with Georgia, Turkey might well close its border with Armenia in such an eventuality.  Conversely, were the Turkish-Armenia-Azeri corridor to remain open, this would partly defeat the very purpose of a Russian attack on Georgia.

Moscow and Ankara have developed significant economic and political relations in recent years.  And Russia supplies most of Turkey’s natural gas.  Thus, the Kremlin apparently believes that it can dictate to Ankara.   The Kremlin is wrong.  Regardless of how friendly it becomes with Russia, Turkey will stay within NATO, its only protection against its historic, nuclear-armed Russian enemy.

Moreover, Turkey  – and Georgia, which also depends on Russian gas – will eventually develop alternative energy sources and no longer be vulnerable to Russian pressure.  In the meantime, Russia will lose Armenia to the West.

Russia is also trying to buy up future production from Azerbaijan’s oil and gas fields in hopes that, in so doing, the West will lose interest in Azerbaijan.  In return, Russia is apparently pressuring Armenia to, in effect, hand Artsakh to Azerbaijan.

This is a grave error.  Historically, Azeris have betrayed Russia, as happened in WW I when they sided with Turkey, and will do so again. In the meantime, Armenian anger at Russia for selling out Artsakh, combined with the lure of Western wealth, will permanently drive Armenia away from Russia.  Only a true Russian alliance with, not economic and military bullying of, Armenia, will keep Armenia as a friend.  Armenia’s fear of Turkey is not enough.

Russian Policy Blunders

Russia has a long history of disastrous policies. In the space of 75 years, Russia lost two empires – Czarist and Soviet – and the Cold War.  Russia allowed false prophets – Bolsheviks – to impose the inefficient and inhumane political and economic system of Communism upon it.  Russians let a deranged Georgian, Josef Stalin, maim and murder countless millions of them.  Even today, most of Russia’s wealth comes not from human productivity but courtesy of Mother Nature: oil and gas.

Recent Kremlin policy has been deeply influenced by Aleksandr Dugin, an extreme nationalist ideologue.  His political philosophy, Neo-Eurasianism, advocates a Russian led alliance of Asian and Slavic countries. Like most Russian analysts, Dugin saw Armenia as a barrier against Turkey, Russia’s historic enemy.  Dugin then changed his mind.  He now thinks that Turkey is a Russian ally.  This is a clear sign of Neo-Eurasianism’s immaturity.

The Kremlin – this time with Medvedev and Putin at the helm – is once again listening to false prophets.  Turkey’s arm can indeed be twisted, but not broken, by Russia.  Moreover, Turkey is tougher than Russia.  During the Cold War, genocidal Turkey would have annihilated Russia had it, rather than the Soviets, possessed nuclear weapons.

While Turks make Russians think they’ve become friends, Russians foolishly throw their only ally, Armenia, to the Turkish wolf.  Russia will lose Armenia but will not win Turkey over.  Pan-Turkism will continue, pushed by the West for its own purposes.

Moreover, as I noted two years ago, once NATO enters the Caucasus, it “could then jump across the Caspian Sea and march straight into Muslim Central Asia, posing a possibly mortal threat to Russia.”

Reject the Dangerous Protocols

Armenians must openly reject the “Protocols.”  Besides abrogating long-standing Armenian rights vis-à-vis its genocidal neighbor, they are a formula for Turkish hegemony over Armenia.

If the Turkish – Armenian border is to open, it must be in a way that does not permit Turks to infiltrate, buy up, Ottomanize, and eventually control Armenia.

Armenians must now publicly and bluntly emphasize to their Russian ally that the “Protocols” will result in Russia’s being surrounded by NATO and ultimately, along with Armenia, destroyed.

 

The author is an Armenian American freelance writer.

21 comments
  1. Mr. Boyajian is right on — again!
    Mr. Boyajian is right on — again!

    The West and Israel are just interested in capturing Armenia to promote and exploit their myopic energy, security and trade interests in the South Caucasus and beyond. Worse, they are continuously displaying utter disrespect towards Armenian statehood and democracy by backing unelected, pluto-autocratic presidents and parliaments. And, Turkey and Azerbaijan are dying to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strangle Armenia and to eventually wipe it off the map.

    Considering our nations both face existential threats, it is in Russia’s interest to become a true ally of Armenia by: paying some rent for its military base in Gyumri; helping Armenia enhance civil liberties; recognizing Artsakh’s independence, or at least speaking favorably about the right to self-determination; condemning the Armenian Genocide and genocide denial in international fora; denouncing Georgia’s recent adventures along the Armenian-Georgian border, etc. This is a win-win for both Russia and Armenia!

    And, thank you Mr. Boyajian for your keen analysis and conclusions! I always enjoy reading your articles. They are a breath of fresh air and very important for the Armenian Cause, especially at a time when the Armenian Nation’s future, security and well-being are at stake!

  2. Finally, someone with a realistic outlook
    Thank you, David Boyadjian, for being the reasonable and concerned voice on this.  I would say that I am totally disappointed by David Davidian, but quite frankly I am not a bit surprised by his position on the matter after thinking over it. 

  3. Current Russian defeat in the Caucasus
     

    We Armenians quite naively overlook the Machiavellian "silent partner" in all this.

    1. Please be apprised that when the Armenians were driven out of Baku et al, the Armenian engineers in the Baku oil complex were immediately replaced by 3,000 Jews from Moldavia.  This was published [in those days] in one of the leading Boston newspapers.

    2. Perhaps someone should look into the membership of the Senate Committee on the development of Central Asian natural resources.  I think, again, that you will find that the key people are Jews.

    3. Israel itself is not a prime player.  It is an "interested party".  The prime player in this case is the Zionists who have vast international capabilities and an equally powerful network [on all sides] of key personnel in key positions.  Their intentions happen to coincide with American Oil and Energy interests. They want to be the prime "wholesaler" in all Central Asian energy sources.

    The Zionists have waved the "Pan-turanism" banner in the eyes of the Turks for a long time – especially in its successes in drawing Turkey into an apparant "Pro-Israel" policy, using their powers in the good old U.S. of A.  
    Russia is insane to permit this to contine…unless, in retaliation, Russia intends to aid in the final "liberation" of Georgian territories that would ultimately force Georgia into the Russian camp or reduce it to complete politiical impotency.  

    The history of the Caucasus has always been unstable.  Georgia has traditionally been much more "untrustworthy" than Azerbaijan.  The Azeris have always been Turks, Moslems and all that goes with it.   The Georgians have been everyone’s mistress at one time or another.  

    I would like to believe that American strategists understand this….unless of course the "strategists" are also Zionists.
    In view of all this Machiavellianism – Armenia should go along with most insofar as the articles are favorable to Armenia’s needs and interests – except, it should never enter into any "historical discussion concerning the incontrovertible Genocide".    Nor should Armenia give up territorial claims – even though they may remain silent about them for now.

    I take the liberty of pointing out that to us "Western Armenians" in diaspora, the Genocide is a very real thing.  We have childhood memories of going to Church every Easter and being amazed [and sometimes traumatized] by seeing so many people with ears cut off, nose cut off, missing an arm or leg, crosses tatooed on their faces….etc.
     
    And, Armenia should be granted the right to send Archaeologists and Historians to historically Armenian "sites" and to restore and reclaim those sites for legitimate historical and cultural reasons.  

    It should be pointed out that Eastern Turkey has been the Armenian Ancestral Homeland since the time of the Hittites and had never been abandoned— unlike the Jews who demand restitution, restoration and reclamation of "sites", "properties", "assets", etc. in an area [Germany and Europe] that was not their ancestral homeland [which they had ostensibly abandoned centuries earlier].

    And now that every self-respecting Armenian accuses us of being "anti-Semitic" — shall we continue on our "naive" journey of equally "naive" politics?

  4. I have yet to see a sensible analysis

    I have yet to see a sensible analysis regarding what is occurring in the Caucasus… To imply that Russia is about to undermine their only ally in the south Caucasus, after they have successfully defeated the American, Turkish, Israeli and European backed regime in Tbilisi is absurd to say the least. The entire Caucasus region is now in Moscow’s hands and now they are using Armenia to project their power beyond the Caucasus. To imply that Turkey will outsmart Russians, Armenians and Iranians in the Caucasus when they are in reality dependent on Russian trade, gas and oil is, simply put – stupid. You folks seriously need to study geopolitics and monitor what is occurring in the Russian Federation today. Armenia has not been in a better position, politically speaking, in perhaps a thousand years. Those against the “protocols” are against them for emotional, ignorant and/or selfish reasons. The diaspora’s sick obsession with the genocide has cornered it psychologically. So much so that now it can’t think outside of the “genocide” perspective. And the only one putting a wedge between the diaspora and Armenia is us diasporans. Shame on you for ‘demanding’ things from authorities in Yerevan when it is the natives of Armenia that are to live with the consequences of politics and not you. Shame on you all for being so selfish and narrow minded. Want to complain, move to Armenia first.
    1. Suren,  You said it….

      Suren,  You said it my friend! Finally!.

      When I see Diasporan Armenians telling me why they’re against the protocols, I see cowards, short-sighted sheep who are so afraid of the Turks, so sunk in their inferiority complex , that they don’t see that the future of healthy Armenia and Artsakh is SECURED by these protocols. I see people with no trust in what they can accomplish. I see people who are happy with the comfort of the status quo whose only obsession every year is "Is the US president going to utter the word Genocide this year"? This has become like awaiting for the Super Bowl every year. And every year we lose. And even if he utters it? What do we gain? NOTHING. Meanwhile Azerbaijan military budget becomes double that of Armenia’s STATE BUDGET. Meanwhile Turkey is on the verge of becoming a major player economically and militarily on the world stage…

      They overlook the main issue here. You want to solve the issue once and for all? You don’t get  go-betweens to talk to the enemy. Why? because these go betweens only use you for their interests at the end. You want  real solutions? You talk face to face to the enemy. Even if that means that for now you recognize the borders.  Even if it means that one of the committees will discuss historical issues, but the VERACITY OF THE GENOCIDE IS NOT TALKED ABOUT. You see, because it takes TWO to talk.

      The true independence of Armenia, the economic development of Armenia, Armenia being able to use all its possibilities Armenia getting independent Gharapagh plus Lachin and Kelbajar …These are what the documents mean. On one single condition. If we WANT  to use the protocols towards that. And that’s not accomplished by cowardice . That’s not accomplished by thugs who think that by throwing stones at the President’s motorcade they are respecting the Martyrs’ memory, they think by burning effigies of the President , by howling "tavajan" like crazed wolves, they are respecting Martyrs’ memory . That irresponsible behaviour disgusts me. If they are brave, Gharapagh is waiting, the frontlines with Azerbaijan are waiting. There is a lot of defending and fighting to be done there.

      My grandfather and 5 members of family were killed by the Turks during the Genocide. I don’t hate the Turks any less for what they’ve done. I’m not any less patriotic than the cowards writing here, I don’t dream any less about having Western Armenia again, but after reading the protocols , after hearing what Serge Sarkisyan is saying, I wonder how can people call him a "traitor"?People who haven’t the slightest idea of what Armenia faces geopolitically today. It is so irresponsible, selfish and plain stupid, most of the comments that I read here.

      Is the Dream alive after these protocols? YOU BET it is! Will Turkey recognize the Genocide? You bet they will. ONLY on one condition: IF WE BELIEVE IN OURSELVES AND IN WHAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH. Because when you’re politically, economically and militarily are the strongest you can be, and in addition , when one day the interests of the Great Powers meet , not even a 1000 such protocols will be able to forbid you from reclaiming what’s yours.

      Dikran, I don’t know if you will want to publish this as it opposes your views and the views of the majority here. I ask you to do so. I don’t care if readers call me tavajan, these days that word has become a medal of honor for true pragmatism, for true political skills, and ironically for true patriotism.

      These protocols will be ratified. And you will see that your apocalyptic predictions are not even close to the truth. New challenges will arise , new challenges to establish the Armenia we’ve truly dreamed of, new risks are there. Whoever has the guts to take up these challenges, there’s an open invitation. The rest can continue to live in their utopia of a virtual Armenia and virtual Armenianism.

      I proudly endorse President Serge Sarkisyan’s initiative. He is a COURAGEOUS man to be taking this unbelievable load on himself for the sake of his homeland.
      Bravo!

      God bless Armenia. God bless independent Artsakh!

      1. Dear Barkev, Why did you

        Dear Barkev,

        Why did you think that I would not post your comment?  A matter of this magnitude needs the participation of all concerned Armenians. None is a lesser Armenian, and no voice should be silenced as long as we treat each other with respect and agree to disagree. I should hasten to say though, I don’t like the word "hate".

        Paregamoren,

        Dikran

      2. Barkev and Souren

        Barkev and Souren,  finally someone is courageous enough to represent the ‘other side’ of the fence. Am so glad.
         
        I agree with your concept and logic.  However, as you indicated that Turkey and Azerbaijan are becoming huge powers, they may use this power to achieve their goal in eliminating Armenia as they did to other nations throughout history (well at least Turkey did).  This manipulation may start on Saturday…and relying on Russia is, "simply put – stupid".

        Also there is the question of WHAT IF…
        – What if we lose our historic lands
        – What if Artsakh falls back into Azeri hands
        – What if Turkish products destroy the Armenian (already dying) economy
        – What if it helps Armenians flee to Turkey to find jobs and empty Armenia even more
        – What if Turks infiltrate Armenia, buy lands and eventually make it a second Palestine (70million vs 3million, you do the math) etc.

        If any of the above What ifs comes true, then we cannot take time back…

        In my opinion the diaspora is doing the following:

        – Trying to get clarifications on the protocols (still ambiguous to most of us)
        – Being careful not to become a victim to powerful nations.

        This is our last chance, any mistake will be unrecoverable and tragic!

        How can you trust a nation that tried to eliminate us?!  do you want to have the same fate as Pontine Greeks or Assyrians?  where are they now?

        PS: I would like to see your opinion regarding this article: http://www.keghart.com/content/response-david-davidians-analysis

        1. Dear Vartkes,
          Your WHAT IF

          Dear Vartkes,

          Your WHAT IF list is valid. I can add 5 other WHAT IFs on that. But to answer each one of them separately

          — What if we lose our historic lands

          As it stands our historic lands are not in Armenia’s border. So there is no issue of losing them. There is the issue of RECLAIMING them. With or without the protocols that stays the same. Maybe it will require more work. Maybe it will require a strategy that we were not used to until now. But that DOES NOT CHANGE. Because when you’re ready to reclaim not even a thousand protocols can stand in the way. The only thing is to keep up the momentum at least as much as we have done until now.


          What if Artsakh falls back into Azeri hands

          This danger is always there. By separating the Artsakh issue from Armenia-Turkey relations, is a major diplomatic coup. It is in our hands to keep the momentum that US , France and Russia are on the side of the compromise which entails independent Artsakh+Kelbajar+Lachin. You can call Serge Sargsyan anything you want, but in the Gharapagh issue he is not an idiot. He wouldn’t talk this confidently if he doesnt have some reason for it.


          – What if Turkish products destroy the Armenian (already dying) economy
          This has to do simply with regulation. There is already 250 million dollars of Turkish goods entering Armenia from Georgia while Armenia cannot explore anything to Turkey or Europe because it is simply too expensive. When you have peace with neighbors that is the FIRST condition for secure investments. So in the short run perhaps what you say is true. But in the long run it depends on us! Besides, when the railroad to Iran gets built there is the access to the Middle Eastern market.


          – What if it helps Armenians flee to Turkey to find jobs and empty Armenia even more
          Since independence  maximum 40,000 Armenians have already gone to Turkey to find jobs and work, if someone really wanted to move to Turkey could do it until now via Georgia or by plane. An open land border or railroad connection doesn’t change much the situation, unless of course some idiots will want to live among the Kurds in the neighboring regions who are far worse off than most Armenians.


          – What if Turks infiltrate Armenia, buy lands and eventually make it a second Palestine (70million vs 3million, you do the math) etc.

          It will be more like Kurds wanting to infiltrate. Remember that we already have 70,000 Kurds who are loyal Armenian citizens. I am not saying that 70,000 more should come. But you get the point. That is a simple immigration regulation issue anyway.  Besides since 1991 there are 70 million Iranians who could have done the same. Where are they?

          Vartkes: Open border or closed border doesnt change the fact of what Azerbaijan is becoming or what Turkey is becoming. We are destined to stay neighbors. What’s important is to establish your security in OPEN borders . What’s important is to use up your maneuvering potential to the fullest.And not always think that all will be fine because papa Russia will always protect us. These protocols allow Armenia to do that IF WE BELIEVE IN OURSELVES.
          You can never trust the Turks. You work with them with minimal trust. But YOU WORK with them. 
          And one more thing. Neither Russia , nor China , nor Iran nor the US or Europe want an Ottoman Empire being established. IF the Armenian Diaspora is intelligent enough it would concentrate on getting this point across: That the only country standing in the way is Armenia so the strengthening of Armenia is of utmost importance.

          Can we do that? Rather than live in some utopia? We can . If we only want it.

          1. I would say NO!
            Thanks for the reply Barkev.

            I agree with some of the answers, but most of them are not valid. I will not start a long discussion here by opening a can of worms.  But I have one question to you and Suren:  How come you waited so long to put down your ideas? I am sure you knew about this site and were reading the articles all along…

            We needed people like you to guide us from being one-sided.  But we need more people to join, since your arguments still haven’t convinced me that the protocols are the right thing for Armenia. i.e. you haven’t justified the fact that if even a single of the WHAT IFs comes true then all Armenians are screwed! and after the fact it’ll be too late to say "oh we didn’t know, we thought it will be different, we were optimistic, we trusted the Turks, Europeans, Americans, it’s their fault" etc…

            For as long as there were no proper consultation I would continue to say NO!

          2. Vartkes,
            I did not know about

            Vartkes,

            I did not know about this site up until a week ago. And I’ve enjoyed it very much since then.
            My aim was not to convince you. My aim was to tell you the way I see things.

            The impression that I get from you is that  you are one of those people who really thought that the borders will stay closed for the next hundred years. Your whole WHAT IF list points to that. Another thing: There is not one single party in the Diaspora or Armenia which is OPPOSED to the protocols, but which says they are opposed to the border opening. Not a single . All of them agree that the border should be opened if Turkey recognizes the Genocide.
            My question is: Even if Turkey recognizes the Genocide and stops there, your COMPLETE WHAT IF list, all of your concerns WOULD STILL BE VALID. Turkey will not necessarily give up land, Artsakh can still fall to Azeri hands, Turkish products can still destroy the economy, 70 million Turks would still be there to infiltrate. If you really thought that independent landlocked Armenia was being established  to forever have closed borders to Turkey and Azerbaijan, and semi-functioning border with Georgia and Iran, you got it all wrong my friend. 

            If we go about with your WHAT IF-s, we can also wonder (without signing the protocols):

            WHAT IF Azerbaijan attacks Gharapagh with drones (not even real persons) and devastates it in a matter of days. Doesn’t win but devastates. Will you go and rebuild it? Will you populate it?You might want to know that Israel has already built a factory of drones in Azerbaijan.
            WHAT IF Russians pull out their army from the borders of Armenia. Very realistic possibility.And the 60,000 Armenian Army is left completely alone?
            WHAT IF with continuning decline of the economy, more people emigrate and the population goes down to ridiculous numbers
            WHAT IF Georgia decides to close to border because it is too angry about Armenia being a Russian ally. Starvation is the answer?

            I have an even longer list.

            It would be TOTALLY IRRESPONSIBLE for Armenia’s President today, to think like you or the way majority of the Diasporans think. He has a duty of defending the interests of the Republic of Armenia. Today the easiest thing to do is to criticize and say no to the Protocols. VERY EASY in the comfort of Diaspora to do so. The difficult thing to say is that Armenia through open borders we will keep Gharapagh, we will have peace with all neighbors, we will be a medium player, geopolitically on the world stage, in one word we will establish a normal functioning country. It ALL depends on us. And it is entirely feasible. Time will show, and I’m very optimistic.

             

          3. Still NO…


            I agree that the border is an essential part of trade and prosperity for Armenia. However, we shouldn’t link it to ‘conditions’ or ‘pre-conditions’.

            The closing of the border was already another crime by Turkey. Why do we have to ‘give something’ to have it opened again?

            The UN and all countries should demand the opening of the borders before any meeting takes place for any agreements, whether they will be successful or not.

            A war against Armenia is inevitable and would be tragic without the help of some other nations (currently Russia).
            I also totally agree with Suren with respect to Russia’s position in that region. It’s not to Russia’s interest to see Western allies gain power south of its border…

            You still haven’t convinced me about Pres. S. Sargsyan. I think he is a ‘purchased’ puppet, to accomplish something that we should achieve without preconditions.

            Let’s face it, the only thing that Armenia needs is an open border, why do we have to even create protocols for that?!  I have read somewhere that it is illegal and a crime by international laws to close the border for any landlocked country for such a long time!

            The blame lies not only on Turkey but also on all countries that haven’t come to the aid of Armenia since the closing of the borders.

            It should be opened without any pre-conditions – I prefer to wait and even go to war, instead of signing-away our integrity and peace.

          4. ALSO

            Until you have open borders and until you establish peace, Armenia will remain a Russian protectorate. For better or for worse today that is the case because there is no other way. So about that "trust" you are trusting only one actor on the international stage and yet again puting all your eggs in one basket.

            The most important factor is the fact that Armenia will have MUCH more room to maneuver. Economically AND politically . To maneuver and have several choices in such a neighbourhood? For me that’s priceless . Today, as it stands we have only one: Follow Russia.

      3. Barkev, I oppose your views.
        Barkev,

        I oppose your views. But I’m not here to name call, unlike you who are calling ‘us’ short sighted, etc etc.

        Just a question. You contend the protocols are a good thing. Can you please explain why? I want to uderstand why you have that opinion; maybe there’s something I’m missing. I went through the other posts/replies and did not see anything.

        I apologize if this has already been answered. If so , just point me in the right direction. Thanks.

  5. Hi all, I have read all the

    Hi all,

    I have read all the analyses and comments.  Looks like we have very intelligent people here.  Lets all put our minds together and come up with the best solution for Armenia and the Armenians.  I have over 30 years of military experience and solving problems have been part of my job. 

    In order to find the best solution to a problem, we need to know what the problem is.  

      a.  Let us all define what we think the problem is.
      b.  Define/decide what our goal is.
      c.  How can we best achieve our goal?

    We can have a brainstorming session, come up with all kinds of ideas (without discarding any of them at the outset).  Lets get back together tomorrow about this time and check our notes.

    Best of luck,

    John

    1. John, isn’t it too late for

      John, isn’t it too late for combat…;)
      The countdown has started and we have to sit and wait for the outcome.  Hopefully last minute positive changes will happen for the Armenians.
       

  6. Thank you Vartkes for
    Thank you Vartkes for responding.  No, its never too late.  Just to give you an example from my experience.  September 30 is the end of Government fiscal year and we get a lot of fall-out money (money that people fail to spend).  We usually have Purchase Requests (PR) ready to go just in case we get some fall-out funds.  By the same talking we can have a solution ready to be implemented just in case Armenia and Turkey fail to come to an agreement, even if its remotely possible.

  7. Boyajian needs to take a few
    Boyajian needs to take a few courses in political science, history and geopolitics before he continues writing political essays. Perhaps he can also begin to pay closer attention to developments in Eurasia and work on stopping his fears and emotions from dictating his thoughts. When the big guys begin to get involved in a dispute the smart little guy stays silent, listens and tries to work out something positive for himself. This is what official Yerevan is doing today. Actually, for the first time in my life I am beginning to see a light at the end of our nation’s long dark tunnel. And anyone here that thinks Armenians can "strong arm" or "explain" things to the Kremlin is delusional. Trust me, Kremlin officials know what is going on in the Caucasus better than all of us Armenians combined. Sleep well knowing that for the foreseeable future their national interests will correspond with ours. And I have more trust in them to keep the Caucasus free of a Turkish infestation than on us Armenians. Boyajian, when you pray at nights (if you pray) make sure to say a prayer for Mother Russia because the only reason why we have an Armenian republic in the Caucasus today is because two hundred years ago drunk "Ivan" decided to go to the Caucasus. Without a Russian presence in the Caucasus all of us would still be living like Kurds.

  8. Russia is making a significant mistake!

    Enough with the combative approach and the rigid pro-Russian positions.

    Russia, like every other superpower, is today advancing its own strategic objectives in the South Caucasus apace and with renewed vigor, a process that can often help and sometimes harm the promotion of Armenian national interests!

    Understand that the West and Israel (as well as EU/NATO and pan-Turkism advocates) are more interested than Russia in opening the borders, and thus much more behind these so-called dialogue, reconciliation and normalization efforts. Notice what Hillary Clinton was up to with her anti-Armenian sidekick, Phil Gordon, in Zurich yesterday: http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/1009/TurkeyArmenia_deal_signed_after_snag.html?showall

    If the borders are opened, Armenia — the last pro-Russian bastion in the South Caucasus — will eventually enter the pro-Turkic EU/NATO camp. There is little protection that bullying Russia can do about it. Armenians appreciate and long for a more comfortable, innovative and civil Western lifestyle. And, Turkey, the EU and the US lie exactly to Armenia’s west. That’s where Armenia will be heading — with or without the adoption and implementation of various legislative and reform measures, and official Moscow’s sugar-coated statements!

    If you carefully read and reread Mr. Boyajian’s excellent article (who by the way is one of the very few writers in the West to have received multiple university degrees without becoming a Judeo/Turkophile and/or Russophobe), you would have realized that Russia is making a significant mistake by backing the disastrous protocols and not forming a TRUE, HONEST alliance with Armenia that keeps out Turkey.

    Avetis, I see that you are quite interested in these very important and timely subjects. Have you written any articles yourself? If yes, I look forward to reading them.

  9. Russia is no true friend of Armenia

    Russia invaded Anatolia in 1876 and again in 1917, but pulled back both times, thus cheating and harming Armenians while losing significant ground.

    Russia repressed the anti-Ottoman Armenian revolution based in the Armenian Caucasus in the 19th century. Is this an example of Russian geostrategic intelligence?

    Turkey was helped by Russia right after WWI, and battered Armenia a lot. Is this an example of Russia taming Turkey?

    Turkey then became a NATO outpost and still is. Is this an example of keen Russian intelligence?

    Russia was even at first helping Azerbaijan in the Karabakh war, and Russia gave Karabakh and Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan. Is this an example of how pro-Armenian Russia is?

    Conclusion: Russia has made several woeful errors in recent centuries. It has yet to be demonstrated that Russia is out for anyone except itself!

    Avetis is pathetic to see a true friend in Russia. He himself should take courses in elementary geopolitics.

    Most Armenians are against the ruinous protocols and don’t buy the idea that Russia is coming to Armenia’s rescue!

  10. To Georgi I don’t even know
    To Georgi,

    I don’t even know where to start refuting your misrepresentations. Just one point, however.  Bolsheviks were not Russians. Speaking Russian does not make one a Russian, just like speaking English does not make one English. The vast majority of the early Bolsheviks were Jews and the rest were a mix of Armenians, Georgians, Russians, Chinese, etc… Russians (Christian/Slavs) suffered by far the most under the Bolsheviks. The reason why the Russian Empire withdrew its forces from Anatolia in 1916 and enabled the Turks to continue their genocide of Armenians was the success of the Western funded Jew led Bolshevik revolution. Had it not been for the Russian Empire, nationalistic organization would have never even been formed. From David Bek to the Artsakh liberation war Moscow was working with Armenians behind the scenes.

    To Aram

    In a sense, you are afraid Armenians will warm to Turks if borders open? Your fear is Armenians not Turks. And another thing Aram jan, Moscow today already controls the Armenian military, the Armenian economy and Armenia’s energy sector. Moscow has mutilated Georgia and has Azerbaijan hostage. Moscow also has an alliance with Iran. Maybe one day you’ll notice that Moscow today fully controls the Caucasus and it is our nation’s only lifeline.

    What’s more, Moscow already controls our homeland’s government. Armenia and Artsakh are independent only in our dreams. The fact of the matter is, Armenia, a tiny, poor, resourceless land surrounded by enemies in the volatile Caucasus – cannot – be independent. Thank God that we serve the long term strategic interests of a superpower like Russia. Without a Russian presence in the Caucasus not even a million of our fedayees can stop the Caucasus from becoming a Turkic territory.

    With Artsakh secured militarily (don’t let western propaganda fool you Moscow will not force Armenia to give up the land), with Armenia secured militarily, open borders will serve Armenia’s long term interests by allowing it to become an integral part of the region’s economic development. With Georgia out of the picture now and with serious problems in the Black Sea, Armenia has found itself in a very geostrategic position. This is what our officials, with Moscow’s backing, are trying to exploit. Moscow has placed Armenia on center stage. Instead of being narrow minded and hysterical let’s do something about the future of our republic. I’lI suggest you put aside your ideological dreams and see better Armenia’s national interests.

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