Why Russia Needs Armenia and Vice Versa

David Boyajian, Massachusetts, 1 February 2019

Astute observers know that Russia needs Armenia as much as Armenia needs Russia.  

Russia’s dependence on Armenia explains the Kremlin’s extra pressure on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his reformist My Step Alliance following Armenia’s democratic Velvet Revolution in 2018.

Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

Armenia is Russia’s only ally in the strategically crucial Caucasus. 

Russia would, consequently, lose the entire Caucasus (which includes Georgia and Azerbaijan) if Armenia joined the Western Bloc — defined as America/Europe/NATO (sometimes including Turkey and Israel).  Here’s why.

David Boyajian, Massachusetts, 1 February 2019

Astute observers know that Russia needs Armenia as much as Armenia needs Russia.  

Russia’s dependence on Armenia explains the Kremlin’s extra pressure on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his reformist My Step Alliance following Armenia’s democratic Velvet Revolution in 2018.

Source: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection

Armenia is Russia’s only ally in the strategically crucial Caucasus. 

Russia would, consequently, lose the entire Caucasus (which includes Georgia and Azerbaijan) if Armenia joined the Western Bloc — defined as America/Europe/NATO (sometimes including Turkey and Israel).  Here’s why.

Georgia has favored the Western Bloc since independence, desires NATO membership, and no longer depends on Russian natural gas.

Azeris feel hemmed in by Russia and would like to join NATO.  Azerbaijan sends its Caspian Sea oil and gas westward through Georgia, Turkey, and beyond.  Another major gas pipeline is planned.  Significantly, at Israel’s behest top Jewish American organizations quietly support Azerbaijan.

Russia’s underbelly

Russia’s sees its left flank, consisting mainly of NATO and pro-NATO nations, as a major threat.

An even more ominous threat is Russia’s Central Asian underbelly: the five Muslim and largely Turkic countries of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

If Russia loses Armenia, and thus the Caucasus, sooner or later the Western Bloc would penetrate via Turkey straight to the Caspian and create a powerful NATO fleet.  Just 150 miles farther lay the vast energy resources of Russia’s Turkic/Muslim underbelly, ripe for NATO’s picking.

This is essentially pan-Turkism.  Russia dreads it while the Western Bloc tacitly supports it.  This explains Russia’s acute anxiety over what happens in Armenia.

That is, Moscow pressures Yerevan precisely because its security depends on Armenia.

Military allies

Russia has two military bases in Armenia, sells it weapons, and guards its border with Turkey. 

Armenians rightly welcome this as defense against genocidal Turkey.

But — again — Russia’s primary motive is thwarting Western Bloc/Turkish domination of the entire Caucasus and, from there, the Caspian, and Russia’s Central Asian underbelly.

Armenia must, nevertheless, remain militarily (though not always economically) tied to Russia because for the foreseeable future Armenia cannot find security in the pro-Turkish Western Bloc.

The Pro-Turkic Western Bloc

Even if Yerevan and Ankara normalized relations, and the former joined NATO — huge ‘ifs’ — Turkey’s belligerence and greater weight would still threaten Armenia.

NATO has, after all, long tolerated Turkish aggression in Cyprus, the Aegean Sea, the Middle East, and against its own minorities.

The Western Bloc has, moreover, never offered Armenia any real security, and has implicitly consented to Turkey’s ongoing closure of its border with Armenia.

Had Turkey, as planned, invaded Armenia in 1993 during a failed coup in Moscow, the Western Bloc would likely not have stopped the invasion.

The Western Bloc even supports blatantly corrupt Azerbaijan and tolerates its aggression against Artsakh/Armenia.

And, of course, Europe and America provided no significant military aid to Armenians during the 19th and 20th century genocides.

Moreover, Russia has substantial ‘soft power’ to prevent Armenia’s leaving the former’s orbit.  

More Russian leverage

Russia supplies nearly all Armenia’s natural gas and oil and has a significant position in its energy infrastructure.  Russia also limits the amount of natural gas that Iran supplies to Armenia. 

Armenia’s Soviet-era Metsamor nuclear power plant is also controlled by Russia.  It generates about 40% of the nation’s electricity.

Moscow irrationally worries that its only democratic ally, Armenia, could be a model for unseating Russia’s own leaders.

The Kremlin apparently prefers autocratic, corrupt foreign leaders whom it can intimidate because they don’t answer to the people in free elections.

Added Russian pressure against post-Velvet Revolution Armenia has been particularly unhelpful.

Recent Russian pressure

The Kremlin did not congratulate Pashinyan on his party’s smashing parliamentary victory in December 2018.  It did, however, phone ex-president Robert Kocharyan, sitting in jail on various charges, on his birthday.

The Kremlin has also unfairly sided with corrupt Belarus and Kazakhstan in not allowing an Armenian to complete Armenia’s remaining term for the CTSO’s ex-secretary-general, Yuri Khachaturov.  Pashinyan’s government had indicted Khachaturov over the March 2008 killings of Armenian demonstrators.

Russia apparently will also raise the price of the natural gas it supplies Armenia by 10%.

Now the Kremlin is pushing Armenia to sign a long-term agreement prohibiting the latter from hosting troops from third countries, though Yerevan plans no such deployments.

To alarm Armenia and make it ever more dependent, it’s foreseeable — indeed, may have happened in the past — that Moscow would give Baku the green light for a major attack on Artsakh/Armenia.  Russia would then use some pretext to refuse to defend Armenia despite their mutual defense treaty.  Armenia would be unable to ask another country for military support if it signs the Kremlin’s proposed agreement.

PM Pashinyan has promised that Armenia’s pro-Russian orientation will not change.  He has even vowed allegiance to the CTSO, the ineffectual, Russian-led defense alliance, even though members Belarus and Kazakhstan are hostile to Armenia.  Armenia will also stay in the EEU, the Russian-led economic bloc of debatable benefit to Armenia.

Armenians don’t want to break away from Russia — unless Russia betrays Armenians first.

They simply want to eradicate corruption, benefit from the political/economic freedoms people have in democracies, trade with the West and others (as Russia does in the hundreds of billions), and build a stronger Armenia.  Diasporan Armenians feel similarly.

A stronger Armenia whose citizens stay in the country is in Russia’s own interests. 

But non-too-subtle Russian threats are no way to treat an ally.  No country should be bullied into being undemocratic, corrupt, poor, and dependent.

Unfortunately, the two countries often misunderstand the other’s perspectives.

Different perspectives

Russia believes that Armenia lacks gratitude for “defending” it and is too distrustful.  Though Armenians actually are grateful, they remember Russian betrayals that include giveaways of Armenian territory to Turkey and Azerbaijan in the 20th century.

Russia is alarmed by Armenian interaction with the Western Bloc and China.  Armenia feels similarly about massive Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan and military and energy deals with Turkey, the latter two countries being genocidal enemies of Armenians.

Russia feels that Armenia should have a more positive view of Russians. Armenia generally does regard Russians well.  But polls reveal that many Russians view Armenians negatively.  Moreover, Armenians rarely hear Russian leaders tell their citizens about Armenia’s importance and the two peoples’ commonalities.

Due to geography and its history of empire, Moscow has often manipulated other ethno-national groups or set them against each other.  While Russia sees this as natural, Armenians wonder whether Russia can distinguish between its proven enemies and a friend and ally such as Armenia.

Russia controls and limits the natural gas that Armenia imports from Iran in order to profit from selling Russian gas to Armenia (via hostile Georgia) and to make Armenia more dependent and compliant.  Armenia correctly believes this endangers its national security.

Perhaps because it’s far larger and brawnier, Russia too often looks down on Armenia.  Armenians regard this as overbearing and ill-mannered.

With effort, though, every contrasting perspective can probably be reconciled.

Armenia should always remember, however, its vital importance to Russia.

There is no turning back from the path of self-reliance that Armenia is walking.  This must be voiced in the most friendly way to Russia.

And the two countries must always fully and publicly air their differing perspectives for both their sakes.

David Boyajian is an Armenian American freelance journalist.  Many of his articles can be found at Armeniapedia.org/wiki/David_Boyajian.

                                                                 # # #

26 comments
  1. Armenia-Russia relationship

    Russia was and is manipulating Armenia and the Armenians all the time since the tsarist rule. No help at all in 1915. By the border the Russians were co-operating with the turks killing the Fedayis. In 1917 was the bolshevik revolution, the Russian soldiers left the border. 1918 the Armenians fought against the turkish army alone.

    Unfortunately we have many  historical facts that show the Russian government is not trustworthy. Then the bolsheviks came with the turks to Armenia and destroyed the First Free, Independent Armenian Government.

  2. Russia is the alpha and the omega of Armenian statehood

    Russia is the alpha and omega of Armenian statehood. For the past two-hundred years an Armenia has existed not because of Armenians and Diasporans but because of Russia and Russians. Without the Russian factor in South Caucasus, Armenians would still be herding animals in eastern Turkey and making carpets in northern Iran as second-class minorities. Without Russian support, Armenia today won’t last a week in a hostile, Turkic-Islamic region such as South Caucasus. In a nutshell: Russia is the fundamental reason why we have a homeland in the South Caucasus. Period. What I said is difficult to admit, especially for a politically unsophisticated and proud people like us Armenians. But what I said is the truth. It’s best to embrace truth and admit reality than continue lying to ourselves, which inevitably leads to disaster, as it has so many times.

    Dear David,

    Russians have excellent and second-to-none intelligence agencies, geopolitical institutions and diplomatic corps. Their military capabilities are also second to none. They also control a quarter of all the natural resources on earth. Russia is the only independent nation-state today. Taking all this into account, do you think they need advice from a journalist? Do you think the Kremlin does not understand what’s going on in the South Caucasus? Do you think that Russia needs Armenia as much as Armenia needs Russia?

    I know what you are trying to do but your article is disingenuous. I wish American-Armenians like you would stop misleading our people by giving them false hope. American-Armenians who think like you are a major part of the reason why Armenia is hopelessly stuck in the middle of a geopolitical tug-of-war between Russia and the West, and why Armenia is becoming a playing-field for Anglo-American-Zionist operations. Instead of spewing nonsense that confuse and mislead people, I wish you would instead preach closer Russian-Armenian relations and Armenian LOBBYING activities in Moscow.

    Incidentally, have you been to Russia? Have you tried contacting your counterparts in Moscow? Have you tried organizing a convention/symposium of Russians and Armenians to discuss flaws in Russian-Armenian relations, with the intention of fixing them? In other words, have you done anything to contribute to Russian-Armenian relations (which you admit is strategically important) instead of writing ultimatums to Russia.

    It should not take a rocket scientist to realize that a massive nation with a very powerful, nuclear-armed military can survive losing Armenia, even if it has to sow bloody chaos in the South Caucasus to do so. It also does not take a genius to realize that severing Armenia’s umbilical cord with Russia, thereby putting her at the mercy of Anglo-American-Zionist oil interests, Turks, Azeris, Georgians and Wahhabi Islamists, will surely destroy Armenia. If Russia, for some reason, pulled out of Armenia and Armenia descended into chaos as a result, it won’t be the Americanized, self-righteous and politically unsophisticated American-Armenian community which will run to the country’s aid. Thankfully, I can’t foresee a reason why Russia would willingly leave Armenia. In fact, after Armenians, Russians are the ONLY people on earth who would spill the blood of their sons for Armenia. Look at Russians in Syria, and think what the Kremlin would do for Armenia.

    We must do everything in our power to keep a strong Russian presence in Armenia, not only politically and militarily, but also culturally.

    Russia today is perhaps the last haven of western/European classical civilization. Russia is also the last hope of Apostolic Christianity. Not only do we Armenians desperately need Russians for political, military and economic reasons, we also need them for CULTURAL reasons. Armenian culture flourished during the past two hundreds years (classically-trained composers, musicians, poets, writers, painters, sculptors, academics, scientists, etc.) because of Armenian raw talent coupled with Russian cultural influences in Armenia. Today, Armenian raw talent is going to waste. Today Armenian culture is dead because of Anglo-American-Afro-Zionist influences that have flooded the country in the post-Soviet period. Sadly, the American-Armenian community has been Uncle Sam’s pack animal (the conveyor of Western toxicity) in this regard. Let me put it this way: Soviet Armenia gave us Aram Khachaturian, post-Soviet Armenia gave us Aram Asatryan. 

    Western influence during the past thirty years has all but killed Armenian culture. With Western-financed globalists now at the helm in Yerevan, the situation will only get worst. 

    Our Russophobes have to be stopped from lying to our people. Whether they realize it or not, our Russophobes are systematically destroying Armenia from within. The danger here is that Armenians are by nature (i.e. genetic makeup) an emotional, restless, short-sighted and politically naive people. By filling Armenian heads with misleading information, hollow pride and false hope (the hope that Western powers will come to Armenia’s aid in times of trouble, or that Russia needs Armenia just as much as Armenia needs Russia, or that united Armenians don’t need anyone), Armenians will again destroy their homeland, like they have done other times in the past two-thousand years. This process, incidentally, is also how we ended up getting Western-financed globalist activists in power in Yerevan today.
     

    PS: And, since I know it will come up, I have no problem with Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan. All the emotional/alarming talk we hear about this non-issue is the scare tactics of our Russophobes. I rather see more Russian leverage over Baku. Arms sales equals leverage. I want to see Azerbaijan inside Russia’s orbit as well. The alternative (i.e. Azerbaijan fully inside Turkish and/or Western orbit) is disastrous for the region. This is why Moscow wants to stay engaged in Baku. That also works to our benefit. As long as Russians provide Armenia with modern and affordable weapons systems and countermeasures to what the Azeri military has, I don’t care about what Moscow sells to Baku. If Russians don’t sell arms to them, they will get what they want from elsewhere. I rather see Russia gain leverage over Baku and make money in the process–money that Moscow will use to provide Armenia with affordable but formidable weapons systems such as the Iskander ballistic missile system and the SU-30 SM multi-role, heavy fighter.

    1. Dear Norserunt

      Dear Norserunt,

      Allow me to inform readers that via an email communication you claim to be "a humble individual who does not want to share his identity due to personal reasons." Fair enough.

      Your rather provocative comment has some merit and deals with a sensitive matter that interests Armenians in Armenia and the Diaspora alike. For that reason an exception is made and it is published.

      There won't be a second chance unless an identity that can be verified is provided.

      Thank you for your attention to this matter.

      Respectfully,

      Dikran Abrahamian MD

      1. Is Norserunt “trolling?”

        Thank you, Dikran. As an avid reader of the Armenian press, I could not help but notice that the same long commentary beginning with "Russia is the alpha and omega…" appeared under three articles in other Armenian newspapers this week — all on the topic of Russia —  written by Norserunt but calling himself "Concerned Armenian" and "Arevordi" instead.  There is such a thing as "Internet trolling," and I encourage Keghart readers to look up the term to understand what they are dealing with.

        1. If someone posts a view that

          If someone posts a view that doesn't appeal to you, doesn't mean they are "Internet Trolling".

          1. My View

            Dear Levon,

            My personal views have nothing related to whether an opinion is pubished or not. Keghart.com has liberally published many conflicting opinions with the intent of promoting a constructive dialogue.

            "Internet Trolling" is suspected by following behaviours and what's published in the press or in social media.

      2. How can you verify the

        How can you verify the identity of a person online? I am sure most of the people who comment on this site use fictitious names, why only Norserunt has to identify his or herself?
         

        1. Aliases

          Levon,

          A person posting a comment may use an alias which you call "fictitious". Keghart.com maintains a large database of names and e-mail addresses. A "suspect" name not in databse or with controversial intellectual behaviour is contacted with a couple of leading questions. If no answer is received or the answers are not satisfactory with respect to integrity then the comment is not posted.

          As I write, for example, two comments are waiting to be published, five and three days old respectively. The autors are contacted and if no response or unsatisfactory responses are received they may not be published despite the contents of both being very innocent. In fact one of them is just a quotation from the scriptures.

    2. @Norserunt: I understand your
      @Norserunt: I understand your point, however you keep ignoring what kind of atrocities Russians did to Armenians over the last century; just 30 years ago they 'allowed' the Azeri massacres against Armenians, their soldiers were standing-by while civilians were being massacred.
      Recently they allowed Azeris to attack Armenia to 'teach Armenians a lesson' and leverage Russian-power against Armenia.
      It's a power game. Russians will never sacrifice themselves for Armenians and if they don't have a win, they will not side with Armenia at all. They are using Armenia as a pawn on a bargaining table.

      But overall, YES, without Russia there won't be Armenia.

      1. Each political system and each time period needs to be looked at

        Levon,

        Each political system and each time period needs to be looked at and assessed separately. So, with that in mind, understand that Russia today is not the Soviet Union of yesterday. The Soviet Union of yesterday is not the Russian Empire of the day before. Etcetera. Each time period, each political system had a unique political climate and geopolitical calculus.

        The Bolsheviks that came to overthrow the Russian Czar were not ethnic "Russians". Bolshevism was not a "Russian" system of government. The Bolsheviks were a Western funded Marxist movement most of whom were Jews. Their task was to destroy the Russian Empire which had fallen weak after four centuries in power. In fact, there were more Armenians in the Bolshevik leadership than ethnic Russians. Russia/Russians suffered by-far the most under pre-Stalinian Bolshevism. Do some research and you will see that Bolsheviks not only killed millions of Russians, decimated the Russian Orthodox Church and aristocracy, looted the empire's massive wealth – they also gave lands controlled by the Russian Empire to various other nations, not only Armenian populated lands but also Russian populated lands. The Bolsheviks were even discussing doing away with the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. In any case, too often we Armenians have tunnel vision. Too often we can't see past our egos. Are we incapable of seeing the bigger picture? Perhaps not. Perhaps that is why Armenia has suffered at the hands of Armenians for centuries.

        Regarding 30 years ago: It's simple. The Politburo was simply trying to keep the borders of the Soviet Union intact. Any political system would have done the same under such circumstances. After 1991, after the Soviet collapse that is, Russians began supporting Armenians – which is why we eventually won the war. Through it all however, there was never talk in the Kremlin about destroying Armenia as a nation. For the far-way West, Armenia is a pawn to be used/exploited against Russia and Iran. For Russia, Armenia is a vitally/crucially important piece of real-estate that it is willing to spill blood over. This is the fundamental difference between Russia and the West. Even Bolsheviks, who gave away Russian and Armenian lands, were sober enough to recognize that they needed an Armenia in the region. This recognition by the Communist system is why Armenia was allowed to become an industrialized republic. The point is, after 1921 the Bolsheviks and Stalin afterwards could have easily erased Armenia from the map, but they didn't because even they understood the value of an Armenia. Needless to say, men like Mikoyan brothers played a positive role in this regard.

        Today's Russia looks at Armenia as a highly strategic piece of territory that needs to remain within the Russian orbit at all costs. This is why Russia has willingly become Armenia's lifeline during the post-Soviet years. And what exactly is that lifeline? Affordable modern weaponry; affordable energy; nuclear power plant maintenance; large loans and investments; largest trade and tourism; providing hundreds of thousands of unemployed Armenians work in Russia. Think about it. Armenia can survive losing the Diaspora. Armenia cannot survive losing Russia. It worries me greatly that many Armenians today (perhaps a majority in the north American Diaspora) do not comprehend this.

        Instead of fearimongering and badmouthing Russians (the ones who keep Armenia alive, the ones who also stopped another Western-backed genocide from taking place in Syria), we need to use our natural talents to be in Russia what Jews are in the United States. In other words, we need to collectively try our best to harness the massive potential of a friendly superpower like Russia. Alarmingly, we are doing the exact opposite. We are preaching closer relations with the Western world, supposedly to "balance" Russia's influence in Armenia. Closer relations with the West will only give us cultural decline (liberalism, multiculturalism, interracialism, homosexuality, consumerism, etc), financial slavery (IMF, World Bank) and ecological disaster (Monsanto, GMOs). A "Westernized" Armenia will make the country seriously vulnerable in front of our predatory, Turkic-Islamic neighbors – and it will also make the Kremlin deeply distrustful of Armenins. It's a formula for disaster. And it's already happening. And the Westernized/Americanized Diaspora has a hand in it. It astounds me that more Armenians do not see all this.

    3. An outstanding overview of Why Armenia needs Russia

      I have great respect for David, the author of the article. I know him as an admirable Armenian dedicated to the Armenian cause in all its aspects.

      I must say joyfully also, that this article deserves multiple readings.  It is full of outstanding arguments as to why Armenia needs  Russia.  To put it succinctly, as mentioned in the comment, Russia has been and will always be the lifeblood of Armenia.  Armenia's fate is inextricably tied to Russia's.  As Russia goes, so goes Armenia.  This may come as a bitter pill to  macho Armenians filled with poisonous hubris of ultranationalism, but it is only the truth.  And the truth shall set us free, especially from the overwhelming power of  heinous Western propaganda that is infecting  our unsuspecting youth today.  

  3. Trust no one

    We Armenians have to understand that we have nothing to offer to this materialist world. We have given wonderful and knowledgeable people to the world for the profit of others and nothing to the Armenian people except family.

    We have to rely on ourselves, not on others. They would be welcomed if they want to join. Long live the Armenian people with their endurance at difficult times.

  4. Self-awareness and Prudence are called for in Foreign Policy

    I am astounded by the jingoist undertone of this article. It reminds me of the answer by none other than one of the more distinguished prime ministers of the first Republic of Armenia, namely, Alexander Khadisian, to the following question  from the audience after a lecture he gave in Paris  in 1926:

    "What do you think was the greatest mistake  that caused the fall of Armenia  in such disconsolate conditions?"

    Khadisian: "We overrated our strength, and underrated the strength of our enemies."

    It also behooves on small countries like Armenia to take an advice from Deng Xiaoping, the paramount  leader of China after Mao Zedong's death and practice extreme prudence in the conduct of foreign policy. Leave geopolitics to the great powers.

    Armenia needs a whole lot of political savvy to break out of the strategic dealock in which she is trapped. Time is against her and playing West vs. East  is too perilous a role for her.  

    1. The Boyajian article is being distorted. Why?

      Boyajian's article makes several good points and seems to me to prove them quite well. 

      I think he did a great job at analysis using facts and logic, especially at telling Armenians why Armenia has great value to Russia.

      Unclear why people are distorting or ignoring those point. Perhaps an old mindset of Soviet dependence?

      1. Armenia is worthwhile to Russia for security reasons, and Armenia should
      understand why it has value.

      2. Armenia must stay with Russia.

      3. Armenia cannot trust or side with the West for  security reasons.

      4. Armenia is reforming because it must decrease corruption, increase its economic power, and have people stay in Armenia so the country becomes stronger and safer.

      Unclear what people are disagreeing with.  Did they even read the article?
       

    2. Armenian, Russian relations

      As a long-time Keghart.com fan, I've read many of David Boyajian's articles. They never fail to be well-reported and balanced and are like breeze on a hot day. Mr. Boyajian, ignore the detractors of this piece. You're on the right track. Keep it up.
       

  5. Russia needs Armenia

    I am not affiliated with any group other than being an Armenian. I would like to take a quick survey. I would like to see numbers.

    – Should Armenia break away from Russia today how many people believe that Russia would collapse tomorrow and Armenia will stand strong?

     

    1. Nobody is suggesting that

      Sireli Hayorti:

      No one here has even remotely suggested that Armenia should break away from Russia.

      Boyajian's article wrote that Armenia must stay allied with Russia.

      It also says that Russia needs Armenia, and it spells out the reasons.  There  is nothing wrong with analyzing the Armenian – Russia relationship and trying to understand it.  There is no need to go nuts over an analysis and distort the subject as aka Norserunt is doing.

      Also, Armenia must continue to reform and become stronger.  That is what the article said.  Everyone hopefully believes that.

      1. Sireli Vahe,My comments were

        Sireli Vahe,
        My comments were a bit "tongue in cheek" implying the exact opposite. But to suggest that (and this impression has been around since the Soviet days) Armenia's and Russia's importances are mutually equal, is a  gross misconception driven by anti-Russian sentiments generated mainly by US and her puppets.  
        Armenians should understand where they stand and act accordingly for the best of what is left of our precious land. Lets' not become a pawn in the hands of these giants.

  6. Russian and Armenian Relations

    Demographically, geographically, tehcnologically, natural resourse-wise and so forth and so on, Russian and Armenian relation is as assymetrical as any state relation can possibly get.

    Yes, the real estate that Armenia is, is vital to Russian Caucasion front but implying an equal reciprocal state relations sounds hollow to me. 

    Vahe

    1. Russia–Friend or Not?

      While I agree with contributors who say we should remain under the Russian umbrella, I am surprised that no one has mentioned the increasing friendship of Russia and Turkey. The Russian embrace of Turkey is bad news for Armenia…and what's worse is that there's nothing we can do about it. To make matters even worse, Iran and Turkey are getting closer despite their disagreement re Syria's future. We are caught between a rock, a hard place, and a harder place.

  7. Russia’s leverage in providing hard currency to Armenia

    Russia can push Armenia into complete chaos within 72 hours if it restricts remittances of Russian Armenians.

    Armenia's Central Bank sustains annual deficit of $2 Billion dollars. If that deficit is not covered, Armenia's currency will depreciate exponentially to drive the country into hyperinflation. (That means Armenia's government  may hardly afford to buy slings instead of heavy armaments.)

    Armenia's exports are about $1.5Billion, and its imports (including oil) is $3.5Billion. That is the stats  last time I checked in 2017. The deficit is primarily covered by Russian Armenians remitting hard currency to their families in Armenia. In its absence, the reserves in the Central Bank would be depleted in a short time. Last time in 2016, I was priveleged to visit the Armenian Central Bank in Tilijan to gather some basic data.

    When Turkey shot down Russian warplane end of 2015, Putin fired Turkish businessmen,  resorted to restricting Turkish imports as well as Russian tourists. The $30 Billion dollars damage was a crucial blow to Erdogan government.

    Likewise in 2004, George Bush limited remittances to Cuba (From Miami Cubans to their families) to $300 each quarter. That reduction had huge negative impact on the economy of communist Cuba.

    Governments which incur trade deficits from their trading partners  do ask for concessions. President Trump's renegotiations of Free Trade with Canada, Germany, China is one example.

    So unless Armenia changes its economic structure, it will stay dependant on Russia. To accomplish that change, diaspora needs to support IT segment in Armenia. That is how Israel recorded $23Billion surplus in 2016.

    To that end, diasporan schools need to cultivate programs as to how to support Armenia's economy by focusing on IT. Of course, leaders of our traditional organizations, will not like this; after all anything that detracts attention from our national tradegy "The Genocide" will impact on their power base and their pockets.

    1. You are so right Mr. Yacoubian!

      Thank you Mr. Yacoubian for this realistic assessment and for your constant dedication and support to our Hayreniq.
      I am surprised that some of us, in the WESTERN DIASPORA, still think that our little monetary contribution to our Hayreniq is what makes a difference! Without these remittances from our Hayrenakitss in the Russian Federation, Armenia would be long bankrupt.

      Armenia's education system must be completely overhauled (see Tumo and SMART Centers) and we must continue to invest in IT.

      1. Hilarious Claims

        Diaspora Armenians who think their financial contributions to Armenia are vital to Armenia's functioning/existence/prosperity are talking through their hats. 

        Consider how much money Himnatram raises globally every year. It averaged about $24 million until the Armenian millionaires in Russia stopped contributing. In recent years, the money raised annually is about $13 million. That sum can perhaps buy Armenia a single tank!

        Diaspora Armenians should be red-faced that eight million of them manage to raise a puny $13 million.

        We are good at waxing poetic when we express our love of our homeland–that is until we are invited to help.

        Some Diaspora Armenians will say Himnatram in Armenia was corrupt and didn't merit support. Now that the Velvet Revolution has cleaned the mess, I'm eager to see how much Diaspora Armenians will give to Himnatram.

        Throughout Himnatram's history, most of the donors were the same people…about 25,000 from a Diaspora of 5 million. That's 5% of Diaspora Armenians. Shame.

  8. Margarita Simonian on the Armenian Revolutionists

    It is absolutely evident from most comments and endorsements that a huge number of Armenians both in the homeland and in the diaspora are extremely alarmed at the course the Velvet Revolution in Armenia has taken so far.

    The russophobic revolutionists (sic) have brought  Armenia  to the point whereby  her very existence is currently at stake.

    Never before in her two thousand and five hundred year history has the Armenian nation faced such a stark existential predicament  (including the Genocide).

    I would invite all the readers of Kehart.com, especially the writer of the article and the commenters to a piece I just read in the Iravunk paper of Armenia. In it Margarita Simonian  (the head of RT America) exposes the identity of the funders and the instigators of the Revolution.

    Here is the link: Go to Iravunk.com/news/77596

    If you cannot read Armenian, please have somebody read it for you.  If you know Russian, so much the better. You can watch her in the interview with a renowned Russian journalist.

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like
Read More

“Enough is Enough”

Պարոյր Աղպաշեան, Ռակ Մամուլ, Պէյրութ, 18 Լիբանան 2010 Հակառակ իր սահուն ֆրանսախօսութեան, անգլերէնով այս արտայայտութիւնը կը գործածէր Տոքթ.…
Read More