By Nurani

http://www.today.az/news/politics/57 128.html
Nov 2 2009

Possible opening of the Armenia-Turkey borders remains topic number
one for Yerevan's political and quasi-political "gatherings".

However, the tone of debates has changed. Though previously authorities
diligently assured the audience that signing of the protocols was
"a great diplomatic victory for Armenia", now MPs, especially those
from the opposition faction, demand Yerevan to clarify under what
conditions the country is reconciling with Turkey while Turkish
officials including the president, the prime minister and the foreign
minister as well as MPs have assured Azerbaijan on numerous occasion
that they will not open border till withdrawal of Armenian troops
from occupied Azerbaijani lands. Then what is the need for assurances
regarding the "negotiations without preconditions"?

Furthermore, Nalbandian, who signed the protocols in Zurich in a silent
and unhappy manner barely keeping "protocol smile", still "makes a
pause" while Davutoglu have repeatedly voiced what he wanted to say in
Zurich. Now Yerevan realizes that at least it will have to recognize
the current border with Turkey, which means to bid a farewell to
"Western Armenia" dreams in Turkish lands and in "Ararat" - Agri-Dag,
and talks about Turkey's responsibility for "genocide", and also to
bid a farewell to the occupied Azerbaijani lands, including Karabakh.

Meantime, it can not change situation in favor of Armenia in the
negotiations either. Simply, because it is in no condition to
"press down" its demands in the negotiations due to its extremely
weak political and economic "weight". Yerevan is used to hope for its
"weapon fist" inflated with an outside help. They seem to understand
that they will harm themselves by launching it.

Firstly, the international response will show itself soon. Too much
has been "tied" to the Caspian oil and gas projects. Secondly, to
try "method of spear" in its own shoes for what Azerbaijan spent its
military budget, which is larger than Armenia's entire public budget,
is also enjoy below average.

Theoretically, Armenia could try to stage a traditional PR about his
"sufferings" and to rely on public sympathy. This could force the
West to put pressure on Turkey, of course, theoretically. In fact,
the United States and Europe were convinced that if to take care of
Armenia's interests too zealously, Azerbaijan will show discontent with
its oil, gas and strategic location of "a gate" to the Central Asia.

Moreover, the key objective of forcing Turkey-Armenia dialogue was
precisely to protect "alternative" oil and gas routes from "frozen"
conflicts. Once Azerbaijan launches exports to Russia, the whole idea
simply will make no sense.

The most terrible is that Armenia is unable to reject the Turkish
conditions and "preserve" the situation for the simple reason:
the country's economy "collapses" and it cannot wait for deciding -
a salary and pension once a month, but people want to eat thrice a day.

Talks about Tsar Tigran and "Western Armenia" can not feed them either.

On this backdrop, Serzh Sargsyan's visit to Moscow to participate
in a charity marathon conceivably is an attempt of a drowning man
to grasp at straws. Armenia desperately needs money, while there
is nowhere to borrow them. Russia, whose economy has reached worst
expectations according to President Dmitry Medvedev, is unable to
maintain Armenian economy generously. It needs to save its "monocity"
and to solve unemployment problems.

The Diaspora officially refused to render financial support to
Sargsyan's regime following the signing of the protocols in Zurich.

The Armenian community in Russia is the only place where an anathema
against Sargsyan was not pronounced and where he can conceivably
find money.

Unfortunately, this community can provide only one-time assistance.

This money could help enliven economy if invested wisely. However,
there is simply nowhere to maneuver this money in Armenia's case.

Meanwhile, a funny incident that happened to the country's Prime
Minister Tigran Sargsyan in PANARMENIAN EXPO exhibition when he
decided to drive a tractor, but hit a fence seems wicked with a
symbolic irony: any attempt to revive Armenia's economy hits closed
borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Finally, Armenian economists have noted that opening of the border
with Turkey may not be economic "panacea" for all ills.

In addition, it may yield unfavorable consequences for the Armenian
"mini-oligarchs" as local small industry and agriculture have been
formed on backdrop of "greenhouse effect" when similar goods were
supplied to the Armenian market from Turkey. They were expensive
due to transportation and customs "dues". If the border is opened,
the effect will become understandable.

Hope for country's involvement in a "gas transit" shattered, as well.

Yerevan had great hopes that Iranian gas would be pumped to Turkey
via Armenia if Iran joins Nabucco and Yerevan makes peace with Ankara.

Yerevan did not even think about the fact that the South Pars is too
far from Armenia, Iran has its own border with Turkey and new transit
country with poor "credit history" in relations with Turkey is needed
in this project as the fifth wheel of a cart. Meantime, Turkey and Iran
have reached a gas deal directly and discuss the routes of "European
exports" for Iran which envisages Azerbaijan, but not Armenia.

Serzh Sargsyan's visit to "native Karabakh" deserves attention on the
current backdrop. Theoretically, visiting army units was to encourage
"fighting spirit" of Armenian citizens and Karabakh separatists. But
it resembled an attempt to prepare his countrymen, to be more exact,
"Karabakh residents" to the fact that they will have to leave the
areas surrounding the former "Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region"
at least. The fate of Karabakh itself remains vague.

It is clear that resuming Azerbaijan's sovereignty over Karabakh does
not endanger majority of ordinary Karabakh residents. The highest
status promised by the president envisages political rights, cultural
autonomy and freedom of religion.

In addition to these ordinary Karabakh residents, who are viewing
results of reinvestment of petrodollars in Azerbaijan's regions with a
natural jealousy and sigh for the days when they could study in Baku,
there is also a political leadership of separatists, including war
criminals who can not help but fear that they will have to answer
for robbing Azerbaijani villages. To be exact, their "business" is
directed related to the Zangilan forests, drug plantations located
in the occupied lands and terrorist camps. Resuming Azerbaijan's
sovereignty over Karabakh or at least in surrounding areas means at
least catastrophe for them.

Even on the backdrop of such development of events, these persons
will try to move quickly to Yerevan until the "Karabakh clan" holds
power there. And not just to move, but "to arrange their life" as
soon as possible which will immediately affect the status of "Yerevan
residents" as there is few "lucrative places" in an impoverished
Armenia. In this case, never actively supported Miatsum will assume
completely different character for Yerevan residents. Because, they
will have to implement it in their own home and at own expense.