Gagik Harutyunyan


As it is known, right after the meeting of the presidents of Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Russia on June 17 in St. Petersburg, I.Aliyev left
Petersburg and on June 18 in the NKR Armenian side suffered losses
after the subversive act of Azerbaijani forces. It is less known that
this incident was followed by the equal actions of our armed forces.

Any way, those events were received rather sharply in our society
and they activated the discussion of various military scenarios. In
addition all that was followed by various information flows -
with the approval of great powers the "conventional" war will take
place in the NKR and the parties will be separated by the Russian,
Turkish and American (or NATO) peacekeeping forces, Israeli and Iranian
bombers were redeployed from Georgia (!!) to Azerbaijan and are ready
to hit Iran and the later, in response, concentrates troops at the
Iranian-Azerbaijani border. Even the moment when scandal connected
with the "Russian spies" in the US was aroused in the media was
interpreted by some foreign analysts as an attempt to divert the
attention of the international community from the "Iranian" war.

The overwhelming majority of those information messages, as it is
well known to the expert community, are obvious disinformation. But,
taking into consideration the sources of those large-scale information
actions and the fact and time of emerging of such a disinformation in
general, one should state that a little morbid interest in the region
has considerably increased and this is not only conditioned by the
NKR issue. Such a process comes to prove that the regular qualitative
changes and rearrangements are taking place in the region. Let us
try to describe previous stages in order to understand their content
and orientation.

The stages of negotiation process The negotiations on international
recognition of the NKR within the OSCE Minsk group and other formats
has been going on since the early 90s and since that time the military
and political logic in the region has undergone serious changes as
a result of global geopolitical shifts.

At the first stage of Armenian-Azerbaijani military confrontation
the mediatory mission was undertaken mainly by Russia and partially
by Iran and this was ended by the conclusion of a truce in 1994 in
Bishkek. One may say that at that stage the important but gradually
decreasing role of the RF on the post-Soviet territory was decisive.

At the next stage the initiative belonged to the Minsk group but
within that format the most active parties were the US and France. The
meetings between presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan were held in
Europe or the United States (the most remarkable is the 2001 meeting
in Key West). Despite the traditional pressure by the great powers
and the non-less traditional optimistic prospects and statements
of the Minsk group co-chairmen, the most important result of that
stage was the clarifying of the positions of the parties to the
conflict which is also rather serious result in the context of the
negotiations process. It is remarkable that that stage lay within
the logic of setting and further establishment of one-polar world
system, the resumption of the Cold war between the US and Russia
(in the later context it is remarkable that since 2003 the decrease
of American activity in the NKR issue has been observed).

The Georgian-Russian war in South Ossetia in August 2008 may be
conventionally considered the beginning of the current stage. The
later is a result of the geopolitical shifts which are conditioned
by the formation of the multi-polar world. As a result the role of
the US in our region reduced and the influence of the Russian factor
has considerably increased. One can state that today, according to
classical formulation, Russia has acquired the "status of the equal"
in the Minsk group and it tends even more to consolidate its positions
in South Caucasus where Armenia is its main base station and the
only territory where Russian forces are stationed. In this aspect
it is not a mere chance the meetings of the presidents of the RA
and AR are held under the patronage of Russia and the last meeting
in Petersburg (after a long interval) is the evidence of that. By
the way, it is possible that the demonstrative departure of Aliyev
from the conference in Petersburg was conditioned not so much by the
well-known stance of the president of the RA but by the new proposals
made by the Russian president. Let us also mention that the possible
meeting of the presidents of the RA and AR in Almaty is outlined which
proves that the process of negotiations is continuing and Aliyev's
demarche is nothing else but a diplomatic trick and not a stance
based on principles or ultimatum. At the same time, it is necessary
to state that not only Russia has become active in the region.

Other regional actors If Iran's regional policy is characterized by the
consistency and stability, the same cannot be said about Turkey which
demonstrates diplomatic and information activity. It is characteristic
that over the years of the American dominance that country clearly
carried out its "duties" in regard to the US, but the formation of
the multi-polar system has considerably increased the level of the
"autonomy" of Turkey and Ankara, taking abrupt steps, started searching
its place in the new system. There is an impression that Turks'
actions are not efficient enough under the new conditions. There is
an aggressive ideological symbiosis of Neo-Ottomanism, Pan-Turkism and
Eurasianism formed in the country1, which incites Ankara to take steps
which sometimes seem to be rather hasty. They are manifested in both
factual failure of the Armenian-Turkish negotiations and provocations
against its former ally Israel2. Let us mention that anti-Israeli
actions, despite the official denouncements by some countries, were
not taken unambiguously by the western community. But the US, which
attach importance to the logistic and communication role of Turkey
(and Azerbaijan) in the war in Afghanistan, is not only worried by
deterioration of the relations between Turkey and Israel but also
by the stance of that country on the Kurdish issue and attempts to
develop the relations with Iran3 and some Arab countries.

Russia is not indifferent to the Turkish activity too. If the
contradictions between the US and Turkey are advantageous for
Moscow from the geopolitical point of view, the later cannot
tolerate the coordinated actions of Turkey and its "small brother"
Azerbaijan in Transcaucasia which has traditionally been considered
by Russian strategist as "their territory". It should also be taken
into consideration that though Russia concludes energy agreements
and develops trade relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan, but the
geopolitics has always prevailed over the economic categories.

It is remarkable that the Azerbaijani aggressiveness as well as
the Turkish one, is a derivative of the ideology. It is known that
Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis as a state and nation are rather newly
formed entities and they need nation forming ideology. Today they
took as a basic provisions not the civilizational ideas and values
(maybe due to their absence) but extreme anti-Armenian moods. Today,
as a result of the totalitarian propaganda of Aliyev's administration
Azerbaijan has turned into a territory with very bellicose and
intolerant population. This takes Azerbaijanis to the trap, i.e. they
have difficulty in getting out of the ideological doctrines they
have invented, because anti-Armenian moods have turned into official
doctrine, perception of the world and policy.

Conclusions About 16 years has passed since the conclusion of the
truce; in the NKR status quo has preserved till now, and from some
point of view this fact can be regarded as achievement. At the same
time the current state contains some risk among which the following
can be mentioned:

Relative retreat of the US from the region and due to that reason
the reduction of the general level of political "order".

Formation of the nationalist ideological environment in Turkey and
acquiring of the political "autonomy" by that country, which is
particularly manifested in the claims to South Caucasus.

Establishment of the anti-Armenian ideological field in Azerbaijan
and development of the strategic cooperation with Turkey.

Among the positive factors the following items can be distinguished:

Establishment of the NKR as a state and particularly consolidation
of that fact in the consciousness of the international community.

Acquiring of the diplomatic maturity by the Armenian political elite,
Geopolitical rehabilitation of Russia and aspiration of the authorities
of that power to be main "regulator" in the region (without Turkey),
Strategic and world-view contradictions between Turkey and US, Israel
and some European countries (in particular Germany) and formation of
the negative perceptions of Turkish factor in the European community.

At the same time, it is obvious, that the solution of the NKR issue
in accordance with our perceptions mostly depends on the level of the
preparedness of the all-Armenian community. It should be taken into
consideration that the political situation in the region can change
qualitatively at some stage. According to the political conception of
the so-called "characteristics of the self-organizing criticality" 4
the military and political system may develop evolutionary till some
"critical condition", in which even the most insignificant events
may cause rapid chain reaction changing quality of the whole system.

Previously such critical condition was formed as a result of the
collapse of the USSR and two-polar world. In present rather painful
process of the multi-polar system formation is going on in which
consequence a kind of "critical condition" can also be reached and
after that the events will develop rapidly or, in other words, they
will be of non-linear character. In order to be prepared for such
a situation the RA and NKR should solve many topical problems among
which the following can be mentioned:

Elaboration and implementation of the realistic strategy of the
all-Armenian development, because in future the general level of the
society development will be decisive in the possible confrontations.

Formation of the component which will be directed to lobbying our
state and national interests by the Armenian organizations in the US,
and initiating the activity in that sphere in Europe and Russia.

1See Ա.~M"մավո[email protected]յան" "ԳաղաO~Cա[email protected]ա*ոսական
հոսանO~Dնե[email protected]ը Թո[email protected]~D"այ" ա[email protected]տաO~D"ն
O~DաղաO~DականոO~Bթյան համատեO~DստոO~Bմ" in
this issue of the journal.

2The well-known incident between Turkey and Israel connected with the
"Peace flotilla" is interpreted by some analysts from the point of
view of "conspiracy". They state that this operation was elaborated
by the leaderships of two countries and is directed to consolidation
of Turkey as a leader of Islam world. However this is perfunctory
approach (in some mass media one can often see the ideas that it "all
was conventional"). The contradictions between Israel and Turkey are
of along-term and objective, one may even say, of world-view character

3In this regard it should be mentioned that the impression is that
if official Tehran considers this cooperation as a tactical episode,
Ankara, based on the aforementioned expansionist ideological concepts,
considers it as a strategy which pursues far-reaching goals.

4Let us mention that the conception presented which is used by
American diplomat Steven Mann (Steven R. Mann. The Reaction to Chaos //
Complexity, Global Politics, and National Security. Edited by David
S. Alberts and Thomas J. Czerwinski. National Defense University
Washington, D.C. 1998), who is well aware of the NKR issue in his
judgments is taken from the natural sciences, particularly from the
Nobel Prize winner N.N. Semyonov's theory of ramified chain reactions.

Another materials of author


From: A. Papazian