Why is the Speaker of the US Parliament going to Armenia?
Author Andrey Nikolaev
After a successful summer provocative tour to Taiwan, Nancy Pelosi flies to another hot spot in every sense – sunny Armenia. But if, in the case of China, the intention of the United States was clear, then who should be angered by the current visit of an elderly American politician to Armenia?
It is unlikely that the arrival of such a distinguished guest can impress at least someone in the Caucasus. Except for Armenia itself. And the declared purpose of the visit? A demonstration of support for the people of Armenia in the face of the so-called “aggression” of Azerbaijan. It looks like a rather on-duty mission. Or not?
Maybe the US is failing to realize its plans? With the arrival of Pelosi, Washington wants to give its role additional political weight.
This is quite possible if we assume the following course of events.
The West is represented by various players so far. The United States tried in every possible way to pull over the process of a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Participants in the negotiation process, including Russia and Azerbaijan, did not fundamentally object to different platforms for discussion. Moscow and Baku understood that such a blur could eventually lead to Armenia refusing the route map defined in the agreement on November 9, 2020.
The information that Yerevan could take such steps became known in Baku after the visit of the co-chair of the Minsk Group from the United States, Philip Reeker. It seems that during the meeting with Pashinyan, the American diplomat conveyed ultimatum demands to pedal the peace talks.
No news demands by Baku
Realizing that the peace agreement implementation was drifting away into an unpredictable distance, Aliyev decided on a military scenario. Further waiting could again stretch for years. Meanwhile, Baku did not put forward any new demands. Baku only demanded the implementation of earlier agreements.
Judging by Aliyev’s actions, he might not have known what instructions Philip Ricoeur gave to the Armenian leadership. And, perhaps, he acted based on his political logic, like a sentry on duty, opening fire on a warning. It is no coincidence that a ceasefire was announced the next day, September 13. Baku was waiting for a reaction.
But then Philip Ricoeur went to Baku. And here, Aliyev realized that he was not mistaken in his assumptions. Military activity continued.
In the arguments of the experts, the scenario of crossing the Armenian border by Azerbaijan was assessed as impossible. After all, Armenia is a member of the CSTO, if there is external interference, then Russia will be obliged to intervene.
But this scenario suits Azerbaijan quite well. After all, Baku is also an ally of Moscow, according to the declaration signed by Putin and Aliyev on February 22, 2022. Just two days before the start of the special operation, which is very symbolic.
Activating CSTO Mechanism
Military activity on the Armenian border in the Zangezur region will activate the CSTO mechanism. At the same time, only the 102nd base of the Russian Federation in the Armenian city of Gyumri, as well as units of the Border Guard Service of the FSB of Russia, which, by agreement with Armenia, participate in the protection of the Armenian-Turkish border, can be the most quickly reacting component of the CSTO in this zone.
Russian units will take control of the territory of the Zangezur corridor, and this will suit Azerbaijan quite well, as it is fully consistent with the agreement of November 9, 2020, which states:
The Republic of Armenia guarantees the security of transport communication between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic in order to organize the unhindered movement of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions. Control over transport communications is carried out by the Border Guard Service of the FSB of Russia.
By agreement of the Parties, the construction of new transport communications will be provided linking the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic with the western regions of Azerbaijan.
Such a course of events will lead to a result that has long been agreed upon and agreed upon with Armenia in principle. But Yerevan cannot take this step because:
- The active objections of the opposition and a significant part of society.
- Behind-the-scenes games of Western sponsors.
Washington needs to squeeze Russia out of the Transcaucasus. And at the same time, prevent Turkey and Azerbaijan from creating transport communications.
The scenario of transferring the corridor under the control of the CSTO, read Russia, seems to be playing against the United States. However, one should not underestimate the ability of American policy to Jesuit logic.
They may well use their defeat for their own purposes, presenting Russia in the eyes of the Armenians as the main manipulator and beneficiary. And then the formal alliance of Russia with respect to Armenia will be presented as actual deceit and hypocrisy.
Quite complicated attitude towards Russia
In Armenia, the attitude towards Russia is already quite complicated. Many believe that Moscow could do much more for Armenia than introducing a peacekeeping contingent and patronage in peace negotiations. And on such fertile ground, the anti-Russian narrative can yield results.
But so far, the Armenian opposition is not promoting the anti-Russian agenda. Protesters in Armenia are trying to recruit one of the former presidents of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, as their leader. He enjoys great prestige and respect in Armenia. Himself a native of Karabakh, a war hero of the early 1990s, and he is considered a friend of Russia.
The anti-Pashinyan sentiments of the opposition, with the work of Western sponsors, will be able to turn the country against Russia, making the latter guilty for all the troubles of Armenia. In this case, Armenia’s withdrawal from the CSTO will only be a matter of time. And a very short one. Then a tactical victory for Russia in Transcaucasia could become a strategic defeat.