Even if US plans in Ukraine don’t work out, there are options for US to hurt Russia and cause instability. Armenia may be the weakest link as its closer ties with US:
- may threaten Russia’s security as the unresolved conflicts in South Caucuses could implode
- Armenia is part of the Eurasian Economic Union and any change in allegiances could prove disastrous for Russia’s Eurasian integration
But West would never support Armenia at the expense of Turkey, and thus the country won’t see any benefits if it changes course.
The West is eager to poach Armenia out of Moscow’s sphere of influence, taking advantage of the vulnerable geographic fact that its territory is not contiguous to Russia or any of its official Eurasian Union or CSTO allies.
The aim is to dislodge the last bastion of influence that Russia holds in the strategic South Caucasus, which is its military base in Gyumri and the CSTO relationship it has with Armenia. There are three methods in which the West is going about its goal, and they are as follows:
Western representatives and commentators recently shed crocodile tears for the Armenians in commemorating the centennial of their genocide, seeking to exploit the sorrow and emotions emanating from this historical wound for their own geopolitical advantage.
The genocide remembrance has become a part of the Armenian national identity, and accordingly, foreign recognition of such weighs disproportionately to other factors in Armenians’ political calculations, equal in national significance to perhaps only Nagorno-Karabakh.
The flood of Western grassroots support in recognizing this tragic historical event as genocide may have disarmed Armenian decision makers into believing that those states’ political representatives also honestly support the Armenian people, which shouldn’t automatically be the assumed case.
While no one doubts the sincerity of grassroots activists and supporters, one would be naïve to not do so when it comes to Western political leaders, be they national leaders or elected members of parliament, some of whom grasp the geostrategic nature of cultivating closer ties with Yerevan in the context of the New Cold War.
Nuland Intrigue And The Washington Visit
Troublemaker and regional nuisance Victoria Nuland visited the Caucasus in February to meet with the region’s leaders, including Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
During her stay in the Armenian capital, she also visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial, thereby hinting at implicit recognition of this event even if it’s not formally acknowledged by the US government for political reasons as regards its relationship with Turkey.
It doesn’t matter whether the US really believes it was genocide or not – what’s important in this context is that the impression was conveyed upon the Armenian President that the Americans are on the right side of history and can thereby be trusted.
It’s not known what the two discussed during their meeting, but Nuland’s ploy seemed to have worked since Sargsyan visited Washington at the beginning of May and actually flew straight from the American capital to Moscow in order to attend the Victory Day celebrations.
Given the rock-bottom relations between Washington and Moscow, and especially in the context of the “War on Victory Day” that the West is currently waging, it’s inappropriate at best and treacherous at worst for Sargysan to have been cavorting with Congress on the eve of such an historic and sensitive commemoration (and one that the US has been speaking out against).
Another Shot At The Association Agreement
Putting all speculation of Armenia’s shifting allegiances to an end, the country’s Foreign Minister officially declared that his country hopes to discuss a new EU Association Agreement during the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit at the end of the month. While thus far it appears to only be political in nature, there’s no guarantee that it won’t contain any economic caveats or eventually transition its authority over into that sphere.
The geopolitical significance of Armenia’s Westward progression cannot be underestimated in any regard, nor should the distinct possibility that it can evolve into formalized economic relations between Yerevan and Brussels. One should immediately recall that the incompatibility of the EU and Eurasian Union’s economic arrangements was at the core of the Ukrainian Crisis, since Moscow was and still is adamantly against Ukraine ever becoming a backdoor for an unregulated de-facto free trade area with the EU, and the same logic holds for Armenia and other countries as well.
In all actuality, the prospects of Armenia fulfilling the long-warned-about Ukrainian stealth role may even be more disastrously impactful than that of Ukraine doing so itself, since Kiev isn’t partner to the Eurasian Union like Yerevan is.
The idiom about the “weakest link” may turn out to be true in the geopolitical sense, since it’s bitterly ironic that the smallest and weakest member of the Eurasian Union may end up being its true Achilles’ heel (at least until Kyrgyzstan joins and confronts a likely Color Revolution later on in October).
The core of Armenia’s temptation comes down to establishing what it believes to be economic relations with the West that would be more profitable than the currently existing arrangement with Russia.
Armenia is the poorest country in its region due to its size, geography, and the over-two-decades-long Turkish blockade, and there’s simmering discontent against the current authorities that could possibly be corralled into Color Revolutionary social infrastructure.
Sargsyan just signed the first-ever Trade and Investment Framework Agreement between Armenia and the US during his visit to Washington, showing that he’s eager to expand his country’s economic relations with non-Eurasian Union states instead of intensify the ties it already has with its formal partners like Russia.
Armenia’s leadership also believes that the West truly supports it in its international genocide recognition campaign, and it believes that they can enact pressure on Turkey in this regard.
Since Sargsyan is now convinced that the West is on its side in the genocide debate, he may feel that they can exert influence over Ankara in getting it to lift the blockade against Armenia.
It’s obvious that Turkey would never comply with any external pressure on this topic, especially if it were presented in the form of ultimatum adjustments needed for it to join the EU.
The West might perhaps tease such an initiative as a means of threatening Ankara for any further pivot towards Eurasia, but they obviously wouldn’t believe their own words, and would say such things to strengthen their image vis-à-vis Armenia in anticipation of Yerevan’s final flip.
Any Western rhetoric supporting Armenia at the expense of Turkey must thus be seen as purely political and designed to be nothing more than part of a long-term geopolitical attack against Russia.
Armenia’s movement closer to the West is fraught with danger for its domestic stability, since its ‘new partners’’ promising words and supportive statements are purposely intended to raise the population’s hopes unrealistically high, thereby pushing many of them over the edge towards supporting a forthcoming nationalist Color Revolution if the gambit fails (similar in structure to what is being plotted against Iran per the nuclear proto-deal).
The extreme nationalist government that likely emerges from the Western-supported coup will follow the template of their Kiev brethren and likely provoke a war with their regional foe, Azerbaijan. As it currently stands, Baku’s military spending and capabilities far outstrip anything that Yerevan can currently field in the near future, meaning that a Continuation War would likely be to the latter’s extreme disadvantage and consequently explaining why Russia would never advise its ally to partake in such a destructive military adventure.
This is why it would take a pro-Western nationalist Color Revolution to radically change the country’s leadership and blind it to these very real dangers, which would thus make them disobey their Russian ally’s guidance and launch a war without its approval.
Such a scenario is precisely what the West intends to happen, since it wants to see Armenia destroyed by Azerbaijan, knowing full well the negative geostrategic reverberations this would have for Russia’s position in the South Caucasus, as well as for Russian-Azeri relations.
Since Armenia would be launching their war without Russia’s consent, it’s doubtful that Moscow would do much to assist it, since it would alarmingly sense a Reverse Brzezinski in the making and would likely opt to stay as far away as is reasonably possible so as to mitigate the risks of entrapment (with the Gyumri base practically becoming hostage to the West’s provocative strategy).