Russia Concerned By Pro-Western Coloured Revolution In Armenia


World Markets research centre
Global Insight
July 29, 2008

The joint military manoeuvres by Armenia and NATO planned for 29
September to 21 October in the country are causing worry in Russia,
where many observers, but not yet officials, see this as a sign of the
Armenian government’s gradual departure from a clearly pro-Russian
orientation. The evidence for their argument is drawn from the
imminent military exercises and also from Armenia’s participation
in NATO manoeuvres in Ukraine and Georgia earlier this year, as well
as the holding of NATO week in Armenia in mid-2008. The fear on the
Russian side is that the NATO presence, which includes one thousand
troops from 21 countries, may coincide with opposition protests and
thus topple the relatively Moscow-friendly regime in Yerevan.

Significance:Armenia’s foreign policy orientation is gradually
changing, with the NATO participation and small steps taken towards the
resolution of a political impasse with Turkey. The current government
is seeking to snatch potential external support from the opposition,
which still remains vocal after the February 2008 presidential
election and is preparing for another series of protests in September
2008. Such support is most likely to come from the United States,
which has already sponsored a number of ‘coloured revolutions’ in
the post-Communist space. In response, the U.S. would have to offer
some cooperation and these NATO exercises are possible evidence of
that cooperation. The U.S. administration, it appears, has not yet
made up its own mind on which side to support in Armenia’s precarious
political power balance: President Serzh Sargsyan or his challenger,
charismatic Levon Ter-Petrosyan. In the meantime Russia is not taking
official steps to react to the situation in Armenia, although such
increases in voiced criticism may result in some governmental action.