‘Provincial’ Politicians?: Level Of Armenian PM’s Moscow Meetings Ra


ANALYSIS | 11.10.13 | 09:40


ArmeniaNow correspondent

Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan is visiting Moscow where
instead of meeting with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev he is
scheduled to meet only with his deputy Igor Shuvalov and Chairman of
the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko. Although originally
Sargsyan was scheduled to fly to the United States today, at the last
moment that visit was canceled – because of the government shutdown
in the States or maybe for some other reasons.

After Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced last month the
decision to join the Customs Union Moscow has markedly reduced the
level of relations with Armenia, demonstrating in every way that it
does not regard it as a sovereign state, but rather treats it like
one of its provinces. And the fact that the Armenian prime minister
will meet only with the deputy prime minister and not his counterpart
is more evidence of this.

But the most interesting thing is that information again appeared
in the Armenia press — and this time it looks more credible —
that Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Armenia next week.

This visit has been expected for several years now, but against the
background of Yerevan’s “European policy” that would have looked like
Russia’s ‘capitulation’. But now that Armenia has been ‘re-conquered’,
Putin, apparently counts on a ‘triumphal’ reception in Yerevan.

Especially that Armenia is the only “friend” of Russia in the South
Caucasus. Georgia leaves no doubt about its choice of the European
path, and Putin’s visit to Azerbaijan in August ended in confusion –
the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry “accidentally” was insulted.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan has elected its “new” president this week.

Predictably, Ilham Aliyev will stay in the post for the third
consecutive five-year term. But Aliyev will still have to thank
Putin for not allowing Russian citizen Rustam Ibragimbekov to run for
president in Azerbaijan. The renowned film director could have become
a formidable competitor to Aliyev, but Putin did not deprive him of
Russian citizenship “in time”, and Ibragimbekov was disqualified from
a presidential run in Azerbaijan.

It is obvious that Russia will try again to make friends with
Azerbaijan and even engage it in the Eurasian Union, especially
that Baku does not show any particular activity in the EU’s Eastern
Partnership program. Moscow has repeatedly hinted that the best
solution to the problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan would be joining
a single union. Although both countries even today are members of
the CIS.

It is noteworthy that the resounding victory of Aliyev, with 85
percent of the vote, was called into question by European observers,
in particular, the OSCE/ODIHR. It is clear, at the same time, that
Azerbaijan will remain in international politics as an undemocratic
‘oil barrel’, which will be safeguarded from danger. In particular,
this applies to the Karabakh conflict that Aliyev has not been allowed
to use for improving his ratings. It is obvious that the West will
not allow Baku to use Karabakh for such purposes in the future as well.


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