Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
ArmInfo’s interview with Andrey Areshev, political expert, fellow at the Institute for Political and Social Studies of the Black Sea and Caspian Region
by David Stepanyan
Baku has repeatedly declared that the Azerbaijan army will not launch military actions in the territory of Armenia and the CSTO will have no reason to help its ally. Don’t you think that escalating tension on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is the very reason to do that?
Areshev believes that the aggravation of the situation not only on the Karabakh-Azerbaijan border, but also in the northern section ofthe Armenian-Azerbaijani border can demonstrate that Azerbaijan considers all possible developments in case of war.
What is the reason of aggravation of the situation in the northern section of the Armenian-Azeri border?
It is no secret that Armenia's positions in Tavush region are a bit more vulnerable because of the natural landscape and relative closeness of the populated areas to the border. Probably, the matter concerns the moral and psychological pressure of Azerbaijan on the borderline Armenian settlements. Other versions have also been expressed, particularly, in the context of military construction and training of saboteurs in Azerbaijan. I have no doubt that the relevant services in Armenia will draw correct conclusions from the situation and will take all the necessary measures to reinforce the problematic borderline sections.
May Moscow repeat the August 8 2008 scenario if the Karabakh conflict grows into large-scale war between Armenia and Azerbaijan?
I think one cannot expect Moscow to repeat the 08.08.08 scenario in case the Karabakh conflict develops into a large-scale war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I do not think any scenario may reoccur with 100% probability, however, I think it is possible to observe some features in common. Anyway, I suppose Moscow will try to gain stoppage of the military actions in every possible way.
On July 30 Congressman Dan Rohrabacher sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging to support the struggle of the “Southern Azerbaijan” for independence. What was the goal of that step?
I can suppose that doubting the absolute success of the would-be military action against Iran, the United States has decided to place its stake on stirring of ethno-confessional contradictions in this country. The northern provinces of Iran have been at the gunpoint of various U.S. services for a long time, and the relevant work has been done for quite a long period. I do not think such activity will bring serious success, especially given that the moods in favor of the state unity in Iran are strong almost everywhere, including the northern provinces mostly populated with Turkic speaking people.
Old rivalry of Moscow and Washington in our region is much spoken off. Do they have any common interests in the South Caucasus and Armenia?
The old rivalry between Moscow and Washington in the South Caucasus and the surrounding countries has not disappeared. It has simply become veiled. I think one can most likely speak of the contact points in the tactical context - as long as the United States and some of its satellites are engaged in reformatting the Middle East and, in particular, in organizing the civil war in Syria.
However, when the matter concerns Iran and the role of the Caucasian states' territories in exerting pressure (up to an armed Attack) on that country, the conflict of interests of Washington and Moscow will become evident.