Russia will neither annex nor abandon Armenia, says RIA Novosti's opinion article
In an opinion article titled "It's time for Armenia to stop speculating on relations with Russia," published by the RIA Novosti News Agency, Peter Akopov delves deep into the heated debates regarding Armenia's stance towards Russia from Moscow's perspective, especially post the loss of Karabakh.
According to the writer, in the aftermath of losing Karabakh, many Armenian citizens and leaders, led by the sentiments expressed by Prime Minister Pashinyan, seem to blame Russia directly. Accusations suggest Russia's intent to turn Armenia into its obedient province and challenge its statehood. Contradictorily, Pashinyan also claims Armenia has never abandoned its allies or obligations. The current rhetoric insinuates Russia's betrayal by not providing sufficient support during the Karabakh conflict.
Akopov believes that further fueling this narrative is the West. With France's President Macron asserting Russian support for Azerbaijan and more US delegations arriving in Armenia, the image of Armenia being torn between Russian and Turkish influences is taking center stage.
However, this view might be an oversimplification. Many Russians perceive Armenians as part of their broader national and cultural sphere. The concept of Armenia as an "independent" entity seems alien to them. This perspective may stem from the historical bonds and the fact that more Armenians live in Russia than in Armenia.
Post the Karabakh conflict, Armenia finds itself at a crossroads, asserts Akopov. While historically relying on Russia as its security guarantor, it did not seek Russian intervention in the Karabakh resolution. Their miscalculation in assuming either a pacifist Azerbaijan or unyielding Russian military support culminated in the loss of Karabakh. This has been compounded by a drift towards the West, seemingly as a counterweight against perceived Russian failings.
Yet, the article alleges a factual inaccuracy in such a stance. Armenia's obligations, or rather Russia's obligations towards Armenia, never extended to Karabakh. The lack of its legal recognition, even by Yerevan, makes such claims problematic. The perceived security alternatives in the West cannot match the guarantees offered by Russia.
Azerbaijan's aggression towards Armenia remains unlikely as long as Armenia remains a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The recent talks about Armenia potentially withdrawing from this military alliance raise concerns about its long-term security perspectives.
For Akopov, the core question is why Armenia continues to speculate on Russia's stance towards it. He posits Armenia needs to come to terms with certain realities. The primary one is that the Armenian state's existence is intrinsically linked to Russia, not just geopolitically but historically and culturally.
Ultimately, the article urges Armenia to "be realistic and honest, recognizing that Russia has no intent to annex or abandon them. Establishing this understanding can pave the way for the Armenian Republic's more prosperous and secure future".