Armenian leadership trying to put pressure on Russia, says expert

The Armenian leadership is trying to put pressure on Russia, using such intrigues as rapprochement with the European Union, NATO and, in general, with the Western Coalition, Sergey Markov, Russian president's confidant, member of Russian Civic Chamber, told Trend Aug. 23.

"The Armenian leadership is trying to solve several problems by taking such steps: firstly, to influence Russia, so that Moscow doesn't put pressure on Yerevan, doesn't return to the table of serious and meaningful negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict's settlement. It is known that the Armenian leadership is not against negotiations, but it is against meaningful negotiations and wants to simply participate in negotiations," said Markov.

In Russia, it is believed that if the constructive negotiation process doesn't continue, there is a high probability of resumption of hostilities, and under the current circumstances it would be right to resume serious and meaningful negotiations, noted the expert.

The leadership of Armenia is satisfied with the current state of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and Yerevan wouldn't like to move forward in resolving this conflict, but, on the contrary, to retain control over Nagorno-Karabakh and the territories around it, noted Markov.

Thus, he continued, Armenia will have the chance to exchange the occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh for concessions from Azerbaijan in the future.

The leadership of Armenia is exerting pressure on Russia through such kind of intrigues as rapprochement with the European Union, the US and the whole Western coalition, and also participation in the NATO multinational exercise Noble Partner 2017, which took place in early August in Georgia under the patronage of US Vice President Mike Pence, according to him.

Secondly, Yerevan wants to improve the economic condition of Armenia through rapprochement with the EU and the US, Markov added.

"The Armenian leadership is well aware that the West, including the EU, gives money for a reason - if there is political cooperation. Therefore, the more political cooperation with the EU, the more money."

Thirdly, the Armenian leadership wants to improve the internal political situation, as there are serious socio-political forces in Armenia that stick to pro-Western and anti-Russian policy, according to the expert.

"There are statements that Armenia is following the path of Ukraine - something similar to Maidan is being prepared in the country. This is why the countrychr("39")s leadership is forced to establish closer ties with the EU, in order to prevent creation of the Armenian Maidan and calm certain pro-Western forces in Armenia, as well as prevent the possible western support of protests in Armenia," Markov said.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.