Influential political analysts, economists and journalists are now discussing the preconditions for the formation of the security system in the South Caucasus and its future. According to observations, there are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the process mainly caused by official Yerevan’s destructive activities. With its unsuccessful foreign policy, Armenia is increasing uncertainty in the region, causing the emergence of different risks. In addition, Yerevan’s moves come amid Russia’s recent positive steps towards ensuring cooperation and security in the South Caucasus. The geopolitical picture of the region is becoming more and more incomplete. In this context, there is a need to analyze geopolitical aspects of the prospects for the formation of the security system in the South Caucasus against a background of Azerbaijan-Turkey-Georgia cooperation.
A source of risk: Armenia committed to its position
Interestingly, some in Armenia still consider this vassal country as independent. They even try to stress the country’s “role” in the global processes. But Armenian experts lack any substantial argument. Instead, they invent absurd anti-Azerbaijani campaigns. However, the Armenian factor should be taken into account in the context of the formation of the security system in the South Caucasus. It has two aspects.
Firstly, is Armenia, Russia’s satellite state, capable of committing a provocation at the regional level? Secondly, to what extent can Armenia, which supports terrorism, pose a threat to the regional security system? Looking at Yerevan’s non-constructive foreign policy through the prism of these two questions, we can see that Armenia is a black spot on the regional security.
Let’s start from the first aspect. Armenia is always complaining of Russia. But it is Armenia, which is represented in all the organizations created by Russia, including the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Union and Collective Security Treaty Organization. Moreover, Armenia’s economic and energy sector is mainly dependent on Russia. Nikol Pashinyan recently said that the Collective Security Treaty Organization was of critical strategic importance to Armenia. This means that Yerevan’s security strategy is linked to Russia.
But the point is that Armenian experts and media allege that if it was not for Russia’s support and protection of Azerbaijan, the Armenian army would have entered Baku long ago. They also allege that in April 2016, supported by Russia, Azerbaijan attacked the Armenian army. Just imagine: Russia allied with Azerbaijan to attack its satellite state, but the “hero” Armenian occupying army put up strong resistance. But the truth is that the Armenian leadership immediately turned to Moscow, begging it to stop the Azerbaijani army. And the Kremlin provided necessary support to the Armenians.
Despite being part of all the Russia-led organizations, Armenia is complaining of Moscow’s support for Baku. The Armenians allege that Moscow and Baku allied against Yerevan. It is as paradoxical as primitive because it is a well-known fact that Armenia’s social, political, military and strategic existence depends on Russia. One day without Moscow’s patronage would mean the end for the Armenians.
Then what is the main goal behind Yerevan’s hysteria? It’s clear: to hide the truth, to make those naïve believe in Armenia’s independence and to mislead the West. In other words, the Armenians are trying to play a very primitive game. It is one of the main barriers to the formation of the regional security system.
In addition, for many years Armenia has been supporting terrorism at the state level. The experience shows that during its ”independence” Armenia has only been begging for support from others and organizing terror attacks. For example, has Armenia ever put forward any cultural, scientific, political or economic initiative? Armenian experts’ “analyses” lack arguments and contradict each other. The Armenians are engaged in confronting Russia with Turkey and Azerbaijan, causing problems in the relationship between Azerbaijan and Georgia, and undermining Azerbaijan-Iran relations.
Geopolitical configuration of the region: a promising model
In a country with such an ideological and spiritual situation, terror can take roots very easily. Armenia continues to be a source of terrorism in the region. It does not want to change. How can the security system be built in the region against this background?
It’s good that there are countries that encourage this process. They are Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Russia and partially Iran. Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia are the largest contributors to security in the South Caucasus. Moscow is now playing a positive role in this process, contributing significantly to the maintenance of stability. Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia are acting on a specific model. This process has a number of important features.
First and foremost, these three states have partnered in implementing joint projects in the region as they are interested in developing cooperation in the South Caucasus. The experience shows that Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia are capable of maintaining sustainable cooperation in implementing international projects in the South Caucasus. This stability gives good reasons to say that these countries’ interests coincide well. And shared geoeconomic interests encourage fruitful cooperation in geopolitical and security areas.
Interestingly, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia cooperate in the ongoing complex geopolitical security conditions. They carry out trainings under specific programs, considering the maintenance of security of energy corridors. Joint exercises of the three countries’ special forces held this September drew experts’ attention.
In addition, the defense ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia conduct regular meetings to discuss important issues of bilateral relations and future cooperation prospects. This cooperation can obviously yield fruits.
Finally, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia cooperate in fighting terrorism. They are capable of combating terrorism by themselves, beyond NATO programs. It is very important because certain forces are interested in encouraging a wave of terror in the region.
These factors confirm leadership of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia in building the security system in the South Caucasus. Armenia is now the only regional state that has a destructive position. Interestingly, even Russia’s ongoing contribution to the regional cooperation and stability does not encourage Armenia to take a constructive step. Armenia proves itself to be a serious threat to security in the South Caucasus. The Armenians do not want to quit their territorial claims to neighbours. Under these circumstances, Moscow will hardly support Yerevan till the end. There have recently been clear signs of it. It is not ruled out that Azerbaijan, Turkey, Georgia and Russia will cooperate in a more systematic and sustainable manner in building the security system in the South Caucasus.
But certain problems in Georgia-Russia relationship should be taken into account here. The West is trying to prevent the normalization of relations between Tbilisi and Moscow. Overcoming this barrier would encourage more intensive efforts towards the formation of the security system in the South Caucasus.
Fair settlement of conflicts is a strategically important issue. The failure of the talks to find a peaceful solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in accordance with the norms of international law would undermine the process of the formation of the regional security system. Much depends on Russia’s moves here. Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan is now the biggest barrier to the establishment of the security system in the South Caucasus. Armenia remains committed to its destructive activities, which means that the region still faces different risks and threats.
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