The Armenian political circles must accept that a union of Armenia with Russia is the only way to survive as a state. Modest Kolerov, the chief editor of Regnum news agency, told this to Armenian News-NEWS.am.
Referring to the last meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Armenian acting PM Nikol Pashinyan, Kolerov said that each meeting has two sides, and each side has its tasks.
“What are Russia’s tasks? To maintain the balance of power in Transcaucasia, to keep Armenia from state suicide as much as possible. The imbalance of forces in Transcaucasia threatens Russia as a Caucasian power. Pashinyan has a task to stay in power and solve the existing problems of his power without too close relations with Russia. From the outside, the situation seems catastrophic.
Pashinyan’s Armenia was capitulated in Karabakh, did not make every effort to defend it, and now Armenia does not even guard the border with Azerbaijan, it does not want to.
Each side has its own ideas about the border. Now the operative situation on the border is dictated by Azerbaijan, whereas Armenia does not defend itself, although it has all the rights to do so. Armenia wants Russia to defend its border with Azerbaijan, but the border has not been established. Armenia agrees that Russia should determine the border, delimit the border and, in general, do everything in Pashinyan’s stead.
Third, without Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia’s strategic, geopolitical weight tends to zero. And only tactical balance gives it some sense. One can imagine a situation when large-scale depopulation may start in Armenia, as in Latvia. Pensioners and officials could remain in Armenia. I fully imagine such a situation when only pensioners and Pashinyan will remain in Armenia. Maintaining balance in the historical perspective requires making historic decisions. Pashinyan is not ready for that, he does not enjoy enough legitimacy and confidence to do that. He received the majority of votes [in the snap parliamentary elections on June 20], but this is only 25 percent of the total number of voters. No force can make strategic decisions with 25 percent of the vote; it can capitulate once again.
Modern Armenia cannot defend itself. It cannot even guarantee the preservation of statehood. I drew attention to the agreement on holding joint military exercises between Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. If anyone in Armenia thought that Georgia is an ally or a good neighbor, these exercises should sober him up. In order to defend its territory, Armenia needs to enter into a union state with Russia; Armenia needs it.
But the problem is that now there are more Armenians in Russia than in Armenia. For the vast majority of people in Russian society, there is no problem with Armenia as a state. I am convinced that if a referendum is held on the creation of a union state of Armenia and Russia, the idea will not receive the support of the majority. The idea of a union state is marginal even in Armenia, although for it this is a matter of state survival. However, Armenia, led by a man who came to power with a Russophobic, anti-Russian program, who now has to get help from Russia, is constantly resorting to harsh and provocative insinuations about the [Russian-made] Iskander [missile system] and other things.
Pashinyan understands perfectly well that he is perceived in Russia exclusively as the current leader of Armenia, but he has not been, is not and will not be trusted. This also prevents him from making serious decisions. Moreover, Pashinyan is also not going to make any historic decision. He is going to change his approach in the future, too, receiving help from Russia, putting the accountability on Moscow. Moreover, he simultaneously hopes that instead of Russia, for example, France will be the other strategic ally. Those who follow Armenia in Moscow realize that well.
A strategic solution has not matured under Pashinyan, and it is impossible. This strategic solution is not known in Russia and will be perceived with suspicion. The Armenian political circles must accept that a union of Armenia with Russia is the only way to survive as a state. Armenia should work in that regard every day, explain, tell, defend its own existence, not try to receive donor assistance.
After 2008, Russia has two more military bases—besides Armenia—in Transcaucasia. So the Gyumri [military base] and the Erebuni [airbase of Russia] are not the only ones, and there is nothing left for blackmail anymore. This is also meaningless, especially given the fact that it was the Russian troops who protected the [Armenian] population of Karabakh and now guarantee that Karabakh remains Armenian. If they leave, the Armenian population of Karabakh will also leave,” Modest Kolerov said.