RSC DIRECTOR INTERVIEW ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

RSC DIRECTOR INTERVIEW ON REGIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

In an interview with the “News.am” electronic news agency, Regional Studies Center (RSC) Director Richard Giragosian assessed recent developments in the South Caucasus region, with a focus on the “renewal, restoration and repair” of Russian-Turkish renewed relations, Iran’s reengagement in the region, the crisis in Armenian-Russian relations, and the current status of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. The interview, published on 23 August, was conducted in English and dubbed into Armenian.

Commenting on recent developments in Armenian-Russian relations, Giragosian noted that this is a “time of crisis in Armenian-Russian relations where the security guarantees from Russia are much less trustworthy” and “where the lack of balance, the asymmetry, the lack of respect, where Russia takes Armenia far too much for granted is a new development and a serious one.” He also stressed that the imperative for Armenia is “to strengthen its own independence and sovereignty.”

Giragosian also pointed to the fact that “Armenia has very belatedly learned the limits of its security relationship with Russia and has recognized the need for self-sufficiency,” while “Armenia stands alone in guaranteeing its security…and the security of Nagorno-Karabakh.” He cited this as an “important realization” that “also reinforces the new policy modification in Armenia not to surrender and submit to Russia automatically and actually to fight a little harder to defend Armenian national interests.”

Concerning Russia’s policy in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Giragosian stated that “Russia’s doing what’s in Russia’s national interests. That should not be a surprise. It is a painful lesson in Armenia, however, that Russia’s national interest today is much less and much further away than Armenia’s national interest. In other words, Russia is now the number one arms supplier to Azerbaijan,” which he added that in terms of “the security relationship, the over-dependence on Russia needs to be addressed with urgency.”

English version: http://news.am/eng/news/343030.html

Armenian version: http://news.am/arm/news/343030.html