Չորեքշաբթի, Ապրիլ 16, 2014 Ժամանակը Երեւանում 17:49

in English

Armenian U-Turn ‘Averted Karabakh War’

Armenia -- Vazgen Manukian, the leader of the National Democratic Union party.
Armenia -- Vazgen Manukian, the leader of the National Democratic Union party.
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Armenia would have dramatically increased the risk of another with war with Azerbaijan had it not decided to join a Russian-led customs union at the expense of closer ties with the European Union, according to a prominent political ally of President Serzh Sarkisian.

Vazgen Manukian, a veteran politician who heads the Public Council advising Sarkisian on domestic and foreign policies, suggested that the signing of an Association Agreement with the EU would have led Russia to end its military alliance with Armenia. That, he said, would have provoked economic and military “tensions” in the region.

“In that case, we would have to stop linking our security issues with Russia. And Russia is not the kind of state that digests such things easily,” Manukian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in an interview with.

Manukian, who served as defense minister from 1992-1993, during the first war in Nagorno-Karabakh, cited in that context the disclosure last June of large-scale Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan. It was “not accidental,” he said.

The Russian arms supplies were revealed by a Moscow daily as the Armenian government completed its association talks with the EU. Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a high-profile visit to Azerbaijan in August. Three weeks later, Sarkisian announced his unexpected decision to seek Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Armenian government officials have since insisted in public that Yerevan was not forced by Moscow to opt for the union.

Manukian effectively blamed the EU for Sarkisian’s foreign policy U-turn. He pointed to European officials’ statements that Armenian membership of the Russian-led bloc would be incompatible with key terms of the planned Association Agreement.

“We thought that we could continue our strategic partnership with Russia and sign an Association Agreement with the EU,” said Manukian. “That would have been a very smart step. But at some point Europe said we can’t have both, we can’t carry on with both relationships. That immediately irritated and emboldened Russia’s leadership. And so we found ourselves caught between two egos, so to speak.”
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Anonymous
19.12.2013 21:14
+0 / -0
I agree with Manukyan that the entire fault for Armenia signing with Russia lies with the EU. If the EU had instead of empty talk provided Armenia and Karabakh with real security guarantees, and backed them in saying that Karabakh can never be ruled by Azerbaijan again after its behavior, then Armenia would have been able to sign the pact with the EU.

Why the double standard with recognizing Kosovo? Why should Karabakh be subjected to rule from a country that hates Armenians and treats ax murderers of Armenians as heros at the highest levels? Disgusting for the EU to complain when Armenians have to live next to this barbaric regime.

Raffi , : Varbed
19.12.2013 11:44
+0 / -0
Armenians should understand that Russia is not a non profit organization, and he has big responsability towards his people, the West has betrayed Armenians in every occasion, in 25 years they could not even achieve Turkey to lift the blockade, it will be shortsighted to trust fully the West.