Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!)

1] What you CAN NOT post.

You agree, through your use of this service, that you will not use this forum to post any material which is:
- abusive
- vulgar
- hateful
- harassing
- personal attacks
- obscene

You also may not:
- post images that are too large (max is 500*500px)
- post any copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by you or cited properly.
- post in UPPER CASE, which is considered yelling
- post messages which insult the Armenians, Armenian culture, traditions, etc
- post racist or other intentionally insensitive material that insults or attacks another culture (including Turks)

The Ankap thread is excluded from the strict rules because that place is more relaxed and you can vent and engage in light insults and humor. Notice it's not a blank ticket, but just a place to vent. If you go into the Ankap thread, you enter at your own risk of being clowned on.
What you PROBABLY SHOULD NOT post...
Do not post information that you will regret putting out in public. This site comes up on Google, is cached, and all of that, so be aware of that as you post. Do not ask the staff to go through and delete things that you regret making available on the web for all to see because we will not do it. Think before you post!

2] Use descriptive subject lines & research your post. This means use the SEARCH.

This reduces the chances of double-posting and it also makes it easier for people to see what they do/don't want to read. Using the search function will identify existing threads on the topic so we do not have multiple threads on the same topic.

3] Keep the focus.

Each forum has a focus on a certain topic. Questions outside the scope of a certain forum will either be moved to the appropriate forum, closed, or simply be deleted. Please post your topic in the most appropriate forum. Users that keep doing this will be warned, then banned.

4] Behave as you would in a public location.

This forum is no different than a public place. Behave yourself and act like a decent human being (i.e. be respectful). If you're unable to do so, you're not welcome here and will be made to leave.

5] Respect the authority of moderators/admins.

Public discussions of moderator/admin actions are not allowed on the forum. It is also prohibited to protest moderator actions in titles, avatars, and signatures. If you don't like something that a moderator did, PM or email the moderator and try your best to resolve the problem or difference in private.

6] Promotion of sites or products is not permitted.

Advertisements are not allowed in this venue. No blatant advertising or solicitations of or for business is prohibited.
This includes, but not limited to, personal resumes and links to products or
services with which the poster is affiliated, whether or not a fee is charged
for the product or service. Spamming, in which a user posts the same message repeatedly, is also prohibited.

7] We retain the right to remove any posts and/or Members for any reason, without prior notice.


Members are welcome to read posts and though we encourage your active participation in the forum, it is not required. If you do participate by posting, however, we expect that on the whole you contribute something to the forum. This means that the bulk of your posts should not be in "fun" threads (e.g. Ankap, Keep & Kill, This or That, etc.). Further, while occasionally it is appropriate to simply voice your agreement or approval, not all of your posts should be of this variety: "LOL Member213!" "I agree."
If it is evident that a member is simply posting for the sake of posting, they will be removed.

8] These Rules & Guidelines may be amended at any time. (last update September 17, 2009)

If you believe an individual is repeatedly breaking the rules, please report to admin/moderator.
See more
See less

The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

    The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

    I want to dedicate this thread to the rise of Russian power and Russo-Armenian relations. Interestingly, China and Iran have also begun to play vital roles within the strategic formulations of Moscow, as well as Yerevan. Are we observing the development of a unique alliance between Russia, Iran, Armenia and China? Perhaps, only time will tell. Nonetheless, although there are some issues to resolve, Russo-Armenian relations seem to be developing quite well.
    Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


    Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:

  • #2
    Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

    Putin Convinced Year of Armenia in Russia Will Be Held at High Level

    “I am convinced that all the events scheduled within the framework of the Year of Armenia in Russia will be held at a high level and will attract attention of the Russian audience. The most important fact is that they will promote the development of bilateral relations,” Russian President Vladimir Putin stated during the meeting with Armenian leader Robert Kocharian. “I would like to thank you that you personally arrived to participate in the opening of this important event for our bilateral relationships. We hold meetings regularly but this is not an ordinary meeting,” Vladimir Putin noted. For his part Robert Kocharian thanked his Russian counterpart for the participation in the opening ceremony of the Year of Armenia is Russia. “As I have already said we would like to make these events interesting for the Russian people. This implies the depth and strengthening of our relations. I am strongly hopeful that we will manage to realize everything we have planned with the active support of the Russian party,” the Armenian President underscored.

    Armenia-Russia Relations Develop in Spirit of Friendship and Alliance

    Relations between Armenia and Russia develop in spirit of friendship and alliance, Armenian President's Advisor Vigen Sargsyan stated in an interview with the Public TV Company of Armenia when commenting on the goals of the events within the Year of Armenia in Russia. In his words, the national Year of Armenia in Russia is a wider concept than Culture Days or Culture Month. «Organizational Committee led by Hovik Abrahamyan works to present Armenia in various regions and towns of Russia,» he said. Besides, the Year is also aimed at acquainting the young generation with Armenia and its culture. «The older generation is well familiar with the Armenian culture. The matter is in addressing our efforts to the youth,» Vigen Sargsyan said. January 22 the Year of Armenia in Russia opened in the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow with participation of Presidents of the two countries.

    Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


    Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


    • #3
      Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

      Armenia Armed by Russia for battles with Azerbaijan Scandal compared to Iran-Contra

      Russia secretly has shipped more than $1 billion worth of arms to Armenia,
      apparently to be used against - pro-Western Azerbaijan and - to force the
      Azeris -and their strategic oil reserves into Russia's orbit.

      Aman Tuleyev, minister for relations with the Commonwealth of Independent
      States, has acknowledged that Moscow supplied Armenia with 84 T-72 main
      battle tanks, 72 heavy howitzers, 24 Scud missiles with eight launchers,
      50 armored personnel carriers and millions of rounds of ammunition.

      Lev Rokhlin, the chairman of the Defense Committee of the Duma, the lower
      House of the Russian parliament, told a closed Duma session April 2 that
      Moscow had -shipped $1 billion worth of weapons to the tough, nationalist
      government of President Levon Ter-Petrosian in Yerevan. His report was
      similar to Mr. Tuleyev's acknowledgment.

      Between 1992 and early 1994, when the conflict was at its height, Russian
      heavy transport aircraft were said to have ferried 1,300 tons of
      ammunition across the Caucasus to the Armenian capital. Most of the tanks
      were flown in aboard giant Antonov planes from the city of Akhtubinsk.

      The Azeris say Russia also supplied 1,000 hand-fired Strela-2 and Strela-3
      anti-aircraft missiles, which were moved by ship across The Caspian Sea,
      then sent over land through Iran to Armenia. Iran has denied playing any

      Western intelligence sources said The weapons played a crucial role in
      Armenia's, seizure of large areas of Azerbaijan, which created a million
      refugees, more than from any other conflict in Europe since World War II.
      Although Russia's military support for Armenia in its long conflict with
      Azerbaijan has been well-known, the extent of the arms transfers came as a

      Responding to the revelations, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered a
      major government probe Saturday that could implicate his longtime defense
      minister, Marshal Pavel Grachev who was fired last spring.

      Russian military prosecutors are considering calling Marshal Grachev in
      for questioning over the scandal, which has been compared to The
      Iran-Contra affair.

      The- chairman of the Azeri parliament, Murtuz Alesketov, said Saturday the
      arms shipments could destabilize the Caucasus. "If these arms are not
      returned, this could lead to a new large-scale war in the region" he said
      at parliamentary hearings in Baku.

      Since the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Shi'ite Muslim
      Azerbaijan has eagerly courted American oil companies to help it develop
      the immense oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea, estimated as second
      in size and value only to those in the Persian Gulf.

      Russia has responded by backing Orthodox Christian Armenia, its historic

      On March 29, shortly after Mr. Yeltsin's Helsinki summit with President
      Clinton, the Russian leader finalized a treaty of friendship and strategic
      partnership with Mr. Ter-Petrosian.

      The move came after Mr. - Ter-Petrosian alarmed Azerbaijan by appointing
      The hard-line leader of ethnic Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh, a region of
      Azerbajjan, as prime minister of Armenia, a move widely regarded as paving
      the way for a renewed attack on Azerbaijan.

      There are at least 20,000 Russian 4th Army troops in Armenia concentrated
      around three major bases.

      Ivan Rybkin, head of Russia's Security Council, said after a meeting in
      Moscow with Mr. Ter-Petrosian on March 27 that the new bilateral treaty
      would have a "military component", the Moscow newspaper Nezavisimaya
      Gazeta reported March 28.

      Some Moscow analysts believe that Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and his
      supporters leaked details of the arms deals now to prevent Mr. Yeltsin
      from bringing back Marshal Grachev as chief military inspector at the
      Defense Ministry, the independent Moscow newspaper Segodnya said.

      Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


      Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


      • #4
        Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

        Vladimir Putin Tries to Keep Armenia as the Last Ally of Russia

        The official part of a visit of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, to Armenia has begun. The formal pretext for the visit was the opening of the Year of Russia in Armenia. In actual fact, the agenda goes beyond the framework of protocol and cultural functions: it will include the Karabakh problem, cooperation in the gas sphere, and the use of Armenian territory for the deployment of Russian military bases which will be withdrawn from Georgia within the next few years. The President of Russia, together with his Armenian colleague, Robert Kocharyan, will take part in the official opening of the Year of Russia in Armenia and attend a gala concert. The pompous protocol functions serve as a smokescreen for a very important dialogue on the burning issues of the day. Alarmed by a whole series of “Rose”, “Orange” and other revolutions, Russia is afraid of losing one of the last of its bulwarks in the area of the former USSR.

        In the context of the deepening of their strategic partnership the presidents of the two countries will discuss the problems of resolving the Karabakh conflict, as well as the prospects of deploying the Russian military bases on Armenian territory, which should be withdrawn from Georgia within the next few years. As regards the first problem, Moscow tries to soften the position of Yerevan in order to avoid the exacerbation of the relations with Baku. The Kremlin hoped to bring the President of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, and the President of Azerbaijan, Ilkham Aliyev, to negotiations during the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Victory in the last war in Moscow in May. However, judging by information coming in from Baku, President Aliyev will hardly come to Moscow for the occasion.

        The question of the withdrawal of Russian troops and arms from Georgia has been solved, in the main, as a result of negotiations with the Georgian leadership, although the deadlines have not been fixed. The most probable time will be 2007. After that Russia hopes to deploy its military units on Armenian territory, in the vicinity of the Russian base No 102. Yerevan agrees to it, but puts forward a number of conditions. The main one is a solution to the problem of the transport blockade of Armenia. This is why both Moscow and Yerevan hope to work out a concerted policy aimed at obtaining Georgia's consent to a free transport corridor by commissioning the Novorossiisk – Poti sea ferry, and also resuming the railway connection through the territory of Abkhazia.

        Naturally, the questions of military cooperation will also be discussed. Armenia receives arms and ammunition from Russia at preferential prices. To date more than 500 Armenian army officers study in Russia free of charge, that is, at the expense of the Russian budget. This figure can be bigger. A range of problems to be discussed deal with the relations between Russia, Armenia and Iran. Teheran remains an important regional partner of Moscow, but it views rather cautiously the plans to build a gas pipeline between Iran and Armenia, which will later be one of the channels of supplying Iranian gas to Ukraine and Europe. But the deputy foreign minister of Armenia, Gegam Garibjanyan, has said that Russia should take part in the negotiations on the matter. President Putin will, no doubt, raise the question of “Gazprom” taking part in the implementation of this project.
        Boris Volkhonsky

        Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


        Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


        • #5
          Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations


          Agency WPS/DEFENSE and SECURITY (Russia)
          August 27, 2004, Friday

          The Russian-Armenian military cooperation develops quite dynamically.
          Not long ago, Russia lent a sympathetic ear to Armenia's request
          concerning training of up to 150 officers. Complicated situation in
          the Caucasus forces the authorities of Armenia to pay unfeigned
          attention to national defense. According to official data alone, the
          2004 Armenian state budget allocated almost $82 million for military
          needs, an almost 10% rise against war spending in 2003. Estimates of
          the International Institute of Strategic Studies (London) show that
          in 2002 Armenia was the CIS leader in the arms spending to GDP ratio
          - 6.4%, an equivalent of $162 million.

          The CIA claims that as far as this particular parameter is concerned,
          Armenia is the 11th in the world; it spent $135 million on its army
          in 2001. When the closed parliamentary hearing of fulfillment of the
          2003 budget was over not long ago, Armenian Defense Minister Serzh
          Sarkisjan said that arms spending would be increased next year
          again. Sarkisjan refused to elaborate but said that the Armenian
          national army was initiating a program of rearmament.

          It should be noted that the population of Armenia, not exactly a
          wealthy country, does not object to these measures taken by national
          leaders. The population is perfectly aware of the undeclared war with
          Azerbaijan that is under way. Serious clashes are regularly reported
          in the areas where Armenian and Azerbaijani troops face each other;
          shots have been fired by sharpshooters for a decade (ever since the
          cease-fire on the Karabakh front was signed). Moreover, official
          Yerevan positions itself as a guarantor of security of Karabakh.

          Turkey is another potential enemy. Diplomatic relations with Turkey
          have never been established. Ankara is still blocking the border with
          Armenia and pursuing an openly anti-Armenian policy. Sociologists of
          the Armenian Center of National and Strategic Studies discovered that
          47.5% respondents in Armenia believe that the war with Azerbaijan may
          be resumed within five years, and 7% more expect a Turkish aggression
          within the same span of time.


          Armenian national army is considered one of the most combat ready in
          the Caucasus. These days, it is over 60,000 men strong. According to
          the CIA, there are 810,000 men in Armenia aged 15 to 59 and almost
          650,000 of them are fit for combat. Most experts say, however, that
          mobilization resources of Armenia amount to 300,000 men, i.e. almost
          10% of the total population (over 3.2 million).

          Under the Treaty on Conventional Arms in Europe, in 2001 Armenia
          declared 102 T-72 tanks and 204 armored vehicles (most of them
          infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers). With the
          military hardware the Treaty on Conventional Arms in Europe does not
          apply to, Armenia has up to 700 armored vehicles. Its artillery
          comprises 225 pieces of 122 mm and larger calibers including 50
          multiple rocket launchers.

          The Armenian Air Force includes five SU-25 ground-attack aircraft,
          one MIG-25, 35 helicopters (the latter include twelve MI-24 attack
          helicopters), and 3,000 servicemen. Yerevan intends to build up this
          component of its Armed Forces. Not long ago, Defense Ministry of
          Slovenia proclaimed the sale of ten SU-25s to Armenia (nine SU-25K
          one-seaters and one SU-25UBK two-seater). The consignment will cost
          Armenia $1 million. Armenia bought two IL-76 military transports from
          Russia not long ago. The transports were bought at Russian domestic
          prices and made it to Armenia together with Defense Minister of
          Russia Sergei Ivanov.

          Armenia builds up its Air Force in the hope of making it a match for
          the Azerbaijani, but its antiaircraft defense is considered the best
          throughout the Caucasus. Armenian antiaircraft defense comprises an
          antiaircraft missile brigade and two regiments armed with almost 100
          antiaircraft complexes of various models and modifications (Osa,
          Krug, S-75, and S-125). Numerical strength is estimated at about
          2,000 servicemen. Armenian antiaircraft defense developed in a hurry
          in the war over Karabakh when Azerbaijani Air Force regularly and
          energetically bombarded Armenian trenches and settlements both in
          Karabakh and in Armenia's own border districts. There was nothing
          Armenia could do about it then. By 1993, however, it already had a
          formidable antiaircraft defense in Armenia itself and in the Republic
          of Nagorno-Karabakh. Its deployment cut Azerbaijani advantage in the
          sky to the minimum.

          These days, the Armenian skies are controlled by Armenian and Russian
          antiaircraft defense units on joint combat duty since 1999. There are
          at least 30 MIG-29 fighters and a regiment of S-300s quartered on the
          territory of Armenia.

          Allies in the Organization of the CIS Collective Security Treaty

          Armenia is a member of the Organization of the CIS Collective
          Security Treaty. As such, it participates in all events organized
          within its framework. In any case, Russia is Armenia's oldest and
          traditional ally. Ever since the regaining of sovereignty, the tandem
          of Moscow and Yerevan has served as one of the few examples of bona
          fide military-political cooperation in the Commonwealth. There is
          practically no discord between Russia and Armenia in this sphere.

          Russia and Armenia together defend the Armenian airspace or, rather,
          the southern border of the Commonwealth. Armenian borders with Turkey
          and Iran are manned by almost 2,000 Russian bodyguards who serve
          shoulder to shoulder with their Armenian counterparts. Yet, it is the
          102nd Military Base in Gyumri that is Russia's major outpost in
          Armenia. Unlike Tbilisi or Baku, official Yerevan never brings up the
          subject of withdrawal of the Russian troops. When Sarkisjan is asked
          the question, he never answers believing it a rhetoric question.
          Armenian society regards the Russian troops as a covering force
          defending it from the Turkish aggression.

          Until recently, the 102nd Military Base had 74 tanks, 17 battle
          infantry vehicles, 148 armored personnel carriers, 84 artillery
          pieces, up to 30 MIG-23s and MIG-29s, and a regiment of S-300
          antiaircraft complexes. In the last eighteen months, however, a great
          deal of military hardware was moved there from Georgia. Armenia gave
          the land and objects used by the 102nd Military Base over to Russia
          and covers some communal services.

          Officer training is another sphere of Russian-Armenian military
          cooperation. In the first years of sovereignty when Armenia did not
          have military educational establishments of its own, officers of its
          army were trained in Russia. Even now when Armenia has a military
          college on its own territory, the Armenian officer corps honors the
          tradition and is trained at Russian military educational
          establishments. On a visit to Armenia in late May, Ivanov said that
          600 Armenian servicemen are being trained in Russia. "Armenia asks
          for the permission to send 150 servicemen to Russia in 2005, and
          Russia gave its consent," Ivanov said.

          It seems that Moscow and Yerevan do not plan to stop. The first
          meeting of the joint Russian-Armenian government panel for
          military-technical cooperation will take place this autumn. According
          to Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Russian factories will participate
          in the Armenian program of military hardware modernization. He even
          said that Russia is prepared to supply the necessary spare parts an

          Belarus is another ally of Armenia in the Organization of the CIS
          Collective Security Treaty. The two countries signed a treaty in
          2002. Under the document, Armenia will receive light weapons, armored
          vehicles, ordnance, and optical devices in return for spare parts and
          gadgets for military hardware. Armenia also intends to have its heavy
          military hardware upgraded at Belarusian factories. Lieutenant
          General Sergei Gurulev, Chief of the General Staff of the Belarusian
          Armed Forces, says that the Armenian-Belarusian military contacts
          "become systematic and deliberate."

          Do not forget NATO

          Greece is Armenia's best ally in the Alliance. Greece and Armenia
          share ancient ties and a common enemy - Turkey. Armenian officers are
          trained in Greece. Every now and then Athens puts into motion
          military aid programs. In 2003, the two countries signed another
          military cooperation accord under which Greece will up the number of
          Armenian servicemen trained at the military and military-medical
          academies in Athens.

          Armenia became a peacekeeper in February. It sent 34 servicemen to
          Kosovo where they became an element of the Greek contingent. Armenian
          servicemen in Kosovo are paid by the Greeks. Yerevan has been shifting towards NATO lately, mostly within the framework of the NATO's Partnership for Peace Program. Cooperative Best Effort exercise (the first one where Russia was represented) was run on the territory of Armenia in 2003.

          Armenian cooperation with NATO is mostly declarative for the time
          being, but the United States - the country steadily upping its clout
          with countries of the region - has far-reaching plans with regard to
          Yerevan. In early 2003, the Pentagon announced several major military
          programs in the Caucasus. Washington's military aid to Armenia in
          2004 will amount to $5 million even though the US Administration
          intended to restrict it to $2 million at first. Armenia and the
          United States signed a military-technical cooperation accord in
          April. Some articles in the American media imply that the accord
          specifies the use of Armenian airfields by the US AF.

          Proclaiming complementariness as its foreign political doctrine,
          official Yerevan never misses a chance to advance its contacts with
          Washington. When the war in Iraq was under way, Armenia remained
          neutral. It neither supported the war and America's action nor
          condemned them. These days, however, the parliament and government of
          Armenia are working on the legislation that will enable Yerevan to
          send servicemen to Iraq. The Cabinet already endorsed the decision of
          the Defense Ministry to subscribe to the memorandum "On the command
          and settlement of issues in connection with activities of the
          international division in the forces of coalition in Iraq". At first,
          Armenia will probably send 10 de-miners and 3 doctors and some trucks
          to Iraq.

          Moreover, Armenia even permitted the United States to modernize its
          communications, one of the most vulnerable items. Yerevan expects to
          get communications means from American companies. The deliveries will
          be paid for by the White House (the sum amounts to $7 million).
          Commenting on it, Sarkisjan said that Russia is quite understanding.
          "We are allies. It means that the strengthening of one partner will
          benefit the other," said Sarkisjan. "We initiated the process a year
          ago, and I found our Russian colleagues quite understanding." He said
          that from military cooperation with the United States Armenia
          expected to up combat potential of its own army.

          So, Armenia ups its military might against the background of the
          deepening crisis in the relations with Azerbaijan, the crisis that
          threatens to deteriorate into another full-scale war. It should be
          noted as well that in any conflict the Armenian national army may
          count on servicemen from Karabakh. In fact, the Karabakh army even
          leaves the Armenian behind in some parameters. Karabakh armed
          formations cannot match the Armenian army in manpower (about 20,000
          servicemen and mobilization resources at 60,000 men), but they are
          certainly ahead of Armenia in heavy military hardware: 316 tanks, 324
          armored vehicles, 322 artillery pieces of calibers over 122 mm, 44
          multiple rocket launchers, and the antiaircraft defense system that
          performed flawlessly in the hostilities in the 1990's.

          Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


          Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


          • #6
            Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

            If Russia yields Armenia, it will lose all of its positions in the Caucasus: interview with Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky

            Senior researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky answers REGNUM’s questions:

            REGNUM: Mr. Nadein-Rayevsky, presently Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is paying a visit to Turkey and Turkish President Ahmed Necet Sezer is going to shortly visit Russia. The sides are speaking about strategic cooperation – basically, in energy. What do you think about Russian-Turkish relations and the prospects of their development?

            The strategy term is hardly applicable to Russian-Turkish relations. Russia and Turkey have never had any strategy in the past, do not have it in the present and will hardly have it in the future. Turkey was the first who tried to bring in some strategy in bilateral relations: in 1990 Ankara attempted to make a strategic alliance with the Soviet Union, but decided to take time when it collapsed. The Turks hoped that now they would be able to enlarge relations already with the post-Soviet republics and with some of them to use the factor of common Turkic origin and language. They planned this almost the way Ataturk planned, but they failed: the newly independent nations turned out to be quite different in mentality and culture. Historically, Turkey itself is responsible for the gradual distancing between the Turkic nations: they first regarded themselves as Ottomans, then, under Abdul Hamid II, they proclaimed pan-Islamism, then, they still preferred pan-Turkism and brought into power Young Turks, who joined Germany during the WWI – so much eager they were to expand.

            Everything what happened after 1991 was, to a certain extent, the consequence of this pan-Turkic policy. Pan-Turkism proved impracticable – it was like Communism. Not that the national elites of the Turkic republics were just unready to give up power, they were simply unwilling to do that: to give power, money and economy for some idea – nobody will agree to this. Ankara saw that there is absolutely no basis for pan-Turkism. Roughly speaking, they faced the same we faced with our Slavonic brothers in XIX.

            As regards Russia, as I have already said, it was mainly Turkey who tried to bring up bilateral relations to the level of strategic cooperation. The first Ankara’s proposal in 1990 was rejected by the Soviet authorities as they took it as an attempt to interfere in the Soviet influence zone, which was right. Turkey raised this issue again in 1995, when its pan-Turkic policy ran across some impassable barriers – but our position was the same. It was then that Turkey began realizing that 90% of its ties in the Soviet area were with Russia and no Uzbekistan could replace the millions of dollars it got from shuttle trade. It turned out that language is not the main thing. The main thing is economic interests – the lives of people and the life of a nation. This is the very principle the present Russian-Turkish ties are based on. The key link between Russia and Turkey has been and is economy. Already before the big energy projects, like the Blue Flow, Turkey got $6 bln-$15 bln from shuttle trade alone, and it was the key source of income for its economy for quite a long time.

            REGNUM: The first thing that comes in mind when one speaks of Turkey’s trade policy is Turkish “fast moving consumer goods.” Is this problem still topical for the Russian consumers, if yes, how serious is it?

            In 1995 we warned the Turks that they should not trade with us the way they did, that they should raise the quality of their goods to the European standards, that our consumers were buying Turkish goods only because of hard social conditions, that they would no longer buy them as soon as they got better-off, that Turkey could lose our market. In the following years Turkey faced default but still preserved its shuttle trade. Later, suitcase sellers were replaced by firms trading in big lots and paying taxes. It was already an improvement. The quality control was also improved. Now Turkey is trying to make quality the basis of its trade as it clearly understands that it can get in the situation the Georgian and Moldavian wines got in.

            One should always care for the quality of his exports rather than just allege that Russia does something for political motives. Our relations With Georgia have been tensed for many years already — but what we actually want is to, finally, taste a normal Georgian wide. Russia is fighting with all low quality producers and with home producers it is even tougher than with foreigners. I think we are right as it is high time to stop high mortality caused by faked alcohol – to stop the death of tens of thousands of people every year. The same was the situation with the American chicken legs – the row was big but they solved the problem. The US raised the quality control standards. Why could they do this and Georgia and Moldova can’t? This is a national issue, and when the Russian president spoke about demography he meant there will be no indulgence – for Turkey either.

            REGNUM: They in Armenia are worried with any closer contacts between Russia and Turkey? Can Russian-Turkish relations be bad for Armenia?

            Russia will never cede Armenia for improving its relations with Turkey. This is a matter of principle. There are things one can sacrifice, but there are things one cannot. The point is not so much that two million Armenians live in Russia and many of them are Russian citizens. For Armenia Russia’s steps must never be bad. The point is that even the Yeltsin Russia perfectly realized that it must not waive Armenia’s interests, not mentioning Putin, who clearly sees the national interests, at least, the clear ones. He is trying to extrapolate them for the future. I simply can’t imagine that Russia may yield Armenia – if Russia does this it will lose all of its positions in the Caucasus. Russia should understand one most important thing – there are partners and allied countries with whom one should keep up the sense of alliance and duty.

            REGNUM: How could you explain the outburst of activity of the Iranian Azeris? Large-scale destabilization – is it possible and what consequences it may have?

            There are several versions. Northern Iran has two provinces with some 12 mln-18 mln Azeri residents. Iranian Azeris are not outcasts in Iran. Iran is a multi-national and multi-religious country and Azeris have their serious place there. Even the religious leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei is Azeri. The basic principle in Iran is religion rather than nationality.

            Iran’s official version is that the protest actions are an American project. They probably have proofs, but I don’t believe this. My personal opinion is that this is an Iranian project, or the result of local nationalism, or a preventive action to neutralize a potentially unreliable element. In any case, many complex processes are taking place in Iran – many people are displeased with the tyranny of mullahs who dictate a lifestyle nobody accepts any longer outside Iran. Obviously, there is tension and there is need for reforms. At best, this situation may end in reforms and, if the Iranian authorities prove wise enough to carry them out, everything will be OK. Of course, the Americans can capitalize on this tension. They can use any social tension to plot a revolution, which is all but good for Iran.

            REGNUM: How much probable is the US’ active invasion of Iran or its preventive strikes on its nuclear facilities?

            Though I don’t believe this will happen, I prefer to call this hypothetical action “a possible American stupidity.” The strikes by Israel or US groups will spark off numerous mostly unpredictable scenarios. One thing is clear – there will be no internal explosion. The Iranian authorities will be able to unite their people against the foreign enemy, to stop all reforms, which will mean an end to the hopes of the democratic part of the Iranian society. It seems that the Americans do not realize this, they are like an elephant in a china-shop. For them the invasion of Iran is an initially counterproductive action. They will immediately lose the confidence of the Shiahs — 55%-60% of the Iraqis. As a result, they will get a collapsing coalition and anti-American southern Iraq.

            REGNUM: What are the chances that Turkey may join the anti-Iranian coalition?

            I very much doubt that it will. Turkey is wise enough not to get there as this would be a suicide. This would mean to blow up the 10-12 mln Kurds, to blow up Shiahs – a total of 1/3 of the Turkish population. This would be a fatal trick. The Turks are wise politicians and they will not get into this bog exactly now that their economy is coming out of crisis. The Iraqi example has shown that it is very hard to insure oneself from the American stupidity. They got into a mess in Iraq though they could get what they wanted – oil – in a more civilized manner. Relying on force, they could not imagine that cities can also be a serious arena for guerrilla war, they were not ready for that. As regards the South Caucasus, here the major risk is the flow of refugees who may simply overwhelm the region in case of bad scenario.

            Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


            Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


            • #7
              Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

              Rubles for Resources: Top Russian investments exploit Armenia and energy

              By Arpi Harutyunyan, ArmeniaNow reporter

              According to official government information, Russia’s investment in independent Armenia reached $407 million late last year. It is not so much the total that has drawn economists’ attention, but the sharp increase of business investment in the most recent three or four years. In 2004 and 2005, for example, Russian investment in Armenia exceeded $100 million – one fourth of their 14-year post-Soviet economic involvement.

              While control of Armentel telecommunication has kept the Greeks at or near the top of Armenia’s foreign-based investors, Gnel Mayilian, head of the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development’s department for investment policy and market infrastructure development, says Russia has the greatest importance for Armenia in terms of the effectiveness of investments.

              “The Russian market for us has always been distinguished by investment programs carried out by them in our country. It is obvious that such investments have a considerable impact on Armenia’s economic growth,” explains Mayilian. “But we must also point out that Russian organizations making investment deals in Armenia are also able to ensure the protection of their interests as a result of the liberalized market conditions here.”

              As of January 2005, the most recent available statistics, there were 689 companies with Russian capital investment registered in Armenia. The establishment of such businesses in Armenia is encouraged at the level of state policy, but also by the existence of bilateral legal agreements. “Our countries are interested in having a stable situation in the Caucasus and, therefore, in the formation of an atmosphere of confidence that contributes to sustainable development in the social and economic spheres,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his visit to Armenia last year.

              In 2001, the governments of Armenia and Russia signed an agreement “On Mutual Encouragement and Protection of Investments”, which was ratified in 2005. Besides this agreement, there are more than 10 interstate and intergovernmental resolutions on trade and economy between the two countries. Some 160 interstate and intergovernmental resolutions between the two, make Russia Armenia’s No. 1 trade partner.

              {ai151402.jpg|right}Igor Levitin, Russia’s Minister of Transport, and co-chairman of the Russian-Armenian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, says Russia-Armenia free-trade agreements are constantly being improved. The most effective investment deal of recent years is considered to be the sale of the aluminum producing Armenal enterprise to the Russian company RusAl, a deal which resulted in a $100 million investment.

              Before the Armenal deal, which was agreed upon in 2000, with production commencing last year, the biggest slice of the Russian-Armenian pie belonged to the Russian natural gas company, Gazprom. In 1997, ArmRosGazprom (ARG) was created. Russia’s Gazprom and the Armenian Government each hold a 45 percent stake with the remaining 10 percent owned by a Canadian exploration and petroleum industry corporation. According to the Ministry of Trade, ARG has invested about $60 million in the improvement and development of gas supplies in Armenia.

              ARG, which is the only importer of gas to Armenia (via Georgia) is one of the republic’s largest companies with about 5,000 employees. Last year, it imported 1.685 billion cubic meters of gas, an increase of some 350,000 cubic meters over 2004. As of January 1, 2006, ARG had 360,634 subscribers, an increase of 100,000 in the past 12 months. In Soviet times, Armenia had 485,585 gas subscribers, but the energy and economic crises of the early 1990s eliminated this market as gas supplies dried up and residents switched to electricity.

              In just the past three years, however, ARG has restored service to 74.3 percent of former customers in 41 cities and towns as well as 316 rural communities. Shushan Sardarian, the head of ARG’s press service, says that consumption of natural gas rose 24.2 percent in 2005, compared with 2004. According to Karen Karapetian, ARG’s chief executive, the company plans to invest $15 million in Armenian energy and are also participating in construction of the Armenian section of the pipeline carrying gas supplies from Iran.

              He says that ARG has emerged out of the red to become a profitable company, thanks to some complex restructuring carried out between 2003 and 2005. “The company finished 2004 in profit. ARG in principle has reached a turning point and is now in a stable position with the opportunity for regular profits and improvement day by day,” Karapetian says. Those profits will first be used to make good some 10 billion drams ($22.25 million) in infrastructure damage – primarily the replacement of worn-out pipe – incurred before 2003, and in repaying the large-scale investment made since 1997.

              As with other utility services in post-Soviet Armenia, part of ARG’s success will depend on its ability to enforce user payment, and to curtail the common practice of “pirated” gas by which residents get around regulations by installing their own delivery links. Even so, ARG estimates that it will be the country’s number one taxpayer by 2007. Not only Armenia’s gas supplies but also its electricity generation is under Russian control. The sale of the Armenian Electricity Network (AEN) by Midland Resources Ltd to the Russian Inter RAO UES company for $75 million last year caused considerable controversy.

              Midland Resources bought the network in a privatization in 2002 that specified that the purchaser had to obtain approval from the Armenian government before any future sale. However, the transfer to Inter RAO UES appeared to take place without official approval, sparking protests from the World Bank representative in Armenia. At first, Midland Resources and the Russian buyer claimed that no sale was involved, but only the agreement of a management contract, lasting 99 years. Later, official approval was given for the formal sale of the entity.

              Inter RAO UES, which is chaired by Anatoly Chubais, a former senior Russian government minister responsible for privatizations, was established in 1997. It acts as an electricity export-import company both in Russia and abroad, particularly in the former Soviet states. According to AEN’s information service, while the new owner is expanding its market, AEN is also making major investments to improve the whole system (though it declined to be specific). Work on re-equipping its regional plants is also aimed at facilitating the development of large-scale business in Armenia.

              The copper-smelting plant in the town of Alaverdi in Lori region was re-started by the Manes-Valex company following a privatization and renamed ACP (Armenian Copper Program). ACP is headed by the Moscow-based Armenian businessman Valeri Mezhlumian, who took control of the plant in 1997. In early 2000, after 11 years of standing idle, the plant began once again to produce copper. In the 1980s, it turned out 40,000 tons of pure copper annually and was a major money-maker for the USSR. Production stopped after Armenia’s independence, and over the years the plant was almost totally plundered of anything valuable.

              “Currently, the plant produces a quarter of its former output, but we still have a lot of room for improvement. In a few years, we plan to create an additional 2,000 jobs. Soon we will start cooperation mainly with European countries,” says Andranik Ghambarian, ACP’s head of general operations in Alaverdi. Today, ACP is engaged in the exploration, development, excavation and extraction of natural resources involving minerals and metals. The company has invested $7 million so far and currently has a production capacity of about 10,000 tons of copper a year.

              ACP has obtained licenses to develop two major mines in Armenia and to explore six others. It believes that $6.6 million of investments already made in the Alaverdi mine will make it possible to extract 65,000 tons of copper a year. The Ministry of Trade’s Mayilian says investments in the plant are particularly well made. “It is a company that independently solves its financial problems and also attracts investment credit,” she says.

              The Ministry also praises the level of investment in the chemical plant in Vanadzor, Lori region, Armenia’s third largest city. The Russian Zakneftegazstroy-Prometey company, which is led by Armenian Senik Gevorkian, bought the chemical complex in 1998, including its associated fiber plant and thermal power station. Its investments totaled $20 million so far, mostly on re-equipping the plant to modern standards so that production could resume last year. Many of its products are exported to Russia, boosting Armenia’s trade volumes.

              Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


              Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


              • #8
                Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

                Russian Official Chided For Calling Armenia ‘Outpost’

                By Anna Saghabalian

                Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian on Wednesday publicly took issue with a senior Russian official who has described Armenia as Russia’s main “outpost” in the South Caucasus. Boris Gryzlov, the pro-Kremlin speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, made the comment during a visit to Yerevan earlier this month. It was apparently meant to praise the Armenian government’s close military and political ties with his country. However, official Yerevan has since been facing embarrassing attacks from opposition politicians and media portraying Gryzlov’s description as a manifestation of Armenia’s “subordination” to its former Soviet master.

                “I think that that word does not correctly express the nature of our relations,” said Oskanian. “I think that Mr. Gryzlov referred to our truly good relations. He just didn’t use the right word.” Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliev was quick to seize upon Gryzlov’s remark. "We are confused: We have always considered Armenia a state, but now it turns out that it is an outpost," he said on Friday. President Robert Kocharian hit back the next day, suggesting that Baku is “jealous” about the Russian-Armenian alliance. Oskanian, for his part, claimed that Armenia is more independent in the international arena than its ex-Soviet neighbors more oriented toward the West. “Their dependence is much deeper and their room for maneuvers is more limited,” he said.

                Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


                Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


                • #9
                  Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

                  Poll Confirms Pro-Russian Sentiment In Armenia

                  By Armen Zakarian

                  An opinion poll made public by a private Yerevan-based think-tank on Friday showed Russia topping the list of countries that are considered friendly by the majority of Armenians. Researchers from the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) said 89.2 percent of 2,000 people randomly polled by them across the country described Russia as a friendly nation. They said France comes second in the rankings with almost three-quarters of the respondents thinking well of it.

                  According to the survey results, only 46.8 percent described the United States as Armenia’s friend, while neighboring Iran got almost 50 percent support. They show that Georgia is perceived to be more neutral than friendly by Armenians. The ACNIS pollsters said 77 percent of them stand for a deepening of Armenia’s already close relations with Russia. Just over half and one third of them would like stronger ties with the European Union and the U.S respectively.

                  This contrasts sharply with the findings of a parallel survey of political and economic experts conducted by the ACNIS. The vast majority of them want closer links with the West rather than Russia. Only about one fifth of the experts interviewed by the think-tank support the continued presence of the Russian military base in Armenia. Forty percent said they would be happy to see both Russian and NATO bases stationed in Armenian territory.

                  Predictably, Armenia’s two other neighbors, Azerbaijan and Turkey, were overwhelmingly identified as “enemies,” with 91 percent and 78 percent of the ordinary respondents subscribing to that view respectively. About half of them considered the threat of a new war with Azerbaijan to be the main challenge to Armenia’s national security.

                  The poll also suggests that less than half of ordinary Armenians explicitly support the reopening of their country’s border with Turkey, according to the ACNIS survey. About as many of them believe that a full reconciliation between the two peoples is impossible without Turkish recognition of the 1915 genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Furthermore, 56.3 percent said the Turks are capable of committing another genocide and should not be trusted.

                  (Photolur archive: Russian border guards marching in their base in Gyumri, Armenia.)

                  Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


                  Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog:


                  • #10
                    Re: The Rise of the Russian Empire: Russo-Armenian Relations

                    Russian deputy speaker: “Russia has every reason to recognize Artsakh, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transdnestr”

                    “The international situation has given us a positive example – if Albanians receive the right to establish their own independent state in the foreign territory, so ancient Armenian people must perhaps receive the right to restore the territory;” leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party, Deputy Speaker of Russian State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky is quoted by a REGNUM correspondent as stating in Moscow, speaking at the third Russia’s Armenian Union (RAU) Congress.

                    “Yes, we pity Serbs, but it is a positive signal for the international community – it is a positive signal for Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh – REGNUM), for Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transdnestr,” Zhirinovsky continued. According to him, if the international community recognizes Kosovo and Montenegro, Russia will have every reason to recognize analogous territories, especially as it has more rights for that, because these republics were parts of the Russian Empire, and now they pretend to restore their legal personalities. “It may not be denied – it is the international law,” he stated.

                    As Vladimir Zhirinovsky stressed, addressing to the Russian Armenians Union (RAU) Congress deputies and guests, “the Armenian people have already been suffering for 100 years, and it is necessary to achieve adoption of at least one international organization’s resolution on returning territories to Armenian state by 2015, the 100th anniversary of those awful events.” “It is not enough to recognize the Genocide; the territories should be returned. Those ones, who are living there now, should be returned to Ashgabat and Tashkent — what does one people need two states for? And territories should be returned to Armenia and Kurdistan. Kurds are betrayed people too – they have been expecting for 100 years,” the LDPR leader said.

                    Also, he called the RAU to be more active in the Russian provinces and to cooperate with Russian political and non-governmental organizations in order to explain to young generation of Russians that “Armenians are our brothers; they are Christians, and they have been living side by side with Russians for hundreds of years.” Zhirinovsky called on the RAU to cooperate for realization of other socially vital initiatives.
                    Մեր ժողովուրդն արանց հայրենասիրութեան այն է, ինչ որ մի մարմին' առանց հոգու:


                    Please visit me at my Heralding the Rise of Russia blog: