Dec 31, 2020
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Power in Karabakh passed to the military

Power in Karabakh passed to the military

Photo: Alexander Ryumin / TASS

A new political reality is taking shape in the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). The highest power actually passed to the Secretary of the Security Council Vitaly Balasanyan… He spoke about how the republic will now live in an interview with Artsakh Public Television.

According to Balasanyan, border troops will be created in the republic, as well as permanent troops in the form of the Defense Army, which will be subordinate to the RA Security Council. A contract reserve and a militia will be formed, which will be subordinate to the civil defense headquarters.

The military style of leadership in the republic will extend to the civilian leadership. So, Balasanyan promised to ban officials, including the president Arayik Harutyunyan, use social networks. “We must return to reality from Facebook,” the head of the Security Council said.

The innovations will also spread to the civilian population. Punishments will be introduced for those who use alcohol and drugs (including the Russian peacekeepers, who will be punished by their command), and the monopoly of the Armenian Apostolic Church will be established.

It looks like the transfer of Artsakh to martial law. The goal is to return the lost territories, Balasanyan said. Askeran, Hadrut and other regions were named. But first, the head of the Security Council intends to return the subjectivity of the Artsakh Republic. He sees Russia and Armenia as allies.

Speaking about interaction with Russian peacekeepers, the head of the RA Security Council said that he works with them on equal terms. In a different his interview to “Aravot” newspaper Balasanyan did not rule out the distribution of Russian passports and the recognition of the republic by Moscow.

Recently Balasanyan was on an official visit to Yerevan, where he worked for two days with the head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces and the Minister of Defense of Armenia. At the same time, there was no meeting with Nikol Pashinyan. Balasanyan is his political opponent, according to the Armenian media.

Meanwhile, the prime minister of Armenia is losing points. According to the Armenian office of Gallup International, 38% of respondents believe that Pashinyan should remain in his post, while 45% believe that he should resign. In July, 85% of Armenians supported Pashinyan.

The prime minister has already promised to leave power, but only if he does not receive the support of voters in early elections. Such elections can be called if the parliament fails to elect the prime minister twice after his early resignation.

The political crisis in Armenia is so serious that they thought about full-fledged reunification with Russia. Leader of the Alliance Party Tigran Urikhanyan proposed to discuss the option of creating a “union state formation based on the CSTO, the EAEU and Russia.”

At the same time, Ankara, which formally does not have peacekeeping powers, is actively increasing its presence in Azerbaijan. According to the WarGonzo project, the Turks are building a military base in Ganja, where helicopters and American F-16 fighters will be deployed.

The political meaning of the perturbations that took place in the Republic of Artsakh “SP” explained political scientist Ike Galatyan

– Balasanyan confirmed the rumors that the head of the Security Council, that is, himself, is becoming the main actor of politics in Artsakh. New realities were recorded after the defeat in the war, for which President Harutyunyan bears responsibility in Artsakh, with which he agreed. As for the formation of the army, it is not about creating from scratch, but about reorganization, because the army of Artsakh exists. Balasanyan confirmed with his statement that the army will remain in spite of Baku’s statements that it should not exist.

“SP”: – Artsakh is perceived in Russia as a part of Armenia. Gallup announced a decline in support for Nikol Pashinyan after the defeat in the war, but not to a fatal level …

– The figures of sociologists, in my opinion, do not reflect the real state of affairs. The prime minister can only appear on the street when accompanied by the police. His every exit is planned as a military operation. If his support was normal, there would be no need for this. And he could visit the regions of Armenia. But he could not get to the city of Syunik, and the police provided the passage to the Yerablur military cemetery.

The prime minister has lost his legitimacy. Parliament does not reflect the mood of society. In these conditions, early elections are necessary. The only question is who will hold these elections and whether Pashinyan will continue to rule the country until these elections. Apparently he hopes that he will carry out and the use of administrative resources will allow him to ensure the desired result of the vote. Pashinyan’s opponents believe that he should resign, as he is unable to solve problems.

Interim results of Russian peacekeeping in Nagorno-Karabakh were assessed Middle East and Caucasus expert Stanislav Tarasov

– The wars of Russia with Persia and Turkey, as a result of which the Transcaucasus was annexed, carried a civilizing mission. Russia carried the processes of European modernization there, albeit through its refraction. The peoples who lived there advanced. Then there was Sovietization with its ideas of equality and brotherhood.

After the collapse of the USSR, it became problematic to build relations with the Transcaucasus. Capitalism was everywhere and in order to attract the attention of these countries it was necessary to have an attractive image in their eyes. But Russia carried out its reforms in accordance with Western scenarios, and the countries of the Transcaucasus had direct access to the West.

The only thing that could help Moscow ensure its presence was military cataclysms in the post-Soviet space. We remember 2008, when Russia saved South Ossetia from destruction, and now we had to save the Armenians of Karabakh. And for Russia, which has strengthened its position in the Transcaucasus, this is a very positive moment.

“SP”: – They even wanted to recognize with Russia a common “state formation” …

– The main thing is not that we want to extend our influence to the countries of the South Caucasus, but in a serious awareness that the main destabilizing factor for this region is in the south, in the Middle East, where destabilization and fragmentation is gaining strength. And Russia needs to build a barrier against this. For example, along the historical border along the Araks River. We are getting closer to this.

“SP”: – Iran (Persia) and Turkey are now our allies. How long? They say the Turks are building a military base in Ganja …

– That’s nonsense. Turkey was unable to ensure its serious military presence in Azerbaijan, because it would be motivated by some external threat factor. On the part of Russia, it is not, and the Armenian issue for Aliyev was resolved by the victorious Karabakh war. Therefore, Turkey is present there in a very limited way. And Russia is present with all its might. Moreover, our peacekeepers differ from those who were in South Ossetia in that they can conduct military operations.

Russia for the first time recognized the influence of Turkey in the Transcaucasus. But it has always been. From the first days of Azerbaijan’s independence, open and closed military agreements were concluded. They just didn’t pay attention to it. So Ankara did not cross any red lines. Unless they have identified themselves more openly in the absence of the United States and Europe. And Russia acted. Thus, Moscow has put a barrier on the way of penetration of the West into the Transcaucasus. It will only get weaker now.

The consolidation of Russia in this region led to the fact that all questions about the foreign policy orientation of Armenia, which, under the leadership of Pashinyan, behaved very inconsistent and contradictory, were removed. At the same time, Aliyev only thanks to Putin managed to fulfill his historic mission – to return the previously lost territories. It is becoming clear that the keys to Azerbaijan’s stability and geopolitical position are now in Moscow. The factor of Georgia remains.

“SP”: – And what about Georgia?

– Georgia benefited from the conflict in Karabakh, since all communications between Baku and Turkey passed through its territory. Now it is possible to build a new transport corridor through Karabakh. Georgia’s geopolitical importance is declining. It is possible that Tbilisi will be forced to distance itself from the West, to take a neutral position, which is likely to happen. And if not, then there will be cataclysms.

Russia is close to reformatting the Transcaucasia and changing the balance of power. I believe that after Crimea, the operation in Karabakh is the most successful. It was the Karabakh conflict that was integrated into the crisis zone of the Middle East. We got the opportunity to play as a grandmaster on several boards at once. They frighten us with pan-Turkism … On the shoulders of pan-Turkism, Russia itself now has the opportunity to ensure its wider penetration into the Middle East region.

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