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Igor Korotchenko: Yerevan Makes a Point of Blaming Russia for its Problems

26 June 2024

In an interview with Moscow   Baku, Igor Korotchenko, General Director of the Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies (Russia), shared his comments on the provocative statements made recently by Armenian officials targeting the Russian Federation, and on military-technical cooperation between Yerevan and the West.

The official Yerevan continues to blame Russia for nearly everything. Today the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia made a statement to the effect that Moscow failed to deliver weapons contracted in 2021. He asserts that Russias overall share in armaments supplies to the Armenian side dropped from 96 to 10 percent. Allegedly, that was a decision made by Moscow He did not mention, however, that the mounting military cooperation between Yerevan and the West was Armenias decision.

Mr. Grigoryan is notorious for his negative attitude towards Russia. He is known to have had affiliation with the CIA since long ago. Grigoryan used to work for various West-sponsored nongovernmental organizations. Obviously, his allegations are speculative and politicized. All the more so that such statements are heard amid a cooling of Yerevans relations with Moscow, initiated by the Armenian side. Finger-pointing at Russia as the alleged cause of all Armenias troubles is currently in the mainstream of the Yerevan policy. This is one. The other point is that any matters concerning military-technical cooperation between any countries are always confidential. So if the Secretary of the Armenian Security Council has any questions to Russia in this regard, the matter can be addressed without any problem through bilateral contacts, without going public about it. For this purpose, there are decades-proven communication channels between Moscow and Yerevan.

We see that Yerevan has long chosen the public blame game format in its relations with Moscow, and appears to enjoy it. This is a deliberately chosen policy to sever ties with Russia, a politically motivated tactic that has specific goals to justify Yerevans further departure from allied relations with Russia.

Russia is committed to its obligations under military-technical cooperation agreements.

Besides, now Armenia deliberately buys weapons from the West, it does so for a purpose.

He also holds Russia responsible for «taking away» Karabakh from Armenia and giving it back to Azerbaijan

In terms of international law and the UN Charter, Karabakh is an inalienable part of Azerbaijan. Moreover, Nikol Pashinyan openly says and negotiates with Azerbaijan accordingly that Karabakh is a sovereign territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. So I would suggest that Armen Grigoryan approach his prime-minister for consultation.

And what does he mean by «taking away»? What does Russia have to do with it? Armenia failed to become the Israel of South Caucasus. Current as well as previous elites in Armenia are extremely corrupt, their aim is not to address the issues of national importance but to maintain themselves in power and get ever richer.

As a reminder, Mr. Tonoyan, who was Minister of Defense of Armenia during the Second Karabakh War, is facing charges of corruption and destruction of combat efficiency of the national armed forces for having procured low quality armaments. So those with a crooked face should follow Nikolai Gogols advice come up to the mirror and look into it. And they will see the true culprit of all Armenias problems. Armenia itself is responsible for its troubles and disputes.

The return of Karabakh and the other territories to Azerbaijan is a triumph of justice. Armenia was deprived of something that it tried to secure for itself without having legal right to it. Today millions of Armenian landmines kill hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians in the liberated territories. Armenia is the aggressor country which keeps lying all the time and playing innocent lamb. But under the guise of a sheep, one can see the fangs of a predator that seized 20 percent of another countrys territory. Its a different matter that in the course of the 44-day war in 2020 and the counterterrorism operations in 2023 that predator had its fangs pulled out, and now it wants to grow them back. But once again it pretends to be a victim and cries out loud blaming everyone but itself. Such outcries have long stopped surprising anyone.

It became known the other day that France will supply thirty-six CAESAR self-propelled howitzers to Armenia within 15 months. And Armenia maintains military contacts with other Western countries on a regular basis

This is preparation of new armed provocations in South Caucasus. France, the USA and other Western countries are busy heating up the situation in the region, funneling weapons into Armenia and retraining Armenian military personnel. Paris is currently ahead of others in beefing up the Armenian muscle. France is intensely involved in the process of preparing Armenia for a new war. And not only against Azerbaijan but, on a global scale, against Russia as well.

The Armenian government, as we have said before, is taking one step forward and two steps back. Pashinyans policy is very controversial. On the on hand, he is talking peace and making concrete steps towards border delimitation and demarcation and on the other, he is getting prepared for a new war.

CAESAR is quite a good high precision combat system. It is not harmless at all. The more Western particularly French weapons Armenia receives, the more it will be tempted to commit some kind of major military-political provocation.

Is it possible that some time in future the West will provide so much weaponry to Armenia that it will be able to take revenge on Azerbaijan or open a new front against Russia?

Azerbaijan is perceived as a troublesome country for the West. Some members of the Western community Italy and the Balkan states deal with Baku as they understand the benefits of economic cooperation. Others have taken an anti-Azerbaijan stance, to the point of openly calling for foreign military presence in Armenia. No scenario involving the West can be excluded. We should proceed from the worst case and get prepared for it with the capacity to neutralize the most negative course of events.

Russia is well aware of the active attempts to shake up the situation in South Caucasus through Armenia and Georgia.

Tensions in the region are heating up again. External actors intend to destabilize South Caucasus in pursuit of their geopolitical, military and economic objectives. In particular, to diminish the effect of full implementation of the International North South Transport Corridor.

Attempts are probably made to stir up non-systemic opposition in Azerbaijan, backed by secret services of France and other external actors. No wonder French agents were discovered in the countrys territory late last year.

In this context, and in the light of global and regional trends, I believe that Azerbaijan today needs to give special attention to the problem of color revolutions. And not just within the professional scope of the State Security Service. This is a serious issue to be addressed in a comprehensive way. It is obvious that Azerbaijan is the target of activity and ill-will of a whole bunch of external actors. It is thus important to take into consideration the experience and methods of color revolutions in the regions where they took place, the history line and the vulnerability points. Leading think tanks analytics is needed. Baku could host a forum of experts in color revolution technologies.

Is it imaginable that NATO will have «boot on the ground» to participate in military action in Armenia?

Western assistance to Armenia is already taking place in the form of consulting services and intelligence information. Training of Armenian military personnel is underway. More arms supplies are to be expected, including high tech weaponry, which will definitely require the presence of Western military specialists on Armenian territory. Observers from the European Union may be instantaneously reorganized into a military mission, with foreign contingents accordingly deployed on Armenian land as a minimum, large groups of foreign military advisers affiliated with the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Armenia.

The situation must be monitored very carefully. I would strongly recommend holding closed-door information exchange meetings at the level of Security Council secretaries of Russia, Azerbaijan and Türkiye, and think tanks of our countries should work hard. Iran also needs to be involved, so that it would not think that Armenia is a friend and ally. In fact, Armenia is a Trojan horse. It is also necessary to engage Georgia, because today it is facing a direct threat of coup detat, which can be orchestrated as a color revolution by Western countries after the results of parliamentary elections, to take place in autumn, are summed up.

Today Azerbaijan continues to develop and strengthen its army, even after its territorial integrity is restored. What is the purpose?

Of course, Azerbaijan has to strengthen its armed forces as regional and global challenges increase, in view of the incessant provocations on the part of Armenia and other countries, including the attempts made by the West to negatively impact the region. There are no other options today for countries that want to safeguard their sovereignty and nationhood. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces are forming new commando units and acquiring first-rate weaponry and military equipment; the military budget is increased.

Today Azerbaijans army is among the best in the world. But in the face of new challenges it must get even stronger. And, as President Ilham Aliyev pointed out more than once, it has become by far stronger than it was during the Second Karabakh War.

The strength of Azerbaijans army can be judged by results. The 2020 Second Karabakh War: in 44 days the mission to liberate the occupied Azerbaijani territories was completed. It took just 44 days to do what diplomacy failed to achieve in nearly 30 years. The enemy was forced to capitulate after a complete rout. This is an unprecedented success of the Azerbaijani army achieved in 44 days in a most difficult theater of operations: a fortified defense system with huge minefields, the «Oganyan line» which was presented as a masterpiece of modern military engineering all that was overpowered. The liberation of the Shusha city by special force detachments was also an unprecedented, extremely complex operation.

And lets look at the results of the counterterrorism operations carried out by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Karabakh in September 2023. Due to their effectiveness, in less than 24 hours the heavily fortified and well-equipped separatist regime was forced to surrender, dissolve itself and admit its military defeat.

The Azerbaijani army today is an effective, motivated and well equipped force that completes the most difficult missions. These are not empty statements. They are confirmed by what I just said. 

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Comments

Igor Korotchenko: Yerevan Makes a Point of Blaming Russia for its Problems

26 June 2024

In an interview with Moscow   Baku, Igor Korotchenko, General Director of the Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies (Russia), shared his comments on the provocative statements made recently by Armenian officials targeting the Russian Federation, and on military-technical cooperation between Yerevan and the West.

The official Yerevan continues to blame Russia for nearly everything. Today the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia made a statement to the effect that Moscow failed to deliver weapons contracted in 2021. He asserts that Russias overall share in armaments supplies to the Armenian side dropped from 96 to 10 percent. Allegedly, that was a decision made by Moscow He did not mention, however, that the mounting military cooperation between Yerevan and the West was Armenias decision.

Mr. Grigoryan is notorious for his negative attitude towards Russia. He is known to have had affiliation with the CIA since long ago. Grigoryan used to work for various West-sponsored nongovernmental organizations. Obviously, his allegations are speculative and politicized. All the more so that such statements are heard amid a cooling of Yerevans relations with Moscow, initiated by the Armenian side. Finger-pointing at Russia as the alleged cause of all Armenias troubles is currently in the mainstream of the Yerevan policy. This is one. The other point is that any matters concerning military-technical cooperation between any countries are always confidential. So if the Secretary of the Armenian Security Council has any questions to Russia in this regard, the matter can be addressed without any problem through bilateral contacts, without going public about it. For this purpose, there are decades-proven communication channels between Moscow and Yerevan.

We see that Yerevan has long chosen the public blame game format in its relations with Moscow, and appears to enjoy it. This is a deliberately chosen policy to sever ties with Russia, a politically motivated tactic that has specific goals to justify Yerevans further departure from allied relations with Russia.

Russia is committed to its obligations under military-technical cooperation agreements.

Besides, now Armenia deliberately buys weapons from the West, it does so for a purpose.

He also holds Russia responsible for «taking away» Karabakh from Armenia and giving it back to Azerbaijan

In terms of international law and the UN Charter, Karabakh is an inalienable part of Azerbaijan. Moreover, Nikol Pashinyan openly says and negotiates with Azerbaijan accordingly that Karabakh is a sovereign territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. So I would suggest that Armen Grigoryan approach his prime-minister for consultation.

And what does he mean by «taking away»? What does Russia have to do with it? Armenia failed to become the Israel of South Caucasus. Current as well as previous elites in Armenia are extremely corrupt, their aim is not to address the issues of national importance but to maintain themselves in power and get ever richer.

As a reminder, Mr. Tonoyan, who was Minister of Defense of Armenia during the Second Karabakh War, is facing charges of corruption and destruction of combat efficiency of the national armed forces for having procured low quality armaments. So those with a crooked face should follow Nikolai Gogols advice come up to the mirror and look into it. And they will see the true culprit of all Armenias problems. Armenia itself is responsible for its troubles and disputes.

The return of Karabakh and the other territories to Azerbaijan is a triumph of justice. Armenia was deprived of something that it tried to secure for itself without having legal right to it. Today millions of Armenian landmines kill hundreds of Azerbaijani civilians in the liberated territories. Armenia is the aggressor country which keeps lying all the time and playing innocent lamb. But under the guise of a sheep, one can see the fangs of a predator that seized 20 percent of another countrys territory. Its a different matter that in the course of the 44-day war in 2020 and the counterterrorism operations in 2023 that predator had its fangs pulled out, and now it wants to grow them back. But once again it pretends to be a victim and cries out loud blaming everyone but itself. Such outcries have long stopped surprising anyone.

It became known the other day that France will supply thirty-six CAESAR self-propelled howitzers to Armenia within 15 months. And Armenia maintains military contacts with other Western countries on a regular basis

This is preparation of new armed provocations in South Caucasus. France, the USA and other Western countries are busy heating up the situation in the region, funneling weapons into Armenia and retraining Armenian military personnel. Paris is currently ahead of others in beefing up the Armenian muscle. France is intensely involved in the process of preparing Armenia for a new war. And not only against Azerbaijan but, on a global scale, against Russia as well.

The Armenian government, as we have said before, is taking one step forward and two steps back. Pashinyans policy is very controversial. On the on hand, he is talking peace and making concrete steps towards border delimitation and demarcation and on the other, he is getting prepared for a new war.

CAESAR is quite a good high precision combat system. It is not harmless at all. The more Western particularly French weapons Armenia receives, the more it will be tempted to commit some kind of major military-political provocation.

Is it possible that some time in future the West will provide so much weaponry to Armenia that it will be able to take revenge on Azerbaijan or open a new front against Russia?

Azerbaijan is perceived as a troublesome country for the West. Some members of the Western community Italy and the Balkan states deal with Baku as they understand the benefits of economic cooperation. Others have taken an anti-Azerbaijan stance, to the point of openly calling for foreign military presence in Armenia. No scenario involving the West can be excluded. We should proceed from the worst case and get prepared for it with the capacity to neutralize the most negative course of events.

Russia is well aware of the active attempts to shake up the situation in South Caucasus through Armenia and Georgia.

Tensions in the region are heating up again. External actors intend to destabilize South Caucasus in pursuit of their geopolitical, military and economic objectives. In particular, to diminish the effect of full implementation of the International North South Transport Corridor.

Attempts are probably made to stir up non-systemic opposition in Azerbaijan, backed by secret services of France and other external actors. No wonder French agents were discovered in the countrys territory late last year.

In this context, and in the light of global and regional trends, I believe that Azerbaijan today needs to give special attention to the problem of color revolutions. And not just within the professional scope of the State Security Service. This is a serious issue to be addressed in a comprehensive way. It is obvious that Azerbaijan is the target of activity and ill-will of a whole bunch of external actors. It is thus important to take into consideration the experience and methods of color revolutions in the regions where they took place, the history line and the vulnerability points. Leading think tanks analytics is needed. Baku could host a forum of experts in color revolution technologies.

Is it imaginable that NATO will have «boot on the ground» to participate in military action in Armenia?

Western assistance to Armenia is already taking place in the form of consulting services and intelligence information. Training of Armenian military personnel is underway. More arms supplies are to be expected, including high tech weaponry, which will definitely require the presence of Western military specialists on Armenian territory. Observers from the European Union may be instantaneously reorganized into a military mission, with foreign contingents accordingly deployed on Armenian land as a minimum, large groups of foreign military advisers affiliated with the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Intelligence Service of Armenia.

The situation must be monitored very carefully. I would strongly recommend holding closed-door information exchange meetings at the level of Security Council secretaries of Russia, Azerbaijan and Türkiye, and think tanks of our countries should work hard. Iran also needs to be involved, so that it would not think that Armenia is a friend and ally. In fact, Armenia is a Trojan horse. It is also necessary to engage Georgia, because today it is facing a direct threat of coup detat, which can be orchestrated as a color revolution by Western countries after the results of parliamentary elections, to take place in autumn, are summed up.

Today Azerbaijan continues to develop and strengthen its army, even after its territorial integrity is restored. What is the purpose?

Of course, Azerbaijan has to strengthen its armed forces as regional and global challenges increase, in view of the incessant provocations on the part of Armenia and other countries, including the attempts made by the West to negatively impact the region. There are no other options today for countries that want to safeguard their sovereignty and nationhood. The Azerbaijani Armed Forces are forming new commando units and acquiring first-rate weaponry and military equipment; the military budget is increased.

Today Azerbaijans army is among the best in the world. But in the face of new challenges it must get even stronger. And, as President Ilham Aliyev pointed out more than once, it has become by far stronger than it was during the Second Karabakh War.

The strength of Azerbaijans army can be judged by results. The 2020 Second Karabakh War: in 44 days the mission to liberate the occupied Azerbaijani territories was completed. It took just 44 days to do what diplomacy failed to achieve in nearly 30 years. The enemy was forced to capitulate after a complete rout. This is an unprecedented success of the Azerbaijani army achieved in 44 days in a most difficult theater of operations: a fortified defense system with huge minefields, the «Oganyan line» which was presented as a masterpiece of modern military engineering all that was overpowered. The liberation of the Shusha city by special force detachments was also an unprecedented, extremely complex operation.

And lets look at the results of the counterterrorism operations carried out by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in Karabakh in September 2023. Due to their effectiveness, in less than 24 hours the heavily fortified and well-equipped separatist regime was forced to surrender, dissolve itself and admit its military defeat.

The Azerbaijani army today is an effective, motivated and well equipped force that completes the most difficult missions. These are not empty statements. They are confirmed by what I just said.