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Tuesday, 28 August 2018 08:17

A purely "Armenian logic" about the Caspian Convention

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A purely "Armenian logic" about the Caspian Convention https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov

By Matanat Nasibova 

The Caspian Convention, recently signed in Aktau, has become another catalyst for strengthening trust relations between Baku and Moscow, and as expected, this fact has caused a flurry of negative emotions in Armenia.

Of course, Yerevan reacted hysterically to an event of historic importance, and Armenian commentators and politicians attached just political overtone to the document, which, they say, is directed against the interests of Armenia.

In principle, there is a purely "Armenian logic" in this belief: everything that happens in a positive direction for Azerbaijan is automatically directed against Armenia, especially if this refers to participation of the Russian side, which is actively increasing cooperation with Baku.

In short, Armenia is seriously concerned that the Convention solves the problem of regional security, which is expressed in the paragraph of the document, according to which only the Caspian states can have a fleet in the Caspian Sea. Yerevan is indignant that this point gives Russia a clear choice in favor of Azerbaijan as a regional partner. According to the Armenian side, the Convention poses three threats to Armenia: military, political and economic.

The political threat is that the Convention reduces the military and political importance of Armenia for its ally - Russia.

In this case, Armenia may lose the exclusive status of "outpost" of Russia - a prospect the people in that country are not quite delighted with in the current incomprehensible situation.

On the other hand, Yerevan understands that the Convention will intensify Azerbaijani-Iranian and Azerbaijani-Iranian-Russian economic cooperation.

For example, the international transport corridor North-South can begin to operate bypassing the territory of Armenia and go through the Iranian-Azerbaijani railway Qazvin-Rasht-Astara.

Further, Baku, Tehran and Moscow are interested in creating a logistics route through Azerbaijan, and if it is implemented, there will be no need for the Iran-Armenia-Georgia-Russia electricity corridor. Accordingly, Azerbaijani-Iranian cooperation in the energy sector will intensify under such circumstances.

It is clear that all these important issues irritate failed Armenian politicians and political analysts, which is why they are hysterically ranting that Russia, as Armenia's closest ally, preferred a strengthened format of regional cooperation with Azerbaijan, which further strengthened its position in the Caspian region.

Lead Analyst at the Russian Agency for Political and Economic Communications Mikhail Neizhmakov, expressing his opinion on this, told Trend that any, even a hypothetical opportunity for further rapprochement between Moscow and Baku and the expansion of Azerbaijan's capabilities will be perceived in Yerevan from the same perspective.

According to the analyst, Russia is really increasing attention to the Caspian Sea, which is an additional motive for further intensification of its contacts with Azerbaijan.

And this trend began long ago, not after August 12, 2018. The last summit in Aktau is just another "station" in the route that Moscow has chosen. Even earlier, Moscow made it clear that its efforts on the Caspian Sea assumed its close contact with Baku.

Defense cooperation in the Caspian region was one of the topics discussed by Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu during his visit to Azerbaijan in August 2016.

Moscow's increased attention to the Caspian Sea is complex, manifested not only in the military and political, but also in the economic sphere.

"I think all these are a part of a long-term trend that may further push Moscow and Baku to cooperate. I believe the internal political instability in Armenia will feed the alarming expectations in that country," the analyst added.

The Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was signed by the heads of Caspian states on August 12 in Aktau.



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