Deterioration of Russian-Armenian relations will not affect Armenian diaspora, expert says

March 27 2024, 10:13

Opinion | Politics

Speaking with Alpha News, Head of the Institute of Eastern Europe and CIS in Israel Alexander Tsinker commented on the statement of Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov about the Armenian diaspora in Russia, as well as Azerbaijan’s new demands and accusations.

According to the expert, relations between Armenia and Russia cannot reach a negative level that will directly affect ordinary citizens.

“Peskov’s statement suggests that not everything is lost; let’s still try to get through this difficult period and find the principle of coexistence of two states. As for the Armenian diaspora in Russia, I don’t think that relations between Armenia and Russia can reach such a negative level that it will directly affect ordinary citizens or that they will be embarrassed to have an Armenian surname and live in Russia.

I will not be surprised if there are major public figures of Armenian nationality living in Russia who are dissatisfied with the current Armenian leadership’s policy or if there are those who support them. This is a normal phenomenon. I don’t think it will come to the point where there will be oppression towards Armenian businessmen and ordinary people in Russia,” Tsinker said.

Speaking about Azerbaijan’s possible military aggression against Armenia, the expert said that Azerbaijan considers itself the winner and therefore is trying to dictate its terms from a position of strength.

“Realizing that everyone expects the progress of the peace treaty between the two countries, Azerbaijan every time puts forward more additional demands. I believe that this is not the end; time will pass, and Baku will put forward more additional demands.

In this situation, Armenia must determine its red line because there are territories that should be returned to Armenia. We must not forget about this. Azerbaijan continues such aggressive rhetoric and declares to the Armenian leadership that if it does not make concessions, then Azerbaijan is ready to try to resolve the issue through military action. It is dangerous. They believe that they have won and will always try to negotiate from a position of strength. So, the idea of having a conversation between two parties without the presence of third parties is unprofitable and dangerous for Armenia.

As far as I understand, Azerbaijan is not very interested in signing a peace treaty; it understands that it can demand more and more. Today, it demands villages, then a corridor, then changing the constitution, the anthem, flag, and coat of arms. This will never end. Everything should be brought together, everything that is unrealistic should be discarded, and some controversial issues should be resolved,” Tsinker noted.

As for the news that the military prosecutor’s office of Azerbaijan has put on the wanted list 18 people who allegedly committed genocide in 1990, the expert said that this looks like a search for a reason for aggression.

“I really don’t like it when events that happen in some village or in some area are called genocide. Genocide is a specific concept that was introduced by lawyer Raphael Lemkin precisely on the basis of the information and data that he collected regarding the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Therefore, even if in some village there was a clash or even the killing of 20–30 people, to say that it was genocide is just a play on words.

It’s strange to talk about this now. Unless someone is looking for a reason to complicate relations between countries, a reason for aggression, or a reason for making additional demands. One might as well find some information that there were acts of aggression on the part of Azerbaijan in some Armenian villages,” Tsinker concluded.