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Azerbaijan, not the army, should be Armenia’s “guarantor of security”

May 03 2024, 16:10

From Nikol Pashinyan’s recent interview with the Public Television of Armenia, it became clear that not only would he not give up the idea of handing over the territories of the Tavush region to Azerbaijan, but he would also propose a new formula of existence to the Armenian society. The formula within which the guarantor of Armenia’s security should be not the Armenian army, which Pashinyan called the most combat-ready army of the region in the summer of 2020, but Azerbaijan and “Ilham Aliyev’s goodwill.”

Let’s analyze the political and practical implications of Nikol Pashinyan’s statement.
“First of all, I want to say that we have to admit this: we are unfair to our army and our soldiers because we place the burden on our soldiers one by one. (…) Regional relations are also a component of security. (…)

This is the logic of the stronghold: when we place a disproportionate burden on a soldier, we know that we are placing a disproportionate burden. When we discuss this, we say, listen, we have placed a disproportionate burden on our soldier, what will happen to him? They tell us that there are no problems, we have contracts, and many other things. (…)
If Azerbaijan and Turkey want to destroy us, then we must be able to control this desire. How can we control the desire to destroy us? Legitimacy. We need to build our international relations on legitimacy. Legitimacy is the best guarantor—better than a good guarantor. I guarantee that legitimacy is a much better guarantor than a bad guarantor. The formula for the legitimacy of the normalization of relations with neighbors is a much better guarantor than even a good guarantor. (…) The guarantee that Azerbaijan will not make more unilateral demands is the legitimacy of our position,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
The political implications of these statements are as follows:
1. The Armenian army is not able to be a guarantor of the security of the Republic of Armenia;
2. Not only is Armenia a stronghold of Russia, but official Moscow does not fulfill its obligations as a guarantor of security either;
3. Security should be sought within our region;
4. Our region is primarily Turkey and Azerbaijan, and we should surrender everything they require to build a legitimate state border line, and then they will not put forward any other demands on us;
5. It will also reduce the risks of a new confrontation.
And as a result, a new formula has been proposed to society: Azerbaijan should become the guarantor of Armenia’s security, and Ilham Aliyev’s promise not to violate the “legitimate borders of Armenia”.
We can consider this formula from different perspectives, and if we try to consider it from the point of view of the “presumption of sanity”, we should say that this format has already failed.

On February 15, during a government meeting, Nikol Pashinyan spoke about an option: when the border between Soviet Armenia and Soviet Azerbaijan would be “reproduced” along the entire perimeter of the contact of troops, which implied the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from the occupied territories of Armenia, but Aliyev rejected this option and demanded to start “delimitation” from the most fortified section of the border with Armenia—from the section where, in addition to Armenian troops, there were Russian border guards—and Nikol Pashinyan fulfilled Aliyev’s demand.

Where is the guarantee that even after “receiving a legitimate border”, Aliyev will not put forward more demands? Who will repel Azerbaijan’s new attacks? Which international community? Who are they, and how many army corps do they have ready to help the “weak Armenian army”?
In conclusion, we should say that the best assessment of Nikol Pashinyan’s activities as Prime Minister of Armenia is the transformation of his statements about the Armenian army. In 2020, he stated that the Armenian army is the most combat-ready unit in the region, while today Pashinyan refuses the idea that the army should be the guarantor of Armenia’s security.

Was it necessary to work on the collapse of the army to undergo such a transformation in less than four years? Add to this the information that the authorities are thinking about disbanding the National Security Service of Armenia, and you will get the complete picture.

Due to Nikol Pashinyan’s actions, today’s Armenia has less geopolitical weight and less security than Artsakh had before September 27, 2020, along with seven liberated areas. Armenia is less protected today than it was even as of November 9, 2020, because back then, the clause on the surrender of territories of Tavush and other regions of Armenia to Azerbaijan was removed from the ceasefire document, but today, almost 4 years after the war, Pashinyan is fulfilling what we managed to avoid after the catastrophic 44-day war.

Think about it…