Armenian Parliament Approves New Defense Agreement with Russia


YEREVAN—Armenia’s National Assembly ratified a new Russian-Armenian agreement on a joint military force on Oct. 5. Under the agreement signed late last year, “the united group of troops” is tasked with “ensuring military security in the region” and thwarting or repelling possible foreign aggression against Armenia or Russia.

Russian and Armenian troops performing joint military drills. (File Photo)

Accoridng to an RFE/RL Armenian service report, the joint contingent comprises troops from the Russian military base in Armenia and an Armenian army corps. It has been led by Armenian army generals since its creation in 2001.

The Armenian Parliament approved the treaty, ratified by Russia’s Parliament this summer, by 87 votes to seven. All of the parliamentarians who voted against the accord were from the opposition Yelk bloc.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Eduard Sharmazanov, who is a spokesperson for the ruling Republican Party (RPA), insisted that the Russian-Armenian military force will boost Armenia’s security. Following the vote, he said that the agreement will defend the country in case of a military attack by Turkey or Azerbaijan.

“If a tense situation erupts on Armenia’s borders and if Armenia appeals to its allies—Russia and the [Collective Security Treaty Organization]—they will be obliged, under the CSTO statutes, to intervene and defend Armenia…. The same will be true for that military force, if necessary,” Sharmazanov told RFE/RL’s Armenian service.


Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. This is another shameful act of surrendering Armenia’s independence to Russia. What it really means is Armenian troops have been put under direct command of Putin.

  2. Russia back stabs Armenia by selling Azerbaijan billions in weapons which will be used against Armenia. Russia knew of the April Azeri war and said NOTHING to warn or to help Armenia. This is no “ally”. I predict with accuracy that if Azerbaijan starts shelling Armenia proper, say from Armenia’s historic Nakhchivan territory with Turkey’s direct support, which it is gearing up to do, that neither Russian troops or the mostly Muslim CSTO members will lift a finger to help. This is a complete waste of time. The only deterrence is the Armenian and Artsakh army risking their lives for the protection of the country.

  3. As the saying goes, Armenia is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Considering the circumstances, Armenia has little choice but to align its military with Russia. And not only is Russia selling weapons to Azerbaijan but now has also started to bed Turkey. Armenia has the old S-300 missile defense but Russia is willing to sell Turkey the S-400, not to mention building nuclear plants for Turkey. The only way I see out of this is for Armenia is to make a calculated gamble by which Armenia forces Russia to choose between Armenia and Azerbaijan without compromise. Otherwise, Armenia is destined for mediocrity, and worse under Russia’s hand. Contrary to some Armenian Russophile claims, Armenia is NOT to Russia what Israel is to the USA. The USA feeds Israel steak. Russia feeds Armenia bones. And the sad part is, unlike Israel, “Armenia pays for it”. “Hey! But but but but we get it at a discount!” – yippeeeee.

  4. This news item was sure to bring George Soros’ lemmings out in force. Armenia’s only place, its natural place is within the Russian orbit. Russia is the only geopolitical factor in the region making the existence of an Armenian state possibe. No Russia in Armenia = no Armenia in the south Caucasus. Being anti-Russian today means being anti-Armenian. There are only two possible explanations for our Russophobes: 1) Western or Turkish agents (i.e. traitors) or simpleminded baffoons.

    May God bless Armenia. May God bless Russia. And may God help protect the 200 year old Russian-Armenian friendship from all enemies both foreign and domestic.

  5. Russia is forcing Armenians learn Russian, not English. Does this help Armenia become a more civilized nation?

    Russia is selling powerful modern weapons to you know who. Is this good for Armenia?

    Armenia is not able to trade with Europe because of being member of EAEU. Is this good for Armenia?

    Sanctions imposed on Russia adversely affect Armenia’s economy. Is this good for Armenia?

    When you look at the map of EAEU it reminds you the map of USSR, i.e. the post-czarist Russian empire. Hmm…What is Putin’s long-term goal?

    Putin claims territorial integrity (of Turkey, in particular) is indisputable. How about the territorial integrity of Ukraine or Georgia, those who dared not to be loyal to Russia? Ironically, Putin is talking about America’s double standards.

    Georgia, BTW, is joining EU, not EAEU, and still exists in Southern Caucasus and is not sinking in the swamp, as Armenia.

    Did Armenia’s people decide to join EAEU? No. They were ready to make the decisive step towards EU when Serj-the-bonehead went to Moscow to his master and signed the papers.

    So, what are your answers? Please don’t say I am a Turkish agent or a simpleminded buffoon. Not because I would be offended–it’s just silly.

  6. SAT,

    You are trying to exploit the emotions and political ignorance of Armenians. It will not work any more as times have changed. You can play verbal gymnastics all you want, but reality is reality: Russia is Armenia’s ONLY true ally. Armenia exists today because of Russia. Period. More and more people are waking up to this reality, more and more people are embracing Russia.

    Nevertheless, you are expressing very weak CFR/Chatham House talking points. In fact, you sound just like George Soros, Gary Kasparov, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Max Boot, Ralph Peters, John Bolton and John McCain, to name only a few Russophobic nutjobs. In any case, people like you have a twisted, perverted view of the world.

    But thank God that increasing numbers of people around the world are beginning to wake up and see right through your Western/imperiaist/globalist nonesense. The serious crimes against humanity your Anglo-American-Jewish masters committed and continue committing in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Georgia, Ukraine, Venezuela, Cuba and Syria have been humanity’s wake up call.

    It must deeply concern you that more and more people around the world today are beginning to see Russia as the only power that can keep Western imperialists and their Islamic hordes in check. It must deeply concern you that more and more people around the world today are beginning to see Russia as classical European civilization’s last hope for preservation; apostolic Christianity’s last hope for survivial; the traditional nation-state’s last hope for survival. Russia today is also the last front against Western imperialism, Globalism, Islamic extremism, Zionism and Pan-Turkism. Thank God for Russia. I say this as an Armenian nationalist.

    • I prefer to avoid personal insults and use facts instead. You say “Armenia exists today because of Russia.” The fact is Armenian state was established as a result of the victory at Sardarapat 99 years ago. How many Russians were fighting alongside Armenians then? Not many, if any. I am surprised Sardarapat battle is not included in the book “Battles that changed history.” It’s one of the biggest prides of Armenian nation: We bit the army that had won Gallipoli and saved a patch of our homeland as an independent state. Only a nation that is able to defend its own statehood deserves respect. Just the statement that Armenia exists because of Russia is not only inaccurate but humiliating. So please think about it.

      You are mentioning Western imperialism. The fact is Russia is striving to recover the Russian empire.

      “More and more people around the world today are beginning to see Russia as classical European civilization’s last hope…” Who are those people? Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan…? Think about their rulers. Are these democratic states, the saviors of European civilization? Are Nursultan Nazarbaev or Lukashenko democratic, civilized leaders? Does Nazarbaev respect Armenia? He can’t even talk about Armenia without irritation. Lukashenko took his son to the UN assembly as the next ruler of Belarus. These are those bowing to Russia. Armenia should not.

    • Listening to individuals like you I can only be amazed at how little we Armenians have learned from our history and how little we understand about the world we live in. By global standards the battle of Sardarapat was a mere skirmish. Battles of that size don’t even appear in other people’s history books. Had Turks not feared the Bolsheviks at the time and regrouped to attack Armenia again, Armenia would surely have disappeared from the map. In 1921 Bolsheviks were responsible for saving what had remained of Armenia. Throughout the Cold War period, it was Soviets that turned Armenia from a backward dust bowl to a modern republic. For the past 25 years, it’s the Russian Federation that is keeping Armenia alive by trade, investments, cheep energy and military protection. Why are people like you do ungrateful and ignorant? I guess singing songs about the prowess of Armenian “fedayees” have warped your senses.

  7. Look, I am an American [non-Armenian] investor in Gyumri. Our office is less than a mile from the Russian base. I eat with them all the time at the fish restaurant. I don’t see this as an issue. Georga selected a different path because the Turks were not saying that they are going to wipe out the country.

    I was talking to a bunch of Armenians at a cafe and they said if they were invaded the US would come to their aid. I started to laugh…Armenia has a better chance of Iran coming to their aid than the US. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. As far as I see it, Russia is your best chance. Also, startups are booming all over Armenia. Many industries and farms are being hindered by themselves or domestic issues…NOT FOREIGN.

    They just want to sit around and complain that is it is not their fault. It is always someone. The government, Russia, the EU, some oligarch. A painter told me once that he can survive because of correction. I asked him if he has tried to sell online, his answer was that the oligarchs will come take his business if he does. This is what is holding back the country, not all this geopolitical stuff.

    • I agree to an extent, but the problem that I see is that Armenia has done a terrible job with its lobbying activities in Russia, unlike say, Israel with the USA as an example. If Armenia did 10% of what the Israelis did, we would be in solid shape. Unfortunately geopolitics does play into it because it is also connected to those very oligarchs who have inroads to the government and from where I stand, it looks like they work for the interests of Russia, not Armenia. That’s probably one of the reasons why Armenians are ordered to be sitting ducks, since NATO has occupied Russia in Ukraine and Syria full time. This translates into we don’t decide anything by ourselves for our own destiny, Russia does it for us. And some of us are too happy to see this if you read some of the comments.

      You are right that at least at this point in time, USA will not help Armenia in any invasion scenario, however, Russia is our only bet is true because Russia set that up long ago, and it is by design, not by chance. They are smart, because they are protecting their interests i the Caucasus using Armenia, while making it look like it is only “for the protection of Armenia”. And of course, some short-sighted Armenians see this and believe that Russia is the savior. We can admit Russia is the “savior” – so long as we understand that it is by force, not generosity.

  8. I stand with Norserunt because Norserunt stands with truth. Russia is our only natural ally. This is not to say there aren’t any problems between out countries but the problems are technical and can be fixed through bilateral ties. One more thing, Russian is a language of high culture much higher than English. I know what I am talking about I speak both languages.

  9. Just want to add: English is the language of Globalism and Westernization and that in itself makes the language corrosive and barbaric. Armenian citizens would be much better off learning Russian, Persian and Chinese.

  10. Ignoring everything else, look no further than April 2016 to see the state of affairs between Russia and Armenia. First there were no warnings to Armenia. And this was the cause of many Armenian deaths defending their homeland from an illegal invasion. Of course Russia Cheerleader Norserunt & Co. will claim “Russia did not know”. Even through there is only 1% chance of that, let’s assume that to be true. So then, after knowing that Azerbaijan invaded and caused the deaths of 100 Armenians, one would think “Armenia’s only ally” would come out condemning Azerbaijan, and most importantly, insist that Azerbaijan’s aggression will result in consequences against it. Did this happen? Nope. In fact “Armenia’s only ally” joined the club [The Soros Club?] and made statements like “both sides must stop”, when clearly it was Azerbaijan which instigated an invasion and a massacre against peaceful Armenian villagers. In the world of a sovereign nation, there would be clear consequences, and here, there aren’t any, even from Armenia. In fact, after Azerbaijan committed its war crimes, Aliyev quickly ran to uncle Putin to force Armenia to sign papers again after realizing that the operation failed.

    Not only this, “Armenia’s only ally” would have ORDERED Azerbaijan to retreat from its territorial gains to re-establish the positions before the invasion, otherwise this will cost Azerbaijan in the long run and Russia will openly take Armenia’s side in many matters of negotiations. In such a scenario it would have taken Azerbaijan a couple of hours to get lost back to its original positions. “Armenia’s only ally” it seems, punished Armenia for being invaded, not Azerbaijan for invading. The proof? It is on the ground. In the delusional world of the above mentioned “Armenian nationalists”, one one cannot have an opinion or be valid if it even remotely criticizes Russia, otherwise you are merely a “Soros operative”.

    • Lao, you should be ignoring the April war as well because your approach to such matters is heavy on the emotional side and very light on the rational side. It’s obvious you have very little understanding of geopolitics and intentional relations, and what Moscow has to deal with in the region. Had it not been for Moscow not only Artsakh but also parts of Armenia would be part of Azerbaijan today. And all individuals like you would be able to do is cry at the feet of Western officials, like your kind has done for generations with no tangible results. I’ll leave it at that. I’m not here to gives lectures to individuals like you.

  11. SAT, you made some good points but I have to disagree with you regarding Ukraine’s and Georgia’s “territorial integrity”, because these are in the same category as Azerbaijan’s, it was based on artificial borders during the Soviet times, and these nations acquired their territories based on the affections of Soviet leaders of the time. Stalin, a Georgian hater of Armenians, gave away Armenian territories to all her hostile neighbors and gave special benefits to Georgia. Khrushchev gave Crimea to the Ukraine “for friendship”. Russia did right in that case by taking steps to correct historic mistakes. Unfortunately, that is not the same case against Armenia, and that is my grievance against “Armenia’s only ally”.

    • Was Russia correct in giving away artsakh and Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan in the soviet era? Why doesn’t it correct that historical mistake?

    • Greg,

      Correction: It was the ARF that initially gave away parts of Western Armenia to Turks and General Andranik lost Artsakh to Tatars because he trusted the British (more so than he trusted his own kin). Another Correction: Bolsheviks were as Russian as Young Turks were Armenian. Bolshevism/Marxism, during its early stages (i.e. until Stalin purged it), was a Western-Jewish plot to destroy the Russian Empire. Ethnic Christian Russians suffered by far the worst fate as a result of the Russian revolution. You people seriously need to revisit reality.

    • Greg, did you read my last line? That is exactly what my grievance is against Russia, and why I refuse to fall for this notion that we need to “give our allegiance” to Russia “no matter what” like Norserunt & Co. claim. My point is, giving Russia a chance to correct the past mistakes would be OK, and I will reconsider my opinion of Russia until AFTER such results, not before.

    • Lao, translated as “lad” from Kurdish,

      Any smaller state gives allegiance to a mightier state, if it enters into a strategic alliance with the latter. Any smaller state inevitably gives up a considerable portion of its sovereignty, when it becomes an ally with a mightier state. Any mightier state seeks to ensure a firm grip over a smaller state, when the former enters into an alliance with the latter. This is an ABC of Realpolitik. You don’t really wish to be swamped with evidence from the U.S. diplomatic history about how America treated her allies, partners or smaller neighbors, especially in Central and Latin America? Or do you? Please educate yourself before making comments on issues which you have limited knowledge about. For the thousandth time, ethnic Russians did not give away Artsakh and Nakhichevan to Soviet Azerbaijan. Those in the decision-making circles of the Bolshevik party who did the transfer were non-Russians in their overwhelming majority. Enough already…

    • And john is from Hebrew, and your point is what? Oh maybe I’m a spy for Kurdistan and on the Soros payroll, huh?

      “Realpolitik” is a term used by Russia cheerleaders to force Armenians to be content with Russia’s halfhearted, mediocre support. Sorry, I have higher standards than to be content seeing my culture chewing on Russia’s left over bones and forced to put on a fake smile. I am talking about recent history here not whether those that backstabbed Armenia were ethnic Russians or not. The recent Soviet Union and now Russia were and are ruled by ethnic Russians. Yet, Armenia has not seen a single benefit from them. And don’t tell me “Russia helped Armenians win Artsakh”. No she didn’t. Russia would have cared less who won that war, so long they stayed in Russia’s orbit. And your belief about American allies is not based on fact. America has a few allies which never changed, notably the UK and Israel. Did they “give up their sovereignty” too? No, in fact Israel sends politicians to the USA and they actively try to influence American politics to their benefits, unlike Armenia which has been forced to turn into a beggar state, compliments of our “only ally and friend of 200 years”.

    • Wrong again. Realpolitik refers to pragmatism in international politics and was used by a number of countries as a diplomatic concept long before you came up with the foolish idea that it’s being used “to force Armenians to be content with Russia’s halfhearted support”. You don’t need not look far to find historical examples. Just study how during the Cold War the U.S. and Co. extended support for authoritarian regimes or military juntas to advance America’s national interest, a shameful practice that continued after the end of the Cold War. The UK and Israel, are essentially not America’s “allies” per se. They are America’s “daddies”, if you know what I mean. Furthermore, the UK and Israel by no account can be considered “smaller” states, if for no other reason than their status as nuclear-weapon states. One example of America’s ally, in the true sense of the word, was Georgia, and I purposely chose a smaller state in the region where Armenia is situated. Need I refresh your memory as to how America treated her ally back in 2008 when, in retaliation for Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia and killings of Russian peacekeepers, the country exposed itself to an invasion? Where was America? Why didn’t she stand by her ally?

  12. I second what Norserunt wrote. Contributed extensively in other threads supporting my arguments for Armenia’s alliance with Russia at this historical juncture. To all the petty Russophobes: geography is THE deteminant variable in international politics and it won’t change regardless how much nonsense you spew in your comments….

    • Considering some of the anti-Armenian rhetoric Norserunt just stated, perhaps you might want to reconsider your hasty seconding. No rational person denies without Russia Armenia can be wiped out. But that must be with the full disclosure that Russia created that condition in the first place. To deny this would be to deny historical reality. Thus I refuse to have the wool pulled over my eyes that “Russia is Armenia’s best friend”. If that was true, geography would be very different than it is today…

    • Hasty is your balderdash about “Russia feeding Armenia bones”, “Russia being the ‘savior’ by force, not generosity”, “Russia sending no warnings to Armenia before April 2016”, and other gems of intellectual dilettantism and political illiteracy.

      I seconded Norserunt because I wrote extensively in other threads and wished to avoid entering into a debate in this one with myopic individuals, “equipped” with academic knowledge and professional expertise in the fields of history and international politics. I seconded him based on my experience in these fields, which tells me that at this juncture in the history of the Armenian people, Armenia’s alliance with Russia is vital for her survival. Nothing else matters, when it comes to the physical survival of a nation, need I reiterate this trivial truth?

      So as to back up my characterization of your comments as balderdash, I beg to illuminate us, uneducated commoners, as to in what episode in the history of international relations or international politics has there ever been a country that acted as “savior” for another country by generosity and not by self-serving interests or specific politico-military or economic agendas that served the interests of both countries? Please also tell us whether you seriously think that ballistic missile systems “Iskander-M” that Russia “fed” Armenia are bones. Or maybe Russia’s military base on Armenia’s soil is “bones”? Or maybe Russia’s bilateral and CSTO defense agreements with Armenia are “bones”? Or maybe Russia’s supply of natural gas, oil, and nuclear fuel to and nuclear waste from Armenia is “bones”? As for “warnings to Armenia before April 2016”, do you seriously think that Russia, and not Armenia’s military intelligence, should have warned Artsakh and RoA’s leadership about the demining activities on the LoC and the preparation for a ground attack?

      One common misconception that typifies posters of your ilk is that you think that other posters, who speak of Armenia’s military-strategic alliance with Russia at this historical juncture, are all pro-Russian or Russophile. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is an oversimplified and outrightly foolish view. In contrast to you, these posters view the situation realistically, in the context of Armenia’s defense and national security prerogatives and based on a self-evident fact that no other power center—be ir an individual country or a union of nation-states—offered to insure Armenia’s defense and national security. I do hope posters like you develop enough brain power to understand that RoA and Artsakh’s armed forces cannot insure the inviolability of their respective territories all alone.

    • [“Russia is Armenia’s best friend”. If that was true, geography would be very different than it is today…]

      The truth is that both Azerbaijan and Georgia lost territories, but Armenia re-gained. As far as giving away Nakhichevan and Karabakh to the Azeris in the 1920s is concerned, which seems to be the hobbyhorse of anti-Armenia-Russia alliance posters, it’s been written ad nauseum in other threads. The prevailing majority of Bolsheviks in the highest echelons of the Soviet power, who decided on the transfer, were NOT ethnically Russian….

    • Absolutely excellent rebuttals, John. Bravo.

      Considering the circumstances, Moscow has actually been treating Armenia with white gloves for the past 25 years. But one needs clear/healthy mind to understand this. Putting aside the billions in trade, investments, cheep energy and the tourism Russia provides, it helps our impoverished, landlocked and blockaded nation compete with an oil rich Azerbaijan that has been on a military spending spree in recent years. And by protecting Armenia’s border with Turkey, Russia gives Armenia the opportunity to put all its effort in protecting Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan.

      If Lao, want to see how the US treats its allies he needs to look no further than Mexico, Georgia, Ukraine, Greece and Philippines; some have been turned into narcotics trafficking centers, some have been mutilated, some have been left for dead, some have been bankrupted and some have been turned into cheep brothels. In fact, Lao needs to take a close look at how the US treats one of its colonial possession known as Puerto Rico. Lao is a prime example of how irrational nationalism can be and how our nationalists, who generally speaking tend to be politically ignorant and emotionally unstable, can pose a threat to Armenia’s well being.

      That said, I would not frame the relationship between Britain and Israel on one hand and the US on the other hand as one of master and servant. All three nations, US-Britain-Israel or Anglo-American-Jews, are comprised of one body, as in an evil trinity.

  13. About Russian vs. English. With all my respect for Russian culture, English has 3 major advantages over Russian in terms of being a global language: English is richer, simpler, and is already a firmly established global language (Are we communicating English or Russian?) If a Chinese person joined us, he or she would write in English as well, not Chinese and or Russian.

    The Oxford English Dictionary has around 171,500 words, while the Russian Encyclopedic dictionary less than 150,000. This is important because it’s the synonyms that make the language flexible, powerful, and beautiful.

    English is simpler and easier to learn. Example, is table feminine, masculine, or neutral? Nonsense! Why in the world table should be any of these? Same with verbs….

  14. We are communicating in English because we live in an English speaking country (from the looks of it, so far).

    For Armenia, the languages of Russia, Iran and Chinese would work much better in helping Armenia develop its economy. Because Russia is Armenia’s largest trading partners, largest investor, only ally – and only nation on earth that is actually willing to spill the blood of its soldiers to protect Armenia – the Russian language deserves to be given official status as the second language in Armenia.

    The only thing the English language has done for Armenia is to encourage its citizens to work for Western funded NGOs (which in many cases are either trying to overthrow the Armenian government or social engineer Armenian society), migrate to the US where they are treated like Mexicans and help them better surf porn sites.

    Western powers (Anglo-American-Jews) have three powerful tools in their imperial arsenal: Military intervention; economic blackmail and cultural subversion. But their real power travels on the coattails of their culture. If we want to speak their language, sing their songs, eat their foods, wear their clothes, trade in their currency, live in their lands, how can we ever think of them as the enemy?

    All languages are conveyors of mindset and culture. English today is a conveyor of Globalism (i.e. multiculturalism, interracialism, open borders, homosexuality, atheism, etc) and Westernization (i.e. the worship of Anglo-American-Jews). English is therefore a corrosive elements in Armenia and a long term threat to Armenian culture.

    Due to various human traits (i.e. ignorance and shortsightedness) this will only be better understood in the future.

  15. “By global standards the battle of Sardarapat was a mere skirmish”

    “In 1921 Bolsheviks were responsible for saving what had remained of Armenia”

    “Bolsheviks were as Russian as Young Turks were Armenian. Bolshevism/Marxism, during its early stages (i.e. until Stalin purged it), was a Western-Jewish plot to destroy the Russian Empire”

    “individuals like you would be able to do is cry at the feet of Western officials, like your kind has done for generations with no tangible results.”

    It’s interesting to see the “Armenian nationalist” apparatchik defeat himself through contradiction, and a false sense of history. Here is a dose of reality for you, Comrade. Regardless if the Bolsheviks and Young Turks were from the same source, they made it possible for the Turks to invade Armenia by using Russian provisions and weapons. In fact without your Bolshevik heroes supplying the Turks and keeping to themselves, Armenia guided by the ARF would even have liberated all of Western Armenia in time. Armenia “needed” the Bolsheviks like she needed cancer. Judging from the delusional history you learned (God knows where), it is quite clear you know very little about our history. Not one of us gives a crap about Sardarabad being a “minor skirmish”. That one victory in our history defined whether we would have a nation or not. And that was thanks to the likes of the ARF and everyone that understood what was coming, not your heroes the Bolsheviks or Stalin who turned around and funded the “Turkish War of Independence”. It’s funny how apparatchik history buffs hate the accomplishments of the ARF, yet wouldn’t accept that reality if it fell over their heads like a piano from mid air. And thank God for ARF Fedayee heroes who stopped your hero Bolsheviks from handing over southern Armenia to Azerbaijan. You are quick to claim that such and such would happen to “our type” if not for the Soviets and Russia. Here is another reality for you since you are so keen on “my type” and “your type”. If not for the ARF, none would have know the nation of Armenia, not even Soviet Armenia. Yerevan and environs would be part of Georgia, or an outpost of Russia and Syunik connected to Nakhichevan and Artsakh and be all part of Azerbaijan. And Armenia would have disappeared in history books, and your citizenship would be of one of those two nations.

    “The ARF made mistakes” – yeah they did, so what? And the Armeno-Bolsheviks didn’t? That’s comical. At least the ARF STARTED the Armenian nation and established it as a legal entity among the nations of the world. Something none of your “heroes” can claim to have done. And finally, if you believe that the Armenian diaspora did nothing for Armenia and has had no results for anything, then you are truly detached from reality, and it would take too long to explain it to you at this point, so we will leave it at that and make your position clear. But as a final note, know this. It is a lot more dignified to “cry to western officials” than to crawl in front of a Russian boot and lick it like there was no tomorrow.

    • Lao, the ARF singlehandedly won Armenia and singlehandedly lost Armenia. Throughout the Cold War the ARF was an instrument of Anglo-American-Jewish interests. And yes, better a KGB agent than a CIA agent! The Russian Empire, the Soviets and the Russian Federation are the fundamental reasons why an Armenia exists today. I suggest you stop taking history lessons from the silly songs you sings every May 28. For many valid reasons, none the lest of which is having an army of Western agents in their ranks, the ARF today is a fringe organization in Armenia. That said, the ARF branch in Armenia is much better that what exists in the diaspora.

    • In all fairness, throughout the Cold War the ARF was an instrument of the Soviets, too. Through recruitment of and infiltration into the middle- and highest ranks of the ARF, the KGB from the late-1970s onward succeeded in making the party leadership sympathetic toward the USSR. -Source: Memoirs of Oleg Kalugin, former KGB general.

    • I’ll be the first to admit the ARF is not perfect. I’m trying to explain to you, not a SINGLE ethnic Russian in the past 200 years has ever expressed even a concern “to establish a LEGAL nation called Armenia for the Armenians”. That credit goes to the ARF, regardless of the mistakes that you think were made. And contrary to your belief the ARF was NOT anti-Russia. In fact it was very pro-Russia, that is, White Russia, not Red Russia. And everyone would agree without Russia Armenia would not exist without Russia. But you aren’t being honest if you claim it started out that way. The Turks didn’t lose WWI and then come back in a few months to wage new wars. That happened because of dirty Bolshevik politics, and Russia is one of the responsible parties, regardless if another ethnicity caused it. The point is, Russia in both forms has never acted like a real ally or friend of Armenia. If it did, like I said, geography would be much different than it is today. Let Russia do the right thing against Armenia FIRST. Otherwise we are all stuck with wishful thinking.

    • John, I know. Thanks to the great Hrayr Maroukyan’s efforts, during the later stages of the Cold War elements within the the ARF were beginning to work with the Soviets. Maroukhyan’s untimely death in the early 1990s may have been linked to this effort. However, the bulk of the ARF always had and continues to have deep ties with Western intelligence.

  16. Some comments are particularly symptomatic of my compatriots illiteracy when it comes to geopolitics.

    1/ In realpolitik, there is no place for cheap emotional statements. Not long ago, Saudis were threatening Russia with reigniting the Chechen conflict, now the Prince is visiting Moscow. Russia is a superpower that has to deal with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Turkey could potentially be major threat according to Russian conception of the region, and their Azerbaijanis brothers (who kicked the Russians out of the Kabala base in 2011) were seriously thinking to enter into NATO and open Azeris air bases to NATO/US/Israel in case of strike on Iran few years ago.
    Therefore it is in Russian interest to have them closer. We shall understand that, the way Russians understood we will not give up Artsakh.

    2/ The multi vector policy of Russia is more or less the same that the Armenian one. We want everything, NATO cooperation, CSTO, EU, EAU, and on the same vein Russia doesn’t want to deprive itself from cooperation opportunities with our enemies. Armenia will never enter into EU (trust me, Im European), but will probably get the best of both EAU and EU : Visa liberalization and Free Trade Agreement with EU will probably arrive in 5/10 years. Ironically, we will probably get the same as the Georgian will and even with Russia’s blessing.

    3/ None of the Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan is able to to change the balance of the Artsakh conflict so far. Russians are very right when they say “if we dont do it, others will”. Israel, Turkey and Pakistan, 2 major NATO partners and one member, are selling serious hardware to Baku with Washington approval. In April 2016, the Israeli SPIKE were deadly and particularly efficient. In the meantime, it is fair to say that the high price that Azerbaijan pays for those arms enable Armenians to get the same armaments at crazy low prices, below their break even if not for free. If Azerbaijan and Turkey want to spend a fortune on a S 300 or 400 system while Armenia doesn’t have a significant air force, god bless them, they are just financing our free ISKANDERS. Those Iskanders are, by the way, a real deterrent factor. This arm race fueled by Russia is also a way to freeze the conflict cold war style, and increase Moscow leverage on Baku. Which is good for us.

    4/ If you think that Armenian army can insure the security of Armenia all alone, you are deeply mistaken. Israel needed heavy support from Europe and US (tens of billions and heavy pressure on Jordan, Saudis, Egypt…) before reaching a stage of military and security independence, Much to my regret, we are still far from it, our officers and our army still didn’t reach high military standards (thanks god Azeris are even farer) and only Russia is helping in modernizing our army to higher level.
    I remind you that Artsakh is the size of Lebanon and the enemy could target any point at any moment. On top of this, you have to add the Nakhichevan and the Turkish boarder. Anyone who think that Turkey is not dreaming of closing the gap with their eastern brothers through Nakhichevan / Syunik / Artsakh is delusional. Turkey had such concrete plans in 93, so imagine what the Sultan of Neo Ottomanism Erdogan may do. Back in 93, only Russia prevented this to happen, today nothing changed. Thanks to Russians, we can concentrate the bulk of our force on the Eastern front and let them handle with the real Turkish threat. This is another big advantage of the CSTO deal.

    5/ As far as April 2016 is concerned, no need to blame Russia for not having done the job that our own intelligence should have done. Unfortunately, we Armenians need to eat the “harvadz” before reacting. April 2016 in that sense was salutary and enlighten our shortcomings. In the same time it confirmed that Azerbaijan military ambitions on Artsakh were completely illusional.
    My guess is that this attack was possibly done with Moscow tacit approval (and possibly even with Yerevan knowledge), the Russians having perfectly asserted the situations and anticipated the outcome : big comparative losses and minor territory gains for Azerbaijan resulting in a consolidation of the Status Quo to our advantage. I know it sounds cynical, but this is what realpolitik is about.

    6/ This Language issue is another meaningless debate that was poorly handled by our Education minister and quickly instrumented by usual medias and oppositions forces with the same old aong “we are a colony”… Every young educated Armenian speaks English AND Russian, Trilingual is the norm.

    I want to add that Im not Pro Russian or specially Russophile, I just have my eyes opened.

  17. Bravo Michael.

    Too bad your wisdom will fall on deaf ears here because many here have a specific task at hand, and that task is to break the bond between Armenia and Russia. I am pro-Russian because I am pro-Armenian. Those who are seeking to drive a wedge between Moscow and Yerevan are either traitors to Armenia or just mentally insane.

  18. I figure our Russophobes don’t really want independence for Armenia from the looks of it what they are really looking for is for Russia to spoon feed us and wipes our butts. You know what guys get serious. How about we act a little dignified and grateful. The BIGGEST help Russia gives Armenia is not the billions in investments, trade, tourism or cheep energy but protection from Turkey. Even if they didn’t do anything else that would still be enough. You diaspora armchair generals make me laugh who here would go and defend Armenia’s border with Turkey if Russian troops left? NO ONE! All you will run like hell at the sight of Turks. If you guys think Armenia can defend its borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan without Russia you are out of your minds. By keeping western Turks in check Russia gives Armenia the ability to keep eastern Turks in check. That’s the plan! And don’t worry too much about what oil rich Azerbaijan buys from Russia or anyone else, just understand that free Russian weapons for cash strapped country like Armenia is the difference between life and death. Yes there are problems in Russian-Armenian relations just like problems in any relationship. But this only means Armenia needs to spend more effort doing lobbying in Russia.

    • Bravo Gurgen!

      Baku has the money to purchase whatever it wants from whoever it wants. If Russia didn’t sell it anything, Israel, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, China and Pakistan would. Actually, Israel has been a major arms supplier to Azerbaijan. In fact, most of the causalities Armenia suffered during the four day war in 2016 was from Israeli made attack drones and long range antitank missiles.

      The fact is Armenia does not have the money and will not have the money for the foreseeable future to purchase the modern weaponry that it needs to protect itself. If Moscow did not make modern weapons readily accessible and affordable for Armenia, the country would be virtually defenseless against an oil-rich Azerbaijan and other predators in the region.

      Moreover, by selling weapons to Azerbaijan Moscow develops control levers in the country. Baku has not drifted totally into the Turkish or Islamic camp because of the Russian factor in the country. By dealing with Baku Moscow maintains some degree of control over Azerbaijan. This needless to say is beneficial for Armenia. In fact, this is why we have not had a major war between us and the Azeris after 1994. Armenia can deal with the border skirmishes, a major war however would be devastating for Armenia.

  19. Norserount you are wrong about Putin! If you know how KGB works, look into Axeri president and his beloved ex-corrupted father! Armenia must stay neutral and side with nobody, but the will of their own people!

    • Saying Armenia should not be allied to anybody is just a fluff statement. That thinking has no basis in our reality, especially for a place like the south Caucasus. If, as you wish, Armenia was not allied to or dependent on Russia – it would by default become allied to or dependent on Western powers and/or Turkey, the two dominant powers in the south Caucasus after Russia. Western powers know this, which is why they have their embedded agents in our communities trying to tell us: “Armenia does not need to be allied to the West, it just needs to be independent of Russia”. This advise is exactly what Western powers and Turks have been trying to sell to Armenians like yourself (that is if you are an Armenian).

      Consider the following articles:

      Keep Armenia isolated, George Friedman:

      Turkish Advice: Armenian diaspora, focus on Russia rather than Turkey!

      Russian General Leonid Ivashov: Turkey Seeks Separation Between Russia and Armenia: html

      USA trying to break up Armenian-Russian military relations, general says: resource/a…0005/0040.html

      So, let’s deal with reality. There is no such thing as “neutrality” or “independence” in this world. Even North Korea is dependent, on China. Armenia has no choice but to be in the Russian orbit. For better or for worst, Armenia is wedded to Russia. Geographically, militarily, politically, economically and culturally Armenia belongs with Russia. Moreover, Armenians in Armenia are ‘instinctively’ pro-Russian because they instinctually/subconsciously understand all this. In fact, a vast majority of Armenians in Armenia – around 75% if not more – are pro-Russian. The “will” of the Armenian people is therefore to be allied to Russia. As you can see, your Western-inspired talking points work against your agenda in this case.

      PS: Before President Putin’s rise in Moscow, the entire Caucasus region, Central Asia and the Middle East were fast heading towards Wahhabism/Salafism. It could therefore be said that President Putin’s Russia single-handedly saved Armenia, Iran and Syria from total destruction. The man ranks among the greatest rulers in history, and I trust him more than I trust Armenian officials or diasporan organizations.

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