Armenia, the Regional Powers, and the West: Between History by A. Mirzoyan

By A. Mirzoyan

This paintings represents the 1st systematic learn of Armenia's overseas coverage throughout the post-independence interval, among 1991 and 2005. It explores 4 units of relationships with Armenia's significant old 'partners': Russia, Iran, Turkey and the West (Europe and the United States).

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1 Our ties with Russia are something innate and natural for all Armenians, particularly those residing on the territory of the republic and the CIS. 2 Armenian defense doctrine would have to satisfy two essential requirements: 1) the capacity of Armenia to independently confront and win wars with Azerbaijan, and 2) a defense with at least one external player which would neutralize the Turkish threat. 3 Introduction The most striking aspect of the Armenian foreign policy toward Russia after the end of the Soviet Union has been the disparity between the official language used to characterize it and the substantive normative changes that have occurred since independence.

It tipped the balance in favor of a “pro-Western” element on the Armenian political landscape and marked the growing influence of the Western-educated foreign minister Vartan Oskanian. ”73 The Armenian crisis was used to support a rationale for an entrenched presence in the Caucasus and Central Asia, particularly in light of its resuming campaign in Chechnya. Speculations that Russian generals participated in the postOctober 27 regime consolidation are difficult to verify, but an elusive statement made by Col-Gen Ivashov illustrates that the Russian defense establishment did not remain indifferent to the changes in Armenia.

The search for self-identification brought about attempts to set a distance from the big brother in all the former Soviet republics. It would be a stretch to refer to today’s Armenian policy as being anti-Russian. 58 In 1995, Armenia agreed to preserve the Russian base in Gyumri for another twenty-five years. Yet, Russian domestic politics were undergoing major reshuffling, and the military establishment no longer held the monopoly over foreign policy toward the NIS states. In the summer of 1996, at the beginning of his second term, Yeltsin asked Pavel Grachev to leave the post of the defense minister.

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