Cooperation with Russia and Iran Neutralizes Military Threat from Turkey

(Regnum/PanArmenian.net)–Armenia’s relations with both Russia and Iran help to neutralize threats to Armenia and preserve military and political balance in the region stated Armenian National Security Secretary and Defense Minister Serge Sarkisian in a report titled "Directions of National Security Strategy of Armenian Republic."

"Armenian-Russian military cooperation–especially the presence of the Russian military in Armenia–neutralizes the military threat coming from Turkey," says the report.

The document notes that the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership is developing in three important directions–these being the formation of coalition groups–anti-aircraft defense–and cooperation within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

The report also highlights Armenian and Russian cooperation in the multilateral sphere. "For example–the unified anti-aircraft defense system along with the joint Armenian-Russian patrol solves one of the most important problems of the national security–while the Armenian-Russian military bloc within the CSTO maintains the military-political balance in the South Caucasus region," the report says.

At the same time the report says Armenian-Russian relations never posed obstacles for the development of Armenia’s foreign policy in other directions–such as European integration. "Russia has also adopted the European way of development and the increasing cooperation between Russia and the European Union creates a favorable environment for the harmonization of Armenia’s two priority directions for the development of state and national security," the document says.

The document also describes the importance of Armenian-Iranian relations in preserving military and political balance in the region.

The document states–that Iran–along with Turkey–is a crucial country for regional military and political balance in the region. And since Turkey is a member of NATO and allied with the US and Israel–it is regarded by Iran as a possible enemy. Their rivalry provides Armenia with the ability to neutralize the Azerbaijan-Turkey coalition against Armenia.

The report also mentions cooperation with Iran in the energy sector–which is aimed at finding alternative energy sources for Armenia.

According to the report–Iran is very important to Armenia for transportation and because of the economic blockade of Armenia. Iran is a strategic route to Asia and the Middle East–and also an alternate route to Russia. Iran is also geographically close to Karabagh–and maintains a balanced position regarding the conflict.

The report pays special attention to the pressure that Azerbaijan puts on Iran–as an Islamic country. Azerbaijan frames the Karabagh conflict as a religious conflict and speculates that there are over "one million Muslim refugees."

It also points out that Azerbaijan is threatening to expand cooperation with the US that rivals Iran. Armenia–on the other hand–maintains balanced relations so cooperation between the US and Armenia does not go against Iranian interests.

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