Why Turkey Needs Armenia More Than Armenia Needs Turkey

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian with Turkish President Abdullah Gul at the Armenia-Turkey Soccer Match held in Bursa on Oct 14


BY TED TOURIAN

The early momentum driving the Armenian-Turkish protocols have considerably slowed down in recent weeks. For instance, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued the following official statement on the Armenia-Turkey Protocols:

“The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia has declared its decision of constitutional conformity on the Protocols between Turkey and Armenia signed on 10 October 2009 with a short statement on 12 January 2010. The Constitutional Court has recently published its grounds of decision. It has been observed that this decision contains preconditions and restrictive provisions which impair the letter and spirit of the Protocols.

This was in response to the Republic of Armenia’s (Armenia) Constitutional Court’s acceptance of  the Protocols, but only after placing a number of restrictions on their legal interpretation and implementation. The reason for this decision is that the Protocols are a vaguely written document, and should not have any precedence, or authority to legally govern the Republic of Armenia’s policies, and legal rights.1

Furthermore, the recent rapprochement between Armenia and Turkey has also come under fire by Azerbaijan, and its attempts to procure concessions from Armenia before normalization occurs. In fact, Azerbaijan has threatened Turkey where it would export natural gas and oil through alternate transit routes, which does not include Turkey. Azeri President Ilham Aliyev told the Wall Street Journal: “Azerbaijan can export gas in four directions: Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Russia.”2
Yet, coincidentally enough, it is the opposite of what Ilham Aliyev said that holds water. It is this reason Turkey needs Armenia more than Armenia needs Turkey for the ratification of the protocols.

The following analysis looks at why Russia, Georgia and Iran are unacceptable transit routes of Azeri and Central Asian petroleum products, leaving Armenia as the only compromise that can satisfy the major powers in the region. It is this reason Armenia should not compromise on any issues that will have a damaging effect on the long-term well-being of the nation of Armenia.

Russia and its disputes with the European Union

The primary reason Russia is not an adequate transit route with Europe is its unreliability for gas transit in recent years. Russia has been an unreliable trade partner is because Russia has used its chip as the as being Europe’s major gas supplier as a bargaining chip to prevent NATO expansion to its former spheres of influence, turning off the faucets when it feels threatened or looks for a concession. As such, Russia’s long-term policy is to ensure that all natural gas supplies from Central Asia and other surrounding areas travel through its territory, in order to secure this geopolitical asset. The following section looks more in-depth at these assertions.

In recent years, Russia and Ukraine have had several disputes that have stopped the flow of gas from Russia to Europe. The fallout from these trade disputes has caused the EU Commission and Presidency to declare that these crises have caused irreparable and irreversible damage to customers’ confidence in Russia and Ukraine. This means Russia and Ukraine can no longer be regarded as reliable partners.3

Recent history suggests this dispute is far from over, despite an agreement between Russia and Ukraine in January 2009 to end these gas shortages.

For instance, on October 2, 2007 Gazprom threatened to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine because of unpaid debt amounting to $1.3 billion.4 This dispute appeared to be settled on 8 October, 2007.5 On 5 January, 2008 Gazprom warned Ukraine again it will reduce its gas supplies on 11 January, 2008 if a $1.5 billion gas debt was not be paid.6 Presidents Putin and Yushchenko announced on 12 February, 2008 an agreement on this particular gas issue.7 Ukraine would begin paying off its debts for natural gas, consumed in November–December 2007 and the price at $179.5 will be preserved in the year 2008.8  The presidents also decided to replace RosUkrEnergo and UkrGazEnergo by two new intermediaries, creating them as joint ventures of Gazprom and Naftohaz.9

The gas crisis of 2009 began with a failure to reach an agreement on gas prices and supplies for 2009. Ukraine owed a debt of $2.4 billion to Gazprom for consumed gas, and Gazprom asked this amount be repaid before the commencement of a new supply contract.10 Although in December 2008 more than $1 billion was paid by Ukraine to reduce its debt, Gazprom remained committed to cut supplies to Ukraine by 1 January, 2009, if Ukraine did not redeem its $1.67 billion debt for gas supplies and $450 million in fines.11 On 30 December 2008, Naftohaz paid $1.522 billion,12 but parties were not able to agree the price for 2009. Ukraine proposed a price of $201 and later $235, while Gazprom demanded $250 per 1,000 cubic meters.13 Negotiations between Gazprom and Naftohaz were interrupted on 31 December 2008.14

The effects of Russia and Ukraine’s haggling for gas could be felt in Hungary, Romania and Poland, which reported that pressure in their pipelines had dropped. Bulgaria also reported supply was falling and that transit to Turkey, Greece and Republic of Macedonia was affected.15

This trade dispute stems from Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004. Since then, Ukraine has moved closer to the west, looking for NATO and European Union membership. Russia is penalizing a former member of the USSR and Warsaw Pact for removing itself from its sphere of influence. It rewards more “loyal” ex-Soviet countries with cheaper prices. The dispute is also compounded by a full-scale political crisis inside Ukraine with President Viktor Yushchenko at war with his former ally and Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko.16

Obviously, Russia is concerned about an ever stronger NATO presence encircling it, considering the West’s insistence on deploying its missile shield closer to the Russian border, under the guise of defending against rogue states like Iran and North Korea. In fact, the Russians feel that “it is highly likely that the missile threat from ‘problem’ states is not the genuine reason for the creation of the missile defense system by the Americans,” Mikhail Barabanov, editor of Arms Export magazine wrote. “The real motivation of the multibillion-dollar undertaking is the desire to expand U.S. military and strategic capacities and constrict those of other states that have nuclear missiles, Russia and China most of all.”17

In order to provide itself security from NATO’s tightening grip, Russia has focused on strengthening control over its strongest geopolitical advantage, natural gas supplies headed for Europe, which relies on over 150bn cubic metres a year (cm/y) of natural gas.

In fact, Russia has started to pay full price for Centra
l Asian gas exports. In fact, after years of buying gas from Central Asia cheaply, state-controlled Gazprom agreed with the three former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to pay them European prices for their gas on long-term contracts, rather than see those producing countries sell their gas directly to Europe and thus break its stranglehold on exports to the continent.18

Thus, there is tension between Russia and the West; where the West wants energy independence from Russia; and Russia wants to monopolize natural gas flow to Europe to prevent NATO expansion.

Georgia is Unstable as an Energy Hub

Georgia is a key transit point in the recent Central Asian oil boom, where it is the central hub connecting the Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

However, Georgia suffers from instability due to its poor relations with Russia where it removed Russian military bases, and replaced them with NATO forces. Furthermore, Georgia has ethnically diverse provinces, each having problems with the central Georgian government about their identities. The recent military operations in South Ossetia, and the push for Osset independence only encourages minorities in Abkhazia, Ajaria, Akhalkalai and Kaxeti to seek their own sovereignty, with Russia fueling independent tendencies and the West promoting stability to prevent oil-transit stoppages. These interests directly compete with each other, potentially leading to complete civil war.

Many questions remain unanswered whether Georgia can exist as a viable trade hub in order to deliver Central Asian oil and gas to European markets.

Energy Passage through Iran is Unacceptable to the United States:

Central Asian oil and gas passing through Iran is unacceptable to the United States. The obvious answer garnering much rhetoric will be that Iran is a nuclear threat to Israel.19 However, the more insidious answer lies with Iran’s foreign policy of trying to unhinge oil trading from the US dollar.

First of all, Iran has begun to expunge its US dollar reserves and started to replace them with Euros. In fact, the head of Iran’s Central Bank has recently boasted that Iran has gained $5 billion by excluding the U.S. dollar from its currency basket and replacing it with the Euro.20

Secondly, Iran has been advocating to other OPEC nations that they should stop trading oil strictly in US dollars, and replace trading in a basket of currencies that include the Euro, the Japanese Yen and China’s Yuan. So far, only Venezuela has agreed to stop trading oil in US dollars.21 However, that is not to say that this policy is not favored by other countries. For instance, China, Russia, India, and Brazil (all major consumers of oil) support Iran’s recent initiatives.22

Currently, Iran has only faced sanctions from the United Nations, and the United States and its allies. Countries like India, China, Russia, and several others remain undeterred in trading with Iran.

Iran’s actions of being a perceived military threat to Israel, and more importantly, attempting to move away from trading oil in US dollars, bears a striking resemblance to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

For instance, prior to the Coalition of the Willing’s23 invasion into Iraq, some commentators asserted that Saddam Hussein sealed his fate when he announced in September 2000 that Iraq was no longer going to accept dollars for oil being sold under the UN’s Oil-for-Food program, and decided to switch to the euro as Iraq’s oil export currency.24 As well, like Iran, Iraq was mired in global sanctions that, at the time, severely restricted its ability to trade.

If Iran’s foreign policy on oil currency exchange becomes a successful alternative for international oil trades, it would challenge the hegemony currently enjoyed by the financial centers in both London (IPE) and New York (NYMEX), a factor not overlooked in the following (UK) Guardian article25 :

Iran is to launch an oil trading market for Middle East and Opec producers that could threaten the supremacy of London’s International Petroleum Exchange.
…Some industry experts have warned the Iranians and other OPEC producers that western exchanges are controlled by big financial and oil corporations, which have a vested interest in market volatility.

The IPE, bought in 2001 by a consortium that includes BP, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, was unwilling to discuss the Iranian move yesterday. “We would not have any comment to make on it at this stage,” said an IPE spokeswoman.26

The above factors have contributed to Iran’s isolation from the West. Keeping Iran isolated, and preventing the achievement of Iran’s foreign policy goal will prevent a cascading event amongst industrialized nations from dropping the US dollar as the predominant currency in oil trading. The reason for this is that industrialized nations would likely only move in tandem on the currency exchange markets in an effort to thwart neoconservatives from pursuing their desperate strategy of dominating the world’s largest hydrocarbon energy supply. Any such efforts that resulted in a dollar currency crisis would be undertaken – not to cripple the U.S. dollar and economy as punishment towards the American people per se – but rather to thwart further unilateral warfare and its potentially destructive effects on the critical oil production and shipping infrastructure in the Persian Gulf. 27

It should be noted that central bankers throughout the world community are extremely reluctant to currently ‘dump the dollar,’ because the global community is dependent on the oil and gas energy supplies found in the Persian Gulf,28 which are currently in close alliance with the United States.29

Armenia: The only viable option?

Armenia is the best option for delivering Central Asian and Azeri gas to European markets in light of the West’s strategy of isolating Iran and Russia, and the recent turmoil in Georgia. Armenia also offers a compromise for both Russia and Iran.

First, using Armenia as a transit line is beneficial to the West’s policy of isolating Russia.30  With the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and activation of the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh, it is possible that “Nabucco” pipelines would go through Armenia rather than Georgia.31  If Turkey decides to cooperate with Washington and reaches a stable agreement with Armenia under US guidance, Russia’s entire position in the Caucasus is weakened and an alternative route for natural gas to Europe becomes available, reducing Russian leverage against Western Europe.32

A Turkish opening to Armenia would alter the balance of power in the entire region. Since the August 2008 Georgia-Russia conflict the Caucasus, a strategically vital area to Moscow has been unstable. Russian troops remain in South Ossetia. Russia also has troops in Armenia meaning Russia has Georgia surrounded.33

Second, using Armenia as transit line for the Nabucc
o project is feasible to Iran. Last year, Iran “returned” to “Nabucco” project. After the election of Barack Obama as the US president and the statement of his intentions to improve the relations with Tehran served as a political signal to start the negotiations with Iran on the “Nabucco.” At the beginning of 2009, Turkey, actively lobbied of Iran’s participation in “Nabucco”. Tayipp Erdogan even stated in Brussels that there was no sense to build the gas pipeline without Iran’s participation.34

These recent developments are consistent with Iran’s long-term goals of using Armenian territory to export gas to Georgia and the EU. However, only  nterference from Russia prevented this objective from happening where Iran built a pipeline to Armenia that was of small capability, in order to prevent Iranian gas entering the European market.35 This occurred where Gazprom took major precautionary measures against an expansion of Iran’s role and indeed against any independent Iranian gas-export policy in Armenia or beyond. It imposed from the outset on Yerevan — against Tehran’s will — to reduce the Iran-Armenia pipeline’s diameter from the originally designed 1,420 millimeters (the size of major gas export pipelines) to 700 millimeters. This measure precludes any transit of Iranian gas to third countries through this pipeline, confining Iran to the Armenian market.36

Finally, and most importantly, Russia is amenable to Armenia being an alternate transit route to deliver natural gas to Europe. Russian energy firms already own or manage several major power plants that account for as much as 80 percent of Armenia’s electricity production. In addition, they are the sole suppliers of the country’s main energy resources: natural gas and nuclear fuel.37

Furthermore, Russia has enhanced its already dominant role in Armenia’s energy sector by buying the country’s electricity grid after years of behind-the-scene maneuvering. The Armenian government gave the green light recently to the formal takeover of the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility by a subsidiary of Unified Energy Systems (UES), the state-controlled Russian power monopoly.38

In addition to Russia’s dominance of Armenia’s electricity market, Russian interests have also consolidated their dominance in Armenia’s natural gas pipelines. In December of 2004, Russian giant Gazprom was invited to build and repair one part of the Armenian-Iranian gas pipeline, between Kadjaran and Ararat, at a cost of $90 million. As payment for its work, Gazprom would receive the No. 5 generating unit at the Razdan power plant, Armenia’s largest heating and power plant, which supplies 20 percent of the country’s electricity needs. Armenian President Robert Kocharian had earlier dismissed reports of such a deal.

Furthermore, the Armenian government agreed that the new pipeline’s section on Armenian territory would be given over to Gazprom via the ArmRosGaz company, in which Gazprom and its offshoot Itera hold a combined 68% interest. Controlling the pipeline and distribution network within the country, Moscow can exercise all but discretionary control over the access of gas from a third-country supplier — a situation that Moscow seeks to achieve in certain European countries as well.39

Conclusions

Despite rhetoric from Turkey that it may have to abandon the Armenian-Turkish protocols, it is painfully clear that Armenia is a necessary cog in the world of global oil transit.
Russia, Georgia and Iran are unacceptable transit routes of Azeri and Central Asian petroleum products, leaving Armenia as the only compromise that can satisfy the major powers in the region.

It is this reason Armenia should not compromise on any issues that will have a damaging effect on the long-term well-being of the nation of Armenia.

1. http://www.asbarez.com/2010/01/22/constitutional-court-limits-protocols%E2%80%99-damage-to-armenian-national-interests/
2. http://www.asbarez.com/2010/01/27/aliyev-says-armenia-should-%E2%80%98liberate%E2%80%99-first/
3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7827829.stm
4. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7024294.stm
5. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7034849.stm
6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7233401.stm
7. http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/02/12/putin.russia/index.html
8. http://www.unian.net/eng/news/news-235920.html
9. http://unian.net/eng/news/news-240060.html
10. http://www.ukranews.com/eng/article/164193.html
11. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article168740.ece
12. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLU15776220081230?sp=true
13. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123080339916446769.html
14. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLV43959420081231?sp=true
15. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/world/europe/04russia.html
16. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jan/07/ukraine-russia-gas-dispute
17. http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Why_Russia_Fears_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_999.html
18. http://businessneweurope.eu/story1613/Russia_finds_growing_competition_for_Central_Asias_oil_and_gas
19. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,430649,00.html
20. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704779704574553454100204642.html
21. http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-173117513.html
22. http://moneymorning.com/2009/10/07/gold-prices-dollar/
23. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_of_the_willing
24. http://www.energybulletin.net/node/7707
25. http://www.energybulletin.net/node/7707
26. www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,1239644,00.html
27. http://www.energybulletin.net/node/7707
28. http://www.energybulletin.net/node/7707
29. Saudia Arabia, UAE, Qatar, provide x amount of the global oil supply.
30. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13171
31. http://www.noravank.am/en/?page=analitics&nid=1962
32. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13171
33. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=13171
34. http://www.noravank.am/en/?page=analitics&nid=1962
35. http://www.noravank.am/en/?page=analitics&nid=1707
36. http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=32607
37. http://www.geni.org/globalenergy/library/national_energy_grid/armenia/EnergyOverviewofArmenia.shtml
38 http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/business/articles/eav092805.shtml
39. http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=32607

Authors

Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.

14 Comments

  1. Kiazer Souze said:

    So, fossil fuel is the only reason that the US is pushing Armenia to ratify the protocols? There is a huge and glaring falacy in this dissertation.

    Namely, the current events of the US’s and EU’s desire to choke off Iran. When they do this, Saudia Arabia and other OPEC countries get richer (less competition). The EU and the US know that Armenia’s existence depends on Iranian gas and products and services. They can’t choke off Iran and have the border with Turkey remain closed. This would be unacceptable to Armenia. Secondly, Russia wants the Artsagh conflict to last as long as possible so as to fester discontent with Turks and Azeris and thereby have EU’s gas delivered through Russia. Azerbajan already doubled the price of gas that it sends to Turkey from roughly $150.00 to $300.00. That is the sign of things to come between these two countries.

    Moreover, Iran is running out of enough uranium to build the BOMB. Armenia has the uranium mines. Russia wants to use the issue of uranium to control Iran. Thus, Russia has an interest in Artsagh and Armenia as well. The US is going to sell arms to Tiawan and talk to the Dali Lama as bargaining chips to bring China in line with choking off Iran.

    I see bigger issues than merely fossil fuel trade routes through Armenia. I do agree however that Armenia sits right in the middle of things (the cross-roads, if you will) where it could once again exact a tax for use of its land route.

  2. Serge said:

    Very well said, I wish Armenian goverment and Serge Sarkisian can see this article and stop rushing to ratify the stupid protocols.

  3. hrair said:

    I love this photo. The facial similarities are amazing! The only difference is the way they style their hairs.

  4. Grish Begian said:

    The old rivals, Russia, Iran, Turkey are back with a new game plan, this time, US, UK and France are included..we have to wait and see who will play against who?? or who will move first!!

    Of course a chess game required skill, experience and mathematical calculation….historically Armenia and Russia have been mastered in chess games.

    Caucasus become an interesting place once more, where all these chess masters will demonstrate their fundamental strategic and tactical rules, in order to capture opponent pieces while preserving one’s own.

  5. Avetis said:

    There are some misleading statements and presumptions in this article.

    First, Russia cutoff its energy supply to nations that were pursuing anti-Russian activities and were habitually not paying their bills…

    Second, to assume that Armenia, a landlocked nation that has hostile relations with both Turkey and Azerbaijan, is somehow more reliable as an energy transit nation than Russia, or even Iran, is silly to say the least…

    Third, as the author of the article already realizes, Moscow and not Yerevan controls Armenia’s energy sector. Thus, energy supplies passing through Armenia is essentially the same as energy supplies passing through Russia… So, what happened to isolating Russia?

    Fourth, for a gargantuan economy like that of Turkey’s (who is essentially Europe’s China), establishing relations with Armenia is insignificant economically speaking. As far as energy is concerned: Turkey can place emphasis on increasing its energy imports from Iran, and Russia via the Black Sea.

    The fact of the matter is, because of various geopolitical and economic factors, Ankara has been ‘forced’ to sit at the negotiating table with Armenia by Russia and the West. Regardless of all the rhetorical gymnastics one can perform to make a self-serving point, the fact remains that Armenia desperately needs to have normal relations with its neighbors to develop properly as a nation-state. Obviously, the normalization of relations with regional neighbors cannot come at any price. Thanks to our nation’s current ruling administration and Moscow’s support, it has not.

    As a result of the current financial crisis engulfing the Western world and the outcome of the Russian-Georgian war in the summer of 2008, a resurgent Moscow is using Armenia as a platform to project its power in the region. Nonetheless, the recent Russian sponsored rapprochement between Yerevan and Ankara is a great opportunity, economically and politically, for Armenia. The political stature of Armenia as a nation-state has not been this elevated for centuries. Say what you will about president Sargsyan, official Yerevan has played its political role brilliantly – thus far. As a result of how it handled the protocols, Armenia today is in a win-win situation despite any outcome. And despite Turkish fears and apprehensions, the ball is currently in Ankara’s court.

    • Hovsep (Osik) Movsessian said:

      Avetis, Yes both West & Russia were present in Geneva, because weeks before; Obama scrapped the Bush’s missile plan in Eastern Europe; but later when he announced his own missile plan in Turkey and Persian Gulf countries then Russia pulled back, unlashed Sarkissian; he resumed flirting with his southern neighbor (Kocharian’s trip), turned 180 degree and became a born-again patriot and all the rest that he did on his way and in UK. (Please see my comment at the top)

  6. immortal Souls of western Armenia risen said:

    we must believe in ourselves. we must unite as one, we must move forward fearless, we must not ever forget….this is an obvious aspect that they need Armenia, you are right we are the better chess players Grish jan, they need Armenia from every angle, the Genocide issue, if they remain hostile is going to change Turkey all together, so

  7. Jay said:

    The author suggests that Armenia is the only viable option to have the NABUCO project materialized. Then, how beneficial would it be if the Russians ‘Diplomaticaly’ assume control of the ‘FAUCET’?

    This ‘FAUCET’ is getting to be a headache.

    • commentator said:

      Armenia is the only viable option to have the NABUCO project materialized? Honestly, I do not believe that Azerbaijan will ever agree to export its natural resources through Armenia, unless Erevan decides to end occupation of 7 regions surrounding Karabakh and agrees Armenians and Azeris live together in Karabakh under Azerbaijani rule.

  8. Hovsep (Osik) Movsessian said:

    I think it would be ideal if all those Oil and Gas of Caspian and East it; flows through Armenia to the West, then Armenia becomes a Golden Bridge and in a decade will flourish, that’s what LTP tried twice; but both times the Northern Polar Bear kicked his rear; first time he lost his presidency, on his second try got lucky and was just confined in his house for a long time.
    Same thing when the Georgian “Don Kichote” Saakashvili after getting in bed with West tried to play with that Bear; got smashed and lost the S. Ossetia; he, Sarkissian, his Azeri counterpart and 2 others, like 5 kids in a class learned their big lesson, now Armenia’s S. Ossetia is our beloved Artsakh plus liberated lands, the Bear has it in one hand using as “Carrot” showing to both sides while hiding his other hand with a huge “Stick” behind himself, that’s why no one can find a solution, but if by a miracle Armenia Grabs that “Carrot” then we could easily become that Golden Bridge to West.

  9. ted said:

    Dear Avetis,

    I will take your points one by one

    1) First, Russia cutoff its energy supply to nations that were pursuing anti-Russian activities and were habitually not paying their bills…

    Yes, that is what I said – these counrties were joining NATO and thus tightenng the Western noose around Russia. I am not sure how we disagree on this point, but ok… The bills were an excuse for turning off the faucet.

    2) “Second, to assume that Armenia, a landlocked nation that has hostile relations with both Turkey and Azerbaijan, is somehow more reliable as an energy transit nation than Russia, or even Iran, is silly to say the least…”

    The assumption is that with the protocols, peace comes to Armenia and Turkey/Azerbaijan. This is my premise, which inevitably leads to Armenia potentially being a more stable conduit.

    Second, I did not assert Armenia is a more stable transit route, but rather, having a pipeline flow through Armenia rather than Russia or Iran serves more important geopolitical reasons (please read carefully)

    As has already been discussed, the West looks to prevent Russia’s ability to cut off gas supplies from the West (Russia does this where the West has taken an anti-Russia stance by filling the vaccuum of former Soviet Russian vassels), and is worried about Iran’s currency dumping regime that could destabilize petroleum prices and the global economy (RE: petrodollar).

    3) “Third, as the author of the article already realizes, Moscow and not Yerevan controls Armenia’s energy sector. Thus, energy supplies passing through Armenia is essentially the same as energy supplies passing through Russia… So, what happened to isolating Russia?”

    Armenia is a compromise for Russia and the West (As I clearly stated) – Russia does not have the ability to turn off the gas/petroleum faucet, but still earns revenue from the faucet. (Maybe I should be more explicit)

    4) “Regardless of all the rhetorical gymnastics one can perform to make a self-serving point, the fact remains that Armenia desperately needs to have normal relations with its neighbors to develop properly as a nation-state.”

    Please define why “Armenia desperately needs to have normal relations with its neighbours”.

    Furthermore, Armenia has good relations with Iran and Georgia, and, for some reason, does not have relations with two countries who continuously try to systematically wipe Armenia off the map… See Naxichevan Khachkars, see Meshkheti Turks to flood the Akhalkalak population, see Sumgait tragedies, see depopulating Armenians from Naxichevan, etc., etc.

    5) “The political stature of Armenia as a nation-state has not been this elevated for centuries. Say what you will about president Sargsyan, official Yerevan has played its political role brilliantly – thus far. As a result of how it handled the protocols, Armenia today is in a win-win situation despite any outcome. And despite Turkish fears and apprehensions, the ball is currently in Ankara’s court.”

    Whether Armenia is in a win-win situation is subject to debate. Please provide facts for your assertions.

    Best regards

    PS – the more recent article on asbarez.com “EU Envoy Says Armenia May Be Route For Future Pipeline”

    http://www.asbarez.com/77667/eu-envoy-says-armenia-may-be-route-for-future-pipeline/

  10. Pingback: Why Turkey Needs Armenia More Than Armenia Needs Turkey | Pitts Report

  11. Pingback: Why Turkey Needs Armenia More Than Armenia Needs Turkey | Pitts Report

  12. Pingback: Why Turkey Needs Armenia More Than Armenia Needs Turkey | Pitts Report

*

Top