A Year of War with no Hope of Peace in Sight:


A Year of War with no Hope of Peace in Sight:

Armenia and the war in Ukraine

Text: Tigran Zakaryan 

Almost a year ago a biggest armed conflict erupted in Eastern Europe since the end of the Second World War. The number of victims and the scope of destruction already is higher than any conflict in Europe since 1945.

As many observers note there are few chances that the end of the war is any time near, unlike the earlier optimistic predictions that the economic sanctions against Russia and military support to Ukraine would force the Kremlin to quickly strike a peace deal. Meanwhile Kiev’s position throughout the war has only hardened and currently Ukraine is unlikely to agree to any arrangement compromising its territorial integrity, i.e. the borders before the 2014 annexation of Crimea. 

It will not be excessive to remind that one of the factors making this war reality was the impunity for the war in 2020 which Azerbaijan unleashed against Artsakh and Baku’s later acts of aggression against Armenia’s internationally recognized territory.  

Russian leadership hoped for a blitzkrieg or a least a short war with a change of regime in Kiev with little to no resistance by Ukraine and many international observers agreed that Ukraine’s fate is sealed. However, the conflict soon transformed into of a war of attrition with a relative balance of opposing forces. Many speculate that the “Collective West” with its tremendously superior financial and economic resources can easily help Ukraine to gain the upper hand, while others point to the inevitable prospect of war-weariness in the pro-Ukraine camp. 

Meanwhile the final downfall of Russia – whose influence and role in both the region and globally is hard to overestimate – will potentially cause a geopolitical earthquake threatening to spark dozens of new conflicts and possibly an all-out war of global scale. This is why the West – the US in particular – is very cautious in its support to Ukraine, while Moscow has added the dreaded prospects of Russia’s disintegration into its weaponry of propagandist narratives. 

Under those circumstance Armenia is in a very delicate situation. While Russia’s probable victory will certainly threaten Armenia’s independence, its defeat, even without a complete dissolution of the country, will trigger a new war in Karabakh with real prospects of an ethnic cleansing. 

Even a protracted war which will gradually exhaust Russia’s resources is likely to make Armenia’s situation precarious since Azerbaijan’s death grip over the communications of Artsakh will only tighten with Russia’s tools for preventing or reversing it becoming increasingly unimpressive.  

Under those circumstances Armenia has to assume a possibly most flexible position and try its best not to make new adversaries, while sparing no effort to explain in the best possible way the imperatives stemming from its geopolitical predicament. In such circumstances it is worth to add some proactivity in foreign policy in same time maintain a consistency in foreign political statements, which unfortunately is not always the case currently.    
For this Armenia as a nation needs to marshal all its internal resources to consolidate its independence. Armenia needs to get rid of old narratives, outdated political actors, colonial mentalities which are only making this country’s survival questionable. 

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