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 international coverage in the course of the post-independence interval, among 1991 and 2005. It explores 4 units of relationships with Armenia's significant historic 'partners': Russia, Iran, Turkey and the West (Europe and the United States).

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Introduction 19 relations or the resolution processes of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict occasionally causes anxiety among the Armenian elite, they have nevertheless remained defiant. The reasons for this are two-fold: one, the “West” is not ready to provide to Armenia with the security guarantees, hence the Armenian elite understands that the pressure is only of a limited nature; two, the Nagorno-Karabakh is a source of strength as much as it is a cause of vulnerability because it gives the Armenian elite a sense of certainty about the boundaries that it cannot transgress.

57 Yet, Ter-Petrosyan’s designs failed and Armenia and Russia both remained excluded from the Western plans. At the same time, Armenia’s economic Russia 37 crisis pushed her closer toward Russia. Popular attitudes swayed back to a traditionally pro-Russian orientation, largely because of the fact that massive waves of migrants leaving Armenia in the winter of 1993 in their search of jobs and heat ended up in major Russian cities. According to the poll conducted at the end of 1993, 80 percent of the population supported the idea of economic and military cooperation with Russia.

Ter-Petrosyan’s pragmatic leadership played generally a very positive role in enhancing Armenia’s image internationally and in building good relationship with Yeltsin’s administration. It also became a geopolitical necessity because of the Turkish involvement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. 37 Regardless of how much the Ter-Petrosyan administration wished to change the parameters of Armenia’s external environment, the war with Azerbaijan imposed its own logic. Among the preconditions put forth by Ankara for establishing diplomatic relations with Armenia was the renunciation of its “aggressive policy” toward Azerbaijan.

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