Echo of the Russian-Turkish Problems in Armenia
Russian-Turkish conflict could become a serious problem for the entire South Caucasus, but Armenia may be affected most of all. In the context of tension in Russian-Turkish relations, people in Armenia are even talking about possible problems on Armenian-Turkish border, especially as Russian politicians have been openly talking these days about the need for using Armenian factor against Turkey.
In particular, Alexey Navalny wrote in his blog:
‘It seems to me that, instead of all that hypocritical stuff with chicken or tourists, our first step should be official recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The moment is perfect, the measure is very much political, but extremely painful for Turkey. That’s exactly from the area: “Oh, well then we…’and it will have a great impact. There have been many posts, saying ‘Wikipedia says, Armenian genocide has been already recognized.’ Well, yes, there is State Duma’s statement on condemnation of 1995 genocide. However, it’s the matter of political symbolism.
Armenian Genocide can be recognized endlessly (that’s what some countries do). One can raise the recognition level. It is possible to punish for the denial of genocide, like in France. Countries not recognizing the genocide could be condemned. One can recognize and rest responsibility. Commemoration days could be set. One may work towards international recognition. This is diplomacy, symbols, public opinion and all such matters. For Turkey, another clear step in this direction will be very, very painful.’
Translating words into deeds, the State Duma has introduced a bill envisaging 5 years in prison for denying Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. That hasn’t gone unnoticed in Armenia, but it has caused condemnation and inapprehension, rather than delight and surprise.
And, as usual, the most emotional responses have appeared in social networks.
Isabella Abgaryan: ‘Blackmail on our ancestors’ remains is repugnant, disgusting on part of any country.’
Nikolay Torosyan: ‘Russians have been too much carried away by dragging Armenians into its argy-bargy with Turkey. This sudden media love-making is so artificial, that eyesore even the most pro-Russian people. All those Zhirinovsky, Soloviev, Mironov and company. They should have understood that the genocide theme should not be twitched. It is already clear for everyone, that the most acute issue for Armenians has been used to troll Turkey. If it is decided then not to pass, suspend or put the bill on liability for non-recognition in a pigeon-hole, the reputation losses will be simply indescribable.’
Samvel Martirosyan: ‘ Russian print media and blogs have started wondering: why are Armenians silent? I’ll parry a question: why aren’t Russians learning from their own mistakes? There is no one, Russia has fought with so much as Turkey: ‘In the whole, Russian-Turkish war covers a period of 351 years (1568-1918). During that period, Russia and Turkey were at war 69 years. The average period between Russian-Turkish wars makes just 25 years. ‘
And every time they still rush into Turks’ arms, believe in their vows and assurances of fraternal love. How can you step on the same rake so many times, our white brothers? But the Armenians are not silent. Armenians have been crying out for ages that Turkish politics cannot be trusted.’
Ashot Manucharyan, an oppositionist, is one of the politicians, who voiced his opinion about what Armenia should do in such a situation: “All Armenians should get united; then the strategic alliance, the relationship with Russia should be specified, précising the scope of bilateral obligations and responsibilities; ‘deep’ ties with Iran, China, Europe, and, even the United States, should be also established.’
Manucharyan also said that if the Armenian authorities did not take care about the future of their own country and people, then those, who are really concerned about the country’s fate, would do it.