‘Consultations with Russia have begun’ - Armenian PM’s aide on military assistance
A letter of Armenian PM Pashinyan to Putin requesting a start to consultations on the provision of military assistance has been discussed in the Armenian media and social media since October 31 – as soon as it became known.
Nikol Pashinyan appealed to Putin in connection with the approach of hostilities to the Armenian border. The Russian Foreign Ministry replied that according to the 1997 alliance agreement, Russia will help if the battles take place on the territory of Armenia.
This raised questions amongst the Armenian public – whether the aid will be late, and whether Russia is thus refusing to fulfill its obligations.
Finally, the main adviser to the Prime Minister of Armenia, the former Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General Vagharshak Harutyunyan stated in an interview with ‘Haykakan Zhamanak’ that the process has started, the size, type and necessity of Russia’s intervention will be determined based on the results of the consultations that have already begun.
On the need for assistance to Russia
The PM’s advisor says it is Armenia’s right to seek help from a strategic partner and ally:
“I ask the question: if Turkey is fighting against us together with Azerbaijan, other states, international terrorists, is it not obvious that we should turn to the structure of which we are a member?”
About the military bloc of the CSTO
Vagharshak Harutyunyan explained why Armenia turned directly to Russia, and not to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, of which it is a member. The fact is that in this military bloc, operating under the leadership of Russia, decisions on the Caucasus region should ultimately be carried out by the Armenian-Russian group:
“Therefore, we turned directly to Russia, which, according to the bilateral agreement, has the same obligations as the CSTO. The Prime Minister of Armenia said that we will take all measures to ensure our security in the CSTO as well. So one does not exclude the other.”
What’s already happening
According to Harutyunyan, Russia has already intervened.
Namely, the Russian army is stationed in Yeraskh, an Armenian village near the Lachin corridor on the border between Armenia and Karabakh:
“In other words, this agreement is already in effect. Now, according to the agreement, consultations will be held and the size, type and need for intervention will be determined. Not that the Russian side has to start acting just now, it has already taken steps.”
About the Turkish factor
Vagharshak Harutyunyan believes that Azerbaijan and Turkey have a goal to reach the southern border of Armenia – Meghri and Karvachar, to block off Karabakh:
“This is, first of all, the war of Turkey, with the far-reaching goal of restoring the Ottoman Empire. Providing land communication between Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan is the only way to implement the Turkish ideology. I’ve been talking about this for 20 years now. This agenda was, is and will be.”
Why is the war continuing
The prime minister’s adviser answered the question as to why Russia and other mediators fail to stop the war:
“There is only one reason. Wars do not end with phone calls, but with actions – primarily on the battlefield. We must be strong, we must be ready for a long war.”