What is the main reason for Pelosi's visit to Yerevan? – Opinions from Baku
Pelosi’s visit to Yerevan
The visit of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Yerevan almost immediately after the fighting on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia did not go unnoticed in Azerbaijan. The topic has become one of the most discussed in the expert community and among users of social networks. According to a majority of Azerbaijani experts, this visit is more about US primary elections than anything else.
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Pelosi’s visit to Yerevan on September 17-18, 2022 coincided with fighting on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which resulted in the death of hundreds of soldiers.
Azeri pundits have expressed their views on Pelosi’s visit, but they generally agree that the visit to Armenia by the leadership of the House of Representatives was aimed at the votes of Armenian-Americans in the November primaries.
Pelosi’s visit in the context of US policy in the region
The South Caucasus Analytical Center (CSSC) noted that the majority of Armenian media associate Pelosi’s visit to Yerevan with hostile situation on the border. But according to the organizers of the visit, it had actually been planned several months ago.
“Based on this, it is necessary to identify the causal relationship between the visit and clashes at the border: it [the visit] may have been one of the causes of the fighting,” the CSSC said.
“The provocation is not in Karabakh, but on the border of Azerbaijan with Armenia, the provocation by Armenia of the “Decisive Response” operation by Azerbaijan, the raising of the issue of border battles in the UN Security Council by France, which is the chairman of the Security Council, Armenia’s appeal for military assistance to the CSTO in advance knowing about the negative answer, Pashinyan’s refusal to travel to the SCO summit in Samarkand and meet with Putin and Erdogan, the statements of the Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Alen Simonyan on the leading role of the United States in the ceasefire agreement with Azerbaijan and Armenia’s statements on future purchases of weapons from different countries – a chain non-random events one after another.
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All this taken together is part of a special operation to create anti-Russian sentiment in Armenia and shift the gaze to the West.
But at the same time, Pelosi’s visit to Armenia is not something special in terms of American law. The role of the Speaker of the House of Representatives in the domestic politics of the country is important – second only to the President in terms of influence.
Both the Speaker and Congress itself play a limited role in the foreign policy of the States. According to a decision of the US Supreme Court in 1936 (US v. Curtis-Wright Ex. Co.), the leading role in foreign policy belongs to the president of the country.
From this point of view, Pelosi’s visit to Yerevan has practically no benefit for Armenia. The speaker cannot sign any treaty on behalf of the United States or issue a loan to Armenia, promise military assistance, threaten Azerbaijan with sanctions, nor guarantee the approval of any legislative acts in Congress, as any such act must be approved by the president.
This visit is also aimed at consolidating voters of Armenian origin around the Democrats. Historically, the dominant party in White House loses in the midterm elections. Currently, Biden’s approval rating is below 50%. Experts predict the Democrats will lose one or both houses in parliament.
A Republican victory in the elections could quickly dispel the euphoria surrounding the White House and Congress in Armenia,” the CSSC article says.
“The ‘Old Woman’ was invited not without the knowledge of the Kremlin”
“I read information about this lady’s visit to Yerevan and find myself thinking that the vast majority of people have no idea how the political system works at the federal level,” former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofig Zulfugarov writes on Facebook.
According to him, any visit by an American official to a foreign state, depending on the level of the guest, is the result of proposals from the executive branch, the State Department, the National Security Council, or other relevant departments and agencies.
“As for the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is mainly lobbying structures that are working in this direction, which are usually hired for one financial year or for a one-time political event. This rule applies both to visits to the United States and partially to visits by American officials to other countries.
“Therefore any meeting in Congress or the adoption of any legislative act is the result of payment by the interested party of the state, company, political, diaspora or religious organization.
“As for N. Pelosi, it is clear that as a result of the elections that will be held in early November, she will lose her position as Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the defeat of the Democrats is almost predetermined.
“Therefore, the announced figure of expenses of the Armenian government ($120 million) including $50 million for the election fund of the Democratic Party, which will give way to the majority, and therefore the post of speaker, looks like a very hasty decision aimed at supporting Pashinyan now that he is in danger.
“And the Vardanyan’s participation and people close to Chubais in this venture means that the “old woman” was invited not without the knowledge of the Kremlin …
“The amount itself looks like a very significant one for one visit, and so the phrase used by Speaker Simonyan, that sanctions are expected in Armenia against Azerbaijan, means that this is the order and the main goal.
“It is clear that the sanctions may primarily affect the export of energy resources to Europe… Thus he answer to the question – why Vardanyan and Chubais – becomes completely clear. This is the Kremlin’s response to Ursula von der Leyen’s visit.
“The plane that brought Pelosi and the entourage is not a “Congressional” one, but a hired charter, which gives the trip a semi-private campaign status. If anyone is interested, compare it with the one on which she flew to China, ” writes Zulfugarov.