Armenia is an important part Russia’s long-term plans. A member of the Eurasian Economic Union Armenia is key to protecting Russia’s southern flank.
So, I was not shocked back in 2016 when the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh was activated by the U.S. after a brief visit by then Secretary of State John Kerry as punishment for Russia’s intervention into Syria.
Nagorno-Karabakh had been peaceful for more than twenty years before Kerry’s visit. And within days, fighting broke out on the Azeri side of the region which lies between the two countries.
So, color me not shocked that as the Neoconservatives take control of the Trump White House that they activate a color revolution in Armenia while simultaneously pushing Russia in Ukraine, Syria, the U.K., the financial markets and seemingly everywhere else at the same time.
The story at Zerohedge this morning gives us the political picture, former president Serzh Sargsyan, was elected as Prime Minister creating the facade of a transfer of power. This sparked protests which grew to a point where Sargsyan had to resign.
Color Revolutions created by western NGOs stoke mild opposition to a sitting government and turns it into a lynch mob by escalating the violence in the streets.
Why would Armenians now begin trashing Turkish stores in Aleppo (that’s right in Syria) over an internal Armenian political matter?
Because it’ll give Turkish President Erdogan an excuse to finish the Armenian genocide (which Erdogan and Israel refuse to acknowledge happened) his predecessors started a hundred years ago.
And the hope is that this provocation will drive a wedge between Turkey and Russia at a time when everyone’s nerves are frayed to the point of breaking.
Turkey announces over the weekend it is repatriating all of its gold from the Federal Reserve vaults in New York.
Iran announces it no longer accepts dollars in its business dealings and switches to the euro for international trade, in preparation for Trump decertifying the JCPOA and re-establishing sanctions from 2012 which includes SWIFT expulsion again.
If Armenia’s government falls here there will be an immediate push to get them into NATO and create an absolute nightmare in the region.
So, that puts everyone in a bind because Russia has to continue backing the existing government which it shares a very strategic military integration with. Remember, Armenia is a member of the CSTO and has a joint military command agreement with Moscow.
So, this coup attempt at this point in time is quite a cynical and inflammatory move in the wake of Azeri elections which sees Russian-Azeri relations continue improving. The latest being a commitment to triple Azeri exports to Russia over the next few years.
Russia has skillfully managed its relationship with both countries under Putin with Armenia obviously the more important of the two strategically since it protects Russia’s southern flank.
And a stable Armenia means a much slower flow of ‘terrorists’ coming into Russia.
The goal of Syria, among other things, is the creation of a failed state and terrorist stronghold to destabilize the region, including Iraq, Iran and Turkey, but with the ultimate goal of bleeding Russia white over time.
And as each domino falls, the harder it is for Russia to defend its positions in the former Soviet republics. This is why Putin has been so focused on developing stronger defense and economic ties with these countries. He’s been skillful in his diplomacy with Ukbezistan, for example, after the death of its long-time leader Karimov in September of 2016.
The same can be said for how he and Iranian President Rouhani have handled relations with Azerbaijan, despite the open wound of Nagorno-Karabakh.
So, as things ratchet up in Armenia, the question over the next few days will be whether the removal of long-time Russian ally Sargsyan from Armenia politics will be enough to dissipate the current anger.
I don’t know but I do know that this situation will be escalated a la the Maidan in Kiev if it begins to flag in intensity.