“In order to receive weapons with modern Western technology, Armenia must break ties with the CSTO [a military bloc operating under the leadership of Russia] and Russia,” Hrachya Arzumanyan, a political scientist and expert on military and national security, believes.
In his opinion, in the current geopolitical conditions,this path is inevitable, and he believes that after the taking this step Armenia will receive weapons from the United States and France.
A day before the CSTO summit in Yerevan, the political scientist presented his view on Armenian-Russian relations, the expediency of membership in the CSTO, Armenia’s to reform the army and establish new military partnerships.
“No need to expect anything from Putin”
According to Arzumanyan, there is no need to have any hopes or expect fulfillment of obligations from Russia and the CSTO military bloc, because this is “the last stage, this page should be closed.”
Arzumanyan believes that while during the Karabakh war of 2020 Moscow did not want to help Armenia, today it no longer has the capacity.
On November 23, Yerevan will host a meeting of the CSTO Collective Security Council. Russian President Vladimir Putin will also take part. Among other issues, it is planned to discuss “joint measures to provide assistance to Armenia” regarding Azerbaijan’s recent incursion. A separate meeting between Putin and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is also expected.
Why didn’t Moscow fulfill its contractual obligations?
The reason, according to Arzumanyan, is that the national interests of Armenia and Russia not only do not coincide, but also contradict each other:
“Russia, having calculated the situation, came to the conclusion that it should be on the side of Turkey and Azerbaijan, and not Armenia.”
He says it is Moscow’s right to be guided by its own interest; it is only unclear why Armenia continues to treat Russia as an ally, when anti-Armenian approaches are clearly being articulated by the Russian Federation. Arzumanyan is confident that Azerbaijan would not have been able to achieve success in its military operations without Russia’s support.
Unlike the Russian Federation, the interests of France and the United States coincide with the interests of Armenia. At the same time, Arzumanyan warns that one should not expect that this will always be the case.
“Without emotion and without complaint”
Arzumanyan advises the Armenian authorities to accept reality and form a new relationship with Russia, without unnecessary emotions, assessments, and senseless complaints.
He says that he means the termination of military cooperation, which, if possible, should be separated from energy, economic, cultural and other ties:
“It is necessary to understand that it is time to stop the Armenian-Russian military cooperation. And if it works out, then stop it in a normal, legislative field, without any enmity. If it does not work out, we must be ready for other developments.”
“Armenia has the potential to create a 21st century army”
According to Arzumanyan, an twentieth century army will again lead Armenia to defeat, and to create a modern army, it is necessary to break “all military ties” with Moscow:
“Regardless of whether it be possible or not, Yerevan must choose this path. The question should be put not like this: are we changing our army, but like this: how do we change our army from the Soviet doctrine and make it modern.
He believes that the country has the potential to move in this direction and that the experience of the Armenian military serving with the armies of Western countries is also useful.
“Such a transformation requires a generational change, about fifteen years. But given the threats that we are facing now, we are forced to go this way as quickly as possible,” Arzumanyan said.
“You have to take the first step”
Arzumanyan believes that Yerevan can change the army by the first steps:
- show state and political will and prove to the West, serious power centers that Armenia really wants to follow this path,
- announce withdrawal from the Russian Federation security system.
According to Arzumanyan, if these steps are taken the country will receive political and military support from France and the United States. Armenian society is ready to make the final choice, and it remains for “the ruling forces to announce it.”
Can India replace Russia?
According to Arzumanyan the quality of Indian weapons, which Armenia is now trying to buy, is inferior to the Western, but Indian partners work with France and the United States, and “comply with their doctrine”:
“The Indian army made the transition to the network doctrine of the West a long time ago, almost ten years ago. Making connections is the right thing to do. Armenia has no other way out at this stage.”
Hrachya Arzumanyan believes that Armenia needs to use its limited potential and opportunities to establish ties with India and the countries of the Middle East.