Media reports suggest that the West has again provided financial aid Yerevan. They mention various reasons to make a case for this step such as people`s health and democratic reforms. A contradictory picture emerges considering the issue in the light of the situation in the South Caucasus. It is obvious that we deal with the influence of some factors. If the processes will continue to develop in this direction, it will be difficult to ease geopolitical tension in the region. It must seriously alert the West.
Tradition of support: injustice and falsified arguments
Head of the EU delegation to Armenia, Traian Hristea stated that the organization assumed obligations to support reforms in the country. According to him, the EU is concerned about ”the direction Armenia moves towards and what reforms it implements” (see.: Для чего ЕС призывает Армению скорее вступить в ЕАЭС? Заявление посла Траяна Христеа / Panorama.am, 11 November 2014).
US ambassador to Armenia John Heffern, stated at a meeting with the Armenian students at the NATO Days forum that, this country can be a participant of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and simultaneously establish good ties with the West (see: Посол: Армения может быть участницей ЕАЭС и хорошим партнером ЕС и США / News.am, 12 November 2014).
Minister of Economy of Armenia, Karen Chshmaritian went on to say that a new economic agreement with the EU would be signed. Shortly before that, he signed with the European commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn in Brussels, an agreement on the EU`s financial assistance worth €140-170 million to Armenia in 2014-2017 (see: Министр: Армения надеется на подписание нового экономического договора с ЕС / Azatutyun.am, 11 November 2014). The parties are reportedly planning to begin discussions to define a format of economic cooperation.
As seen, the West keeps tabs on developments in Armenia and provides every possible assistance without believing that this country`s joining the Eurasian Economic Union is a serious obstacle to bilateral cooperation. It is noteworthy that the sides do not only refuse to weaken ties, but also intend to develop them even further. The West will keep the activity of Armenia within the EEU in focus of its attention, and probably, try to control the geopolitical position of Yerevan. They do not want to let Armenia fall totally under Moscow`s influence.
As a matter of fact, the West has always had a warm attitude towards Armenia, turning a blind eye even to its aggressive policy. The above-mentioned is confirmed by the West`s all-round support to Yerevan in the 90s of the last century. By estimation, the USA has so far allocated financial assistance worth $2 billion to Armenia. The separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh have received the assistance in the amount of $83 million since 1998 (see: Азербайджан готов и настроен лишь на равноправный и равноуважительный диалог, другие формы межгосударственных отношений для него неприемлемы / Бакинский рабочий, 23 May 2014).
It is obvious that the West chose the way of helping Armenia irrespective of the geopolitical course the country has chosen. The practice shows that it causes some problems in the region. Experts indicate to the mistakes made by the West in the South Caucasus in this respect.
The lobbyist factor also plays a serious role in the West`s warm relations with Armenia. Barack Obama confessed this fact in one of his remarks. He said that the time has come to pay for the benefit the Armenians brought to America. But approaching the issue globally, we can make sure that it is an ineffective, unobjective and unjust approach.
Double standards and religious preferences: distorting realities
There are several factors stipulating the West`s inability to take a balanced geopolitical position in the South Caucasus. Here we can mention the double standards policy first. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev reiterated this issue. In reality, Baku has always maintained constructive, objective and fair relations with the West. This is acknowledged by many politicians and specialists. They also praise Azerbaijan’s role in ensuring energy security of the West. The documents adopted by international organizations clearly underline the fact of occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenians. Nevertheless, the West continues to provide assistance to Armenia, which can be explained, first of all, by the double standards policy.
On the other hand, we regret to note that there is the Christian solidarity factor. It is worrisome in the light of deepening religious radicalism, which became an evil in the modern world. It is no secret that Islamophobia is enhancing in the West. Experts and politicians directly indicate to this. Presence of religious preferences at a state level make us confess that extremely dangerous threats are emerging in the world.
The mentioned thesis can be confirmed by some examples. Thus, all the decisions of international organizations related to the Muslim countries are implemented immediately. The UN Security Council`s decisions on Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries were realized shortly. However, real steps are not taken against Armenia for many years. On the contrary, it receives assistance through different ways.
We regret to note that Armenian occupation forces remain on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and the West continues to back up Armenia. How can this policy be explained? On the one hand, the OSCE Minsk Group is concerned about resolution of the conflict, on the other hand, the perpetuators receive every possible aid. The logic is hard to understand.
The West`s actions can be explained by the use of the one-size-fits-all policy in the post-Soviet area. The West, for some reason, does not rely on the real policy pursed by any state. Thus, the one who is right and the one who is wrong found themselves thrown on one scale. In this case, it turns out to be impossible to observe the principle of justice. The assistance to Armenia is explained by various reasons. These steps are ostensibly taken to help boost business, democracy and strengthen people`s health in this country. But this is not done for a Muslim state. In addition, it faces artificial obstacles.
At last, we need to confess that the present geopolitical picture influences the West`s Armenian policy. The steps undertaken by the West to cement its positions are not aligned with the real situation. They believe that they will achieve some success this way. Experience in this sphere unveils completely different truths because consequences tend to be grave when a country, which has high geopolitical prestige in regional issues, is ignored. The West directly acknowledged that Azerbaijan is the South Caucasus`s leading nation. For example, Erik Rubin, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian and European affairs said: ”Azerbaijan is more important than its size”.
Then, why does the aggressor who occupied part of Azerbaijani lands receive such aid? In our judgment, we should ponder over this issue. Otherwise, Azerbaijan can doubt the sincerity of Western partners. It is obvious that it is not beneficial to anyone. The role of Baku, which has always been alongside the international community in the global war on terror and in ensuring global energy security, is irrefutable. The country, which chose the democratic path of development, has the right to anticipate fair attitude of others. As to Armenia, no matter how much aid this state received, it will have to answer for its steps in any case. There is just the need for time.