Armenia’s relations with Russia are of vital importance. The same could be said about Armenian-Turkish relations. But in the latter case, Turkey determines the terms of its relations with Armenia and Yerevan does not hold the key in those relations. A huge shadow hangs over Turkey, that of the genocide. But despite that, Turkey is able to implement its policies in the region almost unhampered.
Armenian-Russian relations do not have the same baggage, yet they determine Armenia’s security, economic viability to a certain extent and in the most extreme case, its very existence.
Armenia’s geostrategic position more or less defines its policy with Russia, leaving almost no room for a choice. To defy that determinism goes against common sense, let alone the ability to maintain a healthy foreign policy.
Georgia is almost in the same situation but former leader Mikheil Saakashvili’s rash policy brought about the amputation of his country after it picked a fight with Russia. And the West, which had fueled his arrogance, remained as a neutral bystander when war broke out in August 2008. There are some lessons to be learned from Georgia’s experiences.
The Velvet Revolution of April, which was supposed to be only a domestic affair to get rid of a corrupt government that had been insensitive to the needs of the people, today is facing some foreign policy challenges, particularly straining Armenian-Russian relations.
Citizens of Armenia are being assured by the leader of the revolution that there are no changes in Armenian-Russian relations, but all signals indicate otherwise.