Suddenly, a new dynamic has been set into motion in the Caucasus region. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has announced that it is time for Armenia and Turkey to work towards a rapprochement. Simultaneously Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has opened the prospects of beginning negotiations with Armenia while Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has detected some positive signs in Turkey’s attitude towards Armenia, expressing his readiness to begin negotiations without preconditions.
These parties have prioritized unblocking communications and roads with the prospects of economic gain and prosperity for all the countries concerned.
As a goodwill gesture, Armenia has opened its airspace unilaterally for Turkish overflights between Turkey and Azerbaijan, while Turkish airspace remains closed to flights of Armenian aircraft.
However, highlighting short-term economic gains must not come at the expense of political risks and historical consequences which may cost the Armenian side dearly.
All these developments must be viewed within the prospects of President Erdogan’s imperial plans. The year 2023 will be a watershed for Turkey as it marks the centennial of the creation of the Republic of Turkey through the 1923 Lausanne Treaty. It is planned to bring the Ataturk era to its conclusion and begin the Erdogan epoch. In conjunction with this, a new constitution is being drafted to replace the one adopted in 1982 whereby federative states are under consideration.
With the recent Sushi Declaration, Turkey and Azerbaijan technically have laid the foundations of a future federal state, anticipating the incorporation of the Turkic states of Central Asia. President Erdogan believes there will be room for other conquests in that federative state, including Armenia. Former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, known for his ambitious designs of reviving the Ottoman Empire, has been discussing relations with the Kurds, perhaps with the hope of absorbing that minority into a modernized version of the empire.