Suren Sargsyan

Aligning Interests with Global Players: Part 2 The Case of US-Armenia


In my previous article, I tried to address the application of the principle of “aligning interests” in Armenia’s foreign policy, which I consider to be an extremely important issue in the currently tense situation of international relations. Today, Armenia is in a rather difficult situation where the main players in the region have very few common interests with each other. In such a tense international environment, Armenia cannot play on the contradictions of those regional and global powers, because it would bear dangerous consequences. Armenia cannot carry out processes against Iran to serve the interests of the US, or carry out anti-American policies for the sake of relations with Russia. Armenia must find bases for cooperation with different powers, combining common interests with them in such a way that they do not cause problems in relations with other capitals. This means Armenia should develop a very competent strategy and follow the path of its implementation.

In this article, let’s try to consider the policy of “aligning the interests” of Armenia with the US. Deep and active cooperation with this state seems to cause some sort of jealousy in Moscow or Tehran. However, there are directions that will not be problematic and we have to concentrate on these. In fact, they are mainly issues related to global challenges that will not be perceived negatively in other capitals. For example, Armenia can carry out serious cooperation with the United States in the fight against terrorism, for example, by founding an anti-terrorist center in Armenia which may be supported by the US. Let’s not forget that there are confirmed reports that during the 44-day war, Turkey and Azerbaijan brought Syrian mercenaries to fight against Armenia and Artsakh. In the same way, it is possible to create a center of cybersecurity for combating cybercrimes and actively work with the US in this direction. These directions are a priority for the US government under any administration, and would be beneficial for both parties. Recently, drug trafficking has also become a serious problem in Armenia. Combating drug trafficking is a significant possible direction for cooperation with the US.

Business and trade development is another field for matching interests and cooperation. Unfortunately, Armenia is the 178th trading partner of the USA in terms of trade turnover, which is an extremely negative indicator. Cooperation in this direction is also possible and should be prioritized. Armenia can create a positive investment environment for American capital by giving tax relief for investments which can cause significant economic development in Armenia.

The signing of a double taxation avoidance treaty and the launching of a direct flight between Armenia and the US (Yerevan-Los Angeles) could be a serious basis for this process. All of these are just a few examples from the point of view of the alignment of interests, which cannot cause problems with other regional players and can be essential for the security and economic development of Armenia.

Naturally, the deepening and development of business relations with the US will also lead to the development of political relations. This is extremely important, especially considering that the Armenian-American agenda is not particularly rich. It is obvious that business and trade growth will contribute to the development of political relations. Moreover, the deepening of relations with the US will also lead to the deepening of relations with the EU, including business ties.

Of course, this is not a complete list of everything that can be included in the agenda of Armenian-American relations. In fact, as a result of serious research and work, many other directions can be found, including relations and cooperation with third countries. Լet’s not forget that the USA has always been a mediator in the settlement of Armenian-Turkish relations, has regularly tried to resolve Armenian-Saudi relations, and is now trying to resolve Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. It is not necessary to rule out that the USA can be a mediator in the settlement of relations between Armenia and Pakistan as well, which is equally important.

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So, the best way to achieve these goals is through leadership with political will and a professional government in Yerevan, which unfortunately does not yet exist.

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