Trump’s national security adviser tries to distance Armenia from Russia and Iran

10:30 • 07.11.18



By Harut Sassounian


Publisher, The California Courrier


John Bolton, the National Security Adviser of Pres. Trump, visited Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia in October, conveying the White House position on regional and international issues. Bolton is known as a hawk on foreign policy and is often described as a warmonger for his extremist positions.  In his meetings with Armenian officials, Bolton spoke about US sanctions on Iran which may affect third countries, including Armenia. He also made a surprise offer to sell American weapons to Armenia and discussed Armenian-Turkish relations, and the resolution of the Artsakh conflict.

It became clear that Bolton tried to distance Armenia from its strategic ally Russia and key trading partner Iran, since the border with Armenia is blockaded by neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey. Even though serious concerns were expressed by many Armenian commentators and particularly Russian officials regarding the policies advanced by Bolton, Acting Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, was surprisingly upbeat and told the Armenian Parliament: “I’ve met with Bolton. There wasn’t even the slightest nuance during this meeting which can cause disturbance in Armenia and among the Armenian people. I consider this meeting to be a major diplomatic achievement for us, I will say in the future as to what is the reason that I am saying so.”

 
The Acting Foreign Minister of Armenia Zohrab Mnatsakanyan added: “The dialogue [with Bolton] was very successful, and the US understood the logic of our relations with the Russian Federation, Iran, our position on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, relations with Turkey, etc.”

 
Putting a positive spin on his meetings in Armenia, Bolton tweeted: “Yesterday I had a nice visit to Armenia, an important friend in the region. I enjoyed productive conversations with the [Acting] Prime Minister and his national security team.” Despite the heated relations between the United States and Russia, Armenia has to maintain a delicate balance between the two superpowers. On the one hand, Armenia relies on Russia for its critical needs: weapons, energy, and trade, and therefore, cannot afford to antagonize its strategic ally. On the other hand, Armenia has maintained friendly relations with many other countries, particularly Western Europe and the United States.

 
Proposed Sale of Weapons to Armenia

 
Bolton surprised his Armenian hosts by offering them to purchase American weapons by stating that they are superior to those of Russia. However, he did not mention how impoverished Armenia would be able to pay for these weapons. As we know, Russia supplies the bulk of Armenia’s weapons either by providing loans or at discount prices. Pashinyan responded by stating that Armenia will consider the American offer, while Acting Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan told NEWS.am that there was no need to purchase US weapons at this time. By acquiring American weapons, Armenia would risk antagonizing Russia, its main source of arms. Secondly, the United States may be using its offer to Armenia as a cover to sell multi-billion dollars of advanced weapons to Azerbaijan, something it can afford to purchase, while Armenia cannot.

 
Bolton’s other illogical statement was that the Russian sale of weapons to Armenia and Azerbaijan has hampered the settlement of the Artsakh conflict. Ironically, this is exactly what Bolton is proposing by offering to sell US weapons to both countries. In my opinion, the United States and all other countries should refrain from selling weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan! Pouring more weapons into a conflict zone can only to lead to increased violence and deaths on both sides.

 
Armenian-Iranian Relations

 
In response to Bolton’s statement that the United States will enforce sanctions against Iran “very vigorously” and for that reason the Armenian-Iranian border is “going to be a significant issue,” Pashinyan stated that Armenia as a landlocked nation does not have diplomatic relations with either neighboring Turkey or Azerbaijan, so it must retain “special relations” with its other two neighbors—Iran and Georgia—which are Armenia’s only “gateways” to the outside world. Pashinyan optimistically told the Armenian Parliament: “I think that the position of Armenia was clear, comprehensible and even acceptable to representatives of the US delegation.”

 
Rather than pressuring Armenia to disrupt its critical trade relations with Iran, the United States should be urged to pressure Turkey and Azerbaijan to open their borders so Armenia can trade more easily with and through all four of its neighbors. Pashinyan correctly pointed out that the Republic of Armenia has its own national interests which do not always coincide with the interests of other countries. In my view, the United States has no right to demand that third countries comply with its misguided sanctions on Iran. Furthermore, since the United States is exempting Turkey from implementing US sanctions on Iran, why shouldn’t Armenia be also exempt from these sanctions? Besides, Bolton acknowledged that the United States does not “want to cause damage to our friends in the process.”

 
Relations with Turkey

 
Bolton declared that the resolution of the Artsakh conflict would help open Turkey’s border with Armenia. Pashinyan responded by stating that Armenia is ready to establish relations and have open borders with Turkey, however, without any preconditions which Turkey tried to impose by linking the opening of the border with the Artsakh conflict. To counter Turkey’s precondition, I suggest that Armenia impose its own precondition by linking the opening of the border with Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

 
Resolution of Artsakh Conflict

 
Bolton suggested that the December 9 Parliamentary elections, during which Pashinyan’s political party is expected to win the majority of seats, will give him a strong mandate to take decisive steps in the resolution of the Artsakh conflict. Bolton did not seem to be aware of Pashinyan’s repeated statements that “the ones who determine whether to resolve or not resolve the Karabakh conflict are the Armenian people, and specifically the people of Armenia, the people of Artsakh and in this case also the Diaspora, because this is a Pan-Armenian issue.” As Armenia is facing both internal and external uncertainties, it is mandatory that Armenians worldwide support their homeland and join forces against their common adversaries.





Загрузка...

LATEST NEWSAll Today news

14:18 • 15/12

Best Picture Oscar From 1947 Sells for Nearly $500,000 at Auction

13:57 • 15/12

Nagorno-Karabakh reports more Azerbaijani ceasefire violations

13:45 • 15/12

Armenian president issues congratulations to political forces elected to parliament

13:00 • 15/12

Armenian football federation fined €18,000 over match with Gibraltar

12:24 • 15/12

Chicken-egg sized diamond found in Canada's frozen north

12:15 • 15/12

Erdogan: Khashoggi killer heard saying ‘I know how to cut’

12:02 • 15/12

Peaceful resolution of Karabakh conflict requires genuine efforts of all parties

11:31 • 15/12

Senator Robert Menendez pledges to with new US envoy to Armenia on securing ‘an honest acknowledgement of Genocide’

11:01 • 15/12

Christmas letter to Santa Claus from girl ‘discovered after 120 years’

10:29 • 15/12

How to see the 'Christmas comet': Stunning photos show green space rock ahead of its closest approach, as astronomers reveal it will be visible all around the world

10:10 • 15/12

Emergency Ministry warns of heavy-going highways in Armenia

09:24 • 15/12

Erdogan, Trump discuss Syria amid Turkey’s warning of new military operation

09:18 • 15/12

Australia ‘formally recognizes’ West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

09:01 • 15/12

Miracle six-day old baby survives Ebola in Congo

08:52 • 15/12

Macron pays tribute to Strasbourg terrorism victims

17:49 • 14/12

James Harden's 50-point triple-double, 4th of career, carries Rockets to victory over Lakers

17:34 • 14/12

Toyota recalls pickups, SUVs to fix air bag, brake problems

17:09 • 14/12

Yerevan court turns down motion to arrest ex-official

16:37 • 14/12

Mourinho: Man Utd 'far' from being built in my image

16:04 • 14/12

Lavrov: Russia expects renewed talks over Karabakh after cabinet formation in Armenia

15:35 • 14/12

Twitter releases first ever Transparency Report including policy violation stats for the first time

15:18 • 14/12

Armenian ombudsman visits jailed ex-President Robert Kocharyan

15:05 • 14/12

VEON appoints Ursula Burns as Chairman and CEO

14:53 • 14/12

Turkish military conducts airstrikes in northern Iraq

14:44 • 14/12

Pashinyan's issues condolences to France's Macron

14:08 • 14/12

Nagorno-Karabakh has new Minister of Defense; other government officials appointed  

12:52 • 14/12

That's Erie! Photographer snaps face in huge waves on windy day on the Great Lake

12:43 • 14/12

Demonstrators, police clash near Hungarian Parliament

12:25 • 14/12

Istanbul hosts Parajanov exhibition

11:50 • 14/12

Nancy Wilson, Grammy Winning US Jazz Singer, Dies at 81

11:31 • 14/12

Hraparak: Armenia's new government to have one deputy premier instead of three  

10:47 • 14/12

US Senate passes resolution to end US support for the Saudi war in Yemen

10:31 • 14/12

32 arrested at US-Mexico border in support of migrant caravan

09:46 • 14/12

White House to Officially Delay China Tariff Hike to March

09:34 • 14/12

Strasbourg Christmas market attacker shot dead

09:20 • 14/12

US Senate approves nomination of new ambassador to Armenia

17:40 • 13/12

Armenia 'will attend' BSEC summit in Baku

17:19 • 13/12

Pashinyan hosts Artsakh president to discuss domestic, foreign policy issues

16:33 • 13/12

Trump administration ‘won’t stand for Khashoggi’

16:14 • 13/12

Barack Obama beams as he accepts the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope award in New York  

15:37 • 13/12

Russia’s Lavrov to meet with top Azerbaijani leaders in Baku

14:56 • 13/12

Apple to build new $1bn campus in Texas

14:47 • 13/12

OPEC exit frees Qatar from US legal concerns

14:14 • 13/12

Jennifer Lopez steps out in 12 different ensembles in just two days during whirlwind promotional tour for Second Act  

14:02 • 13/12

South African court jails men in cannibal case

13:19 • 13/12

Russia ‘disposed to constructive dialogue’ with Armenia

12:41 • 13/12

Pompeo urges UN to ban Iranian missile tests  

12:04 • 13/12

US voices 'grave concern' over Turkey's planned Syria operation

11:50 • 13/12

Gown worth $11m shown in Cairo International Film Festival closing event

11:36 • 13/12

Armenian elections: Time for Pashinyan to deliver on his vision of a “new” Armenia – European Policy Center  

11:11 • 13/12

North and South Koreas cross border in peace

10:55 • 13/12

168 Zham: Russian president ‘not supposed’ to issue greetings to Pashinyan after parliamentary elections

10:12 • 13/12

Theresa May to join EU summit after surviving vote

09:58 • 13/12

High-speed train crashes in Ankara, killing at least four and injuring dozens

09:50 • 13/12

Nazarbaev hails developing relations with Armenia ‘in the spirit of confidence’  

09:17 • 13/12

US condemns deadly gun attack in Strasbourg

18:02 • 12/12

Man City forward named Premier League player of the month

17:47 • 12/12

NASA releases InSight's first selfie from the surface of Mars

17:31 • 12/12

Oscar Academy looks warily at host options as board meeting looms

17:22 • 12/12

No Armenians reported among survivors of Strasbourg attack

17:08 • 12/12

Santa's chicest helper! A beaming Melania Trump wears a festive $1,050 plaid jacket and slouchy boots as she hands out Be Best backpacks

16:18 • 12/12

Acting justice minister says legal reforms 'aim to ensure uniformity' of domestic laws with European standards

14:58 • 12/12

Ucom launches x2-gigabyte package as special New Year offer to subscribers

14:43 • 12/12

Grand Holding owner donates AMD 52m worth equipment to child emergency care units in Yerevan hospital (video)

14:29 • 12/12

Former high-ranking Armenian official facing graft charges

14:05 • 12/12

Huawei CEO to be released on bail

13:17 • 12/12

Iran warns citizens against visiting Georgia

12:09 • 12/12

Iran hails parliamentary elections in Armenia

11:26 • 12/12

Putin’s spy ID pass found in Germany

11:07 • 12/12

Power transition in Armenia ‘creating platform’ for renewed dialogue with Turkey, says Turkish-Armenian MP

10:36 • 12/12

Zhamanak: CSTO may call off secretary general’s election until late spring

09:59 • 12/12

The Economist: What happens next in Armenia?

09:34 • 12/12

Trump says people will revolt if he is impeached

09:15 • 12/12

French police raise security level as gunman opens fire in central Strasbourg, killing at least three

18:12 • 11/12

US-Armenian businesswoman unveils plan to fund home construction project for orphanage alumni  

17:18 • 11/12

158 million migrants want to move to the US despite Trump's stricter measures

17:06 • 11/12

Steve Jobs signed Macworld magazine up for auction

16:57 • 11/12

French-Armenian organizations congratulate Pashinyan on election win

16:24 • 11/12

Russia fines Google for failure to comply with research results

16:08 • 11/12

EU’s Johannes Hahn congratulates Pashinyan on election victory

15:33 • 11/12

Khashoggi murder: Turkey in talks with UN for investigation

14:58 • 11/12

NASA’s newly arrived OSIRIS-REx spacecraft already discovers water on asteroid

14:49 • 11/12

Election results ‘obliging success’ for winners, says outgoing parliament’s speaker

14:05 • 11/12

December 9 snap elections 'resulted in no surprise' - opinion

13:09 • 11/12

US urges European nations to exit Nord Stream 2 project

12:51 • 11/12

Armenia’s Conservative Party calls for ending ‘pre-election rhetoric’

11:57 • 11/12

Arabs ‘in talks’ with US for NATO-style security pact

11:52 • 11/12

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ named most-streamed song from 20th century

11:42 • 11/12

Man Utd not to sell Pogba in winter  

11:04 • 11/12

Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers land in Venezuela after 10,000km transatlantic flight 

10:58 • 11/12

Trump ‘concerned about being impeached’

10:28 • 11/12

Germany's Merkel congratulates Pashinyan on successful conduct of snap elections

10:16 • 11/12

EU reaffirms commitment to Armenia's to democratic and prosperous future

10:10 • 11/12

UK's May postpones Brexit deal vote

09:55 • 11/12

US hails snap parliamentary elections in Armenia

09:25 • 11/12

France protests: Macron promises wage rise

18:24 • 10/12

Armenia’s new parliament to have 132 seats to secure opposition’s presence

17:31 • 10/12

Isha Ambani wedding: Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton jet to India for celebration

17:22 • 10/12

International observers praise free conduct of December 9 snap elections in Armenia

16:36 • 10/12

Russia becomes the second largest arms producer in the Top 100