The political intrigue that lingers in the regional media space of late is how the status of Nagorno-Karabakh will change after Armenia declared about its plans to join the Moscow-led Customs Union (CU).
The forecasts for the hot political autumn appear to have proved erroneous as Armenia seems to be “enjoying” perhaps the most tranquil period in its recent history. Political forces do not advance claims, public rallies have been called off, civil protests that were quite vigorous during the summer months have subsided. Even though analysts had expected that President Serzh Sargsyan’s decision on Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union that was announced on September 3 would cause a storm of emotions, in reality it has led to stagnation.
An interesting debate emerged in Armenia in connection with the 22nd anniversary of Independence that the country marked on September 21. Participants of this discourse very often called into question the appropriateness of independence.
On that day, along with pompous official events, Yerevan also saw a march of members of the public who were calling for real independence and protested the decision of President Serzh Sargsyan to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
After Armenia’s announcement of its decision to join the Customs Union, the international financial organizations that have provided assistance and credits to Armenia have been trying to clarify prospects for further cooperation.
Some unprecedented events are taking place in Turkey that potentially can have significant consequences for the entire region in general and neighboring Armenia, in particular.
The global analytical community has long called Turkey one of the main actors of the international operation in Syria. Moreover, in the light of this conflict, leading experts say that a struggle has begun in Turkey between the Alawites and the Islamists – parallel to the movement of the Kurds who recently suspended the process of withdrawal of militants abroad.
The subject of Nagorno-Karabakh has become more topical in the light of the consent of the president of Armenia to join the Russia-led Customs Union (CU). The decision announced on September 3 gave rise to assertions that a new stage will come in the settlement and that competition between the West and Russia around this issue will become stiffer.
The first EU backlash over Armenia’s policy U-turn and move towards Russian integration appears to have been left behind as the sides have embarked on the way of seeking acceptable forms of cooperation.
The new American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick alone, without his Russian and French colleagues, has visited the region of the conflict where he has already met with the leadership of Azerbaijan in Baku, the Armenian foreign minister in Yerevan and intends to participate in a line-of-contact monitoring in Karabakh.
After the announcement by President Serzh Sargsyan in Moscow of the decision that Armenia will be joining the Russia-led Customs Union last week, a strange situation has emerged in Armenia. While opinions are being voiced by online chattering classes and through mass media that the decision to join a more regressive [as compared to the EU’s integration effort] Customs Union had been made under apparent pressure, the political arena seems to be quite reconciled to this idea and even approving of it.
The Russian city of St. Petersburg has hosted the G20 summit this week and while the announced theme of the gathering of world leaders is purely economic, everyone acknowledges that it is still mostly about the Syria crisis – the number one subject of international politics today.