Russian political analyst: Peacekeepers will not stay in Azerbaijani territories

Aleksandr Budberg, a political commentator of "Moskovskiy Komsomolets" newspaper

© APA | Aleksandr Budberg, a political commentator of "Moskovskiy Komsomolets" newspaper

# 27 September 2023 13:29 (UTC +04:00)

“Armenian society is tired of the Garabagh issue. The Russian peacekeeping contingent will also leave the Azerbaijani territories. Those who seek the interests of the Armenian lobby in Russia will stay tight-lipped and sit quietly," a political commentator of "Moskovskiy Komsomolets" newspaper, a well-known journalist Aleksandr Budberg said in an interview with APA's Moscow correspondent.

According to him, the economy is the basis of the reintegration process of Armenians into the Azerbaijani society: "If economic projects and economic cooperation will be launched in this region, it will speed up the reintegration process. All these processes must be done in sequence. It is quite clear that Azerbaijan will never look at this region in the form of autonomy or some separate status. Let's say so, there will be no status. The status of those living there will be the same as the status of the population living in other regions of Azerbaijan."

"Armenian society is tired of the Garabagh issue"

According to the Russian expert, the official Yerevan has already accepted this reality: "Armenian society is also calm about this issue and what is happening in general. This can be seen by looking at the number of protestors. This means that even Armenia does not actually claim the separate status of Garabagh. This actually shows that the Armenian society is tired of the Garabagh issue. The Armenian society no longer wants to have a steak in Garabagh every year."

“Civil life will start in Garabagh”

Budberg believes that the Russian peacekeeping contingent will not stay on the territory of Azerbaijan: "First of all, Azerbaijan will not want to extend the stay of the peacekeepers on its territory. Secondly, if peacekeepers used to determine the border between the parties, the line of contact, from now on there will be no such border. Civil life will begin in Garabagh. Therefore, I think that the Russian peacekeeping contingent will no longer stay in Azerbaijan. I don't see any reason for the peacekeepers to stay in those areas.”

"The Russian military base will gradually be withdrawn from Armenia"

The political analyst also stated his predictions about the fate of Russia's military base in Armenia: "In my opinion, Pashinyan used an incredible trick. He managed to lose the war and also to stay in power... It would have been impossible to believe it a few years ago. But the fact is that he succeeded. The trajectory of his rule is clear. His rule is removing Armenia from Russia's sphere of influence and establishing relations with other players in the region, including Türkiye. The Armenian leadership following this political line does not have any need for a Russian military base. We cannot guarantee 100 percent that what happened in Garabagh will trigger a change of power in Armenia. This may change the course of the situation around the Russian military base in Gumru. Therefore, I believe that if Pashinyan remains in power, the Russian military base will be gradually withdrawn from Armenia. If the government changes, which is not plausible, then it is necessary to look at who will come to power. It is clear that Pashinyan more or less still remains a hope for Armenian society. This is what allows him to stay in power and protect it. What happened before Pashinyan disappointed the Armenian society. Armenians hope that the course proposed by Pashinyan will somehow improve their living conditions. I believe that Pashinyan has a good chance to retain power in the short term."

“Moscow establishing ideal relations with Pashinyan's government is impossible”

Budberg also noted that Moscow's reaction to Pashinyan's policy is already obvious: "By signing the Rome Statute to anger Putin, giving an interview about Russia's withdrawal from the South Caucasus region, Pashinyan, of course, consciously broke relations with Moscow and lost Garabagh. Because no one could interfere with Azerbaijan taking Garabagh back. Therefore, Moscow took a completely neutral approach to the development of this situation. Didn’t interfere with anything. Noting interfered with Baku carrying out anti-terror measures. The result of Pashinyan's policy has already revealed itself here. But Pashinyan understands well what he has done. I don’t think that Russia will establish ideal relations with Pashinyan’s government from now on. This is impossible.
Because Pashinyan’s government doesn’t want that. It is this moment that poses a threat to Pashinyan's rule. Not maintaining the balance between the West and Russia, as well as various big players in the region is not a good thing for Armenia’s statehood as a whole. But in all cases, we observe Pashinyan's tactical success in relations with Russia. He has achieved his political goal. As for France, this country is located at a five-hour flight distance from Armenia. That’s why France coming to Yerevan's aid is impossible. The big players of regions remain Russia, Türkiye, and Iran and these countries won’t be going anywhere. Replacing the country next to you with another one is very difficult. Look, the Americans showed a restrained attitude to occurrences. And the French talked a lot but did nothing. Because they don’t have the resources to direct to this region."

"During the 2020 war, it became clear that the Armenian lobby does not control the processes in Russia at all"

Alexander Budberg also spoke about the hysterical attitude of the Armenian lobby in Russia to what is happening. He said that Armenian propagandists were extremely disappointed by what happened: “There is a limit to this. There really is a huge Armenian lobby in Russia, especially in the media...This includes not just ethnic Armenians, but others as well. For example, say Vladimir Solovyov, he always exhibits an aggressive anti-Azerbaijan position. I know that there are such people in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Duma, and in force structures as well. But still, the moment comes when they have to answer themselves: Do they represent the interests of Russia or Armenia? Do they work for Russia or Armenia? There is a famous joke like this: "When Henry Kissinger told Golda Meir that I am US Secretary of State first, and then an ethnic Jew, Meir replied that we read from right to left. We don't read from right to left, but the opportunities for Armenian lobbyists in Russia were limited by Armenia's active and clearly anti-Russian foreign policy and close relations with Russia's enemies. As a result, those who always told us that the Russian-Armenian alliance is inevitable and eternal, cannot but be disappointed now. For decades, those who told us that the alliance with Armenia is more important, those who blame Azerbaijan for everything, will now behave more cautiously. Because the importance of relations with Azerbaijan for Russia is known, and Russia does not have the resources to fight for Armenia, it does not even make any sense. Therefore, those who spread their ideology, financed by the Armenian lobby, cannot help feeling disappointed. This stage is already over in some sense. The Armenian lobby once believed that they were controlling the process. However, during the war of 2020, it was already known that they were not in control of the process at all. This time it happened that despite having personal interests and ambitions, they will stay tight-lipped and sit quietly."