Alik Bakhshi

Armenia as Buridan's donkey


Because of the elements of chicanery in its policy (1), Armenia found itself in the situation of Buridan's donkey. On the one hand, Armenia refuses to comply with UN resolutions demanding the withdrawal of occupying troops from the territory of Azerbaijan (Karabakh) on the grounds that Karabakh (Artsakh, as the Armenians renamed it) is an independent republic that has its own armed forces. In other words, Armenia cannot withdraw the army of another independent state from Karabakh. However, there is one important point in this fact, namely, Armenia does not recognize Artsakh as a state, however, like all other countries. However, when Azerbaijan, after unsuccessful and endless negotiations, decided to return the territory seized by Armenia, Armenia turns to the world community (read the UN) to protect it from the aggressor. But Azerbaijan did not attack Armenia! The war is taking place on the territory of Azerbaijan, specifically in Karabakh, which has no status even by the definition of Armenia itself. Therefore, Yerevan’s appeal to Moscow that Russia, as a member of the CSTO, fulfill its obligations and provide military support, has no basis under the circumstances, which Putin hinted at in a telephone conversation with Pashinyan. Indeed, officially, Russia, observing the charter of the treaty, can get involved in hostilities on the side of Armenia, only if Azerbaijan strikes at Armenia itself.

Thus, entangled in the chicane approach to the Karabakh problem, Armenia punished itself. Moreover, giving itself the right to participate in the war on the side of Artsakh, Armenia cannot demand from Turkey not to participate in the same war on the side of Azerbaijan, which, moreover, unlike the unrecognized Artsakh, has the status of a state.

With territorial claims against its neighbors, Armenia placed itself in a state of isolation, which aggravated the deteriorating state of the economy. The country is threateningly slipping into poverty, and the population, not seeing any prospects, leaves their homeland. The only ally, Russia, which itself barely makes ends meet, cannot provide significant assistance in this regard. The new Prime Minister Pashinyan, who came to power in 2018, decided to move closer to the West in the hope that this step would lead Armenia out of the catastrophic state of its economy. Naturally, such a multi-vector nature of his strategic ally alerted Putin, who, in response to a request for help in the newly erupted war, limited himself to calling on both sides of the conflict to stop hostilities. It seems that Pashinyan realized that Putin would not let him down in his desire to sit on two chairs.

It is not the first time for Armenia to play the role of Buridan's donkey. So, during the rivalry between the Roman Empire and the Parthian kingdom, the Armenians living on the border between the warring empires, depending on the situation, betrayed one side or the other, for which the Romans evicted them away to Cilicia. Since then, Cilicia has become, according to the Armenian version of history, part of the never-existing "Great Armenia" (2).

1. Hookwork of Armenia in the Karabakh conflict.
2. Was there a "Great Armenia?"