Category: Areg Galstyan

A Century Later, Russia Still Is Fighting Its Revolution


In Russia, October 25 is the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, as a result of which the monarchical dynasty of the Romanovs was overthrown and the socialist-communist power of the Bolsheviks was established. Despite the fact that it happened a long time ago, this historic event still provokes broad public political discussions. This is primarily because many contemporary problems in Russia and the post-Soviet space are directly related to the consequences of the Bolshevik Revolution. Moreover, without an analysis of these historical processes, it is impossible to understand and appreciate Russia’s geopolitical desire to strengthen and expand its influence on the Eurasian space. So, what happened 100 years ago and why does it continue to affect today’s realities?

Some historians believe that the Great October Revolution was a natural consequence of social development and the class struggle, given monopoly capitalism. Opponents of such ideas note that the transfer of power to the Bolsheviks occurred because of the weakness of the Provisional Government. Using its indecisiveness, the Bolshevik conspirators received money from Germany and launched mass propaganda and destructive activity. With populist slogans, they promised to end the war, give land to peasants, and the factories and property of the bourgeoisie to workers. They even guaranteed freedom for national minorities to leave the Empire. But today’s Russian neo-imperialists propagandize these ideas, emphasizing that the October Revolution was a deeply antipatriotic act since it was committed with the money of a foreign state, for which Russia’s national interests were sacrificed.

In fact, Russian politics today have become an arena for confrontation of the three major camps: communist, monarchical and social-conservative. The leaders of these movements agree that Moscow is the third Rome and it should dominate the Eurasian space. However, there are discrepancies about the ideology that should become the driving force of the new empire. Sergey Kurginyan — one of the leaders of the neo-Marxist movement — is sure that the revival of the red empire is inevitable. The reason for that is that although the results of the referendum on the collapse of the USSR showed that most people wanted to preserve the Soviet Union, they were illegally ignored. During the event devoted to the 99th anniversary of the Revolution, Gennady Zyuganov — leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) — stated a clear goal “to revive the great united power.”

The monarchist front is also gaining popularity. According to recent sociological surveys, a third of young people in Russia favour the monarchical form of government in the country. There are 35 % of monarchy supporters among people between 25 and 34. In general, the share of Russian citizens that are not against or support the monarchy is consistently growing: in 2006 – 21%, in 2017 – 28%. The ideologists of monarchism emphasize that Orthodox Russia is the heir of the destroyed Byzantine Empire. The leaders of numerous socio-political movements of this kind believe that after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, Russia became the only real guardian of the Orthodox faith in the world. Further, it predetermined its isolation from the West, tracing Russia’s special historical path.

Alexander Dugin, a philosopher and supporter of the monarchy restoration, writes that Byzantium gives a unique dimension to all nations that have adopted Orthodoxy. This dimension is not only narrowly confessional, but also cultural, political, and civilizational. The neo-Byzantine ideological path of Russia is actively promoted through the TV channel called “Tsargrad” (note: the Russian name of Constantinople). It is financed by Konstantin Malafeev, who is known as the “Orthodox oligarch.” “Tsargrad TV” positions itself as the first Russian conservative information and analytical channel. It closely cooperates with Russian public and religious organizations, in particular, with the Russian Orthodox Church. In addition, over the past decade, newspapers, magazines and radio stations have been launched. Thus, monarchists, like communists, possess substantial material and human resources for broadcasting their ideas to the general public.

Social-conservative ideas are devised in the “Izborsk Club.”  The ideological direction of this organization can be identified as a synthesis of different views of Russian statesmen in a single ideological platform: from socialists and Soviet patriots to monarchists and Orthodox conservatives. There are such influential personalities among the members of the Club as Sergey Glazyev — adviser to President Putin on economic issues, Dmitry Rogozin — Deputy Chairman of the Government, and other well-known military, scientists and journalists — Leonid Ivashov, Alexander Prokhanov, Mikhail Leontiev, Maxim Shevchenko and others. The leadership of this organization sees its primary task in “forming a political-ideological coalition of patriotic statesmen, an imperial front that opposes manipulations carried out in Russian politics by foreign influence centers and their agents inside the country.”

Don’t expect Russia to “converge” with the advanced Western economies anytime soon. The ideas of communism, monarchism and social conservatism that are gaining popularity among the Russian public are mobilizing opinion against the collective West (primarily the United States).  They are using an external threat as a foil for their own purposes.

According to the leaders of the movements, clubs and organizations mentioned above, Russia’s values are spiritual, while the West is materialistic. Thus, a confrontation is inevitable. Numerous speeches and interviews show that the current leadership of the country is trying not to interfere in the battles among these three ideological factions and not to take sides. On the one hand, President Putin has to be gentle with the communists, saying that the disintegration of the atheistic USSR is the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the XX century. On the other hand, he stresses that Orthodoxy is the root of the Russian people and state. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new Russia was not accepted into the Western family. Therefore, there are no other ideas, except for a return to the past.

Areg Galstyan – Ph.D., a regular contributor to The National Interest and Forbes. Follow him on twitter.

In Russia, October 25 is the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution, as a result of which the monarchical dynasty of the Romanovs was overthrown and the socialist-communist power of the Bolsheviks was established. Despite the fact that it happened a long time ago, this historic event still provokes broad public political discussions. This is primarily because many contemporary problems in Russia and the post-Soviet space are directly related to the consequences of the Bolshevik Revolution. Moreover, without an analysis of these historical processes, it is impossible to understand and appreciate Russia’s geopolitical desire to strengthen and expand its influence on the Eurasian space. So, what happened 100 years ago and why does it continue to affect today’s realities?

Some historians believe that the Great October Revolution was a natural consequence of social development and the class struggle, given monopoly capitalism. Opponents of such ideas note that the transfer of power to the Bolsheviks occurred because of the weakness of the Provisional Government. Using its indecisiveness, the Bolshevik conspirators received money from Germany and launched mass propaganda and destructive activity. With populist slogans, they promised to end the war, give land to peasants, and the factories and property of the bourgeoisie to workers. They even guaranteed freedom for national minorities to leave the Empire. But today’s Russian neo-imperialists propagandize these ideas, emphasizing that the October Revolution was a deeply antipatriotic act since it was committed with the money of a foreign state, for which Russia’s national interests were sacrificed.

In fact, Russian politics today have become an arena for confrontation of the three major camps: communist, monarchical and social-conservative. The leaders of these movements agree that Moscow is the third Rome and it should dominate the Eurasian space. However, there are discrepancies about the ideology that should become the driving force of the new empire. Sergey Kurginyan — one of the leaders of the neo-Marxist movement — is sure that the revival of the red empire is inevitable. The reason for that is that although the results of the referendum on the collapse of the USSR showed that most people wanted to preserve the Soviet Union, they were illegally ignored. During the event devoted to the 99th anniversary of the Revolution, Gennady Zyuganov — leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) — stated a clear goal “to revive the great united power.”

The monarchist front is also gaining popularity. According to recent sociological surveys, a third of young people in Russia favour the monarchical form of government in the country. There are 35 % of monarchy supporters among people between 25 and 34. In general, the share of Russian citizens that are not against or support the monarchy is consistently growing: in 2006 – 21%, in 2017 – 28%. The ideologists of monarchism emphasize that Orthodox Russia is the heir of the destroyed Byzantine Empire. The leaders of numerous socio-political movements of this kind believe that after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, Russia became the only real guardian of the Orthodox faith in the world. Further, it predetermined its isolation from the West, tracing Russia’s special historical path.

Alexander Dugin, a philosopher and supporter of the monarchy restoration, writes that Byzantium gives a unique dimension to all nations that have adopted Orthodoxy. This dimension is not only narrowly confessional, but also cultural, political, and civilizational. The neo-Byzantine ideological path of Russia is actively promoted through the TV channel called “Tsargrad” (note: the Russian name of Constantinople). It is financed by Konstantin Malafeev, who is known as the “Orthodox oligarch.” “Tsargrad TV” positions itself as the first Russian conservative information and analytical channel. It closely cooperates with Russian public and religious organizations, in particular, with the Russian Orthodox Church. In addition, over the past decade, newspapers, magazines and radio stations have been launched. Thus, monarchists, like communists, possess substantial material and human resources for broadcasting their ideas to the general public.

Social-conservative ideas are devised in the “Izborsk Club.”  The ideological direction of this organization can be identified as a synthesis of different views of Russian statesmen in a single ideological platform: from socialists and Soviet patriots to monarchists and Orthodox conservatives. There are such influential personalities among the members of the Club as Sergey Glazyev — adviser to President Putin on economic issues, Dmitry Rogozin — Deputy Chairman of the Government, and other well-known military, scientists and journalists — Leonid Ivashov, Alexander Prokhanov, Mikhail Leontiev, Maxim Shevchenko and others. The leadership of this organization sees its primary task in “forming a political-ideological coalition of patriotic statesmen, an imperial front that opposes manipulations carried out in Russian politics by foreign influence centers and their agents inside the country.”

Don’t expect Russia to “converge” with the advanced Western economies anytime soon. The ideas of communism, monarchism and social conservatism that are gaining popularity among the Russian public are mobilizing opinion against the collective West (primarily the United States).  They are using an external threat as a foil for their own purposes.

According to the leaders of the movements, clubs and organizations mentioned above, Russia’s values are spiritual, while the West is materialistic. Thus, a confrontation is inevitable. Numerous speeches and interviews show that the current leadership of the country is trying not to interfere in the battles among these three ideological factions and not to take sides. On the one hand, President Putin has to be gentle with the communists, saying that the disintegration of the atheistic USSR is the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the XX century. On the other hand, he stresses that Orthodoxy is the root of the Russian people and state. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new Russia was not accepted into the Western family. Therefore, there are no other ideas, except for a return to the past.

Areg Galstyan – Ph.D., a regular contributor to The National Interest and Forbes. Follow him on twitter.



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Why does Turkey want to join the Eurasian Union?


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu states that Ankara and Moscow have come to an agreement on the purchase of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system. A number of Russian experts close to the Kremlin note that reaching agreement on this issue is a positive step before the upcoming meeting between the presidents Erdogan and Putin in the Russian city of Sochi. This deal symbolizes a new stage in the crisis in relations between Ankara, Washington, and Brussels. Moreover, it is an evidence of strengthening Russian-Turkish relations. However, in order to understand the logic of these processes, it is necessary to analyze the political background and geopolitical configurations that have been developing in the region and in the world. Over the past eight years, there has been a gradual deterioration in relations between Turkey and the countries of the West. This was exemplified by events following Erdogan’s imprisonment of representatives of the army elite. When the army — as the guarantor of preservation of secularism — was weakened, the arrests of opposition leaders began and a decision was made to close hundreds of media outlets.

All these steps allowed Erdogan to achieve the main goal — to change the state system, transforming the parliamentary republic into a super-presidential one. The leader of the Turkish state believed that the Republican administration of the USA, unlike Democrat Obama, would overlook to repression inside Turkey. These expectations were erroneous. Certainly, President Trump congratulated his colleague, as it is required by the protocol, especially when it comes to allies within NATO. However, one should not lose sight of the fact that together with the congratulatory message from the leader of the White House, the State Department revealed its worries about the conditions under which the referendum was held. Ankara is unhappy with Washington’s controversial reaction to the issue of changing the system of state administration as well as with the fact that Trump did not extradite Fetullah Gülen — the main political opponent of President Erdogan. In addition, Ankara’s expectations on the Syrian question were also not justified. Many influential experts wrote that, like Bush Jr., Trump would rely on Turkey as part of the policy in the Middle East. However, recent events have shown that the Kurdish factor remains extremely significant for America.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend declares that Kurdish units will participate in the operation to liberate the Syrian city of Rakka from ISIS. In turn, Ankara says that the country will not take part if Kurdish troops are involved. U.S. cooperation with Kurds in Syria raises serious irritation of Ankara. It has already cooled relations between Turkey and America. It is worth mentioning that last year in February, Erdogan demanded that Washington choose between the Kurds and Turkey. Today, Erdogan continues to insist that America cease all contacts with Kurds. However, it should be understood that Republicans are not accustomed to the language of ultimatums that could be used with former president Obama. Trump repeated many times that America’s crucial task in the region is the elimination of terrorists. It would be difficult to achieve that goal without the support of Kurdish forces. This means that Washington will not risk its strategic plans to appease Ankara’s desire to “solve” the Kurdish issue.

Americans are still firmly convinced that Kurdish detachments should stand in the vanguard of military actions in Rakka. Even commitments to NATO cannot force the USA to exchange Kurds for the Turkish military. Thus, Ankara risks being on the sidelines of the Syrian issue settlement, which can affect the domestic political positions of President Erdogan and his elite. In addition to America, many European powers criticized Turkish policy. The most acute conflict was between Ankara and Amsterdam. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was going to deliver what amounted to a propaganda speech in the Netherlands. Dutch authorities refused to allow Cavusoglu’s plane to land. In response, President Erdogan compared the Dutch people to Nazis and said that Europe was preparing a crusade against Turkey. After this incident, Turkey was criticized by the authorities of Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, and Spain, among others. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that Turkey’s accession to the European Union is not going to happen.

This disappointment led Ankara into Moscow’s political embrace. The deal to buy the S-400 system really symbolizes the fact that Turkey is trying to find its place in a changing geopolitical configuration. In this sense, Russia and Turkey are in a similar situation. They mistakenly expected that with the arrival of Trump, America’s foreign policy would be less active. Sanctions against Russia are still functioning, but the internal political crisis continues to grow. Undoubtedly, Moscow would like to take advantage of the situation to involve Turkey in its integration project — the Eurasian Union. Many high-ranking politicians, including Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, made proposals on the necessity of Turkey’s admission to that union. Kazakhstan — one of the key members of the Eurasian Union — does not hide its intentions to form the geopolitical axis “Russia-Turkey-Kazakhstan”, which will become one of the leading forces not only in the Eurasian space, but the world.

In addition, for Kazakhstan, lobbying for Turkey’s interests has not only political but also civilizational meaning. Astana seeks to change the predominantly Christian Eurasian Union with a strong Muslim power. Turkey is best suited for this role: apart from the religious factor, Astana and Ankara are united by Turkic roots. Many of the political ideologists close to the Kremlin also speak about the importance of Turkey’s accession to the Eurasian Union. In numerous interviews, philosopher Alexander Dugin and political analyst Sergey Markov noted that Turkey’s accession would alter the geopolitical balance of the continent. Political philosopher Eduard Bagramov’s theory about a Turkic-Slavic union is often discussed in Russia. This theory implies that the Turkic and Slavic communities must act together to successfully implement Eurasianism. Many high-ranking politicians are also sure that the Eurasian Union is aimed not at geographical but at civilizational unity, which will be successful if Turks and Slavs are united.

Earlier, Turkish leaders hoping for a positive outcome of accession to the European Union did not respond to opposing signals from Eurasianists. The crisis in relations with the West, which led Ankara to a standstill, forced the country’s authorities to change their minds. Thus, Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci stated that Turkey wanted to join the Eurasian Union and noted that negotiations had been conducted in this direction. Unlikely as this seems, considering such factors as membership in NATO and close economic relations with the European Union, it is important to take into account the serious internal split in the country after the referendum and the acute geopolitical crisis in the region. An important factor is Erdogan himself, who has the reputation of an absolutely unpredictability. For the Turkish president, the Eurasian Union can become not only a lifeboat, but also a new political opportunity. Aware of Astana’s desire to form the triangle “Russia-Turkey-Kazakhstan” within the framework of the Eurasian Union, Erdogan seeks to expand that axis by including another Muslim-Turkic state — Azerbaijan. It is known that the priorities of official Baku entirely depend on political well-being of Ankara.

It was the Turkish factor that allowed the Azerbaijani authorities to maintain a balanced relationship between the countries of the West and Russia. Nowadays, the situation has changed: crisis in the relations between the West and Turkey automatically spread to Baku, which no longer has serious geopolitical significance for Washington and Brussels. It could be that Azerbaijan’s admission to the Eurasian Union with the support of Kazakhstan may be the first step in Turkey’s accession.

The only serious obstacle to the implementation of this plan may be the position of Armenia — another member of the Eurasian Union. It is well known that Yerevan has no diplomatic relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan for a number of historical and political reasons. Thus, Armenia supports the Armenian Diaspora’s aspirations for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 by the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, Armenia perceives the policy of denial by the current Turkish leadership as a threat to its national security. Meantime, Yerevan is a security guarantor of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) and represents its interests in negotiations for the settlement of Karabakh-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.

A complicated situation has developed. If Russia supports the entry of Azerbaijan and Turkey, it risks spoiling relations with Armenia, where its only military base in Transcaucasia is located. The question is whether Moscow is ready to take certain risks in order to involve Ankara and Baku in the orbit of its influence. It is difficult to answer that question. However, there are some historical precedents: in the 1920s, the Soviet authorities gave the territory of Western Armenia to Turkey hoping to involve it in the communist bloc. A similar political gesture occurred when Karabakh and Nakhijevan, which were inhabited by Armenians, were included in the Azerbaijani SSR.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu states that Ankara and Moscow have come to an agreement on the purchase of the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system. A number of Russian experts close to the Kremlin note that reaching agreement on this issue is a positive step before the upcoming meeting between the presidents Erdogan and Putin in the Russian city of Sochi. This deal symbolizes a new stage in the crisis in relations between Ankara, Washington, and Brussels. Moreover, it is an evidence of strengthening Russian-Turkish relations. However, in order to understand the logic of these processes, it is necessary to analyze the political background and geopolitical configurations that have been developing in the region and in the world. Over the past eight years, there has been a gradual deterioration in relations between Turkey and the countries of the West. This was exemplified by events following Erdogan’s imprisonment of representatives of the army elite. When the army — as the guarantor of preservation of secularism — was weakened, the arrests of opposition leaders began and a decision was made to close hundreds of media outlets.

All these steps allowed Erdogan to achieve the main goal — to change the state system, transforming the parliamentary republic into a super-presidential one. The leader of the Turkish state believed that the Republican administration of the USA, unlike Democrat Obama, would overlook to repression inside Turkey. These expectations were erroneous. Certainly, President Trump congratulated his colleague, as it is required by the protocol, especially when it comes to allies within NATO. However, one should not lose sight of the fact that together with the congratulatory message from the leader of the White House, the State Department revealed its worries about the conditions under which the referendum was held. Ankara is unhappy with Washington’s controversial reaction to the issue of changing the system of state administration as well as with the fact that Trump did not extradite Fetullah Gülen — the main political opponent of President Erdogan. In addition, Ankara’s expectations on the Syrian question were also not justified. Many influential experts wrote that, like Bush Jr., Trump would rely on Turkey as part of the policy in the Middle East. However, recent events have shown that the Kurdish factor remains extremely significant for America.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend declares that Kurdish units will participate in the operation to liberate the Syrian city of Rakka from ISIS. In turn, Ankara says that the country will not take part if Kurdish troops are involved. U.S. cooperation with Kurds in Syria raises serious irritation of Ankara. It has already cooled relations between Turkey and America. It is worth mentioning that last year in February, Erdogan demanded that Washington choose between the Kurds and Turkey. Today, Erdogan continues to insist that America cease all contacts with Kurds. However, it should be understood that Republicans are not accustomed to the language of ultimatums that could be used with former president Obama. Trump repeated many times that America’s crucial task in the region is the elimination of terrorists. It would be difficult to achieve that goal without the support of Kurdish forces. This means that Washington will not risk its strategic plans to appease Ankara’s desire to “solve” the Kurdish issue.

Americans are still firmly convinced that Kurdish detachments should stand in the vanguard of military actions in Rakka. Even commitments to NATO cannot force the USA to exchange Kurds for the Turkish military. Thus, Ankara risks being on the sidelines of the Syrian issue settlement, which can affect the domestic political positions of President Erdogan and his elite. In addition to America, many European powers criticized Turkish policy. The most acute conflict was between Ankara and Amsterdam. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was going to deliver what amounted to a propaganda speech in the Netherlands. Dutch authorities refused to allow Cavusoglu’s plane to land. In response, President Erdogan compared the Dutch people to Nazis and said that Europe was preparing a crusade against Turkey. After this incident, Turkey was criticized by the authorities of Germany, Denmark, France, Italy, and Spain, among others. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that Turkey’s accession to the European Union is not going to happen.

This disappointment led Ankara into Moscow’s political embrace. The deal to buy the S-400 system really symbolizes the fact that Turkey is trying to find its place in a changing geopolitical configuration. In this sense, Russia and Turkey are in a similar situation. They mistakenly expected that with the arrival of Trump, America’s foreign policy would be less active. Sanctions against Russia are still functioning, but the internal political crisis continues to grow. Undoubtedly, Moscow would like to take advantage of the situation to involve Turkey in its integration project — the Eurasian Union. Many high-ranking politicians, including Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, made proposals on the necessity of Turkey’s admission to that union. Kazakhstan — one of the key members of the Eurasian Union — does not hide its intentions to form the geopolitical axis “Russia-Turkey-Kazakhstan”, which will become one of the leading forces not only in the Eurasian space, but the world.

In addition, for Kazakhstan, lobbying for Turkey’s interests has not only political but also civilizational meaning. Astana seeks to change the predominantly Christian Eurasian Union with a strong Muslim power. Turkey is best suited for this role: apart from the religious factor, Astana and Ankara are united by Turkic roots. Many of the political ideologists close to the Kremlin also speak about the importance of Turkey’s accession to the Eurasian Union. In numerous interviews, philosopher Alexander Dugin and political analyst Sergey Markov noted that Turkey’s accession would alter the geopolitical balance of the continent. Political philosopher Eduard Bagramov’s theory about a Turkic-Slavic union is often discussed in Russia. This theory implies that the Turkic and Slavic communities must act together to successfully implement Eurasianism. Many high-ranking politicians are also sure that the Eurasian Union is aimed not at geographical but at civilizational unity, which will be successful if Turks and Slavs are united.

Earlier, Turkish leaders hoping for a positive outcome of accession to the European Union did not respond to opposing signals from Eurasianists. The crisis in relations with the West, which led Ankara to a standstill, forced the country’s authorities to change their minds. Thus, Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci stated that Turkey wanted to join the Eurasian Union and noted that negotiations had been conducted in this direction. Unlikely as this seems, considering such factors as membership in NATO and close economic relations with the European Union, it is important to take into account the serious internal split in the country after the referendum and the acute geopolitical crisis in the region. An important factor is Erdogan himself, who has the reputation of an absolutely unpredictability. For the Turkish president, the Eurasian Union can become not only a lifeboat, but also a new political opportunity. Aware of Astana’s desire to form the triangle “Russia-Turkey-Kazakhstan” within the framework of the Eurasian Union, Erdogan seeks to expand that axis by including another Muslim-Turkic state — Azerbaijan. It is known that the priorities of official Baku entirely depend on political well-being of Ankara.

It was the Turkish factor that allowed the Azerbaijani authorities to maintain a balanced relationship between the countries of the West and Russia. Nowadays, the situation has changed: crisis in the relations between the West and Turkey automatically spread to Baku, which no longer has serious geopolitical significance for Washington and Brussels. It could be that Azerbaijan’s admission to the Eurasian Union with the support of Kazakhstan may be the first step in Turkey’s accession.

The only serious obstacle to the implementation of this plan may be the position of Armenia — another member of the Eurasian Union. It is well known that Yerevan has no diplomatic relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan for a number of historical and political reasons. Thus, Armenia supports the Armenian Diaspora’s aspirations for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 by the Ottoman Empire. Moreover, Armenia perceives the policy of denial by the current Turkish leadership as a threat to its national security. Meantime, Yerevan is a security guarantor of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) and represents its interests in negotiations for the settlement of Karabakh-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.

A complicated situation has developed. If Russia supports the entry of Azerbaijan and Turkey, it risks spoiling relations with Armenia, where its only military base in Transcaucasia is located. The question is whether Moscow is ready to take certain risks in order to involve Ankara and Baku in the orbit of its influence. It is difficult to answer that question. However, there are some historical precedents: in the 1920s, the Soviet authorities gave the territory of Western Armenia to Turkey hoping to involve it in the communist bloc. A similar political gesture occurred when Karabakh and Nakhijevan, which were inhabited by Armenians, were included in the Azerbaijani SSR.



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