Baku, Azerbaijan, June 25
By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:
Serzh Sargsyan's regime in Armenia is likely to fall in the near future, the President of the Caucasian International Research Center for Geohistory and Geopolitics, Professor, Guram Markhulia told Trend.
"I think that Sargsyan's regime will fall in the near future, before the end of the first European Games in Baku," he said. "New political forces will come to power in Armenia."
The expert believes that the protests in Armenia are caused by political problems.
He said that the Armenian authorities can undertake provocations at the border and the contact line in Nagorno-Karabakh in order to distract people's attention from the protests and discontent with the government.
"Perhaps, Armenia will undertake some provocations on the borders in all directions in order to divert people's attention," Markhulia said. "Small local wars and border clashes start in such cases. In this sense, it is possible that some problems may arise between Armenia and Georgia. I think that both Georgia and Azerbaijan should be prepared to address issues in the military sphere."
Azerbaijan has demonstrated to the world community what forces and capabilities it has, and the first European Games, which are now being held in Baku, showed that Azerbaijan is capable of returning Nagorno-Karabakh on its own, according to the expert.
"Everybody is very well aware in Yerevan that Azerbaijan is anyway ready to address this issue by any means," he said.
Events in Armenia show that the country is leaving the geopolitical influence of Russia and goes towards the influence of the West, the expert said.
He said that further developments will depend on the decision of new owners of the country.
"Armenia cannot solve anything on its own," said the expert. "The Armenian authorities will do as their new allies say."
On June 23, the Armenian police broke up a rally in the center of the country's capital. The rally was held in protest against the increased electricity tariffs. The protests in the streets resulted in use of water cannons against people. Over 230 people got arrested as a result of violent crackdown, including journalists of Gala TV, the Radio Liberty's Armenian office, the Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper, the Hetq, News.am, Panarmenian.net news agencies.
On June 17, Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission, considering a request from the distribution company, Electric Networks of Armenia, which is a subsidiary of the Inter RAO UES, raised the electricity tariffs by 6.93 Armenian drams (about $0.015). This caused discontent among the population that believes the rise in the cost of electricity will lead to higher prices for essential goods and many services.
Edited by CN
Elena Kosolapova is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova