Why is Armenia taking part in NATO’s Warsaw summit?

Politics Materials 8 July 2016 15:47 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 8

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:

NATO’s Warsaw summit is an important platform to discuss today’s most pressing issues and challenges.

Fighting terrorism and protecting civilians from terrorist attacks, strengthening stability beyond the Alliance, stepping up the Alliance’s defense potential and deterrence measures are the issues to be discussed by NATO and its allies, as well as with the summit guests.

Azerbaijan, as one of the main countries fighting terrorism, was invited to the NATO summit in Warsaw for completely objective reasons. Cooperation between NATO and Azerbaijan, which is continuing for the second decade, is based on mutual trust and common interests.

Azerbaijan as a country that is being subjected to threats by Armenia and as a victim of aggressive separatism is NATO’s key partner in strengthening the stability beyond the Alliance. Azerbaijan, which has been for many years suffering from the occupation of 20 percent of its territory by Armenia, is seeking by all means to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict peacefully and thus to step up the stability in the South Caucasus, which is a strategically important region for NATO.

On the other hand, Armenia’s participation in the summit of NATO, an organization, which is opposing Moscow in geopolitical context for many years, seems to be quite ambiguous.

The summit’s agenda is not in Kremlin’s favor either: increasing the contingent in Baltic states, Poland and Romania, the new budget and the antimissile defense system.

Yerevan is not only a partner of Moscow, but also its ally in the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). This means that on the NATO sidelines it will be impossible for Yerevan to discuss such issues as deterring Russia.

Armenia’s role in fighting terrorism, which has been spread in the region by Armenians themselves for many years, is even more questionable.

It is clear that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is trying to achieve a goal by participating in the NATO summit. And that goal is to make Russia react to Yerevan’s presence in the summit, and thus, Moscow’s putting Yerevan back to its inner circle and making some concessions to it.

Possibly, it will be quite the opposite and this will even more worsen the Armenia-Russia relations, which have recently deteriorated against the backdrop of closer ties between Moscow and Baku.

Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian news service