Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 3
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
After getting acquainted with some recent events and statements, it seems that the US is asking the price of Armenia, trying to reduce not only Russia’s political but also financial influence on Yerevan.
As the Russia-US relations are not so good today, while the Armenia-NATO and the Armenia-West relations, on the contrary, are flourishing, Moscow seems to have something to worry about.
“The Armenia-US economic relations have great potential,” former US ambassador to Armenia John Heffern has recently said.
Heffern said that instead of humanitarian aid, the US intends to develop the trade and economic relations with Armenia, Voice of America reported.
The former US ambassador also added that the US-Armenia trade and investment framework agreement, signed in May 2015, has been already facilitating the development of trade and economic relations between the two countries.
It is clear that there is no real potential for the US relations with a small and poor Armenia. However, it seems that the West has recently decided to outbid Armenia as Yerevan's relations with Moscow have recently cracked.
The fact that Armenia is dealing with NATO behind Moscow's back became evident after the trainings in Romania, which Moscow perceived negatively.
Moscow regards holding of such large exercises as a deliberate attempt to influence the geopolitical situation in the region. The participation of the main ally in the South Caucasus in those trainings testifies to the disorder in the Russia-Armenia relations.
Moreover, the US officials also send unambiguous messages to Yerevan, promising it treasure if it escapes the influence of Moscow.
US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills urged Yerevan in late July to make its own decisions concerning the country’s national interests.
“Armenia may have strong defense ties with both the US and Russia, but it is important for Armenia to make its own decisions on these issues,” Mills told reporters.
Mills's statement was made immediately after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law on ratification of the agreement on combined group of forces with Armenia.
The US plans to beat Russia in the energy field, which is strategically important for Armenia, which has no own energy resources.
The US and Western countries, realizing that they have missed a lot on the Armenian energy market, which makes it politically and economically even more loyal to Russia, are now trying to make Yerevan an offer from which it will be unable to refuse.
“The promises were made at a renewable energy conference in Yerevan, which was attended by seven US companies in May 2017, that the US companies are ready to invest up to $8 billion in Armenia’s power engineering,” Mills said at the conference.
As a condition for investment, Mills mentioned appropriate guarantees from the government.
One can guess about the guarantees. Today 82 percent of Armenia’s power engineering belongs to Russia, namely, the leading energy enterprises - Gazprom-Armenia, Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant, Electric Networks of Armenia, Sevan-Hrazdan Cascade including 7 HPPs.
The US and the West are displeased with such a situation as it is very convenient to manipulate Yerevan due to its dependence on energy.
However, will Russia agree to sell its outpost in the South Caucasus? Will Russia continue to invest money in the energy sector to eclipse the US tempting offers?