ArmInfo.The mandate of the EU observers in Armenia is quite limited, and their deployment at the initiative of the Armenian side is connected with the desire to
resist the pressure of Azerbaijan and find any allies in the fight
against this pressure.
This was stated by the First Deputy Chairman
of the Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation on CIS
Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots
Konstantin Zatulin during the Moscow-Tehran video bridge on the
topic: "South Caucasus: Interests of Russia and Iran", on a request
to comment on the dispatch of the EU mission to Armenia for a period
of for two years.
In this regard, he urged not to panic and not to make hasty
conclusions. "I should say that the behavior of Azerbaijan and
Turkey, which stands behind it, give grounds for such fears. This is
true. It seems to me that it is more important for us and Iran at
this stage that it is necessary to closely monitor the penetration of
extra-regional forces into the Caucasus. We must do it. We are able
to ensure peace in the South Caucasus, acting in solidarity," the
Russian MP said, recalling in this vein that the status quo in the
Nagorno- Karabakh conflict zone was destroyed by the 2020 war, and
due to the fact that for a long time it was not possible to reach a
settlement of the conflict.
At the same time, Zatulin believes that the initiative for not
resolving the conflict ultimately belongs to both Armenia and
Azerbaijan, especially at the stage when the RA was headed by the
government of Nikol Pashinyan, who was poorly oriented in the
capabilities of his country. He recalled that the Pashinyan
government was extremely unsuccessful both in the military and in the
The MP also pointed out a number of circumstances in connection with
the current situation. "The caution I was talking about does not mean
procrastination and cowardice. Yes, it is obvious that Russia is
involved in a big confrontation with the West in Ukraine, but this
does not mean that we should not pay attention to challenges in other
areas of our influence, including in the CIS area," the politician
noted, adding that Russia, out of good intentions, offers various
kinds of projects instead of confrontation.
In this regard, he also agreed that these good intentions do not
always have a positive outcome. "In general, I believe that the
second Karabakh war should not have happened. And at some stage we
missed the opportunity to influence the initiators of this war -
Azerbaijan and Turkey, so that it would not take place. We missed
this move," he said, recalling that then, Russia did everything to
stop the war quickly.
According to him, even in this situation, there are many questions
for the Armenian side, which did not correctly assess the situation
and delayed it. However, according to him, Russia took responsibility
by sending 2,000 of its soldiers to Nagorno-Karabakh.
Zatalin is also convinced that today's actions of Azerbaijan in the
Lachin corridor are a challenge to this mission. The politician is
convinced that today Azerbaijan uses the unsettled mandate of the
Russian peacekeepers to demonstrate their inefficiency and ability to
solve the problem, which the Armenian side also insists on.
"I am certainly against this blockade. Urgent measures must be taken
to end it. And the joint action of Russia and Iran for these
purposes, it seems to me, would be very positive - more active, more
energetic," the Russian State Duma deputy said, adding, that the
behavior of Azerbaijan is constantly a topic of discussion in expert
circles. He recalled that some people believe that Azerbaijan has
already chosen the principle of one nation, two states, and there are
those who believe that Azerbaijan is trying to steer on a more
independent path, including through cooperation with Russia or Iran.
"But the desire to use Azerbaijan to the detriment of Iran is
certainly present," he said, recalling the latest statements made
both from Baku and from the West.
In this regard, Zatulin is convinced that Azerbaijan needs to decide
whether it will be a mere toy in the hands of extra-regional forces,
a mere appendage of Turkey in the establishmentof the Great Turan in
the Caspian and Central Asia, or whether it will play a more
At the same time, Zatulin believes that Russia should also understand
that much more activity is required of it today, and it can no longer
expect that the parties to the conflict will create comfortable
conditions for mediation.
"Here we want, for example, to resolve the matter peacefully, and we
do not declare our principled position - Azerbaijan did the right
thing or wrong in September 2022, when it attacked the Armenian
forces. We postponed it, which gave the West powers a reason to claim
that we are unscrupulous allies and gave rise to doubts about the
need for Armenia to join the CSTO. This is growing in Armenia every
day, and we must see it," he said, adding that any provocation by
Azerbaijan leads to a surge of anti-Russian sentiment in Armenia. In
this regard, he expressed his conviction that Russian diplomacy
should be more active.
According to him, this also applies to the North-South corridor.
However, he believes that under the current conditions, Russia should
develop maritime communications with Iran. He also believes that
Russia in the 1990s hastened to divide the Caspian.
Returning to the topic of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Zatulin noted that
it is difficult to accuse him of being biased, since he has been
declared an "unwelcomed" person both in Armenia and Azerbaijan.
"Declaring me an 'unwelcomed" person in Armenia indicates the
intention of the current Armenian authorities to change their foreign
policy. But, in this regard, they create problems for Armenia itself
and the Armenian people. For all the years of the existence of the
Armenian problem for centuries, except for declarations, the Western
powers have done nothing for Armenians. There were many declarations,
promises, but very few actions, and the result is a tragedy for the
Armenian people," he said.
Zatulin reminded that Russia officially has one ally in the South
Caucasus, Armenia, neither Azerbaijan nor Georgia are considered as
The MP is convinced that today it is necessary to objectively
understand from whom the real danger for Russia comes, instead of
managing this or that personal connection in this or that country. "
The objective situation today is that the certain behavior of
Azerbaijan, which has lost its head after the victory in the Karabakh
war, which is actually not its victory, but the Turkish victory, this
victory seems to give it a basis to dictate conditions. But this
creates problems for it in the future," he said, advising Azerbaijan
to be satisfied with the results obtained and stop creating a threat
to regional peace and tranquility, no matter who comes from support.
In conclusion, he noted that if today the EU intends to objectively
assess the behavior of Azerbaijan in the region and, on this basis,
demand something from it, then what's wrong with that? "There is
nothing bad in this. If, on this basis, they try to change the
internal and external vector of Armenia, then we will naturally fight
it. And as for the fact that Russia has weakened, you know that for
more than a thousand stories of Russia, there were many episodes when
it was weakened by something. But those who, on this basis, thought
that its role could be disregarded, have been in the grave for a long
time, and it continues to exist, albe