Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s remarks on Armenian-Turkish protocols have evoked varied responses among Armenian politicians and political scientists.Tert.am interviewed Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies Ruben Safrastyan, expert in Turkic studies Artak Shakaryan and Vice-Chairman of the Heritage party Armen Martirosyan about their opinions of the president’s remarks having to do with the political situation in Armenia.Ruben Safrastyan does not think the Armenian president’s remarks have to do with domestic political processes.“It may have something in common with foreign political developments in the future, but I do not think it stems from the domestic political situation,” he said.Mr Safrastyan agrees with the president’s remark that Armenia’s positions in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process remain strong.“If we see that our positions in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process remain strong, and Azerbaijan is more and more often resorting to militant rhetoric, heightening border tensions, it means our positions are really strong, and this is the reason for Azerbaijan seeking to torpedo the negotiations as it sees the process is not in its interests,” the expert said.Turkey’s efforts to get the role of mediator are failing. Many nations clearly see that Turkey cannot act as mediator because it is supporting Azerbaijan.Heritage party Vice-Chairman Armen Martirosyan believes that the Armenian president’s statement has to do with domestic political relations, apart from external signals.In some respects he agrees with the president’s statement, while in others he does not.“Indeed, the border tensions are increasing, and the fact is that, Armenia’s relatively balanced foreign policy has ensures an alignment of forces on the foreign policy front so that we are not faced with a problem of lost territories. Well aware of that, Azerbaijan is resorting to blackmail and heightening tensions,” he said.According to Mr Martirosyan, balance is regularly disturbed.“I mean the Turkey-Azerbaijan alliance. They are even speaking of creating joined armed forces. Regrettably, Armenia’s foreign policy, particularly the Armenian-Turkish protocols, legalized Turkey’s actions,” he said.With respect to the points he does not agree with, Mr Martirosyan said that it is common knowledge that Turkey is ready to re-open its border with Armenia if the Armenian side cedes two regions to Azerbaijan.“Therefore, the Armenian-Turkish protocols immediately involve Artsakh [Nagorno-Karabakh]. Some of the points could be applied to Artsakh’s detriment,” he said.According to Mr Martirosyan, the Armenian-Turkish protocols will cause damage to the process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide.“I do not think that our struggle is only for the US Senate to recognize the Armenian Genocide.”According to him, the Armenian authorities are well aware that it is not in Armenia’s interests. So they did not ratify the protocols.Expert in Turkic studies Artak Shakaryan noted that nothing can be said for certain. In any case, he agrees that the protocols were a solution back in 2008-2009.“Official Yerevan made a step back thus placing the responsibility for the failure of the protocols on Ankara,” he said.Mr Shakaryan agrees with the Armenian president’s opinion that Armenia did not let the world think that official Ankara is not responsible for the absence of Armenian-Turkish relations.Despite Turkey pretending to be neutral in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, it will support Azerbaijan when necessary, the expert said.
Armenia – Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin.