Armenia was not able to be independent in New Time, except for the period of the First Republic (1918-1920). The Armenians of the First Republic had no idea about how to enjoy independence, nor about government. Before World War I, Armenians lived under Ottoman, Russian, and Iranian sovereignty. And it was the First World War that turned Armenians into a nation of the diaspora. Armenians have departed around the world, and due to commercial, political and other reasons, they have become more romantically and idealistic, breaking away from Turkey. The difficulties of living in a foreign land affected all aspects of the life of the Armenian people. The conflicts between the Turks and the Armenians were greatly exaggerated, and 1915 was idealized for a year and became something of a legend. Hatred of the Turks became a cement that rallied them in the diaspora. The fact that they could not create their own state, to succeed, if only to defend their dignity in the fight against the Turks, as well as failures in achieving unity in other areas of activity, did not allow Armenians to treat themselves critically. Whereas the Greeks, for example, by creating their own state and having won a number of important victories over the Turks, became less romantic and established more or less normal relations with the Turks. The Armenians, on the contrary, unfortunately, remained in a fantasy world. In fact, one of the main reasons for such a short stories The first Armenian state was the extreme idealism of the Armenians. Armenians preferred the killing of Turkish diplomats to establishing normal relations with their new neighbors. The adventure called “Retribution” in a sense, distracted Armenians from real problems. While the Turkish Republic created on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire did not incite its people to attack the Greeks, Armenians or any other neighbors during the same period, the leader of the young Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk said to his people: “We have just left the war. But the real and greatest war is still to come. And this war is a war for development. ” In his opinion, to be truly independent is to be able to back up your independence with development and economic independence. Therefore, Turkey should not waste time on solving past problems. In accordance with this course, Atatürk tried to build its relations with Greece and other countries that were part of the Ottoman Empire in a new way. Armenia was among them, but it could not respond positively to this bold step.
Ter-Petrosyan: failed attempt of the Armenian revolution
The important point was that Armenia reappeared on the historical arena in 1991 year. Having received a new state, Armenians could take a more realistic path. Turkey also expected to get a partner with whom it was possible to establish relations to resolve the Armenian issue. Similarly, the first President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, and some of his advisers believed that they should not repeat the same mistakes. According to Petrosyan, the first major mistake of the Armenians was that they set themselves tasks far beyond their capabilities. Knowing that they themselves would not be able to succeed in relying on their own strength, they hoped for help from Russia and revolted against the Ottoman Empire in order to create a separate state on Ottoman territory. According to them, Russia will support the Armenians, while Great Britain, the USA, France and other Christian states will put pressure on the Turks in the international arena and force them to recognize the demands of the Armenians. The only thing they need to do is to continue their demands as long as possible. In accordance with this, Armenians resorted to terrorism, unrest and other similar methods throughout the 20 century. In the First World War, they even fought against the Ottoman Empire on the side of France and Russia. But in the end, it was the Armenians who always lost. They lost their people and their lands, on which they lived for centuries. It seems that the Armenians did everything that Russia or even England and France spoke to them. In 1915, they revolted against the Ottoman Empire in the eastern part of the country, when the Allies sent the most powerful fleet of all previous world history to the Dardanelles (Western Front). But the Armenians could not achieve any success. France was the first to remove its troops as soon as they encountered difficulties. Russia has never fully supported Armenia, and after the First World War it supported the new Turkish state. If these countries actually supported an independent Armenia, the Ottoman Empire would never have been able to withstand the pressure of these great powers. The first conclusion of Levon Ter-Petrosyan: Armenians should count their own forces. It was the greatest mistake of the Armenians to fully rely in their policies on the assistance of other states.
The second conclusion reached by Levon Ter-Petrosyan: Armenia is a small, poor country, cut off from the sea, not having any significant natural resources, surrounded by Turkic peoples. Turkey is in the west with its 75 million population, while Azerbaijan is in the east with 7 millions, and in the south - by some estimates - 30 millions of Azeri-Turks of Iran. On the other hand, the Georgians in the north have always been allies of the Turks for many centuries. Armenia has no common border with Russia. Under these conditions, the only way to live is to establish good relations with neighbors, especially with the Turks. The third important conclusion reached by Mr. Petrosyan: if Armenia wants real independence, it must disperse from Moscow. Yerevan, which for decades has been so dependent on Moscow, should break this bond and get on its feet.
Conclusions Petrosyan, ultimately, the following:
1. Armenians should not rely on the support of other states in achieving goals that go far beyond their own strengths and capabilities.
2. It is necessary to develop relations with neighbors, especially with Turkey.
3. It is necessary to quickly reduce dependence on Russia and create a fully independent Armenia.
Petrosyan and his team were close to making a revolution in the Armenian consciousness. However, the desire for independence does not mean readiness for it. They were still entirely in nationalism, which was so romantic and fixated on the territory. By “Motherland”, Armenians understood, first of all, territories and unrealistic dreams. They considered the seizure of Karabakh (Azerbaijan), Nakhchivan (Azerbaijan) and Javakheti (Georgia) and their inclusion in Armenia as a priority task. Even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Armenian ultra-nationalists began the struggle to annex Karabakh to Armenia. Thus, even before the implementation of the Petrosyan plan, the Karabakh issue became dominant in the region. In addition to this, there was unrest in Azerbaijan, and thanks to direct support from Moscow, the Armenians not only captured Karabakh, but also cities and villages in which only Azerbaijanis lived. They attacked Nakhchivan, but as a result of Turkey’s immediate warning, hostilities were limited to the eastern front.
Due to these events, Petrosyan lost chances of a compromise with the Turks. The occupation of Karabakh and its surrounding territories caused a break with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Although Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia, it broke off diplomatic relations with Armenia and closed its borders. This is completely normal, as both Azerbaijan and Turkey are Turkic states. During the war, the streets of Turkish cities were filled with protests. Turkey, more than any other country in the region, has been striving to maintain the status quo since 1923. The main principle of Turkey’s foreign policy is that there can be no change of borders in the region with the use of force. Turkey has been opposing forcible changes in borders for many decades and sees the Armenian occupation as an attempt to illegally change borders.
Despite this, Turkey is looking for ways to avoid a stalemate in solving the problem. Turkish leaders expect Armenia to liberate at least territories outside Karabakh. If Armenia takes steps in this direction, Turkey is ready for even greater steps to meet. Armenia has repeatedly been sent proposals in this direction during the 1990s. Turkey even sent food to the Armenian population after the war during periods of aggravation of an already dramatic situation. Moreover, aid and subsidies sent from European and American states can be delivered to Armenia only through Turkey. As a gesture of goodwill, Turkey opened its airspace to the Armenians and opened regular flights between Turkey and Armenia. However, Petrosyan understood that as long as he did not take any steps on the Karabakh issue, he could not solve a single problem. He intended to take radical steps in recent days at his post, but Russia and the ultra-nationalists came to the fore and displaced Petrosian. It is known that the Dashnaks, which were banned under Petrosyan, played a major role in this process.
After Petrosyan, the extreme romantic Robert Kocharyan came to power. He was not even a citizen of Armenia when he became president. He passed the election through fraud and had no idea what a state was. He was a militant in the full sense of the word and understood the task of the Armenians so that everything captured by Armenians must be protected. In his opinion, the Turks are bad, the Armenians are good, Russia is a friend, and Azerbaijan and Turkey are enemies. His ideas do not go beyond that.
Thus ended the era of Petrosyan, and with it faded hopes for peace. Kocharyan’s policies and principles were the exact opposite of previous conclusions.
1. Relations with Russia deepened, and many Russians and supporters of Russia took key positions in Armenia. During this period, at the same time when other former Soviet republics were economically and politically moving away from Russia, Armenia began to depend on Russia even more than it was in Soviet times. Especially in the energy sector of Armenia, Russia has become a monopolist. Having taken a dominant position in the economy, Russia began to control Armenian politics. Armenia has become the only stronghold in the Caucasus, although it cannot receive substantial assistance from Russia.
2. Kocharyan’s team has made tremendous efforts to develop relations with the Diaspora. She especially hoped to find loans and sources of financial assistance in the diaspora. The diaspora was able to provide economic and political assistance. However, the expected economic assistance came very late, and it was significantly less than expected. Moreover, extremists seized a monopoly on relations with Armenia and even established control over the country's internal policy. Armenia has never been able to become an independent country on its own feet.
3. The Kocharyan government almost declared war on the Turkish people. A campaign has begun on the so-called genocide bill in parliaments around the world. It was assumed that in this way Turkey would find itself in a difficult situation in the international arena and would be forced to accept Armenian demands. In other words, Kocharyan once again began to use classical Armenian tactics. Not relying on its own strength, but relying on support from outside, Armenia damaged its relations with its neighbors.
4. Finally, Armenia under Kocharyan began an uncompromising policy on the Karabakh issue. It was stated that Karabakh is an independent state and will never be returned to Azerbaijan. For the other regions under the Armenian occupation, no concessions were made either. Being from Karabakh himself, Kocharyan hired security guards from Karabakh Armenians to protect his presidency and personal security. Thus, the Karabakh issue took control over Armenia’s foreign and domestic policy.
Who won, who lost? Azerbaijan or Armenia?
Returning to its former policy, Armenia thinks that it won a decisive victory over Azerbaijan. But in reality, the Azerbaijanis truly won.
Of all the former Soviet republics, perhaps, Azerbaijan was the most unprepared for independence. There was no concept of national identity. On the one hand, the Communists did everything to bind Azerbaijan to Moscow, on the other hand, the nationalists were so romantic and idealistic that they intended to create a large Turkic state, including Central Asia, Iran and Turkey. In the end, as a result of internal conflicts and feuds, with the direct support of Russia provided to Armenia, Azerbaijanis lost 20% of their land occupied by Armenia. About a million Azerbaijanis have become refugees, and this problem continues to this day. Azerbaijan, at least temporarily, has lost its territory, but has gained national unity, development, and an economy included in the world market.
Let's see what Azerbaijan has achieved in the conflict with Armenia:
1. Azerbaijan became a real national state after the attack of Armenia and as a result of the attack of Armenia. Without the Armenian aggression, the period of formation of the national consciousness would be delayed for a long time.
2. Azerbaijan has become a more homogeneous country. During the war, about 500 000 Armenians left Azerbaijan, and all Azerbaijanis left Armenia. Azerbaijani Armenians were the richest and most influential people in Baku. Their departure from the country meant Azerbaijan’s real independence. Even in Karabakh, Armenians were relatively richer, and they enjoyed the same rights as everyone else. The Armenians, having occupied the Azerbaijani territories, lost their privileged position in the Azerbaijani economy, but received only territories.
3. Without war, Azerbaijan would have remained a puppet of Moscow and would never have been able to achieve real independence. The war led to the breaking of ties so that they would never be restored to their former form. If now Azerbaijan is a truly independent state, then this is due to Armenian aggression.
4. Due to its uncompromising and aggressive attitude towards Armenia, Azerbaijan managed to isolate Armenia in the region. In fact, Baku is happy with the policy pursued by Armenia towards Turkey and Azerbaijan. As a result of this policy, Armenia was left out of all regional cooperation and integration projects.
Having rich oil and gas resources, Azerbaijan is becoming stronger and stronger, and Armenia is suffering losses economically. In a conflict with the neighbors is really difficult to get on their feet. Occupied Karabakh is not a region worth such losses. It does not bring any benefit to Armenia, but it has become a heavy burden for the Armenian economy.
In this situation - conclusions for Azerbaijan:
1. It is obvious that he will not be able to return Karabakh by military means right now. Main reason: Russia supports Armenia. When in the 1999, the Azerbaijani army intended to seize Karabakh, Russia warned that “if you insist on this, you will lose Ganja”.
2. Secondly, the US and the EU do not adequately respond to the occupation of Azerbaijani territory by Armenia. Thanks to the activities of the Armenian diaspora, primarily in France and the United States, these countries are pursuing a policy of procrastination. Karabakh and other areas remain under Armenian occupation, while Western states only promise to do something. Azerbaijan understands that the West will not put enough pressure on Armenia as the country of the occupier, at least in the near future.
3. The United States and Europe are interested in Azerbaijani oil and gas, but this has not yet become a factor of political support.
4. Turkey itself can not stop the occupation.
In these circumstances, instead of wasting time, Azerbaijan decided to strengthen its army while simultaneously driving Armenia into a difficult situation. To solve the problem from the standpoint of Azerbaijan, it is necessary to pursue a dead end policy for some time. During this period, Azerbaijan will grow stronger, and Armenia will weaken. In other words, extending the existence of the problem of the occupied territories in the interests of Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan turned out to be right, taking such an uncompromising and extremist position that the Armenians cannot even slightly move away from the territory they occupied. Instead of wasting time in the occupied territories, Azerbaijan ousted Armenia from all regional development projects. The most important of them: the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. It is clear that this pipeline would go through Armenia if the Yerevan government would soften its position at least a little. Either the project would not have taken place at all, or it would have gone through a shorter and cheaper way through Armenia. Since it was the United States and Europe that could provide capital for the project, Azerbaijan could not have prevented this if Armenia acted smarter in 1990 years. Then the gas pipeline passed by Armenia, and now the railway will bypass it. The railway, which passes through Armenia, cannot be used, which forced Turkey and Azerbaijan to build another through Georgia. Armenians tried to prevent this by acting around the world, including the US Congress and Europe. They even tried to provide guarantees for the trains that will pass through the territory of Armenia. But this was already too little and too late. At the same time, it is very important that cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey is becoming more intense and covers all areas, from military to economic. Armenia is completely isolated in the region, and political support from Russia does not contribute to the economic development of Armenia. Due to the lack of a common border with Russia and because of Russia's mercenary, rather than strategic partnership, Armenia was in a potentially dangerous situation. Over 15 years, the population of Armenia decreased from 3 to almost 2 million people. They are going around the world again. Only for work, about 50-75 thousands of Armenians from Armenia arrived in Turkey already.
Another success of Azerbaijan is that step by step it attracts more and more attention of the United States and European countries. Armenians are still influential in these countries, and Azerbaijan remains Azerbaijan. However, Azerbaijan is involved in close cooperation with Western companies on energy issues and other issues, and these countries are gradually beginning to understand the importance of Azerbaijan. For example, on issues of energy security of the European Union, Azerbaijan is of key importance. The BTC oil pipeline connects the oil resources of the Caspian basin with the European and Mediterranean markets. Italy is a country that has taken advantage of this more than others. BTC is an important alternative for the European markets of Russian and Middle Eastern oil. Also, gas supplies to Europe through Georgia and Turkey, and the accession of Kazakh and Turkmen gas to them will be the same alternative for Europe. But even now, in the current situation, European companies have a significant share in the Azerbaijani energy resources, and in this regard Azerbaijan is not a country that could be sacrificed as easily as before. The situation looks the same from the point of view of the USA. They want to break the rule of Russia in the region, and are very interested in oil. Azerbaijan and Central Asia can not only become an important alternative to Russia, but they themselves will be able to get out of the influence of Russia if they become independent energy players and get rid of Russia's control. For this reason, the US pays much attention to Azerbaijan and other Central Asian republics. Another important factor contributing to the importance of Azerbaijan is its proximity to Iran and the 30 million Azerbaijani population in this country. The United States expects a great deal from Azerbaijan in destabilizing Iran and countering Russia. The aspiration of Azerbaijan to the West in cooperation with Georgia and Turkey corresponds to the fundamental interests of the United States. However, the consequences of such an approach are not noticeable in the Karabakh issue. The Armenian lobby is very influential in the US and the EU, therefore in some aspects it blocks the cooperation of these countries with Azerbaijan. In particular, it is precisely on this issue that the US and the EU have a much smaller field of maneuver than they would like. Despite this, they wonderfully cooperate in the economic sphere, and this will continue in the future. Azerbaijan on this occasion is still holding back its expectations. He does not hope that the West will end the occupation. Azerbaijan understands that it takes time to achieve this result. In fact, the current situation is in the interests of Azerbaijan. If pressure is put on Armenia and under its influence Armenia leaves the occupied regions, the demographic and political balance will quickly change in Azerbaijan, which can lead to internal instability. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people who left Karabakh and other occupied territories have already moved into their homes and left the tents where they used to live. Some of them have already gotten a job and in a certain sense have accepted the existing situation. A sudden change in the existing situation can trigger some extreme expectations. Therefore, in the current situation, gradual changes are much preferable. At the same time, Azerbaijan maximally exploits the role of Armenia as an “occupier” to the end. He also eliminates Armenia from all regional projects, and Armenia, wasting time in the occupied territories, can not join either the world or the regional economy.
The real success of Azerbaijan is, of course, its economic development. Especially after the start of operation of the BTC pipeline in Azerbaijan, a real boom began. Growth in 2005 was 26.4%, in 2006, this growth was surpassed (around 30.6-32.5%). Albeit with a slight slowdown, the same growth is expected in 2007 year. The share of oil and gas prevails in this growth, however, the non-oil sector also grew by 9.5%, which is also a very rapid growth. It is easy to assume that the influx of income from the energy sector to other sectors will lead to further growth in the non-oil sector of the economy. In parallel with this, the budget deficit was sharply reduced. Sharply increased exports and imports. It is not difficult to notice signs of prosperity on the streets of Baku. GDP per capita exceeded $ 7.300 in 2006 year, and will continue to grow. The unemployment rate fell to 1.2%.
At the same time, Armenia is going a different way. Although the growth rate in 2006 was about 12%, these figures somewhat distort the understanding of the state, as small as in Armenia, of the economy. An economy that barely survives thanks to foreign aid and transfers is not enough to keep the population in the country. The construction sector makes a dominant contribution to the growth of the Armenian economy. Diaspora transfers significant amounts of money into the country. These monetary resources and cause economic growth. However, this growth cannot be considered as a stable and solid economic growth. The Armenian economy cannot create an internal development engine and needs more help and remittances. Unemployment in Armenia reaches 30%. Investments in the private sector mainly come from the diaspora. This means the dominance of the diaspora in the economy, and hence in the policy of the country. At the same time, Russia established control over certain sectors of the economy, such as energy. Despite the fairly rapid growth of the economy, per capita income is $ 1.513. Even considering that in terms of PPP it exceeds $ 5000, it is very strange that per capita income remains so despite the sharply decreasing population. The main problem for investment in the Armenian economy is uncertainty related to the Karabakh problem. Even some companies of the Armenian diaspora are cautious in investing in the country. In addition, the closed borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey and the lack of access to the sea increase dependence on Georgia and Iran. Accordingly, this increases the customs costs of Armenia.
Summing up, one can briefly say that Armenia thinks that it won in Karabakh and other occupied areas. She believes that in time she will force other countries to forget about the occupation, it is not clear, however, why. It threatens the whole country because of Karabakh. Armenia cannot adapt to changes in the concept of a national state. She still lives with old-fashioned ideas about statehood from the 19th century. Only because of the territories, Armenia endangers its people and its statehood, which it finally gained. Armenians are building their policy against the Turks, although they are surrounded by 110 by millions of Turks. Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was in the position that Armenian identity should not be built on conflict with the Turks. According to his opinion, this is precisely the poison in Armenian blood. And regardless of where they are, Dr. Dink thought, Armenians should be cleansed of this poison and enter into a sacred union with Armenia. This alliance should serve to preserve the life of Armenia, and not serve personal or ideological interests using Armenia.
Citizens serve their state and try to glorify it. However, Armenians strive to satisfy their feelings and aspirations by sacrificing Armenia. Regarding their troubles in the past, I cannot understand whether they want to glorify their country or satisfy their personal political ambitions in the struggle against the Turks.
They did not make an assessment of the history of the first Armenian state. At first, the Dashnaks used this state to take revenge, and then transferred it to the Bolsheviks. Let's hope that the story does not happen again. Maybe it will surprise them, but we will be the first to be bothered most. Turkey and the region need a stronger and more independent Armenia than the one that the diaspora needs.