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Ankara’s actions in Caucasus could also pose a threat to EU, Armenia’s President tells Politico

armenpress.am10/19th/2020, 12:00
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Ankara’s actions in Caucasus could also pose a threat to EU, Armenia’s President tells Politico

Famous analyst Ben Judah conversed with President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian. He referred to that interview in POLITICO and published an article on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and present situation, the Presidential Office told Armenpress.

Its abridged and translated version is presented below.

“Armen Sarkissian says Ankara’s actions in the Caucasus could also pose a threat to the EU.

Armenia’s president is demanding answers from NATO over the involvement of Turkey in the Nagorno-Karabakh war. Armen Sarkissian says he’s ready to travel to Brussels to confront the transatlantic alliance over Ankara’s actions in the Caucasus and warn the European Union of the threat they pose to the bloc’s security.

“If I go to Brussels,” he said in an interview with POLITICO, “I would like to speak to the NATO leadership as to why this very strange situation is taking place where Turkey, a full NATO member, is involved in a war that has nothing to do with NATO. How on earth is it that a NATO member is acting as freely as a cowboy and NATO does nothing? Does this mean they have a green light from NATO?”

Turkey threw its weight behind traditional ally Azerbaijan when the frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh reignited last month. The fighting has cost hundreds of lives, with both sides accusing each other of killing civilians.

Armenia is accusing Turkey of sending fighter jets and Syrian mercenaries to Azerbaijan. Ankara has denied this, though several media reports have documented the presence of Syrian fighters and F-16s. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has acknowledged Turkish F-16s are present in the country but claimed they were not used in the fighting.

Sarkissian said he wanted to visit NATO’s Brussels headquarters to “get explanations” as to why “Turkish weapons, drones and F-16 are involved in the process of bombing Armenia and Armenian civilians in huge numbers. These are NATO-made weapons: the engines from Austria, the avionics are from Canada and the parts of the rockets are from Britain and so on.”

Sarkissian said he was also ready to travel to Paris, London and Berlin to make Armenia’s case to European leaders. “I am ready to tell [Angela] Merkel,” he said, “that I understand that Europe is busy with other things and everyone is busy with COVID-19, but dear Madam Chancellor what you are probably not seeing clearly is that there is another disaster coming from the Caucasus to you that is not a biological virus but the virus of instability and war.”

Sarkissian said he wanted the German chancellor to understand that “the war of Turkey and Azerbaijan risks creating another Syria. Or making Turkey the creator and the ruler of an energy crisis to Europe.” (Pipelines crucial to the EU’s energy supply pass close to Nagorno-Karabakh.)

In contrast, he does not feel the need to remind French President Emmanuel Macron about the conflict’s potential geopolitical ramifications. “I think that Macron understands that instability in the Caucasus is going to hit the larger region and then it will affect Western Europe,” Sarkissian said. “He understands that the Turkish presence in Azerbaijan will make Southern Europe and Central Asia all dependent on Turkey and Turkey will emerge as a regional superpower and that is what [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan wants to achieve.”

France, home to a sizable Armenian minority, has seen a bill introduced to the parliament to recognize the Republic of Artsakh or Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said he expects France to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh but a measure actually passing remains highly unlikely.

Sarkissian said he would be “very happy” if France recognized the breakaway region. “As Armenians, we have always believed that a solution has to be reached through peaceful negotiations and in order not to make things worse, this has restrained us from recognizing the Republic of Artsakh until now.” He added: “But of course if we don’t see light at the end of the tunnel we will recognize Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Armenia is seeking to present the war to Brussels as part and...

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