Russian Analyst Offers Insights on Armenian Border Guard Situation and Foreign Policy Dynamics

Politics 15:30 10.05.2024

Russian political scientist, publicist, and historian Oleg Yuryevich Kuznetsov weighed in on the recent developments concerning the withdrawal of Russian border forces from the territory of the Republic of Armenia. According to Kuznetsov, Armenia initially sought to assert control over its entire territory without the presence of Russian border guards. However, upon realizing the inadequacy of its own border security forces to manage the entire expanse, Armenia opted to retain Russian border guards along its borders with Turkey and Iran.

Kuznetsov underscored that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan aimed to remove Russian border guards from Zvartnots airport in Yerevan, purportedly to prevent Russian oversight of foreign visitors from America and Europe entering and exiting the republic. Pashinyan's objective, as emphasized by Kuznetsov, was to ensure that the capital's airport fell under the jurisdiction of Armenian border guards, thereby granting Armenia greater autonomy in its foreign policy pursuits. This move, Kuznetsov contends, enables Pashinyan to conduct foreign affairs without Russian oversight and facilitates the invitation of delegations from various countries to Armenia without Russian knowledge.

Kuznetsov further opined that Armenia has historically accommodated foreign military presence and is likely to continue doing so. He cited the significant proportion of former US military personnel within the staff of the US Embassy in Armenia as an illustrative example of this phenomenon.

The Russian political scientist delved into the implications of Armenia's potential European integration, the waning influence of the Karabakh clan—which traditionally safeguarded Russian interests in Armenia—and the presence of foreign military legions that could conceivably leverage Armenia to exert influence on Russia.

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