'There is no one closer to us than Azerbaijanis' - Armenian historian | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

11 July, Saturday

'There is no one closer to us than Azerbaijanis' - Armenian historian

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At first glance, this question sounds strange. Because, Armenian nationalists instilled Azerbaijanophobia and Turkophobia in their people for several decades, it has formed the basis of national consciousness. However, in the modern world, many "intelligent" Armenians understand that ethnic nationalism only leads to despair.

Recently, the co-chair of the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace platform, Artur Agajanov, expressed his views on the program "Caucasian Albania" that Armenians are not accustomed to hear: “There is no one closer to us than Azerbaijanis ... We can live peacefully with these people, I think our relations with them will improve.”

It is enough to look at the map to understand that there is no country closer to Azerbaijan than Armenia. Today, the territory where Armenia is located (and this is the historical land of Western Azerbaijan) cannot be separated from the rest of Azerbaijan, especially in a rapidly globalizing world.

The existence of a front line instead of the normal borders where people and goods can move freely is a great loss for the state in all areas: economic, humanitarian, tourism. It is impossible to build a normal modern economy on nationalist myths. Because myths contradict the realities of today's world.

Large companies avoid from the country which has hostility with neighbors. Investors are afraid of it. It is impossible to organize normal production. Residents who do not want to live in poverty and on the front lines are leaving the country.

In principle, when the process of disintegration of the USSR began in the early 1980s, Armenia and Azerbaijan had to live as good neighbors. Armenian nationalists demanded the change of borders and incited the Karabakh conflict, accelerating the process of disintegration of the USSR, and began separatism and ethnic cleansing not only in Karabakh but also in Georgian Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

At the same time, if there were no Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, they would join the single economic space of the South Caucasus together with Georgia as independent states. Armenians would live in Azerbaijan, including Baku and Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijanis would continue to live in many regions of the Republic of Armenia. It would not be a bad thing for the Armenian people. On the contrary, due to the lack of borders and relations with neighbors, the economy would grow rapidly. Armenia would be an attractive place to live. People would not migrate to find work because they could work in their own country. Armenians would not send their sons to the long-standing Karabakh war.

Today, it is clear that no matter who is in power, Armenia cannot exist without normalization of relations with Azerbaijan. Conflicts between different groups will further weaken the Armenian state, as resources and population are dwindling.

Sooner or later, the question will arise: either Armenia will cease to exist, or it will normalize relations with Azerbaijan, and only then will the country have a chance for normal development. Of course, it will be painful for Armenians to realize that more than 30 years have been wasted, but also to the detriment of the Armenian people. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians left the Armenian state once and for all. Thousands died, many became refugees and had to start from scratch in a new place. Who will answer for all this? On the one hand, who will restore the Armenian gene, which was actually put in a "bloody meat machine" in the Karabakh war, and on the other hand, scattered around the world?

But the sooner Yerevan realizes the need for reconciliation with Azerbaijan, the fewer new losses will be. Moreover, it will no longer be possible to keep Armenia afloat at the expense of a donor like Russia. The coronavirus crisis has hit the Russian economy hard. And the Armenian lobby in Russia will not be able to support the Armenian state project as much as before. Moreover, in recent years, this support has not lifted Armenia out of poverty.

Therefore, the Armenian leadership has little time to think. For this, smart people must be listened to and Azerbaijan must not be viewed as an enemy. In addition, Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated its insistence on a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and a return to internationally recognized borders.


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