TODAY.AZ / Analytics

Logistic illusions, or Armenia’s desire to access European corridor

26 October 2009 [18:37] - TODAY.AZ
Euphoria of the Armenian authorities in connection with swift opening of borders with Turkey seems to pass to a stage of delusion, when a person - but in this case a group of persons – turns out unable to clearly assess the situation. They do not realize that today Turkey has gained enormous weight in the region and it may influence situation in the region, depending on certain circumstances. It will be so difficult for Armenia to benefit from it…

The strong desire to receive definite dividends from the situation while it is possible, actually, prompted the Armenia leader to agree to sign protocols with Turkey to establish diplomatic relations as soon as possible. Yet it is difficult to say unambiguously what the initial motives were. More likely, a group of factors; including a desire to get rid of the Diaspora’s influence without a fear of losing its financial handouts and to get rid of the influence of its former boss, ex-President Robert Kocharian.

The euphoria has turned Serzhik and Co.’s head to an extent that he does not hear or stubbornly unwilling to hear the words of Gul and Erdogan, who almost every day reiterate that will never betray Azerbaijan’s interests and it is impossible to normalize ties with Armenia without a parallel resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Serzhik does not listen to those who tell him about it within his country. Even the Dashnaks are tired of saying that let Serzhik not to rejoice prematurely, because the processes will flow simultaneously.

Instead, his people organize a news conference of Director General of South Caucasus Railways JSC Shovket Shaidullin. They approve and contribute to it, even though not openly.

So, namely Shaidullin is well-remembered for a number of contradictory statements. The most interesting is that all his so-called “statements” were based solely on assumptions.

Now judge for yourself. He announced the Akhuryan station will be opened on the Armenian-Turkish border in near future or to be exact in a month. He said, "After the ratification of protocols signed in Zurich between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Turkey, we will hold a respective meeting with Turkey, whose results will be taken as basis to design conditions for the railway." Thus, Shaidullin admits that, in fact, nothing has been cleared up yet, nothing has been negotiated and the news conference in whole makes no sense.

At the same, he suddenly passes from purely economic claims to political claims. Shaidullin states that the main task is not only to open the Akhuryan station, "the key objective is to enter correctly the European corridor, the Caucasus and Asia, which could enable Armenia to become a part of an international logistics center.”

Too pompous words, aren’t they?

Actually it would not right to blame Shaidullin for something. South Caucasus Railways is a 100-percent subsidiary of Russian Railways OJSC. Armenian Railway CJSC was given to management of the South Caucasus Railways under a concession contract signed on Feb. 13, 2008. Term of the contract is 30 years with a right of extension for another 10 years. Thus Shaidullin is directly interested in opening from both an economic viewpoint and Russia’s strategic interests. The interests are purely of economic nature.

However, under the instruction of “top” circles, his speech was replicated and introduced as recognition of some kind of victory, to be correct Armenia’s coming out of the blockade.

Serzhik and Co. was not even disturbed by Shaidullin’s statement that once the border is opened, there will be a need to create a new format of relations, as SCR works with CIS member-states and, in particular with Georgia, in the so-called “CIS format”, whilst another mode should be chosen for work with Turkey.

SCR general director also added that since Turkey is party to the Convention on the Railway Transport (CRT), Armenia will have to join it as part of SCR.

Meanwhile, independent experts also hint the same, unanimously stating that even if the opening of borders will take place today, that does not mean that Armenia will become a kind guide, a link between East and West tomorrow. It requires taking a lot of decisions, signing  a pile of papers, and above all consult with the world powers, which are unlikely to agree to worsening of relations with a far more powerful, influential and useful Azerbaijan.

So, Serzh Sargsyan, relax and do not strain prematurely. It may undermine your health ...

Finally, just for background information: the Akhuryan station is called by name of the river with the same name, the historical name of which is Arpachay. Never forget it ...


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