Today.Az » Analytics » Not the very border Armenia tries to open
24 October 2009 [11:36] - Today.Az
Yerevan’s joy in connection with Zurich protocols might be too premature.

The Turkey-Armenia protocols signed between Ahmet Davutoglu and Edward Nalbandian in Zurich on Oct. 21 have been sent to the Turkish parliament, of course, for ratification. The Armenian-Turkish dialogue remains one of the most discussed themes in the region. Yerevan tries to present “signing without resistance” of these Zurich protocols as their stunning diplomatic and political success. If to listen to the Armenian political scientists close to the authorities, Turkey has forgotten about Azerbaijan just for sake of friendship with Armenia, Armenia has received keys to heaven at discount and twisted everyone round its finger, whilst the world turns round the major Stella of monument to “genocide victims” in the Zitzernakaberd mountains.

However, most experts hurried actually with victorious communiqués in Armenia. Not because, signing of the Zurich protocols does not mean that they will enact – it requires ratification at the parliament. Not because, the president, the prime minister and the foreign minister of Turkey have numerously stated that it will occur only after Armenia leaves the occupied territory of Azerbaijan. What is the most important is that opening of the Armenian-Turkish border does not mean automatic and swift “reanimation” of the Armenian economy. In fact, well memorized cries of Armenian propagandists about the Turkish “blockade”, and its colossal damage to the Armenian economy, all these tearful words are nothing else than PR.

Existence of “functioning” border with Georgia actually ensured an exit for Armenia to the sea and potential European markets, including “railway” components. The Armenian citizens traveled and go on traveling Turkey unimpeded, mediators in the “third countries” supply Turkish consumer goods to Armenians and the Turkish import, but not local producers, even defines prices at the agricultural markets of Armenia (overwhelming majority of those involved in agriculture field of Armenian SSR were ethnic Azerbaijanis). No doubts, there will be a movement, but it would beat everything to expect revolutionary effect. IAE, the international experts guess, even in the most favorable trend of developments, the opening of border with Turkey will provide the Armenian economy a growth by no more than 1 percent. If to take into account rate of its current slowdown, this “one-percent consolation” can hardly be accepted seriously.

The situation can be changed in root by Armenia’s participation in communication transcontinental projects: construction of main oil and gas pipelines via its territory, Great Silk Route, highway deliveries by the Kars-Gumri railway. Theoretically, nothing hinders the opening of the Kars-Gumri route after the enactment of protocols.

However, what to transport by this route? That is the question. The opening of border with Turkey can solve so less in itself for Armenia. In order to have an access to transcontinental projects, Armenia should achieve not only the opening of border not only with Turkey, but first of all normalize relations with Azerbaijan - an exporter of oil and gas and the only “window” for participating in Great Silk Route for Central Asian countries. Otherwise, access to the Turkish “transit”, to be frank, loses significance. The Armenian “political scientists’ plan”, implying to construct a gas pipeline from Iran onward connected to Nabucco seems less real. Firstly, Iran’s participation in Nabucco seems very much illusive. Secondly, Iran has its own border with Turkey; so, as less transit countries as better. Though there is too much talk worldwide that Armenia should be “rewarded”, in reality after the second Chechen war, of which the Baku-Grozniy oil pipeline could not save anyone, ideas of “international pipelines” has greatly lost its value.

Saying better, the Armenian strategy “was mistaken with border”. At the same time, they miss a chance of getting aligned with regional projects. So, to ‘reward’ Armenia no one will relay the existing pipelines.

The opening of both Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Azerbaijani borders will cost Armenia well-known political price, including refusal from speculations over the “genocide”, withdrawal of troops and recognition of borders. Because, keys to heaven are not sold at discount.

By Nurani

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