Table of Contents
Hello, and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong, Week in Review for Sunday November 8, 2020. In this episode we continue to discuss various topics around the War in Artsakh. We’ll be talking to our panel about the following major topics:
● Six weeks of war
● What is Russia thinking?
● To recognize or not to recognize?
Our guests for this episode were:
Emil Sanamyan, a senior research fellow at USC’s Institute of Armenian Studies specializing in politics in the Caucasus, with a special focus on Azerbaijan.
Yeghia Tashjian, a regional analyst and researcher based in Beirut, with expertise in China, Iran and the Persian Gulf. Tashjian is the Regional Officer of Women in War, a gender-based think tank, and hosts a weekly radio program called “Turkey Today”.
Asbed Kotchikian, a senior lecturer of political science and international relations at Bentley University in Massachusetts where he teaches courses on the Middle East and former Soviet space.
This episode was recorded on Saturday, November 7, one day before Nikol Pashinyan along with Ilham Aliyev and Vladimir Putin signed a ceasefire treaty, which some would say is a capitulation for Armenia.
The war has been ongoing for six weeks.
During the past week, Russia has stressed its
discomfort with the presence of terrorists in Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh
at multiple layers. President Putin has said it, foreign minister Lavrov, as
well as foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Many governments worldwide
(including that of the US, France, Iran) have also confirmed this news.
Yet, Aliyev continues to deny:
“I regret that high-ranking officials of the countries that should be neutral and act on the basis of the mandate given to them by the OSCE use these unconfirmed ‘information’ and rumors,” Aliyev said, reiterating that there are no mercenaries on the territory of Azerbaijan. (Azatutyun)
It was in response to this statement that director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, re-affirmed that they have very high confidence in their intelligence. In addition to this, Naryshkin also claimed that Turkish intelligence or special ops units are active in Artsakh.
Earlier today, Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov and his French colleague had a telephone conversation where the main topic was the fight against “terrorism in all its forms”. During this meeting, they also raised their concern about Syrian and Libyan extremists fighting in Artsakh.
Does Russia seem to be building some sort of a case for taking action against the war in Artsakh in some form or another, perhaps with the full cover of international legitimacy and support? What do you think Russia is strategizing?
Iran has moved significant armed forces and weaponry to its border with Azerbaijan and also Armenia. It also has expressed concern about terrorism at multiple layers of its top leadership. What are its concerns, why does it need so many army assets on its northern border?
Let’s come back to Yerevan for a moment.
That concludes our program for This week’s Groong Week in Review. We hope it has helped you understand some of the current issues. We look forward to your feedback, and even your suggestions for issues to cover in greater depth. Contact us on our website, at groong.org, or on our Facebook Page “ANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network”.
Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. I’m Hovik Manucharyan, and on behalf of everyone in this episode, I wish you a good week. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.
Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Karabakh Negotiations, Geneva, Iran, Turkey
Additional: Suren Sargsyan, Asbed Kotchikian, Russia, France, United States, OSCE Minsk Group, Ceasefire, Aliyev, Pashinyan, Abbas Araghchi, Robert Kocharyan, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, Gagik Tsarukyan, Putin, United Russia, Bargavach Hayastan, Prosperous Armenia