Video Bridge - V. Putin’s State Visit to Armenia on December 2, 2013


Video Bridge - V. Putin’s State Visit to Armenia on December 2, 2013

The video bridge took place on the day of the visit.
Experts in Yerevan:
Sergey Sargsyan, Deputy Director of the Center for Political Studies of Scientific-Educational Foundation “Noravank”
Manvel Sargsyan, Director of the Armenian Center of National and Strategic Research
Experts in Baku:  
Natig Jafarli, Executive Secretary of REAL (Republican Alternative Movement)
Yusif Aghayev, Head of the Institute of Military and Political Studies, independent expert 
Manvel Sargsyan
- I think it is not a mere coincidence that Putin already planned ahead the visit to Armenia. It is a state visit, but actually it is not clear whether he has arrived to his military base or not.
Sergey Sargsyan
- It is our territory, so the visit is to Armenia!
Manvel Sargsyan
- I don’t know. Here the course for Russia tofollow after the Vilnius Summit will be determined. If carefully observed, one can see all the actions ofhow the country will operate in its post-Soviet space. It will go on operating just as it has started. It is important to point out that Russia actually has got another carte blanche. I don’t know whether it is good or bad. Generally, I do not support any Russiaphobia or Europhilia. I just watch the processes underway.
I just think that it is a very important visit to us, and this is by no means a game, and it may be no accident that the local authorities are actingin this way. Whether necessary or not they disperse assembled people, do things they shouldnot do at all. There are no special anti-Russian sentiments in Armenia. And now, the authorities were up and about to mobilize people. Everything indicates the seriousness of this act.
Sergey Sargsyan
- First of all, I know what Putin has in mind. He is the President of Russia, and he solves all problems so that the outcome is to Russia’s benefit. I can only appreciate the visit to Armenia in the same year as his visit to Baku. Firstly, it suggests diplomatic hints. Secondly, I think this visit will lead to a number of treaties andagreements, serving not only the interests of Russia, but those of Armenia, too, in terms of the latter’s security promotion and enhancement of regional, including economic, significance. I suppose some treaties will be signed. The Russian President’s visit to the military base is specific in nature. It will be necessary to do some analysis when all the information becomes available after Putin’s visit.
It would be strange if Putin visited Armenia before the Vilnius Summit. It seems to me that the Vilnius Summitbelongs to the history, and Armenia has not initialed any document. And this visit will also serve the purpose of securing this outcome.
Natig Jafarli
- Honestly speaking Vladimir Putin’s visit to Armenia does not seem strange, as the choice, made by Armenia, was previously known. The strategic relations between Russia and Armenia are also well-known. It is more than likely that Putin came “to  give away some carrots”. There is likely to be a discount for gas or any other economic privileges. First came the “stick”, but according to the classical scenario there must be “carrots”, too. However, countries that think of themselves as the member of Customs Union or Eurasian Union must be ready for Putin’s frequent visits to them. He is likely to own an office and employees in every country. This will probably happen, because the Kremlin’s, i.e. Putin’s final goal is to reconstruct, if not entirely then partially, the empirethey have lost, the loss termed the biggest disaster of the 20th century by Putin. So, I do not find this visit strange at all.
Yusif Aghayev
- In addition to my colleagues’ speech I can add that Putin’s visit to Armenia, just like his previous visit to Azerbaijan, has always touched the right chords in Armenian and Azerbaijan societies regarding the issue that remained off-screen, namely the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. And everyone is very much aware that regardless of any framework - whether Minsk or UN or even the EU – many issues regarding the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict still rest with Moscow.
And Russia very skillfully manipulates both the Armenian and Azerbaijan governments. As to how to move on,the only way out I see is through direct contact between both state organs (without intermediaries) and the civil society, and people in general. We are neighbors. Bad peace is better than good quarrel. But the matter is that the allies, especially such a suzerain as Russia, that weigh upon us, will hardly let us deal with this matter on our own in the near future.


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