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26.07.2022 Author: Vladimir Platov

US is Stepping Up its Efforts to Squeeze Russia Out of Armenia


Against the backdrop of the lack of success in creating an opposition stronghold to Russia in Ukraine, the United States has recently taken a number of measures to create a so-called “second front” against Moscow by increasing instability and initiating anti-Russian sentiment in a number of countries that are politically and strategically important to the Russian Federation. And for these purposes Washington’s attempts to unleash an armed conflict with Russia in Syria continue unabated via the provocative Israeli policy of systematic airstrikes on Syrian territory and incitement of Turkey to conduct a new series of military operations in the north of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Along with this, Washington hasn’t lowered its activity in destabilizing the situation in Central Asia, which is strategically important for Moscow. An example of this was the attempts to complicate the situation in Kazakhstan in January of this year, using terrorist rabble that the United States has been bringing to Afghanistan from Syria and Iraq for a long time. These events in Kazakhstan were an open “reconnaissance battle” because Kazakhstan, in the concept of Washington strategists (for many objective reasons), is the most important regional resource for undermining the situation in Russia.

This was followed by a failed attempt by the US to stage an armed conflict in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAR) in May. After that Washington decided to try to destabilize the situation in Uzbekistan.

Along with this, the United States, in developing the Russophobic policy pursued by the Biden administration, has intensified its actions to oust Russia from the southern Caucasus. At the same time, Washington has placed a special emphasis on the elimination of Russia’s military presence in Armenia and Karabakh, which, in the American interpretation, hinders a final Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement according to American patterns. After all, according to Washington’s plans, if the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as between Turkey and Armenia, are opened and “peace reigns in the region,” then the presence of Russia’s 102nd Military Base in Armenia, Russian border guards and Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh loses meaning. And then the US plans to increase pressure on their withdrawal from Armenia.

Hence Washington’s active involvement in the “American-style settlement” of Armenia’s relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey. If “peace treaties” between the parties are signed, then formally the threat of an armed conflict will cease to exist. And then Washington will be able to move on to the implementation of its plans concerning the expediency of the Russian military presence in Armenia. And without the presence of the Russian military in this country, which even during the 44-day war prevented a military invasion of Armenia by Turkey and Azerbaijan, nothing will prevent Turkey and Azerbaijan from “solving the problem of Armenians once and for all” in the future. 

It was the discussion of these issues with the current leadership of Armenia that CIA Director William Burns’ “unexpected visit” to Yerevan on July 15 was dedicated to. The press service of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to a certain extent was forced to confirm this, which reported that “issues of international and regional security, the situation in the southern Caucasus,” as well as “the fight against terrorism” were discussed with William Burns. The American guest was separately received by Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan who discussed the “negotiations” with neighboring Turkey and Azerbaijan with the CIA director.

To enhance its influence in Armenia against Russia, including via the creation of a controlled “fifth column,” the United States announced the allocation of $585,000 for a training program for 60 students and graduates of educational institutions under the age of 24 from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. As follows from the US State Department’s announcement on this issue, those young people who pass through the competitive selection will be sent to the United States, where they will be trained in such areas as “entrepreneurship,” “negotiation,” “conflict resolution,” “social work,” and a number of others involving the development of leadership qualities. Then the students will have an internship in American public organizations, and upon returning to their homeland, they’ll begin to implement “public projects with active mentorship from the grantee organization.” The American Embassy in Azerbaijan will oversee the initiative.

It is well known that similar US projects have been implemented in various republics of the former USSR over many years. Such American activities are openly aimed at “brainwashing” and gradually changing the consciousness of people living in different regions. The United States, in this regard, places special emphasis in the region of the former Soviet Union, and people “prepared” in this manner have already been seen more than once in various republics of the ex-USSR as initiators or “coordinators” of various anti-government and Russophobic demonstrations.

Another similar area of activity was the recently announced “gathering of volunteers” in connection with the Community Liaison Volunteer (CLV) program by the United States Embassy in Armenia, ostensibly for the aim of “establishing contacts with American citizens in case of disasters and emergencies.” These actions by the US caused a certain public outcry among the Armenian segment of social media networks. In response, the US Embassy in its microblog on social media networks tried to assure that US diplomatic missions “around the world regularly recruit volunteers to exchange information and provide assistance to citizens of the United States abroad.” The embassy clarified that in the event of emergencies, volunteers can be called upon to help find missing Americans, visit American citizens in prison or hospital, and use “volunteers” to maintain lists of telephone numbers and addresses (including email addresses) of US citizens living in their area of activity. Such “volunteers” will also assist American citizens in choosing gathering places and routes in case of emergency evacuations. That is, they actually become the eyes and ears of Americans, and obviously not only in the event of “emergency situations.”

In order to provide for more assertive activity in Armenia, the United States, according to incoming information, intends to make certain adjustments to the staffing of its embassy in the very near future, enhancing it with “experienced personnel” who have already been trained in other countries to strengthen opposition to Russia.

Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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