Medvedev’s Visit to Turkey: Good News, Bad News

Watching Russian and Turkish leaders clapping and smiling with each other, makes me uneasy. I’m almost certain, that many fellow Armenians experience similar feelings.

Turkey is Armenia’s historical enemy. I do understand the “historical anomaly” of closed borders in the 21st century but Armenia’s border with Turkey is closed, and it’s Turkey who closed it in 1993 causing a severe economic blockade of Armenia,in support Azerbaijan, which was, and technically, still is at war with Armenia over Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh region. That is undoubtedly a hostile action, so has been Turkey’s treatment of Armenia since than.

Russia, on the other hand, has been conjuring the image of being Armenia’s historical friend, even though I don’t see in what ways is that true. Over the past 3 centuries Russia has only been serving its national interest, using Armenia as it pleased along the way. Meanwhile, Russia troops have been guarding Armenia’s border with Turkey since the break up of the Soviet Union.

Turkey is perhaps a hundred times more powerful than Armenia, so without Russian support we’d hardly survive a day if Turkey decided to start an attack against imaginary run-away Kurdish rebels who are hiding in Armenia.

And there you have Medvedev, the guarantor of our security, talking about the importance of Turkey as a trade partner, a strategic partner… so that’s the bad news.

The good news is that, Medvedev appeared to sidestep implicit Turkish calls for a stronger Russian pressure on Armenia which Ankara says is essential for achieving a Karabakh settlement and thereby unlocking its fence-mending negotiations with Yerevan.

Medvedev stressed that Russia is “not a conflicting party” despite its “special mission” in the region. “We are a mediator who is, however, actively involved in the process,” he said, according to Interfax.