Process must continue through bilateral talks without Russia, says Stepan Grigoryan.
YEREVAN, Armania (AA) – For improvement in ties, Armenia has to negotiate with Turkey and Azerbaijan but without mediators such as Russia, an Armenian analyst has said.
“Armenia has lost the (Karabakh) war and is currently in a weak state. The government has to negotiate with Turkey and Azerbaijan, but this should happen without intermediaries like Russia,” Stepan Grigoryan, the head of the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, a think tank in Armenia, told Anadolu Agency.
“The process must continue through bilateral negotiations,” added Grigoryan, who is also a former lawmaker of the Pan-Armenian National Movement party.
Emphasizing that Turkey can be an alternative to Russia in the region, he said: “Turkey follows a serious foreign policy in line with its interests.”
After last year’s six-week war, Azerbaijan retook Nagorno-Karabakh and other regions from nearly three-decade-long Armenian occupation.
Turkey had backed Azerbaijan during the 44-day war, which ended in a Russia-brokered cease-fire agreement in November 2020.
Moscow has since mediated talks between Baku and Yerevan to end the decades-long conflict. It has also expressed a willingness to support normalization between Ankara and Yerevan.
Besides Karabakh, Turkey has long been at loggerheads with Armenia over issues such as Yerevan’s refusal to recognize their shared border, terror attacks on Turkish diplomats, and Armenia’s claims over the events of 1915.
Due to its intransigence, landlocked Armenia has been left out of transport and trade lines towards Turkey and Europe, routes meant to draw the region closer together.
– ‘Greater chance’ to establish peace
Noting that Turkey has the potential to be a “sustainable and reliable partner for Armenia”, Grigoryan said: “Turkey’s support and alliance with Azerbaijan is understandable and not open to discussion.”
“While doing this, it can establish a reasonable and balanced relationship with Armenia. The same goes for Armenia.”
Urging his country to establish direct channels of relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan, he said: “I am not saying that this will be easy. Yes, there are disagreements on many issues, but negotiations should begin.”
“Today we have a greater chance to establish peace,” he added.