Caucasus, Russia, NATO thread: now featuring Armenia

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Caucasus, Russia, NATO thread: now featuring Armenia




Published on October 20, 2008
Bush Administration officials continued to press forward their new, more aggressive position against freedom for Nagorno Karabakh, citing, as recently as today in Yerevan, that a resolution of this longstanding conflict must proceed from the principle of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity, while remaining conspicuously silent on the core American value of self-determination.

вЂœOver the past several weeks, since the time of Vice President Dick Cheney’s early September visit to Azerbaijan, the Administration has rolled back any mention of self-determination, eliminating any reference to this core international legal and democratic principle from its diplomatic vocabulary. Speaking in Baku, the Vice President – echoing Azerbaijan's negotiating stand – said that a Nagorno Karabakh settlement "must proceed" from the principle of territorial integrity and only "take into account other principles."

As recently as earlier today, in Armenia, Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried repeated the newly formulated U.S. stand that a Nagorno Karabakh settlement must start from the principle of "territorial integrity," although he did concede that there were "other established norms," an apparent reference to democracy and self-determination, which he carefully avoided naming.

In a January 19, 2008 statement, Presidential candidate Barack Obama pleged that, if elected, he would work for "a lasting and durable settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict that is agreeable to all parties, and based upon America’s founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination."

In recent weeks we’ve seen Bush Administration officials, from Dick Cheney down to Matt Bryza, abandon even the pretense of a balanced, honest-broker role for the United States in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

In public statements, here in Washington and in Baku, they’ve gone over the top – even by their standards - in siding with Azerbaijan’s efforts to retake Nagorno Karabakh.

Dick Cheney said in Baku that his Administration prioritizes the principle of territorial integrity, which he’s conveniently and consistently misapplied to the Nagorno Karabakh issue, over the basic American ideal of self-determination.

Matt Bryza has said that, as a precondition for peace, Armenia must accept that Nagorno Karabakh remains legally part of Azerbaijan.

These comments would have put the Administration on the side of the British during the American Revolution.

-- Pressuring our Founding Fathers not to challenge the British Empire’s territorial integrity.

-- Urging them to hold off on signing the Declaration of Independence because the colonies rightfully remained legally part of a foreign power.

In their last months in office, these officials are acting a lot less like responsible stewards of U.S. policy and more like surrogates for the Azerbaijani Embassy, it’s K Street lobbyists, and energy industry allies.

It’s no coincidence that Azerbaijan’s President, hearing this outright cheerleading from Washington, has pledged an all out political, economic, and military offensive against Armenia.

[url=]US State Department of Lies now takes Azeri side vs. Armenia: Territorial integrity a sacred cow if theres oil and bases in it for us[/url]




Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday publicly offered to host the next meeting between his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts which international mediators hope will produce a breakthrough in their protracted efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “I hope that we are at an advanced stage,” Medvedev said during an official visit to Yerevan, commenting on the current state of the Karabakh peace process spearheaded by Russia, the United States and France. “I hope that the three presidents will meet very soon to continue discussions on this theme,” he said. “I hope that the meeting will take place in Russia.” The American, French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have been pressing the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet in the coming weeks and iron out their remaining differences on a framework peace accord proposed by them last year. “Our understanding is that such meetings will take place shortly after the forthcoming [October 15] presidential elections in Azerbaijan,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this month. Speaking at a joint news conference with Medvedev after their talks, President Serzh Sarkisian reiterated that the proposed peace deal is on the whole acceptable to the Armenian side because it upholds the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination. “The main thing is that we believe the conflict can be resolved by mutual compromise and by means of negotiations,” he said. Medvedev said he and Sarkisian discussed the Karabakh conflict “in detail” but did not comment on chances of its near-term resolution, saying only that “both sides are ready to look for solutions.” The two leaders also discussed the broader security situation in the region in the aftermath of Russia’s recent war in Georgia as well as Russian-Armenian economic relations.

[url=]There's a reason for Washington noise on Karabakh - a belated counteroffensive vs. Russia[/url]

Meanwhile, in unrecognized Georgian states:


October 21, 2008, 21:40
Russia promises bases in South Ossetia by 2009
Russia’s military bases in the newly proclaimed republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will begin operating next year with 3,700 troops at each, according to the Chairman of the Russian General Staff General Nikolay Makarov.

Top Russian and U.S. military chiefs met in Helsinki, Finland, on Tuesday, in their first face to face meeting since the conflict in South Ossetia. The situation in the region topped the agenda.

“The primary goal of the bases is the protection of our interests and the interests of the two republics in the region,” said General Makarov.

“The amount and range of armaments and military hardware at the prospective bases are being coordinated alongside infrastructural matters. I think it will take no less than twelve months to fully equip the bases in accordance with their mission."

The Russian and U.S. sides agreed it is important to ease current tensions between Washington and Moscow and all key issues should be discussed either over the phone or in person.

General Makarov also warned Russia is already considering additional measures to counter the deployment of U.S. missile defence elements in Poland and the Czech Republic.

“Such measures are being pondered," he said.

From Russia Today

In Armenia, Medvedev blames US crisis for hurting Russian economy, speaking on newly dedicated "Russia Square"


"We have an open economy now and we feel the impact of the global economic crisis,” he said. “In fact, we're paying for the blunders made by a number of countries, including the US, since the American market exerts a weighty influence on the international market."

He added that he might take more organisational, financial and structural decisions to minimise the effects of the crisis on the Russian economy.

Square of Russia unveiled in Armenian capital

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Armenian counterpart have opened the Square of Russia in the Armenian capital.

At a solemn opening ceremony, Medvedev described the relations between his country and Armenia ‘an age-old friendship’.

“The square we are now in was named after our country,” he said. “It is with deep gratitude that we see this as a sign of respect towards modern democratic Russia and its people. Also, it is a sign of respect for our common history, a recognition of the immense value of our age-old friendship.”

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at the ceremony that he hopes the Square will become a symbol of devotion and friendship between the allied nations.

The statements came ahead of face to face talks between the countries’ presidents.

The leaders are expected to discuss economic, humanitarian and global economic issues.

[url=]Medvedev promises peace for Caucasus[/url]