Hello, and welcome to Armenian News Network, Groong, Week in Review. Here are some of the developments we’re going to discuss from the past week.
This Week we’re going to talk about the following major topics:
● Outcomes from Nikol Pashinyan’s trip to Moscow
● What is Azerbaijan’s geo-political situation after the war?
● Domestic politics in Baku
● Azerbaijan’s losses from the second war in Artsakh
To talk about these issues, we have with us:
Edgar Elbakyan, who is a political scientist based in Armenia, sharing his time between Yerevan and Stepanakert and specializing in Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
Asbed Kotchikian, who is an associate professor of political science and international relations at the American University of Armenia.
Emil Sanamyan, a senior research fellow at USC’s Institute of Armenian Studies specializing in politics in the Caucasus, with a special focus on Azerbaijan.
This past Monday Prime Minister Pashinyan went to Moscow and signed some agreements with Aliyev, confirming Armenia’s commitment to opening various trade and communications corridors between the countries. On Wednesday Komersant published a map of proposed railways connecting Turkey with Baku through Nakhichevan, all the way through to Russia, with a couple of extensions that pipe Yerevan into this railway as well.
What are all the corridors being discussed?
Does this plan benefit Armenia and Georgia?
Despite Pashinyan’s denials, Armenian & Azerbaijani national security teams have been determining the international border between the countries, which was never defined or recognized after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Why now? Is the end goal of determining the borders, the opening of the borders? Or the international-legal “national” boundaries of Armenian aspirations?
What was the reaction of the Armenian opposition to Pashinyan’s trip to Moscow?
Is there an economic assessment of the benefits of the proposed plans? Why is the Prime Minister signing agreements when no progress was achieved in releasing Armenian POWs, no discussions were held on Artsakh’s status. [rfe/rl]
Since the war in Artsakh ended two months ago, Azerbaijan has been talking tough and playing the regional winner, flexing its political and military muscle with open and veiled threats at Armenia. Of course, this heavenly honeymoon will expire.
Much like Armenia, Azerbaijan is also subject to the proxy power games of the major world and regional powers, and certainly there’s a price for all of the help that Turkey lent to Azerbaijan.
What are Turkey’s and Russia’s expectations from Azerbaijan?
What are the international political pressures on Azerbaijan, after the war? (Europe, US, Pakistan etc.)
Are mercenaries gone from the NK space? - maybe we can skip this time?
What’s the status of the “Monitoring Station”? What will be Turkey’s role?
The Aliyev Clan has ruled Azerbaijan like its family business for much of the last half century, and quashed democracy and oppressed its domestic opposition with the excuse that the country was at war with Armenia and for national security.
What is the state of the political opposition in Baku?
Is Aliyev secure now? For the foreseeable future?
Is there hope for democracy in Azerbaijan in the foreseeable future?
A lot has been reported about the military and human losses on the Armenian side, and the books are not closed yet. But we know very little about Azerbaijan’s losses in the war.
Can we do a brief quantitative review of the military losses on their side? Dollars spent?
What were the human losses on their side? Azerbaijani (and was it all Azeri)? Mercenary? Any Turkish losses?
Are the losses known and public in Azerbaijan? Is this a cause for concern for Aliyev?
What about the mercenary losses? Are they reported anywhere?
That concludes our program for This Week in Review episode. We hope it has helped your understanding of some of the issues from the previous week. We look forward to your feedback, and your suggestions for issues to cover in greater depth. Contact us on our website, at groong.org, or on our Facebook Page “ANN - Groong”, or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network”.
Special thanks to Laura Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channels, Like our pages and follow us on social media. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you next week.
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NOTE: 7 primary keywords + remaining keywords in additional. Keywords should be in order of “priority”.
Primary: Edgar Elbakyan, Emil Sanamyan, Asbed Kotchikian, Putin, Pashinyan, Moscow, Nagorno Karabakh
Additional: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Artsakh, Yerevan, Baku, War, Aliyev, Artsakh, Military, POW, MIA, Opposition, Komersant, Syrian Mercenaries,