Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 221

Interviewed by Armenia’s official news agency, the influential Moscow foreign policy expert Andranik Migranian warned against a "danger of Daytonization" in the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. (In Russian analysts’ terminology, Daytonization implies–as in Bosnia–a settlement shaped primarily by Western powers, proceeding from their interests and an international order based on the territorial integrity of recognized states).

Without criticizing Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosian personally, Migranian refuted Ter-Petrosian’s recent proposals for settling the Karabakh conflict through a compromise acceptable to the international community and to Azerbaijan. According to Migranian, a settlement shaped by the Western powers would entail Russia’s "loss" of Armenia after the "loss" of Azerbaijan and, for the most part, of Georgia. "Russia would then have been pushed out of the Transcaucasus," Migranian warned. He endorsed the positions of the Armenian prime minister, defense minister, and Karabakh president, who have openly differed with Ter-Petrosian and "are ready to defend Armenia’s interests to the end."

According to the Moscow expert, Russia’s "patriotic forces," proceeding from strategic interests, will support a firm Armenian stand on Karabakh, and can keep Russia’s Foreign Ministry from acceding to "a Western version" of conflict settlement. Ter-Petrosian’s concessions "could disappoint those political forces that are ready to defend Armenia’s interests." By the same token, "a firm Armenian position would help those forces in Russia and the West." (Armenpress, November 24)

Migranian is a high-profile member of Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, an advisory but influential body. He is associated politically with Russian nationalist circles that promote the reassertion of Russia’s influence in the newly independent states in general. Armenia, however, is a special case in that it commands political support in Moscow across the board. Russian nationalist and leftist circles appreciate Armenia’s role as Russia’s last ally in the South Caucasus. Russian liberals appreciate Armenia’s role in bringing down the Soviet system and — in the case of the consistent liberals — are also sometimes moved by humanitarian considerations stemming from Armenian history.