Tsukerman talks Russian Peacekeepers, NATO with Milli.az News

Editorial | Republic Underground 

March 23, 2021 

Image credit: “File:RIAN archive 682935 Council of CIS security agencies and special services chiefs holds meeting.jpg” by Pavel Lysizin / Павел Лисицын is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Image taken from CIS meetings in 2010. 11 years later, CIS and Russia still are present strategists in the regional interests of the Karabakh. Republic Underground’s media VP and analyst Tsukerman comments on the status of the NATO-CIS strategy presence today.

On March 23, Republic Underground’s media vice president and security analyst Irina Tsukerman spoke with Milli. az news. The interview addressed concerns of a continued Russian peacekeeper forces presence in the Karabakh region post-conflict. 

Tsukerman’s comments initially appeared in Azerbaijani but have been translated into English as follows: 

Original interview by Təhməz Əsədov (Tahmaz Asadov)

Tsukerman began her statements by referring to NATO and CIS strategies. 

“These exercises will also provide an important insight into NATO’s strategy and thinking in the CIS,” said Tsukerman.  

“The other side (Russia) is more responsible for the existence of Armenia, because until now Armenia has been doing what is most beneficial to Russia, not the West. It is Russia that benefits most from the chaos, confrontation, and confusion in the South Caucasus or elsewhere,” she said. 

“Therefore, we should not expect Moscow to cut off aid from Armenia in this regard, to stop expanding military assistance, to withdraw peacekeepers from Karabakh, or to leave Yerevan.”

She then spoke regarding the benefits of Armenia to Russia, and motives for a continued peacekeeper presence. 

“Armenia is still beneficial to Russia and will continue to do so until the government and people are open to these relations and continue to pursue aggressive anti-Azerbaijani policies,” she said. 

“Although Moscow was not happy with this change, it was not unexpected, and the Kremlin would not benefit from leaving Armenia because of this process.”

She then spoke about Armenia’s tendency to play double-sided political games in the region, to suit domestic political agendas. 

“Armenia is used to playing on both sides and create the impression that it is a pro-Western country. This is more useful than blind loyalty to Moscow’s long-term plans.”

Tsukerman noted Moscow’s interests in winning western confidence for its presence in the region. 

“It is in Moscow’s interest for the west to believe that Armenia is at least a nominal ally, which gives them an additional basis for humanitarian aid (and to pay for Moscow’s expenses) and, in some cases, open political support. 

Tsukerman then spoke regarding the Armenian lobby’s tendency to exploit its relationship with the United States. 

“Especially in the United States, the Armenian lobby will try to take advantage of Armenia as an additional negotiating tool for Russia’s open support for Armenia in the region and use it to change the picture of Yerevan’s pro-Russian, Moscow-betrayed “relationship with the West.”