The psychology of Armenia`s foreign policy

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Baku, 25 Jule 2017 –

National psychology plays a crucial role in building and shaping a foreign policy. A psychological aspect should be taken into account when assessing economic, political or security policy of countries. Developed by humans, foreign policy is inevitably affected by their psychology, mood, thinking, and world view.

Armenia`s foreign policy has been shaped by President Serzh Sargsyan and his team for 10 years. Members of Sargsyan`s team have changed several times over these years, but his foreign policy remains unchanged. The reason is that it is his views that form the backbone of this policy.

Sargsyan was born, raised and worked in Azerbaijan. He is a representative of the nation, which, as alleged by the Armenians, was subjected to genocide. Although Sargsyan`s ancestors did not suffer from genocide, the alleged genocide was inculcated in him since his childhood as a representative of the Armenian nation. The Armenians are a half-nation, and Sargsyan is a half-human. The Jews, for example, managed to get rid of the Holocaust psychology and proved themselves. But this cannot be said of the Armenians. They have failed to establish themselves as a nation, they do not see the realities and made the fabricated genocide psychology their dominant value. They are a nation that has serious psychological problems, disorders. For instance, Armenian writer Zori Balayan highlights a disease, which the Armenians suffer from. It is a fabricated genocide disease. It can be cured only if the Turks recognize this so-called ''genocide'' and apologize to the Armenians.[i] Symptoms of this disease have clearly manifested themselves in Armenia`s policy towards Turkey in the past 25 years.

During the Soviet times, Sargsyan got a job at a local Komsomol organization in Khankendi. He was greeting and accompanying high-level officials arriving from Baku. Sargsyan was nicknamed a "waiter''[ii] for his good skills in making kebab and serving high-level guests from Baku. This is why Armenia`s foreign policy features the fabricated Armenian genocide and a waiter`s psychology.

The Armenian leadership and officials are raising the issue of the so-called ''genocide'' and ''Turkish hostility'' at every international event, offering ''waiter`s'' services to great powers. Russia is the country that uses these services the most. What is interesting is that Armenia voluntarily prefers to be a ''waiter'' and does not event demand tips, contenting itself with security provision and leftovers on the table.

And when sometimes the customer refuses to give its leftovers, the ''waiter'' gets angry and starts to search for others to serve. With this in mind Sargsyan was trying to sign Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone Agreement with the European Union in 2013. But when his customer whispered to him at the Vilnius meeting that it will "completely close the restaurant, leaving him without food and water'', Sargsyan refused to sign the agreement.

The Armenians have been trying to establish ''Great Armenia'' for more than a thousand years. ''Great Armenia'' would have its borders reach the three seas – Caspian, Black and Mediterranean. This geography would have a population of almost 40 million people. The Armenians cherish the fantasy that with its population of 2.5 million people and with its yearly budget less than the cost of an American fighter jet, Armenia would control this huge geographical area. This is just one example of the Armenians` ill psychology, which affects their foreign policy.

In order to build their "Great Armenia'', the Armenians occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan`s territory. But they live in poverty.

And it is an unprecedented case in history when the country, which keeps 20 per cent of territories of its neighbour under occupation, lives in poverty for 25 years. For example, Germany, which annexed France`s Alsace during the World War Two, took advantage of its natural resources to enrich itself. But despite the devastating consequences of the occupation of Azerbaijan`s lands, Armenia laid claims to Georgia`s Javakhetia region and one third of Turkey`s territory. It is ridiculous that ill psychology can so badly affect a country`s foreign policy.

Sometimes Armenia intends to seek other sources rather than Russia for ensuring its security. For example, Yerevan participates in NATO-led military maneuvers. Under Sargsyan`s directions, the Armenian media bring the issue to the limelight, provoking debates and sending a message to Russia. In response, Russia calms Armenia by cracking it on the head or slapping it every two or three years.

Seventy per cent of the Armenians, who dream of establishing ''Great Armenia'', live outside the country. They complain of the anti-democratic regime, but do not want to change it. They complain of weak economy, but invest their money in countries with stronger democracy and liberal economy. They speak of the necessity of developing tourism, but spend their vacations in Georgia and Turkey, which they deem their enemies.

The Armenians will never enjoy prosperity and Armenia will never become a social state either unless they set themselves a goal to get rid of this ill psychology. But for now the Armenians` ill psychology dominates their foreign policy. If they remain committed to this policy, it means that they prefer being a ''waiter'' country rather than an independent state. But nothing can be done, it is the Armenians` choice...

Hatam Jabbarli

Doctor of Political Science

[i] Zori Balayan, Hearth, (Erevan: Sovetakan Qroğ Publishing House, 1984), p. 289.

[ii] We have no intention to insult waiters who are employed in restaurants or cafes.

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