Responsible associate professor of Hankuk Regional Studies University (South Korea) Rovshan Ibrahimov answers the questions of Oxu.az.
Hundreds of injured and arrested were recorded after police broke up the demonstration of protesters campaigning against rising electricity prices. Meanwhile, foreign human rights organizations do not criticize Armenian authorities as it happens in case with Azerbaijan. How do you explain this attitude?
I do not have data and information regarding the reaction of various kinds of Western human rights organizations on the events taking place at the moment in Armenia. As for the detainees, there is no information about their current situation, it is difficult to analyze, drawing parallels. On the other hand there is a clear systematic campaign against Azerbaijan. It is well planned, conducted with one or more centers and used to form a tool of pressure on Azerbaijan. In general, I am sure that the West, representatives of Western governments, and organizations themselves, are not quite sure what they are willing to get from Azerbaijan. Undoubtedly, in the first place this is due to "minority opinion" of Azerbaijan in foreign policy and national security, and the ability of pursuing its own line. These governments and organizations do not realize that Azerbaijan warns against unwanted processes that occurred in Georgia (partial recognition of its territories as independent states) and in Ukraine (the loss of the territory and separatism in the east of the country). West is not aware of its responsibility for the events that took place in these countries, and pushes Azerbaijan to actions that may lead to similar results, like in Ukraine and Georgia. Azerbaijan can not afford this. As a consequence, there is a "blind stubbornness" of the West, in order to achieve the final goal, without any strategic analysis and the formation of the aims, which ultimately may have a very high price for Azerbaijan.
By the way, it is not the first time that the Western community shows a very loyal attitude towards Armenia. During the March 2008 events in Yerevan, the police even killed several people, but the Armenian authorities got away with it. At the same time, Azerbaijan is a constant object of severe criticism. Do you think it is a particular indicator of (loyal) attitude towards Armenia or special (negative) attitude towards Azerbaijan?
I can add to the above mentioned that the West does not consider Armenia subconsciously as a subject of international relations, capable of independent action. Here all events are considered as part of Armenia's dependence on Russia, and although this provision logically must face the harsh reaction from the West, in fact, it is quite the opposite. West understands the "heavy" and vassal state of Armenia. Personal sympathy (for various reasons) of Western politicians to Armenia and Armenians is not on the last place.
How much is Sargsyan's regime stable in terms of inner unrests?
Sargsyan regime is stable as long as Russia would take its governor in Armenia as an optimal figure for the realization of its own interests in this country. However, there is a possibility that the protests in Armenia may acquire irrevocable character, in this case, in view of the weak state and institutions of Armenia, Sargsyan simply would not be able to hold a power. It is difficult to analyze the social protests that have special abilities to destroy, without offering alternatives. This is what we have seen in countries affected by the consequences of the "Arab Spring", where the former authorities were overthrown, and alternatives were not proposed. I think that Russia does not want such a development, if it occurs beyond Russia's will, it will try to find a replacement for the current leadership of the country. Otherwise, most likely, Armenia will expect chaos.
May events in Armenia have a destabilizing effect on the already troubled situation in the South Caucasus? For example, add additional tension in Karabakh?
Basing on the experience of previous events in Armenia, the power in the country can contribute to the next escalation in the front line in order to move the focus of the protesters from the social problems to the "external threat". Therefore, all sorts of diversions from the Armenian side on the front line are quite possible.