Turkish politicians about Russia-Armenia military agreement and NATO-planned event in Armenia – EXCLUSIVE

Turkish politicians about Russia-Armenia military agreement and NATO-planned event in Armenia – <font color=red> EXCLUSIVE </font>
# 23 August 2010 13:54 (UTC +04:00)
Through its organizations, including NATO the West want Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia to integrate into its security system. Caucasus is important for the West, as it is a window to the Central Asia. But the situation created in Georgia by Russia after the war in 2008, occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, Armenia-Russia military cooperation make it difficult for NATO to reach its goal,” head of Turkish parliament’s NATO group, MP from ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Vahit Erdem told APA.

Vahit Erdem says despite Russia’s policy, NATO continues its relations with the countries of the South Caucasus.
“It is impossible to know how it will end. The West is not pleased with Armenia’s rearmament by Russia. The West’s cutting ties with this region is not discussed. We can not say how it will end. Now Russia seems to dominate over the situation. I do not think that Russia wants normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations. It is difficult to believe it, though it seems to wish it. The normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations will accelerate the integration of Armenia and South Caucasus into the West. Russia impedes it as much as it can,” he said.

Parliamentarian from Republican People’s Party, former Turkish ambassador to NATO Onur Oymen is astonished that the Turkish media does not pay attention to the new military agreement signed between Russia and Armenia.
“The issue should be viewed from a wider aspect. Russia and Abkhazia signed a military agreement in February. They rented air and naval bases there for 49 years. The new military agreement signed with Armenia demonstrates Russia’s intention to deploy in the Caucasus for a long time. A new balance of power appears while we are trying to keep this region far from the armed conflicts. Very likely the Armenians, who extended the lease term of Gyumri base, have also received strong political support from Russia. Russia will continue to close eyes to the occupation of Karabakh by Armenians.
I don’t know how Azerbaijan reacts to these processes, but Turkey’s indifference to the ongoing processes makes us to think about that. On one hand, Turkey and Russia are developing the commercial relations, Turkey entrusts Russia to build nuclear power plant in its territory, but on the other hand Russia doesn’t abstain from actions concerned Russia in the region. Despite importance of these processes, Turkey doesn’t protest them”.

Oymen said NATO couldn’t order Turkey concerning any exercise: “If Turkey protests, they can not conduct exercises in Armenia because NATO is making decisions taking opinions of all member countries into consideration. If NATO’s military shipping to Armenian via Turkey is one agenda, it means that Turkey gave consent to that. NATO cancelled exercises on Aegean Sea because Greece was against it. NATO’s exercises in Armenia in present time are not expedient. If Turkey protests against it, the exercises can be cancelled or suspended. If reports are true, it means Turkey didn’t protest it. Unfortunately Turkey pursues a policy abasing itself. The policy of “zero problem with neighbors” caused new problems in the region”.

Member of the parliament from the Nationalist Movement Party and member of the TBMM (parliament) Foreign Relations Commission Tunca Toskay also said that AKP government’s policy toward Armenia was against the realities. “Armenia has never been sincere toward us. It was also clear that Russia would never change its policy toward Armenia. For that Turkey’s policy had no positive result. Every one saw that there were some complaints between friendly Azerbaijan and Turkey. Regarding the interests of both countries, it was not right to damage on Azerbaijan’s confidence in Turkey. We are seeing negative results of that. It needs to resolutely eliminate atmosphere of non-confidence between Turkey and Azerbaijan. Leaders of the two countries have to meet regularly. The foreign ministries have to intensively work to reach maximum level of relations between the countries. The relations between our countries should develop on the healthy basis”.