Saturday, 6 March 2010

ex-British ambassador in Yerevan: ‘Armenia has no geopolitical significance for the West’

Was at a panel discussion re Armenian Genocide, Turkey etc at LSE (the London School of Economics and Political Science) organised by the local Armenian Society.

The panel included: Lord Eric Avebury, Member of the House of Lords, Vice-Chair on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights; David Miller, former British Ambassador to Armenia; and Ara Sarafian, British historian, founding director of the Gomidas Institute in London.

Responding to one of the questions on Armenia’s strategic role in the region, David Miller, former British Ambassador to Armenia, effectively said that - geostrategically - Armenia has no significance in the region, for the West, that is. Azebaijan - yes (oil), Georgia - yes (location, Russia, NATO etc), Turkey - yes (number of factors), but Armenia - no. From the Western perspectives, the only importance Armenia has in the region is to ensure peace as war may threaten West’s commercial interests.

Perhaps, you may add here the existence of Diaspora too.

He also said: “You cannot alter geography”. (this was not a reference to Karabakh, but to Armenia’s geostrategic location, or the lack of it)

While few attempted at questioning his views, arguing that history knows examples of such alterations, and its because of that very alterations that Armenia’s geostrategic location shrank to current borders, for many present his words sounded like ‘bitter truth’.

Eh, there were times... There was very brief time in modern Armenian post-Soviet history, when its significance was determined by being the most democratic state in the region, an example for others. Sadly, this factor has long gone.


artmika said...

Global Chaos: Diasporan public diplomacy gone wrong. Wake up, Armenia!

Haik said...

True from British prospective. However not from Iran, China, French, Russian, Greek prospective. If Armenia is gone the Turkic states will unite. The existence of Armenia as a sovereign state is important for those countries. However not more than that i.e not more than a strip of bufferzone.

He is right that when there was democracy it was beneficial for British, because it could server as an evacuation zone. Like it somewhat did during the Georgia-Russia conflic.

artmika said...

Re last para: He did not comment on democracy. Democracy related commentary towards the end of my post was mine, not his.

Anonymous said...

I just wrote a comment on this MP's website. He gave a very nusty interview to

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to put the link to the article:

artmika said...

It's appalling and ridiculous at the same time although I would not discount the possibility of's fabrication too.