"The USA suspends the 3+3 proposed by Ankara." Gantaharyan

The interlocutor of Radar Armenia is international expert Shahan Gantaharyan.

- The meeting of defense ministers of CSTO member states has started in Almaty. The Minister of Defense of Armenia does not participate in the session. In your opinion, what effect will the continuation of this practice have on Armenia-CSTO and Armenia-Russia relations?

- The representative of the CSTO Secretariat said that Armenia will not participate in the session of the Council of Ministers of Defense of the CSTO. Still, the Armenian side informed us that adopting decisions in a limited format is okay. He explained that "limited format" means "without the participation of Armenia." This means that Yerevan continues suspending membership in the CSTO by dropping weights. On the other hand, Moscow is trying to maintain a positive tone, saying that Yerevan favors limited participation. This behavior continues. The Armenian side maintains the position between membership and expulsion. As of now, all of this will not dramatically impact relations with Moscow. The relationship will continue in the current direction.

- The US Secretary of State and the Turkish Foreign Minister discussed the situation in the Caucasus. In your opinion, to what extent are the points of view of Turkey and the United States identical regarding the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations?

- What the US is proposing is the expulsion of the Russian factor in Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. It is visible in the prohibition against the implementation of point 9 of the November declaration, the bilateral format of the border delimitation process, the removal of Russian border guards, and similar milestones. While Ankara nominates 3+3, where Moscow will also be present, Turkey will assume the regional role of a mediator or guarantor in resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The most crucial difference between the USA and Turkey in this respect is the direction of the Russian factor. 3+3 needs to be fixed.

- Acting Foreign Minister of Iran Ali Bagheri stated that Iran is committed to effectively maintaining security and stability in the Caucasus. What developments can happen in Iran-Armenia relations?

In the region, there are points of overlap between Iran's and Armenia's interests. One such point is the status of Syunik or the trends of unblocking Iran through RA transit. The operation of the Iranian consulate in Syunik and the decision to open an RA consulate in Tabriz are essential indicators of bilateral relations. The Gulf-Black Sea land connection is a lifeline for Iran, where Armenia will receive a transit status.

Hayk Magoyan