U.S. President's National Security Advisor John Bolton, after his visit to Russia, visited Baku and then - Yerevan. During his stay in Azerbaijan, he made some emphasis in his statements, in particular, noting that he had had intensive negotiations on important issues with President Aliyev and Foreign Minister Mammadyarov, but had not offered any new ideas on the Karabakh issue. He even thanked Ilham Aliyev for sharing his ideas on the prospects of the settlement. He also noted he had not come to change the U.S. policy in the region, but to study the situation more deeply, because the peaceful settlement of the conflict is of strategic importance to the American side.
During his stay in Yerevan, the U.S. President's Security Advisor also voiced some remarkable news. In a conversation with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia he stated directly, without any diplomatic tricks, that American armament is better and the Armenian leadership should consider this. “The problem is that you have to choose between the Russian and American military equipment. We would prefer the second option, as we believe that our equipment is better than Russian”, Bolton said. Bolton offered the Armenian authorities to consider this opportunuty.
The American high-ranking official, on the other hand, noted the importance of the domestic democratic processes in Armenia. In an interview to Radio Liberty, he noted that the prospect of democracy is a fundamental issue for Armenia in the sense that Armenia will enjoy its sovereignty and will not be exposed to external influences. He advised not to be constrained by historical templates, emphasizing at the same time that the United States believes that the stronger democracy the greater the chance to communicate with the United States and other countries of similar values.
The U.S. President's National Security Advisor, as they say, gave homework to the Armenian leadership, apparently not being convinced that the Armenian side would take that responsibility seriously. How can such a thing happen if Armenia is a member of the CSTO, and as a component of that security system it is obliged to observe its commitments? And democracy and sovereignty suppose that a state bearing these values should not be exposed to external pressures, in this case - to the American dictation.
In fact, it was partly true that Bolton would prompt Azerbaijan a new idea. Partly, because this new idea is the purchase of American weapons, which was offered not only to official Baku, but also to Yerevan. And while it is not a problem for Baku to accept this proposal, then the same cannot be said of the Armenian side.
It's not like that the White House did not count all this. However, it tries to push Armenia for risky steps.
After Bolton's visit to Baku it became clear that the U.S. President, Donald Trump, could review Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. In 1992, taking into consideration the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh, the Armenian lobbyists succeeded in forbidding the U.S. Government to render any assistance to Azerbaijan until the U.S. President makes sure that official Baku takes active steps to unblock Armenia and does not use any force against Armenia and Karabakh. The initiator of Section 907 was Democrat Senator John Kerry. In case of canceling the resolution, Azerbaijan will receive unlimited support from the United States.
The document was signed by the then President, George Bush, and became an obstacle to the U.S.-Azerbaijani relations. In fact, the resolution has remained in effect for about a decade, as, following the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001, the White House, considering the threat posed to the national security, appealed to the Congress, asking it to evade Section 907 each year and to provide military assistance to Azerbaijan to combat terrorism, to support the coalition anti-terrorist operations and to ensure security on the Azerbaijani border, assuring that this aid will not hinder in any way the negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia and will not be used against Armenia. This assistance included a number of educational and training programs in various US military educational institutions. This assistance included a number of educational and training programs in various U.S. military educational institutions.
Let’s offer a view on the U.S.-Azerbaijan agreement: noravank.am site published a very interesting information after the four-day war in April of 2016 about two high-ranking officers of the Azerbaijani army killed by the Armenian armed forces during the aggression towards Talysh. It turned out that they studied in the United States within the framework of military assistance to Azerbaijan. Lieutenant Colonel Murat Mirzayev studied at one of the military establishments in Texas and participated in the Special Courses of the Washington Naval Forces. The second was Lieutenant Colonel Vugar Yusifov, who studied at the Arizona Military Intelligence Center.
This discovery was, in essence, a vivid proof of violating the agreement reached between the Congress and the Azerbaijani authorities. A question arises: is the United States inclined to take contradictory steps to its policy and does it support the forceful solution to the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict?
Let's recall Bolton's statements and, in particular, the idea that he did not come to change the U.S. policy in the region. What is he going to change then?
Considering the situation from the viewpoint of the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, it should be noted that the controversy between the two co-chair states of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States and Russia, over regional security issues is deepened. This is not a positive development in itself.
Realizing the need to disperse the accumulated negative energy, on October 25, i.e. during Bolton’s meetings in Yerevan, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mariya Zakharova stated that Moscow seeks normal and equal relations with the United States. This allows us to hope that the world power centers are also inclined to conduct a predictable policy in the South Caucasus, considering the need to refrain from deepening the dividing lines and to maintain the regional security and stability.