For now, the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and peace with neighbours seems the only option that could allow Armenia to really get out of isolation and solve its problems. This is the only way out that Yerevan knows well.
After Armenia’s non-participation at the highest level in the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held recently in Beijing, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan was subjected to a lot of criticism and accusations of passivity.
Numerous Armenian experts consider that Pashinyan failed the Chinese direction. So, the new Silk Road will bypass Armenia because of his fault and the country will remain in regional isolation.
Armenia was represented at the Forum only at the level of Ecology Minister, which led to harsh criticism over the Prime Minister.
Therefore, Pashinyan had to make a visit to China in order to somehow mitigate the situation inside Armenia.
Pashinyan attended the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations in Beijing to rehabilitate himself before his fellow citizens, although the event is incomparable in importance with the economic forum for the Belt and Road project, behind which there are huge capitals.
The Armenian PM met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was informed about Armenia’s extreme interest in the Belt and Road project.
Later Pashinyan and his wife watched the performance of an Armenian ensemble and participated at a gala concert dedicated to the conference.
That is, no breakthrough topics for Armenia will be decided during the visit. Meanwhile, Armenians are deep in thought how to get the country out the isolation.
For instance, Armenian MP Armen Pambukhchyan believes that the container type of transportation from Russia’s Novorossiysk port to the Georgian port of Poti and from there by rail to Yerevan can be the most optimal alternative to the route of cargo transportation through Upper Lars checkpoint.
Upper Lars is a checkpoint on the Georgian-Russian border, the only way out for Armenia, which is isolated due to its aggression against Azerbaijan, to the outside world.
Due to the difficult terrain and weather conditions, problems arise at this checkpoint almost all the year-round, causing many kilometres of traffic jams.
Pambukhchan suggested using a container transportation route rather than a ferry as suggested by the Georgian side.
Pambukhchyan also initiated the development of “maritime legislation”, which will allow Armenia to have its own vessels.
MP considers, one of the ships may transport cargo for Armenia through the Poti port.
This idea is from a number of historical fantasies on the sea topic inherent in Armenians. In any case, the options proposed by Pambukhchyan are quite expensive and problematic.
Today the Armenians know well that the only way to keep Armenia from plunging into further isolation is to resolve the Karabakh conflict, as a result of which relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey will be established and the country will be able to achieve a way out of the deadlock.
The current Armenian authorities should sit down at the negotiating table with Baku and once and for all resolve the conflict, which has lasted for about three decades.
This will contribute to the revival of the Armenian economy and will increase the welfare of the Armenian citizens.