Levon Grantovich Melik-Shahnazaryan was born on February 7, 1958 in Kirovabad, today - Ganja. He is an Armenian political scientist, head of the "Voskanapat" analytical center. According to experts on Nagorno-Karabakh issues, the author of the above article, Levon Melik-Shahnazryan, was an extremely knowledgeable person regarding the internal politics of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh), as well as the history of the Nagorno-Karabakh war. There is unconfirmed official information, but originating from relatively reliable sources, that Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan was for some time the Minister of State Security of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, but under a different name.
Armenia experiences difficulties not only due to the mistakes or incompetence of the government, which is indeed the case sometimes, but mostly due to the spatial-geopolitical inadequacy of the state
Author: Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan
„Even if lasting peace is established, he who renounces the inner readiness for physical struggle will ultimately perish“
An analysis of the geopolitical power of the state according to the criteria accepted in the scientific world allows us to claim that in the region of Asia Minor and the South Caucasus, two states stand out from the seven in terms of their geopolitical power. Armenia (the name Armenia means the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh) is in the second, weaker group, to which all the post-world states in the South Caucasus belong. However, the set of criteria for determining the power of the state allows to claim that it has become the undisputed leader of the second group of countries. First among the outsiders - such a role can hardly be a reason for complacency.
The existing tendency in Armenia to exclusively blame the leadership of the country for the problems faced by the country suffers from one-sidedness and/or unwillingness or inability to perceive the realities. Armenia is experiencing difficulties not only as a result of the mistakes or incompetence of the government, which is indeed the case sometimes, but mostly because of the country's spatial-geopolitical inadequacy.
Every nation (state) needs a living space that ensures its dynamic development. The shrinking of the living space of the people, often of a violent nature, inevitably turns into internal-national tension, deterioration of the social living conditions of the population and, as a result, its emigration from the country.
Contemporary Armenia, experiencing spatial insufficiency, is a sad confirmation of what has been said. That is why, in a medium-term perspective, Armenia should be considered as a prototype of the future self-sufficient Armenian state, able to accommodate the necessary amount of indigenous population, to ensure its spatial-geopolitical importance.
A country with spatial sufficiency is able to accommodate and provide a decent life for a large population. At the same time, the area of the country's territory and the amount of its population are not directly dependent on each other. Even a small increase in the area of the state, in case if the spatial insufficiency is eliminated, is able to ensure a sharp increase in the amount of the population, to create conditions for both repatriation and a significant increase in the birth rate.
Despite the great importance of the territory, the spatial sufficiency of the state is not directly dependent on its area. It ensures, first of all, the presence of natural borders, free connections with transport communications of international importance, several climatic zones and other factors. From this point of view, it should be recognized that the spatial inadequacy of Armenia is primarily the result of the absence of natural borders and free connections with transport communications.
The Artsakh War, despite the military successes of the Armenians, did not solve any of these problems, and therefore cannot be considered victorious. The reintegration of a limited part of the Armenian territories did not contribute to the solution of the problem, as it established the natural borders only in the south (Araks River) and in the north (Mravsky Ridge). At the same time, the currently existing eastern border of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, along its entire length, undoubtedly plays the role of a "suppressive factor", significantly limiting the spatial sufficiency of the Armenian states.
To a certain extent, the "spatial inadequacy" factor affects Azerbaijan as well. We must take into account that the western border of this formation has all the disadvantages that the eastern border of the Republic of Artsakh has, as it is devoided of any natural barriers. The conclusion of what has been said can have another interpretation: the existing border drawn along the steppe sooner or later should be subjected to correction, as it does not suit either Armenia or Azerbaijan.
Today, both Yerevan, Stepanakert, and Baku are preparing (perhaps unknowingly) for the upcoming border changes. And the information war started by Azerbaijan is one of the most important components of the preparatory work, which we have no right to underestimate. The goal of Azerbaijan is clear: to move the border to the bare rocks of Syunik. Our task, which according to the laws of geopolitics (political geography), consists in the efforts to establish the Armenian-Azerbaijani border along the Kura River should be clear. And, as it becomes clear, the issue is not only the restoration of historical justice, although this circumstance must also be taken into account.
It is the Kura River that should be perceived as a natural border between Armenia and its extremely hostile neighbor. Of course, it would be incorrect to idealize this river, in the quality and of a natural border. However, for the current military-technical capabilities of Azerbaijan, the generally not large and not very well-watered Kura River represents a rather difficult to overcome, and conversely, easily defendable barrier. The transfer of the border to the Kura River, apart from everything else, has a colossal importance for the partial elimination of the spatial inadequacy of Armenia, which will have a beneficial effect on the country's development in a short period of time.
Both Armenia and Azerbaijan clearly understand the tasks facing the state, but - I would like to be wrong - in Baku they are much more actively preparing for their solution than in the Armenian capitals. This is confirmed by the huge information pressure actively carried out by Azerbaijan, aimed at weakening and reducing the opportunities of the Armenian people, at undermining its international authority. The stated propaganda activity of Azerbaijan should be perceived as a threat to the national security of Armenia requiring an adequate response.
A challenge has been addressed to us and we are obliged to respond accordingly, because the outcome of the future and, as it has already become clear, inevitable clash, depends to a certain, serious extend on this. And an adequate response requires not only a consolidation of efforts, which is very important, but also a careful study of the pros and cons - both one's own and the opponent's. For example, Armenia is the only country in the region where there are absolutely no prerequisites for a civil war. The situation is quite different in the rest of the countries of the region, with the possible exception of Iran, where ethnic clashes are still possible under certain circumstances (I mean the province of Azerbaijan and the Kurds supported by Ankara).
Armenia's policy concerning Azerbaijan (and not only) should be of a preventive nature, including taking into account the opponent's weaknesses: the presence of ethnic, religious and racial contradictions among the population of Azerbaijan, the absence of a formed nation, the despotism instilled by Aliyev , the pronounced social inequality, corruption, etc. The term "prevention" does not necessarily mean actions of a purely military nature. Military action is called for only when it is absolutely necessary, when all other methods of achieving success have been exhausted. But even the forced use of military force is justified only after hard work in the field of ideology, intelligence, studying the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy.
On its turn, Armenia must overcome its corruption, eliminate problems in social integration, develop a unified position on foreign policy priorities.
The war is not over, it has just (temporarily) taken on a different character. And at this stage, Armenia is obliged to make full use of:
a) its high scientific and intellectual potential;
b) its better, in comparison with the neighbors, mastery of the achievements of modern technology;
c) the ideologization of the population;
d) the depoliticization of the army; the constant mobilization of the people.
All mentioned and omitted elements of Armenia's readiness for countermeasures and armed hostilities are of equal importance and their order cannot be changed arbitrarily. Because the rejection of inner readiness to fight will ultimately lead to destruction.
About the article and its author:
The above article was proposed more than three years ago, shortly before the death of its author, to the Bulgarian magazine "Geopolitika", with editor-in-chief - Mr. Todor Kondakov. The editors of "Geopolitika" refused to publish this text, and the reasons for the refusal are unknown to us. “Free People Online” („Свободен народ Online“) publishes this text, provided to us by Georgi Kolarov Ph.D., because of its serious importance in the insight into the geopolitical discussions conducted inside Armenia. The text also sets us some "benchmarks" that Armenia may adhere to in the future in the course of the extremely difficult, if not painful, peace negotiations with Azerbaijan.
Levon Grantovich Melik-Shahnazaryan was born on February 7, 1958 in Kirovabad, today - Ganja. He is an Armenian political scientist, head of the "Voskanapat" analytical center. In 1974, he entered the Institute of Russian Language and Literature in Tashkent and after graduation worked as a teacher in the Department of Russian Linguistics at the Tashkent State Pedagogical Institute.
In 1988, he moved to Nagorno-Karabakh, where he worked as a department head of the Executive Committee in the Regional Executive Committee for Work with Refugees from Azerbaijan. He was the vice-chairman of the "Miatsum" ("Unification") movement. In November and December 1988, he was one of the leaders of the Armenian armed volunteers in the city of Ganja (Kirovabad).
In December 1991, he was elected a deputy - a member of the first elected Supreme Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from the first convocation. From January 1992 to June 1995, he was the chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic on international relations and a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed republic.
In 1995-1997, Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan was the editor of the Russian version of the newspaper "NK Republika." Then, at the end of 1997, he moved to Yerevan, where he lived in his last years. He was a professor of political science at the "Anania Shirakatsi" University of International Relations in Yerevan. He is the author of 5 monographs and more than 500 publications on political science. Married. Father of three children. In 2015, he was awarded the "Garegin Nzhde" medal. He died on August 11, 2015 in Ptgni after a severe and prolonged illness.
According to people familiar with the problems of Nagorno-Karabakh, Levon Melik-Shahnazryan actually possessed the complete documentation for the operation to capture Khojaly. There is unconfirmed official information, but originating from relatively reliable sources, that Levon Melki-Shahnazaryan was for some time the Minister of State Security of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, but under a different name. There is information that he changed his name at least once, the reasons for this change being unknown..
Levon Melik Shahnazryan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh, geopolitics, political geography, Asia Minor, Transcaucasia, South Caucasus, Araxes, Araxes River, Mravski Ridge, Kura River, Kura, spatial insufficiency, Iran, Kurds, Ankara, Turkey, Georgi Kolarov, Voskanapat