Tevan Poghosyan - Crossroads of Peace | Iran | Russia | French Weapons | Artsakh | Ep 291 - October 29, 2023 [EP291]

Posted on Tuesday, Oct 31, 2023 | Category: Armenia, Artsakh, Politics | Series: wir



  • Crossroads of Peace
  • 3+3=5 in Tehran
  • Relations with Russia
  • Defense Deal with France
  • Artsakh Status

Episode 291 | Recorded: October 31, 2023

Show Notes

Crossroads of Peace

This past week Pashinyan attended the Silk Road Forum conference in Tiflis where he unveiled his new plan he calls Crossroads of Peace. While Pashinyan presented, Azerbaijan was represented only at the deputy prime minister level. The plan is based on four principles:

  1. Sovereignty over own infrastructure
  2. Border control & security
  3. Dual use infrastructure
  4. Equal access and simplified procedures


  • What’s new with this plan?
  • Is this just a sugar-coating of the “Zangezur corridor”? A case of Pashinyan socializing Aliyev’s demands?

First let’s note how it doesn’t include any hint of Artsakh at all, it’s like it never existed.


  • Armenia doesn’t have a N-S rail link. Whose agenda is served by this project?
  • Is there an alternative to this configuration of roads that would be more beneficial for Armenia?

Crossroads of Peace

Fig. 1: Map of the “Crossroads of Peace” provided by Government of Armenia

We read this week that the Armenian authorities are already looking past whatever peace they plan to sign, and start buying gas from Azerbaijan.


  • If there is a need or a lack of gas supply to Armenia, there is a standing and operating gas pipeline with Iran. Why isn’t Armenia talking about gas supplies from Iran?
  • Is Armenia concerned about losing its supply of Russian gas?
  • What would be the cost basis of gas from Iran, and Azerbaijan?


If you remember, the 3+3 format was pushed by Iran, Russia and Turkey as a means to keep important geopolitical decision making in the region. The first meeting was held in December 2021 in Moscow, so nearly 2 years later, it seems that regional forces are trying to rekindle the project and thus a meeting was held this week in Tehran.

This time, as in the first time, Georgia refused to participate. Yet the remaining players keep calling it “3+3” and pretending Georgia is in it. We’re not aware of any declarations made, and in fact the only thing memorable from this meeting is a photo that shows the group walking and talking. Lavrov and Abdollahian in the back, clearly engaged in a conversation. Similarly, Fidan and Bairamov also engaged in a conversation. The only one out of place seemed to be Ararat Mirzoyan, walking all alone and looking disgruntled. But maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye?


  • Is the 3+3 platform viable?
  • When this project was initially launched, at the end of 2020, many Armenians were apprehensive of the attempt to push out outside forces from the region. But taking into account the reality that exists today, the war in Ukraine that will affect the region forever, the apparent unwillingness of the West to project power into the region, is it in the interest of Armenia to participate in it? Perhaps to allow Iran to counteract the influence of Azerbaijan and Turkey?

Relations with Russia

The relations between Russia and Armenia continue to deteriorate. This week each country summoned the other’s ambassador to file complaints about their country.

Pashinyan appears to be rejecting Russia’s offer to mediate so-called “peace treaty” negotiations, and implying that Armenia doesn’t need maps from the Russian general staff. Instead, he suggests that maps exist both in Armenia and Azerbaijan that can help the process.

Meanwhile it’s evident that Aliyev has no further interest in continuing negotiations mediated by the West. He’s more interested in a direct negotiation or maybe mediated by Georgia, who is in a much weaker position than Azerbaijan and so it’s not clear what benefit they can provide as a mediator.


  • How low can things go?
  • Where do you see the future of negotiations going?

French Weapons

This week, Armenia and France signed a MOU on the supply of French weapons to Armenia. The deal includes:

  • Short range air defense systems (SHORAD) of “Mistral-type”
  • Three Ground Master 200 (GM200) radar systems from the French defense group Thales


  • How realistic is the logistics of this? What country will the weapons be supplied through?
    • Georgia closed its air/land to be used for military supplies to Armenia during the 44 day war. What’s the risk of that happening if war begins again?
  • How strategic is this investment? So far the quantities seem to be modest.
  • Armenia and Russia have a joint air defense system (as part of CSTO). How can a western-made system integrate with this?
  • Will Iran be OK with Western-made radar systems on its border with Armenia?
  • So overall, how would you rate this? Thumbs up/down?


Status of Artsakhtsis in Armenia

The government of Armenia introduced regulations this week to give those who left Artsakh refugees a “temporary protected” status:


  • What does this mean? How is it different from refugee status?
  • Are Artsakhtsis Armenian citizens?
  • Which one is better, citizen of Armenia or refugee?

Shahramanyan Interview

After a lengthy period of media silence, Artsakh’s last president, Samvel Shahramanyan gave an interview to Artsakh Public TV.


  • What were your overall impressions of his interview?

When asked whether he had any hope of guarantees or support, he said that he became confident that they were left alone at the beginning of the attack.


  • What led the Artsakh authorities to have any doubts about this?

Topics from the Panelists

  • Hovik: October 27, 24 years later.
  • Tevan: Do not give up hope.


We hope you found our Week in Review helpful. We invite your feedback and your suggestions, you can find us on most social media and podcast platforms. Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts.


Tevan Poghosyan

Tevan Poghosyan

Tevan Poghosyan is president of the International Center for Human Development. Mr. Poghosyan was an MP in the National Assembly between 2012 and 2017 from the Heritage party. From 1997 to 1999 he served as the Nagorno-Karabakh Public Affairs Office Director in Washington, D.C.


Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Hovik Manucharyan on the ANN/Groong podcast are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of his employer or any other organization.

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.

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