What’s in it for Armenia?: Germany gains the upper hand over Turkey with Bundestag resolution

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Despite the diplomatic row between Germany and Turkey caused by the Bundestag’s adoption of a resolution formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire and the German responsibility for this crime, Berlin and Ankara are likely to remain allies, the difference being that Germany will strengthen its positions in its future negotiations with Turkey over migrants and other issues of the European agenda.

Armenia, meanwhile, is trying to evaluate the significance of the Bundestag resolution in terms of Armenian interests. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan thanked the Germany leadership for what he described as a historical step. The German resolution was also welcomed by Armenia’s foreign minister. However, as experts note, Armenia does not put any legal claims to Turkey and does not demand any material or territorial compensations. Therefore, some note that the adoption of such resolutions cannot have legal and political consequences for Armenia, which officially has not denounced the 1921 Russo-Turkish Treaty, under which Moscow and Ankara have defined the current borders of Armenia.

In this regard, many analysts in Armenia and in the West believe that the adoption of the resolution by the Bundestag more concerns relations between Turkey and Germany than Armenia proper. Germany, which is one of the European leaders, has complicated relations with Turkey. Europe accuses Turkey of conniving at the flow of migrants from the Middle East. Europe has signed an agreement with Turkey on the regulation of the migrant crisis, but immediately after its conclusion, the person who signed it, then Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu, was dismissed. The issue of the Turkish-European agreement was called into doubt and may be revised, and by adopting the resolution on the Armenian Genocide, Germany has strengthened its positions in the future dialogue.

Western analysts also note that Turkish-EU relations may finally come to a standstill if the Kurds manage to achieve success in Syria and Iraq and declare about the establishment of Kurdistan. In this case, the treaties concluded after the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire can be revised, too. And then the Armenian issue may reemerge.

Armenian experts also believe that after the adoption of the resolution, Germany, as the current OSCE Chairman-in-Office, may try to take over the Karabakh settlement. Some even claim that Karabakh may be “compensation” for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. However, in the meantime, Germany states that it remains committed to the format of the OSCE Minsk Group on the Karabakh settlement in which the co-chair roles are assigned to the United States, Russia and France.

It is noteworthy that immediately after the adoption of the resolution by the Bundestag, there have reemerged calls on the outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama to honor his election pledge and officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. Analysts do not rule out that whenever the United States, like Germany, considers it appropriate to put pressure on Turkey, it may also adopt such a resolution.