Five years after the signing of the protocols that aimed at normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey, the author argues that the tension between Yerevan and Ankara has mounted to a level never seen before. He cites the protocols’ attempt to resolve the historical dispute between the two countries and Turkey’s linking the opening of its border with Armenia with the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as the reasons for this failure at normalization. He also points out that the failure of the protocols has helped Russia to increase its military presence and political leverage in the South Caucasus. He highlights that the resolution of issues between either Turkey-Armenia or Armenia-Azerbaijan would create real dangers for Russia, as the region would irreversibly break out of Russia’s neo-imperial influence. The article concludes with reflections on why these two states do not need external mediation to normalize their relations.