Sunday, 12 July 2020

E Editorial

The Topic of Karabakh: no one knows anything - no one believes anyone

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In Armenia, a situation arose in which no one knows what is in the minds of those who meet and discuss the situation on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Nobody believes a word of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister of the country. Also, no one believes any expressed opinion from political and public figures inside the country and from abroad. In the end - everyone returns to his/her opinion.

Such uncertainty in the perception of the current situation is fueled by the "gentle" behavior of the representatives of the Azerbaijani authorities. The Armenian public is not accustomed to such restraint in words and actions on the line of contact of the troops. More convincing for all is the aggressive behavior of this country. And if there is no aggression, then something is wrong. That Azerbaijan could face new difficulties - few people believe. It seems to us that only we had and still have difficulties.

But is it so? Apparently - not really. The times have changed. For many years, Azerbaijan was convinced that by igniting the situation on the contact line, it forces international mediators to engage more intensively in solving the problem. At the same time, there was confidence that aggressiveness increases the degree of convincingness of Azerbaijani demands. They even called their policy "military diplomacy." However, this conviction faded away when "military diplomacy" faced the requirement to place control mechanisms on the contact line of troops in order to identify the violator of the armistice regime. After all, even to an inexperienced person it became clear that in international diplomacy arose the idea of responsibility for the disruption of the truce regime. And if there is such an idea, the idea of punishment may also appear. "Military diplomacy" failed - each shot began to work against Azerbaijan.

The situation for Azerbaijan became even more complicated after the change of power in Armenia. The hopes that Russia will use Azerbaijan in the "pacification" of the new authorities of Armenia have turned out to be elusive. The army had to be withdrawn to the barracks, and military rhetoric became meaningless. The attempt to once again experience the factor of provocations on the border with the Tavush region not only received a serious disproportionate resistance, but also once again showed that it is impossible to force anyone to support Azerbaijan. Everything hung in the air.

But the most serious problems for Azerbaijan began with the fact that the well-coordinated mechanism for suppressing the will of Armenia disappeared with the departure of Serzh Sargsyan from the post of Armenian President. The habit of using Moscow’s hands to force Armenia to retreat from positions unfavorable to Azerbaijan had an enormous impact on the leadership of the latter. But times have changed. The leadership of Russia already has too many problems with the new authorities of Armenia. Nobody wants to continue to serve Azerbaijan at the expense of its own interests. Moscow is increasingly saying that by adhering to the previous policy, they may lose Armenia and not get friendly Azerbaijan.

Only one thing remains: to find a language with the new authorities of Armenia in order to prevent changes in the diplomacy of the settlement. It is noticeable that the President of Azerbaijan wants to withdraw the negotiation process from under the dictate of the mediators. Hence, periodic direct meetings with the Prime Minister of Armenia. The main thing is for the latter to abandon the Vienna agreements and the idea of involving the leadership of Nagorno-Karabakh in the negotiation process. And then ... time will tell.

As we can see, the new leadership of Armenia is not at all against such a course of events. "Mutual understanding" on this part is achieved. What they get in return for such "services" to the authorities of Azerbaijan is not entirely clear yet. At least nothing is said about it. Hence the overall doubts. All that remains is the hope that some day some explanations will be given to society.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

Yerznkian 75, 0033
Yerevan, Armenia


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The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect those of the Center.

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