Azerbaijan, Russia See Eye To Eye On Breakaway Karabakh Amid Armenia's Rejection Of Compromises?

Fuad Muxtarlı Analysis 29 April 2020
Azerbaijan, Russia See Eye To Eye On Breakaway Karabakh Amid Armenia's Rejection Of Compromises?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the stages of the Karabakh conflict settlement, in particular, mentioning the liberation of a number of districts around Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia will not make unilateral concessions, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan retorted.

Far from diplomatic ethics, the latest statement by Armenian Foreign Minister Mnatsakanyan in response to Karabakh remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirms the truth that Armenia is not ready to make any concessions on the Karabakh problem and continues to sidestep a solution under various pretexts.

Speaking at a news conference in Yerevan a few days ago, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan repeated timeworn phrases and hackneyed fabrication of his predecessors, while commenting on a latest statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The Armenian foreign minister said that there would be no concessions and Armenia did not intend to free the territories around Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Armenia will not make a single decision that would jeopardize the security of the Artsakh population (the puppet regime created by Armenia in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan), Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan said.

“During these two years, our government, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, were more than transparent. Moreover, they expressed our approaches, positions very clearly... Yes, this statement contained references to numerous documents, from Key West to recent ones, including those that have been discussed over the last two years,” Mnatsakanyan said.

We should recall that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a round table with participants in the A.M. Gorchakov Public Diplomacy Support Foundation that the most important step in implementing the UN Security Council resolution on the Karabakh settlement is the signing by the parties of a document adopted in Moscow in April 2019.

This is a document that was adopted in April 2019 in Moscow at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan with the participation of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group.

“These documents imply progress for a settlement based on a phased approach. I believe that at the first stage - the solution of the most pressing problems, the liberation of a number of districts around Nagorno-Karabakh and the unblocking of transport, economic and other communications,” Lavrov opined.

He is convinced that it is the decision of the parties to sign these documents that will be the most important step in the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions that spell out the requirement to end the war and begin to agree.

Commenting on these words, Mnatsakanyan stated that it is necessary to approach the issue clearly. According to him, a stage-by-stage solution was in 2014 and 2016, but they were unacceptable to Armenia. Since 2018, negotiations have been limited to a discussion of assessments, the parties' approaches to individual elements.

“The 2014 proposal is not a document on the negotiations table today. We spoke more than clearly about our positions, where the security element is an emphasized priority,” the minister said.

“In no way can Armenia even suggest that this approach can be revised, threatening the security of the population in Nagorno-Karabakh,” the Armenian minister said, once again trying to justify the occupation with security-related terms.

The second important element, he said, is that the basic principles have the principle of self-determination, which is a priority and primary in the negotiations for Armenia. “We called it many times - security and a status.

Now I am saying much more openly that the manifestation of the right to self-determination means clarifying the status, free expression of the will without restrictions,” the Armenian foreign minister repeated.

“But there has never been and will not be concessions, Armenia will by no means be guided by an approach that implies a threat to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh,” Mnatsakanyan emphasized.

“If someone suggests that we can do one thing in the negotiations and talk about the other with society, he is deeply mistaken. This has not been and never will be. This cannot be logically, since not a single Armenian representative can do this no matter what,” Mnatsakanyan noted.

“At the same time, the Armenian government does not have a mandate from the people of Artsakh. Recently, presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Artsakh, the authorities received an appropriate mandate,” Mnatsakanyan said.

“These are the clear principles with which Armenia works in this negotiations process. My colleague presented his approach, I presented my own. The approach that we have been working on consistently for two years,” Mnatsakanyan added.

As can be understood from the statement of the Armenian minister, Yerevan only initiates negotiations, but in reality continues to maintain the status quo. Pashinyan in his populist slogans is no different from the previous leadership of Armenia, which came to power precisely on the wave of populism related to military operations in Karabakh.

His statements are aimed not only at undermining the negotiations on Karabakh, but also at the bilateral relations of Armenia with Russia, as well as with other countries.

The hastily prepared statement by the Armenian foreign minister can be viewed as a harbinger of the upcoming changes in Yerevan. Obviously, in the conditions of a precarious domestic political situation, Nikol Pashinyan, in his desire to stay in power, was forced to “convict an ally of lies” on the issue of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This is despite the fact that there is a “road map”, it is being discussed, which was confirmed by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Pashinyan government makes such actions clear to the audience that he, like Sargsyan, intends to use the Karabakh issue for populist purposes.
At the same time, Pashinyan demanded that representatives of Karabakh be included in the negotiations process with Azerbaijan under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, and also called for “giving a new impetus” to the international recognition of the region’s independence. Putting impossible conditions, Pashinyan puts an end to the negotiation process, since Azerbaijan will never agree to such conditions.