Astonished Russians and naïve Republicans

Astonished Russians and naïve Republicans

Republicans do not exclude Azerbaijan’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union and consider that this way the possibility of hostility resumption in Nagorno Karabakh will be restrained

 

In a conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, political scientist from Russia, Andranik Mihranyan asked the Minister why Russia, which is in the military alliance with Armenia (CSTO), supplies arms for billions of dollars to Azerbaijan, and what the purpose of the April war in 2016 was. Lavrov, who according Mihranyan, has a great sense of humor, responded to his questions: “Well, perhaps you can answer that question yourself. I said, no, we are in a somewhat unequal position. Today you returned from Baku and you had an opportunity to speak to Aliyev. You must better understand what made Aliyev start the war in those days”.

A few days after the April war, on April 22, Serzh Sargsyan received Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Armenia on official visit, and the video of their conversation went viral. Serzh Sargsyan addressed a similar question to Lavrov, in particular noting the following: “In the course of nine years, we have been active witnesses and participants in this process, tried to find mutually acceptable decisions, to be constructive. We have been sure that this issue can be solved solely on the basis of compromises, in a peaceful way, but today we have what we have. Therefore, your opinion is very important for me: why did it happen anyway? Of course, we have our opinion, but you are much more informed, that is why we would be grateful if you presented your idea”.

A few days after the April war, of course, was not the time for humor, and Lavrov said: “Why the situation reached such a crisis point, I cannot decide for Armenia, Azerbaijan or Karabakh people, but I believe if we managed to succeed in the political process, at least a little bit, if we at least pointed out some general principles that the parties would accept as a basis for developing, preparing legally binding documents, of course, it would not only play an important role for the resumption of the negotiations, but would also be a deterrent for preventing the outbreak of violence. But let me repeat, only the parties themselves can reach a solution”.

Mihranyan assures that Russia fully understands its commitments as an ally and will fulfill those if necessary, but “Of course, there is a lingering question. When clashes occur in Hadrut-Martakert front, in the formal sense it does not have anything to do with the CSTO and the Republic of Armenia, because in the formal sense, Karabakh is beyond the territory of Armenia: this is an unrecognized area. If we had at least interim status recognition, this would be another high-level warranty, that even the events taking place in that front will not be the issue of Artsakh only, but also of CSTO. As this status is out of international law, this is the problem of Armenia”.

There is a clear tendency in the Russian circles regarding the following ambitions: “at least recognition of an interim status…”, “at least we set some general principles …”, “the parties would accept it as a basis for legally binding documents …”. With these and similar other “wishes” Russia is pushing us, indirectly presenting the lack of fulfillment of their desire as a result of the April war. Baku states almost the same: “there is no progress in the talks”, “for more than twenty years the issue has not been resolved”, of course, they do not confess “so that is why we attacked in April”. Perhaps during the talks with Aliyev in Baku Lavrov says: “If Azerbaijan joined the EAEU, there would be mutual trust within the framework of this structure, and it would be easier to solve the NK problem … “. It should be reminded that at the official level, Lavrov referred to the possibility of Azerbaijan’s accession to the EAEU in one of his interviews. Baku referred to the possibility several times as well, not excluding it.

Two weeks ago, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, Eduard Sharmazanov received a question: “And what if Aliyev is offended by the EU, so he knocks on the doors of the EAEU and falls into Putin’s arms – isn’t there any threat? Sharmazanov replied, “If Azerbaijan becomes a member of the EAEU, the possibility of resumption of hostilities will be limited”. In fact, the ruling Republicans also do not rule out that Azerbaijan will join the Eurasian Economic Union. It’s still nothing that they do not rule out, the most important thing is that the RPA hopes that Azerbaijan will join the EAEU: “the possibility of resumption of hostilities will be limited”. In the same way, the Republicans and some Kremlin circles were sure that the possibility of resumption of hostilities by Azerbaijan was prevented, in the early stages of Armenia’s accession to the EAEU in 2013. But after that Russia continued to arm Azerbaijan, and in April 2016, Aliyev considered himself free to start a military operation.

Emma GABRIELYAN

 

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