It is obvious that the main dispute has already moved to another level: who will control the roads?
The trilateral meeting in Sochi, which was supposed to show that the parties are ready to make at least some progress in the Russian-mediated Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, the situation created a few days later proved that the process is in the exact opposite atmosphere. It is almost blocked.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin said last weekend that the decision to unblock the agreement reached in Sochi would be announced as a result of a meeting of deputy prime ministers, not only was no announcement made last week, but Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan’s office announced another meeting. On December 2, the office of the Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia Mher Grigoryan told “Azatutyun” that no announcement is planned after the meeting of the Deputy Prime Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia the day before, and also added that the interrupted sitting of the Deputy Prime Ministers will continue in the coming days. The regular session of the December 1 trilateral working group co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers will continue in the coming days. We can talk about the results only after the end of the session. ” So far, however, the date and place of the next meeting are not specified, and by the way, the agenda of the sitting held the previous day was not revealed either.
On the same day, the Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan, referring to the Moscow meeting of the Deputy Prime Ministers, said. “Failure to reach agreements.” Armen Grigoryan did not answer the question directly, but said that if they could not move forward, then Azerbaijan was not constructive. He insisted that if there is a blockade, it will be only by the logic of road sovereignty. “We are ready to unblock. We are also ready to discuss the ways that can be opened. The roads that Azerbaijan will provide to us to use the territory of Azerbaijan to connect with other countries, as well as the roads through which Azerbaijan will have the opportunity to connect with Nakhichevan. “We continue to insist that our discussions remain within the framework of the November 9 statement, the January 11 statement, as well as the November 26 Sochi statement, where there is no word about the corridor and there can not be.” To the question why they do not come to an agreement in that case, Grigoryan answered. “As always, Armenia is constructive in this respect and is ready to advance the discussions. “I think that Azerbaijan is not able to show such a political will that will allow it to advance the agreements reached in Sochi.”
It should be reminded that at the Pashinyan-Aliyev-Putin trilateral meeting in Sochi, the President of Azerbaijan did not say a word about the public “Zangezur Corridor”, but a day later continued to speak with the same rhetoric, even insisting that the program becomes a reality by inviting other countries. Participate in development programs.
There can be no doubt that the results of the Armenia-Azerbaijan-Russia meeting of the Deputy Prime Ministers will not be announced, as official Baku continues to insist on its position on the corridor, therefore, the issue is not closed, no matter how much official Yerevan continues to say that “the corridor is closed.” is. “
If Armenia needs to unblock the roads, at least that is the position of official Yerevan, then Baku and Ankara need a “corridor” to have control over the territory. And it is obvious that the main dispute has already moved to another level – who will control those roads.
When official Yerevan assures that the roads should be under the control of Armenia, it is unacceptable for Baku, it means that the option of Russian control can be considered as an alternative. In other words, the roads that will pass through the territory of the Republic of Armenia will remain de jure under the full sovereignty of Armenia, but de facto Armenia will not be a decisive party. However, as a result, the Armenian authorities may declare that “there is no corridor”, but in terms of “content” it will be. By the way, Baku will celebrate its “victory” in case of such an outcome, announcing that they got what they expected.
It is noteworthy that after the last trilateral meeting in Sochi, all parties at least publicly assured that they were satisfied with the results. The RA Foreign Ministry spokesman even stated that the Sochi statement “once again refutes the” corridor “thesis. But as it seems, this process can be extended for a long time.
On December 2, RA Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, who is in Stockholm on a working visit, met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. They discussed issues related to international and regional security and stability, Mirzoyan presented to the US Secretary of State the situation created as a result of the recent incursion of Azerbaijani forces into the sovereign territory of Armenia and the recent aggression against the territorial integrity of Armenia. “The meeting focused on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. In the context of the urgent humanitarian issues arising as a result of the 44-day war unleashed by Azerbaijan against Artsakh, the need to repatriate Armenian prisoners of war, hostages and other detainees was highlighted. RA Foreign Minister Mirzoyan and US Secretary of State Blinken stressed the need for a full resumption of the peace process aimed at a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The role of the United States as a co-chair country was also highlighted, “reads the press release issued by the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The signing of the OSCE MG mandate by Washington, as well as the emphasis on the role of the United States as a co-chairing state, were, of course, important in the current environment. Official Yerevan can achieve some results in curbing the expectations of the Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem if it works effectively with the United States. It is another question to what extent such work is carried out.
It should be reminded that earlier, on December 1, in Stockholm, Mirzoyan met with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. During this conversation, the importance of fully expanding the peace process within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing and under the mandate was also stressed. “The Foreign Minister stressed the importance of taking concrete steps to reduce tensions in Nagorno Karabakh and the region. “The Minister also considered the immediate solution of humanitarian issues, in particular, the immediate return of prisoners of war and other detainees, the detection of cases of enforced disappearances, the preservation of Armenian historical and cultural heritage in the territories under Azerbaijani control and the creation of opportunities for international organizations to operate in Nagorno Karabakh.” in the message of. Official Yerevan reaffirmed its commitment to continue working for a lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs mandate, based on principles and elements known to the parties.
It should be noted that both Mirzoyan and Bayramov voiced mutual accusations in most of their speeches at the conference in Stockholm. Ararat Mirzoyan, who addressed the 28th OSCE Ministerial Council on December 2, stressed the importance of Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and captivity, noting that Azerbaijan not only continues to hold hostages, but also regularly attempts to take new captives. does. “A year after the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against the people of Nagorno Karabakh and the signing of the trilateral statement on November 9, the situation in Nagorno Karabakh and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border remains tense. 2021 The Azerbaijani armed forces have penetrated from the borders of Armenia since May. They still maintain and continue to strengthen their illegal presence in the sovereign territory of Armenia. ” Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, in his turn, accused Armenia of not providing accurate and complete mining maps and violating its obligations. “Armenia has yet to make a trilateral statement and completely withdraw its armed forces from the territory of Azerbaijan.” Bayramov did not miss the opportunity to speak on “Zangezur Corridor”. “It’s an important way to restore trust. “Immediate implementation of the Zangezur Corridor is necessary not only for the smooth movement of people and vehicles between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, it will also restore transport communication between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”
By the way, a remarkable fact was registered last week. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the foreign ministers of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries have adopted a statement on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The announcement, however, was not published last week. It is interesting what disagreements arose at the Russia-US-France level, as a result of which the statement was not published. It is a very remarkable circumstance that the foreign ministers of the three countries dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could not come to a common denominator, or came to a common denominator, but at the last moment decided not to spread that statement.
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