“Artsakh Lessons”: Why shouldn’t the Independence of Karabakh be Recognized Now?
06.04.2016
11:00
It is hard to say whether the ceasefire will be durable or not after four-day active military actions in Karabakh conflict zone. At this moment there is one important military objective. If there are Armenian positions under Azerbaijan’s control, they should be returned.

RA former Ministers of Foreign Affairs Alexander Arzumanyan and Vahan Papazyan participated in the discussion on “The Situation in NKR Conflict Zone: Future Developments” at Media Center on April 6.

The situation escalated on Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone on the night of April 2.  Tense battles started between the opposing armies after which the parties blamed each other for the violation of the ceasefire. An agreement of a ceasefire was made on April 5 at 12 which became possible after the meeting of the chiefs of staff of Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces in Moscow. According to the official data, the Armenian side has 29 victims and 101 wounded. According to NKR Defense Army, the Azerbaijani side lost 29 tanks, two helicopters, 12 drones, 6 Infantry Fighting Vehicles. Azerbaijani victims exceed the number of 300. Baku's data about its losses are much reduced.

“It is hard to say at this moment how strong will be the agreement about the ceasefire. Probably, “Red Cross” mediated that Azerbaijan takes its corpses which remained in the area of military activities,” Alexander Arzumanyan said and added that Azerbaijan attempted “to disrupt our positions” by military actions in the North and South of Karabakh but it failed. “This is just an agreement on stopping the fire and not a ceasefire itself as it was signed in 1994,” he said.

Vahan Papazyan said that our objective is only military now.           

“If there are occupied territories, they should be returned. This is the main objective. After the fulfillment of this objective, political and diplomatic activities can be conducted” he said and added that even if a new ceasefire treaty was signed, the parties of that treaty should be Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan.

“Armenia has nothing to do here. Our diplomatic goal should be the establishment of trilateral format of negotiations,” Papazyan said.

Both speakers accepted that diplomacy is a closed process, so it is hard to estimate the activities of RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). But it obviously failed in one issue. 

 “RA MFA should have opened a press center working 24 hours, should have accredited international journalists and provided their departure to Nagorno Karabakh. An interactive communication should be provided between press and the society and it was conducted by the Defense Ministry,” Alexander Arzumanyan said.

Speakers do not consider it necessary that Armenia recognizes the independence of Nagorno Karabakh.
“That step will mean dismissal from the negotiations which is of Azerbaijan’s interests. If we recognize Artsakh’s independence, it will mean we cannot do any discussions about its status.   This negotiation format will be eliminated and it is what Azerbaijan claims,” he said and added that Yerevan should announce to CSTO allies that it considered the activities to be an attack.  

“And we must persuade our ally Russia not to sell new and powerful weaponry to Azerbaijan. When Baku receives “Smerches”, it is clear against whom they will be used. It is not for oil transportation,” he said.   

Papazyan thinks that this should not be considered in the context of the Armenian-Russian relations.  
“Perhaps there is no need to explain how powerful Russia is. It has its interests in the region and claims to realize them. So, when the issue is discussed in the context of Russia-region, it is perceived in a different way,” he added.

Arzumanyan disagrees with the statements of some Armenian politicians that we should apply to the UN Security Council about Azerbaijan’s attack on Nagorno Karabakh. 

“First, Azerbaijan has always tried to move the issue to other platforms and we have always opposed it. Besides, UN has already made some resolutions. It will be inefficient to raise the issue at UN as it can act against us. It is enough that there is an obvious negative mood towards Russia in UN which will be used by Turkey to submit anti-Armenian draft resolutions,” he concluded. 

The speakers consider it proper to sign a military assistance treaty between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. But this will be hard as Armenia did not recognize Artsakh as an independent state and a subject of international law. 

“But it will be possible to find resolutions to solve this issue,” the speakers said.    

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