Lessons of Four-Day Karabakh War
“If we consider Russian-Armenian political marriage”, we have to record a case of domestic violation,” Richard Kirakosyan, Director of “The Regional Studies Center”, said during the discussion on the subject of “Lessons of Four-Day Karabakh War” at Media Center and added that the main negative consequences were the end of the ceasefire and the stop of the diplomatic process.

“The current agreement of stopping the fire does not mean returning to the ceasefire,” the speaker said. Kirakosyan underlined five lessons that should be learned after the war: “The first lesson is that we have rather little leverage to use and prevent Azerbaijan from restarting the military activities. The second lesson is Azerbaijan’s new strategy - to occupy and keep new territories. The third lesson is that there is a new context about this situation. The fourth lesson is that Armenia’s internal situation should be reviewed. Corrupted society and government put the state’s grounds at risk. And the fifth lesson is Russia’s treason to its ally.” Kirakosyan said that taking into account the last announcement of Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedov, selling weapons to Azerbaijan is not just a business for Russia but a new political approach.

Sergey Markedonov, Russian Political Scientist, Expert of the Russian Council of International Relations, said that the procedure did not stop, we saw the escalation but the status issues are not settled so the results of the four-day war are not visible. “Nagorno Karabakh is not recognized, the Minsk Group format did not change either. Now status quo is more acceptable for Armenia than for Azerbaijan, but now there are attempts for changing the status quo,” the Russian expert said and added that Karabakh was not the point where Russia and the USA had serious conflict of interests so there were no contradictions between them on this issue now.

Sergey Minasyan, Deputy Director of the Caucasus Institute, said that the main lesson was that we should review our foreign policy in a short period of time. Replying to the question what Azerbaijan obtained after the war, he said that it won only in the internal platform. “Due to occupying several square meters of territory at the expense of huge losses and millions of dollars, Aliyev is supported on the national level now. But from the military perspective Azerbaijan has problems.” Minasyan thinks that the role of Russia has increased both for Armenia and Azerbaijan; also the two states are more dependent on Russia after the war.  If Russia does not make conclusions and continues to arm Azerbaijan, after a day, a month or a year it can foster the restart of the escalation. In that case a matter of reviewing the existence of Armenian-Russian military-political alliance will arise.

Richard Kirakosyan mentioned the following steps that should be taken: “We should strengthen the protection systems. When we met with Minsk Group Representatives, I said that Nagorno Karabakh should become a negotiation party to have deeper diplomatic processes. The third step should be that OSCE deploys monitors of ceasefire in the whole territory. The fourth step should be less tolerance. We should not tolerate the violations of the ceasefire. We should not accept the fact that both sides are blamed equally. The initiators of the violence should pay some price. And finally RA Government should review Armenian-Russian crisis relations.”

Sergey Minasyan said that the change of the Madrid Principles is less possible. “We will have a pause in the negotiation process. Minsk Group will try to make actions to settle the political crisis instead of working on real negotiation documents.”

As a response, Kirakosyan said, “Of course, this is not the best time for diplomacy, the main question is not whether a new attack will be or not but when it will be.”      

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