Peace treaty fades into the background
Moscow disrupts the peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which both countries pledged to develop and sign in Prague on October 6 without preconditions, including the opening of communications, delimitation and demarcation (DD) of the border and the resolution of the Karabakh issue, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Turan News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, at a video meeting of the CSTO heads of state on October 28, which was dedicated to the settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, designated a peace treaty as the ultimate goal of the process, highlighting the issues of unblocking communications, DD and humanitarian relations.
“Without a doubt, the only possible and realistic way to peace can be the path that is laid through the strict observance by the parties of all the provisions of the well-known joint statements of the leaders of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan,” Putin said, referring to the tripartite statements of November 9-10, 2020, 11 January and November 26, 2021, known as the “Three” statements.
“It is through the consistent implementation of these agreements on the ways of delimiting the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, unblocking transport communications, and resolving humanitarian issues that it is possible to achieve a stable normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan … In the future, this will also make it possible to conclude a peace treaty.”
Thus, Putin played along with Pashinyan, whose team, as well as the entire Armenian political elite, are making every possible effort, both to disrupt the “three agreements”, and the European initiative approved in Prague on October 6 to sign a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of international treaties of 1991, which stated the recognition of new states in the former USSR.
At the meeting in Sochi on October 31, many issues will be discussed, starting with ensuring peace and stability in Nagorno-Karabakh. This was stated by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, speaking on October 26 in the country’s parliament.
However, he added that he sincerely wishes for a peace treaty to be signed before the end of the year.
“How realistic is this? I, and the government, will make every effort to make it real. But there are nuances. It is important that the delimitation of the border be carried out before signing. Considering that we agreed in Prague that this would take place on the basis of the 1991 borders, then this is realistic, because these borders are known. In addition, international negotiations are needed between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. There must be mechanisms to ensure the rights and security of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh.”
This confusing statement by Pashinyan indicates that he will take action in accordance with the line of settlement drawn by Putin in the fields of Valdai.
After the end of the Second Karabakh War in 2020, through the fault of Yerevan, Azerbaijan and Armenia did not move a single step towards the implementation of the “agreements of the three”. All concessions by Yerevan, including the transfer of the Lachin corridor to Azerbaijan, the withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from Karabakh, took place under military pressure from Baku, but not voluntarily in accordance with the “statements of the three”. The Armenians are delaying the fulfillment of the “agreements of the three” and the final achievement of peace with the hope of changing the geopolitics of the region, when they can again be called upon as some kind of outpost against anyone.
Putin’s statement actually revealed the reason for the recent mutual accusations of the West and Russia about the destructive role in resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, the essence of which was not the struggle for primacy in the region, but the primary and secondary nature of the “agreements of the three” or a peace treaty.
Do not be deceived by the fact that the opinions of the West and Russia differ on the question: What is primary or secondary – a peace treaty or the implementation of the “agreements of the three”?
Previously, speaking on the France 2 TV channel, French President Emmanuel Macron said that in recent months Moscow has escalated tension in favor of Azerbaijan.
“What has been happening on the border for the past two years… 5,000 Russian soldiers are supposedly guarding the border, (but) the Russians have taken advantage of this centuries-old conflict, played the Azerbaijani game with Turkish complicity, and again began to weaken Armenia, which was once a country, to which (to Russia) it was close… Do you see what is happening? This is an attempt by Russia to destabilize the situation. It wants to create disorder in the Caucasus to destabilize all of us.”
Washington also quickly distanced itself from the Prague initiative on the primacy of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia, after Putin said that Washington proposed a “plan” to recognize Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region.
At a briefing on October 28, State Department spokesman Ned Price, answering a question about the upcoming trilateral talks in Sochi, said that Armenia and Azerbaijan should decide which approach they would take in these talks.
What approach Pashinyan and Aliyev can choose on the Russian platform, one might say, is already a foregone conclusion – further “settlement” of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations will take place on the basis of the “agreements of the three”, continued by Putin and actually supported by the West. The peace agreement fades into the background in a sluggish action from the scene of the long-term epic of the “Karabakh settlement”.