Will the new mediators help Yerevan and Baku come to an agreement Negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have intensified. The United States became the main mediators of the process. Yerevan is dissatisfied with Moscow's passivity, but Armenia has nothing to offer new partners yet, experts say =”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >
On September 29, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced the need to deploy international observers on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, where it is still restless. The day before, the ceasefire regime was again violated on it, for which the parties accused each other. According to Yerevan, three people died from the Armenian side.
This happened against the backdrop of the negotiation process between Yerevan and Baku that intensified in the second half of September, the main moderators of which are trying to be the United States and the European Union. RBC examined how successful their mediation could be.
Intensification of negotiations
On September 28, a meeting was held at the White House between Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia Armen Grigoryan and Foreign Policy Adviser to the President of Azerbaijan Hikmet Hajiyev.
Yerevan said that the talks were held on the initiative of the American side. Grigoryan assessed the meeting in Washington as fruitful, and also stated that the September escalation was stopped thanks to the United States, among other things. According to Grigoryan, Armenia and Azerbaijan are discussing five interrelated problems— the return of prisoners and other humanitarian issues, the unblocking of transport communications in the region, the demarcation and delimitation of borders, as well as the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. “In these directions, we tried to clarify how we should move forward. They are interconnected. In other words, the specifics were around these topics, how do we move forward, — Grigoryan said.
Hajiyev, who is considered one of the most influential persons in Azerbaijan's foreign policy, noted: “The main aspect here— continuation of efforts on the peace agenda within a specific time frame. The meeting discussed negotiations on a peace agreement, the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, the opening of transport lines, as well as the issues of anti-personnel mines and missing persons, which are part of the humanitarian agenda».
RBC wrote more than once, which is why the parties cannot agree. The main contradictions are connected with the uncertain status of Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as with the desire of Baku to open a land corridor to Nakhichevan. It is noteworthy that in New York, a few days before the meeting between Grigoryan and Hajiyev, during the high week of the UN General Assembly, also with the mediation of the United States, Foreign Ministers of the two countries Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov met.
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An even higher level meeting may soon follow. On October 6, Pashinyan will fly to Prague for an informal EU summit, where he can present a preliminary version of a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, Armenian media report. It is possible that on the sidelines of the summit, the Armenian prime minister will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said a week ago. This was confirmed on Thursday by Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament, Special Representative at the talks on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations Ruben Rubinyan. “Such a meeting can indeed take place. Meeting agenda— process of normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey»,— he said. The Turkish authorities also spoke about the possibility of such a meeting. Ilham Aliyev may also be invited to the talks in Prague.
Change of landmarks
During the September aggravation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, when, according to official data, 207 Armenians and 77 Azerbaijanis were killed in a week of fighting, the United States, as well as some European countries, openly declared the inadmissibility of violating the territorial integrity of Armenia. On September 17, a delegation of the US Congress headed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Yerevan on a three-day visit; she again described the position of Washington and held talks with representatives of key departments of the republic.
Russia, an ally of Armenia in the CSTO and a partner in the bilateral Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, took an essentially neutral position during the escalation, although Yerevan has repeatedly stated that Azerbaijani troops entered the territory of Armenia and “occupied” her.
Even the pro-Russian forces in the republic are dissatisfied with the way Moscow behaved in September, which, in this regard, proposed changing the guidelines for foreign policy. On September 28, Robert Kocharyan, leader of the oppositional Armenia Alliance, which has almost a third of the seats in parliament, and a personal friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, proposed at a press conference in Yerevan that Iran be included in Armenia's new security architecture. “We should re-evaluate our security architecture, we should soberly assess which states can influence Azerbaijan and Turkey. It should be assessed that the levers of influence of Russia and the CSTO have significantly decreased, — Kocharyan said bluntly.
Tehran, at the height of the fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, unequivocally stated that it would resist Baku's attempts to cut a corridor to Nakhichevan by force and “any scenario that would damage the Iranian-Armenian border, which is a historical route connecting two neighboring countries.”
Yerevan is dissatisfied with Moscow not only because of its non-intervention during the September aggravation. On September 29, Pashinyan, without naming specific countries, said that Armenia's allies were not fulfilling their obligations on the supply of weapons. “We have cases when hundreds of millions of dollars have already been paid for weapons, but the obligations for deliveries in relation to Armenia are not fulfilled, including from the side of the allied countries. This is a painful reality, and we must analyze it, & mdash; he said at a government meeting.
On the same day, the Indian edition of The Economic Times reported that India would supply armaments and ammunition to Armenia for almost $250 million. Sources of the publication report that the order includes Pinaka multiple launch rocket systems.
“We see an attempt by Yerevan and Baku, that is, by both opposing sides, to look for a more influential mediator than Russia,” — notes an expert on Central Asian countries Arkady Dubnov. “I don’t see anything that Russia can offer today in the South Caucasus. Moscow's mediation has reached a dead end. And this impasse is caused by the abstraction of means— peacekeepers, the army and everything else,»,— he explained. However, it is difficult to say what the Americans and Europeans can offer Yerevan, except for observers from the OSCE, the UN or other peacekeeping contingent. According to Dubnov, it is extremely problematic to persuade Yerevan now to sign a peace treaty on Baku's terms.
It cannot be said that American efforts or the efforts of other countries are ousting Russia from the region as a mediator, Armenian political scientist Alexander Iskandaryan believes. “It is impossible to oust Russia from all directions. Russian peacekeepers are located along the perimeter of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and ensure the physical safety of the people living there. Therefore, the roles of the United States and France are different: they can provide platforms for negotiations, while Russia has the opportunity to influence the situation on the ground, — Iskandarian explained and acknowledged that the ability to maintain peace in the region is “extremely limited, to put it mildly.” «All negotiation platforms— not the most efficient. And it cannot be said that one of them displaces the other, — he summed up.
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