Are you still bargaining?
    Analysis of Pashinyan's speech at UN

    ANALYTICS  24 September 2022 - 13:20

    Vadim Mansurov

    The speech of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan at the UN General Assembly is quite an obvious trick to avoid responsibility for "all the good things" and to use the situation on the conditional border and inevitability of a peace treaty in his favor. Everything is recognisable and familiar. A thoroughly frightened Armenia is almost like a child before going to an unloved kindergarten: it understands that it will have to go anyway, but it should be begging for more, even a couple of sweets and a toy in addition.

    However, the carrot-and-stick strategy used by Baku is generally working - the Armenian rhetoric is changing before our eyes, and Pashinyan's statements in the fields of the UN now include the words "peace agreement" and "work of commissions". Armenia very much wants to appear to be a country with peace initiatives, adhering rigorously to the track of the negotiation process. How genuine are these messages? Is it not just another clownery? Has Yerevan really grasped the lessons it has been taught?

    With a cool head

    In general, if to set aside emotions and desire to react to purely Armenian tricks - the ability to mix truth and lie, and look at the situation from the height of "Bayraktar" and absolutely unperturbed, one can notice positive changes - radicalism and bloodthirstiness of Armenians partly lose, giving the way to the adequacy of Armenian consciousness. It should not be forgotten, however, that Pashinyan's team, now talking about their vision of a peace treaty or the work of border commissions, are the same people who back in 2020 and at least until September this year were chanting "Miatsum!" and "Karabakh is Armenia!".

    Today they speak more calmly and on different topics - the safety of Armenians in Karabakh and how the Zangazur corridor through the territory of Armenia should be. Taking this as given. But at the word "status" they somehow nervously keep silent. Trends and, in some ways, even minds are changing. Slowly, of course, but something is happening.

    Nevertheless, if Armenia tries to argue about its vision of "peace", "peace treaty" or "peace process", Baku should certainly carefully weigh up these statements, correct them and, as a strict and fair teacher, teach it the wisdom. Forcing it to sort the wheat from the chaff, the truth from the lie.

    Baseless claims

    "On September 13, Azerbaijan launched an unprovoked and groundless military aggression against Armenia," Pashinyan claims. He even provides statistics: according to his data, the Azerbaijani military, using heavy artillery, rocket launchers, and combat drones, allegedly shelled 36 settlements and communities deep inside Armenia's sovereign territory. "This was not a border conflict, it was a direct, indisputable attack on Armenia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, which has been condemned and considered at recent sessions of the UN Security Council and beyond," he said.

    Here, after these words, immediately stop. Don't get carried away, sir. Pashinyan boldly uses the accusation of "attacking the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Armenia". This tirade sounds very loud and enticing, according to the Armenian premier's calculations, international arbitrators and defenders from the Armenian lobby will inevitably react to this. What kind of aggression are we talking about when Azerbaijan has responded to another armed provocation by Armenia, to which it has been subjected for no less than two weeks? This started right after the Brussels talks between Aliyev and Pashinyan. To stop this attack, the Azerbaijani forces carried out a special operation, suppressing all possible military facilities threatening Azerbaijan with an escalation on the border. Precisely because they wanted peace and were tired of endless shelling. The situation is exactly the opposite of what Pashinyan describes.

    As for the encroachment on Armenia's "sovereignty and territorial integrity", there is also a logical inconsistency here, with manipulative words. Since Armenia itself is dragging out the process of delimitation of its border, it is ridiculous to even talk about it. And the best answer to Pashinyan's illogic is the Azerbaijani president's statement. A thesis that he voiced during his visit to the liberated Lachin.

    "In the absence of border delimitation, no one can claim where the border passes," Ilham Aliyev said. He added that if the border was where the Armenians say, "then they would have laid the border, created border lines, communications, carried out engineering work." However, for some reason, they don't do anything. And Pashinyan is aware of this.

    Rough guesstimate

    Armenian statistics did its best - Pashinyan stuffed a prominent part of his speech with some figures on the damage suffered by Armenia "due to Azerbaijan's actions". However, all of his figures are fabricated.

    According to him, the total number of temporarily displaced from Gegharkunik (Bashkand - ed.), Vayots Dzor (Daralayaz - ed.) and Syunik (Zangazur - ed.) regions of Armenia is more than 7,600 people, mostly women, and elderly people, but also 1,437 children and 99 disabled. About 192 residential houses, three hotels, two schools, and one medical institution were partially or completely destroyed, etc.

    If we believe Pashinyan, Armenia has established that the number of persons killed and missing as a result of the "aggression" now exceeds two hundred. As many as 293 servicemen and 8 civilians were wounded, and at least 20 servicemen were taken prisoner of war.

    And what follows is even more absurd. There is, he says, evidence of torture and mutilation of captured or already dead servicemen, numerous cases of extrajudicial executions, mistreatment of Armenian prisoners of war, and even mockery of corpses.

    What can I say - the so-called statistics are not impressive. Even assuming it is partly true, let us then look at other statistics, or at least at the fact that over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced as a result of the First Karabakh War. The Armenians destroyed hundreds of Azerbaijani villages to the ground, and the number of ruined schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure is shocking. Almost a thousand educational institutions have been destroyed in Karabakh alone.

    And as for tortures, mutilations, and any other acts against Armenians, living or dead, we should remind that Azerbaijan faced a much worse tragedy - genocide in Khojaly, committed by Armenian brutal and barbaric henchmen, is undoubtedly a worse crime against humanity. In 1992, hundreds of women, old people, and children were literally torn apart by Armenian monsters. Shall we show pictures, if you intend to deny this as well?

    In our case, even if there were incidents and atrocities, it is more than understandable - some soldiers lost their entire families, and some had close friends and relatives killed by Armenians. But our country does not, as in Armenia, raise such thugs to the rank of heroes. In our country, they are punished to the fullest extent of the law. Has Armenia condemned even one such scoundrel?

    "Cast no greedy eye at another man's pie"

    Pashinyan also managed to accuse Azerbaijan of allegedly intending to carry out aggression against Armenia and even occupy it. During his speech, Pashinyan voiced a curious thesis that Azerbaijan calls the south and east of Armenia its territory, and Yerevan is the Azerbaijani city. And then, in his expression, Pashinyan tried to make a kind of colorful, almost theatrical sketch, something in the spirit of Caesar's speech at the Roman forum. Just the apogee of populism.

    "In this regard, I ask an official and public question to the President of Azerbaijan: could you show me the map of Armenia, which you recognise or are ready to recognise as the Republic of Armenia? Why am I asking this? Because it may turn out that, according to official Azerbaijan, only half or less than half of Armenia's territory is the Republic of Armenia," Pashinyan told the UN.

    Azerbaijan should respond to the last question, with a counter proposal and ask Pashinyan to be the first to show a map of Azerbaijan with borders that Armenia is prepared to recognise. We have the right - it was Armenia that occupied Azerbaijani lands for almost 30 years, not vice versa. So, show it to us.

    If you manage to accuse Azerbaijan of the alleged occupation of Armenia, then let's not twist things around and see who the occupier is at the moment. And it appears that it is still Armenia because it has not yet withdrawn its armed forces from Azerbaijani Karabakh. However, it is a strange situation: the occupier accuses his neighbour of occupation, occupying his lands. Pashinyan has really gone over the edge here.

    As for the Azerbaijani south, east and Yerevan, this is a distortion of the facts, nothing more. The psychology of the occupant simply does not distinguish differences in what is said.

    Aliyev has never said that all these territories are Azerbaijan. Our president claimed and continues to claim, based on a vast chronicle, that these are historical Azerbaijani lands, and Iravan was founded by our Turkic ancestors. No one has heard from him that Yerevan is Azerbaijan, i.e. we, unlike Armenia, have no territorial claims against our neighbours. Pashinyan seems to have dreamt this up. The psychology of Armenians, which is definitely not quite healthy, simply merges the notions of "reality" and "fiction". Thank God we are different from them in this respect.

    Therefore, if Armenia is talking about signing a peace treaty, the essence of it is that the document will be a guarantee of statehood for Armenia. And it needs it first and foremost. Because in accordance with it and the five basic principles proposed by Baku for the normalisation of relations between our countries, the mutual recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and Armenia will take place. And if Yerevan nevertheless intends to evade it and cling to the "status" of Karabakh and the theme of "Great Armenia", Azerbaijan also has the right to raise the issue of its historical lands. And to appeal to the UN and other international bodies on this issue, and to do so in a documented manner. As a result, Armenia may turn into a province of Azerbaijan, as it used to be. Everything, as they say, is in your hands. And you have to sign it immediately, no matter what they say from the UN platforms. Azerbaijan will probably turn a blind eye to what Pashinyan has described for now.

    Is it really going to enlighten?

    But in general, soberly assessing the situation, it is possible to recognise several positive moments. There are, and the Armenian media themselves write about it, comparing what Pashinyan said today with his previous speech at the UN.

    Armenian analysts point out that before the 44-day war in 2020, the Prime Minister told the UN General Assembly that "the people of Karabakh must be able to determine their status without restriction," while this time he made no mention of self-determination. Obviously, having realised the utter futility of such attempts.

    In order to finally secure Armenia's signature on the draft peace treaty, it remains to wait until Armenia realises that its other ambitions and claims are just as unrealistic. Analysts, by the way, assert that if Armenia does decide to sign all the basic documents and observe all the preconditions of the negotiation process, the benefits of open borders and communications will be so noticeable that after just two weeks revanchism will vanish without a trace in that country. Hallelujah.


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