"Clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan will keep happening until 2025"
    Sergey Markov's standpoint on Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  28 March 2023 - 16:07

    Huseyn Safarov

    Last week, on March 24, the Constitutional Court of Armenia recognized the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as compliant with the country's Constitution. In fact, the country signed this international act back in 1998; however, in 2004, the same highest judicial body of the country declared that the Statute contradicted the then Constitution, and its ratification was postponed.

    Yerevan did not return to the issue for a long time, but a few days ago the Constitutional Court approved accession to the Rome Statute. This means that Armenia is now under the jurisdiction of The Hague Tribunal, which can investigate and detain in the republic. This is all well and good, but the fact is that the ICC's Pre-Trial Chamber issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 17, and now legitimate questions arise - is Yerevan's forced decision linked to the ICC's arrest warrant for the Russian president, and how will Moscow react to it?

    With these and other questions Caliber.Az addressed Sergey Markov, the Director of the Institute of Political Research, a Russian political scientist.

    First of all, Markov noted that the decision of the Armenian Constitutional Court on the compliance of the Rome Statute to the Constitution several days after the Hague Court sanctioned the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin is perceived very negatively in Moscow.

    "I would even say that Russian society perceives this step by Armenia as a betrayal. At the same time, many Russian media outlets, influenced by the very strong Armenian diaspora, are trying to gloss over this fact. Although it is not even a diaspora, it is a system that includes both Armenians and Russians and is probably the most powerful ethnic grouping. After most of the Jews have left Russia, the Armenians are the strongest ethnic community in the Russian media, financial structures, and finally in politics. And this Armenian system will do everything to ensure that Russia does not react in any way, or better yet, that the majority of Russian citizens do not know about it at all. Nevertheless, the authorities are aware of this, and they are enraged. At some point, the Armenian leadership's antics may reach the end of Russian leadership's tether," the Russian political analyst believes.

    In Markov's view, Armenia has recognised the Rome Statute in order to use it against Azerbaijan.

    "It is unlikely that Yerevan wants to win economic preferences and advantages in its negotiations with Azerbaijan. Armenia wants to apply to the ICC as soon as possible against Azerbaijan in connection with the situation on the Lachin road, which the Armenian side is trying to interpret as almost preparing for the 'genocide' of the Armenian population of Karabakh, which of course is a completely inadequate statement. It must be said that representatives of the Armenian system are influential not only in Russia but also in the US and the EU, particularly France. Now the Armenian lobby hopes to find allies at the ICC.

    In addition, Pashinyan keeps pressuring Russia to adopt a more pro-Armenian stance, threatening that otherwise, Armenia will pivot to the West. And this policy of reorientation towards the West has been going on for quite a long time. The Armenian authorities have long been working in this direction. This includes Pashinyan's appointment of pro-Western politicians to government positions, the invitation of an EU observer mission to the country, as well as various negative actions by the prime minister with regard to the CSTO," our interlocutor stressed.

    As for Karabakh events, Markov believes that the situation there is indeed acute.

    "It has to do with the peaceful action of Azerbaijani environmentalists on the Lachin road. And now the Azerbaijani Army has taken control of a dirt road north of the Lachin road. Thus it appears that Armenia has lost all ability to move military equipment and to rotate personnel into the zone of temporary responsibility of the RPC in Karabakh. Tensions may therefore now increase.

    However, in general, it is related to the fact that Armenia is not withdrawing its military units from Karabakh and is not taking concrete steps to prepare for the transfer of control of the remaining part of Karabakh, where the peacekeeping contingent is stationed and where the Armenian population resides, to Azerbaijan. No action is being taken in this direction. We can therefore assume that clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan will keep happening until 2025, as the military confrontation in the region is still ongoing," Markov concluded.


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