"If Garabagh is Azerbaijan, why supply route should pass through Armenia?"
Svyatoslav Andrianov's reasoning on Caliber.Az
INTERVIEWS 31 August 2023 - 12:13
Armenian propaganda continues to inflame the situation around the Lachin road. After Baku showed itself the master of its sovereign lands by proposing to deliver all humanitarian cargoes to the Armenian-populated part of Garabagh via the Aghdam-Khankendi road, an unbelievable campaign of Armenians all over the world was raised. The efforts of lobbyists have had an effect, with a flurry of daily angry statements from various politicians in Europe and North America, a demonstrative visit of French mayors to the Lachin checkpoint. All these actions are intended to demonstrate to the world that only the Lachin road is the only way to transport foodstuffs to Garabagh. But this is not true, there are many roads, and if Armenians in Azerbaijan really lack food, why not agree to use other routes? After all, a hungry man doesn't bother over routes through which he receives bread.
This is, in fact, why many people in Azerbaijan have the feeling that there is something else here than concern for those "starving to death". Namely, it is a convenient excuse for unleashing anti-Azerbaijani hysteria, just to preserve the existence of the separatist scrap as long as possible, and under the guise of deceiving the international community and pushing some resolution against Azerbaijan in the UN Security Council or any other organisation.
Svyatoslav Andrianov, director of the international NGO "Centre for Political Analysis and Information Security", member of the German Council for Foreign Policy, chairman of the Berlin Committee for Strategic Partnership in Eurasia, shared his views on the situation with Caliber.Az.
"Statements about Azerbaijan's blockade of the Garabagh region are manipulation and here is why. To begin with, let's remember how things got started. Based on the 2020 ceasefire statement, Armenia pledged to guarantee Azerbaijan safe transit through its territory to Nakhchivan. So far, Armenia has not done so.
In early December last year, Baku agreed with the RMK command to have Azerbaijani specialists monitor gold and molybdenum deposits in Garabagh, but, as Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov admitted, Baku's initiative was blocked by the 'leadership' (inverted commas - Ed.) of Garabagh.
It should be emphasised that the Lachin road is not the only road connecting Garabagh with the outside world. When I read the Western press lately, I imagine what an average European might think about the current situation. After all, the Lachin road is often positioned as the only road," Andrianov stressed.
According to him, Baku has repeatedly stated the possibility and necessity of using the Aghdam road to supply Garabagh, to which the Armenian side has repeatedly responded with theses about the "inadmissibility" of using this road.
"But if we accept that Garabagh is a part of Azerbaijan, then wouldn't it be logical for this region to have access to the world via a road running through the territory of Azerbaijan?
If we talk about the reasons for the current situation, in my opinion, they are as follows:
Firstly, Baku, of course, wants to ensure that Yerevan fulfils all the conditions of the ceasefire declaration of 2020, including the possibility of unimpeded passage to Nakhchivan through the Zangazur corridor.
Secondly, if we recognise the Garabagh region as part of Azerbaijan, why can't Azerbaijan inspect mineral deposits on its own sovereign territory?
Thirdly, according to Baku, the Lachin corridor has been used by Yerevan not only to export to Armenia minerals illegally extracted from Garabagh mines, but also to transport weapons.
As a result, as we can see, Baku made a drastic decision, which, on the one hand, makes it impossible to move weapons for illegal gangs in Garabagh, and on the other hand, significantly complicates the smuggling of minerals, including gold," the political scientist noted.
In his opinion, Azerbaijan puts pressure on Armenia in order to achieve more favourable conditions for itself in the future peace agreement, so that Garabagh would have no special status and no special privileges.
"Should we condemn Baku for such aspirations? It all depends on the position from which we perceive the Garabagh region.
If we accept that Garabagh is part of Azerbaijan, then we have no questions, as Baku wants to close the Garabagh issue once and for all, at least for the medium term, and this in my opinion will be impossible to implement if there is no clear and transparent recognition by Yerevan of Garabagh as an integral part of Azerbaijan in the peace treaty.
How can the crisis be resolved?
I think, one of the compromise options to resolve the crisis would be the simultaneous opening of both the Aghdam and Lachin roads. This option has been repeatedly proposed by both EU and Russian representatives. Time will show to what extent such a compromise will be expedient and acceptable for Baku and Yerevan.
At the same time, I would advise Baku in its work with the foreign press and expert community to more actively force the thesis on the possibility and necessity of using the Aghdam road for communication with Garabagh," Svyatoslav Andrianov concluded.
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