Armenia has two options: peace treaty with Azerbaijan or collapse
Foreign pundits on Caliber.Az
INTERVIEWS 26 November 2023 - 12:11
The next meeting of the commissions on the delimitation of the state border between Azerbaijan and Armenia will take place on November 30. This meeting, unless, of course, it is disrupted by the Armenian side, can be regarded as a certain progress in the stalled negotiation process.
Will the commissions make progress? How will Armenia’s “seconds” in the form of the EU and the US behave?
The editors of Caliber.Az addressed these questions to Director of the international public organization “Center for Political Analysis and Information Security”, chairman of the Berlin Committee for Strategic Partnership in Eurasia Svyatoslav Andrianov, Deputy Director of the Russian Institute of Political Studies Daria Grevtsova, as well as to the Russian political scientist, Editor-in-Chief of the portal “Poistine” Ruslan Aisin.
According to Svyatoslav Andrianov, the West continues to create a "second Ukraine" out of Armenia and has succeeded in doing so.
"In Pashinyan's policy over the last few years, we have seen clear markers that nothing good will happen here with regard to Russia. But it is not Russia that suffers from this - we will somehow live without Armenia, as we have lived for centuries, but the Armenian people suffer. The promises of the EU and the US, as experience shows, will not lead to anything good - they may gain a foothold in the region, squeeze Türkiye a bit, but they should not count on more, as Ankara has too strong positions in the South Caucasus. And after that they will throw Armenia out of the sphere of their interests," the political analyst believes.
On the other hand, in his opinion, Azerbaijan is extremely important, if not for the US, then for the EU certainly, and therefore Brussels is likely to resist the aggravation of relations between Yerevan and Baku. Because it is in its interest, as well as in Russia's interest, that the peace treaty be signed as soon as possible. In particular, Moscow needs it for stability in the South Caucasus.
"Why stability in the South Caucasus is also important for Europe is also clear: so that energy resources from Azerbaijan could be freely supplied to Europe. Therefore, I think that the US actions are tactical in nature, strategically they are not interested in worsening relations with Azerbaijan, but now they are acting in the interests of Armenia rather situationally. When the conjuncture changes, it will certainly change as well, the US will act against Armenia as well. Washington's duplicity is perfectly manifested in its directives on Karabakh: when Azerbaijanis were expelled from there, they adopted one directive and that was it. But when Azerbaijan liberated its territories thirty years later and started to return its true owners there, the Americans immediately remembered the notorious 907th amendment," Andrianov noted.
Andrianov is optimistic about the prospects of Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations.
"Pashinyan is not a suicidal person, he is not a Caucasian Zhirinovsky, although sometimes his actions are strange, and unpredictable. But in general, it seems to me that everything is predictable and understandable - Pashinyan acts to please his partners, who have promised him a lot of things in order to finally tear Armenia away from Russia. We can already say that Armenia has de facto withdrawn from the CSTO, and in the coming months, it will officially withdraw from the bloc. Armenians put the blame for the loss of Karabakh entirely on Russia. However, it is clear that only Yerevan is to blame, and Russia did not intend to commit international crimes for the sake of Armenian desires.
As for the peace treaty, I think it will be signed. If Armenia still sticks its neck out, the issue of the Zangezur corridor will be solved by Azerbaijan in a completely different way. As, however, it happened with Karabakh: Baku offered, tolerated, and then let it go, went and retook the territory. I think that Armenia understands this very well, so they will not test Azerbaijan's patience too much. It is important for Armenia to bargain for itself as many preferences as possible, and not to freeze the process itself. So I look at the issue of signing a peace treaty very positively on the whole - I think it will take place within a few months. And neither the US nor Europe are interested in the situation getting out of control. But I am not sure about France, it plays a separate violin in the South Caucasus and some provocations from it are very possible. However, it will not be able to prevent the conclusion of a peace treaty," Andrianov emphasized.
According to Daria Grevtsova, the upcoming meeting of the commissions on the border is likely to be of a working nature, as Yerevan has no political will and desire to resolve the issue of border demarcation and delimitation. Especially now, when Armenia has openly enlisted French and American support. In this regard, Pashinyan may try to dictate his terms to Azerbaijan and not make concessions, which will be certainly not welcomed by Azerbaijan.
“But the issue of delimitation and demarcation needs to be raised, many technical details need to be discussed and all of them need to be recorded. The upcoming meeting, I think, will help us take a closer approach to fixing these technical details, where the border is, where the villages are on one side and where on the other, right down to where to graze sheep and where power lines will be located. There may be more complex issues if, for example, the border passes through a populated area. So, all this is the field of activity of the working groups of the two countries, and in the future, it is the will of the leadership of the countries to agree to some concessions or not to compromise. In essence, Pashinyan declares that he is ready to sign a peace treaty. At the same time, he changes his viewpoint and position over and over again, because he fears the reaction of the revanchists. Therefore, Pashinyan is being careful and delaying this process in every possible way. However, in my opinion, now is the most favourable moment for signing a peace treaty, and in this sense, Baku needs to push through Yerevan’s stubbornness. Moreover, we see the influence of Western countries on Armenia, especially when Yerevan hears anti-Azerbaijani, anti-Russian rhetoric and, charged with this imaginary support, begins to behave destructively,” Grevtsova said.
According to Ruslan Aisin, sooner or later the Armenian side will have to agree to Azerbaijan's terms.
"Armenia is now looking for a new patron and it seems to have even found one - in the person of the United States. And before that, it was Russia, then France. I should note that Armenia has practically no options - everyone wants to use it for their own interests. When Azerbaijan offered and offers its own option, its own conditions, it seems to me to be the most advantageous option for Armenia as a tool of survival in the geopolitics of the region. But Armenia has practically lost the status of a political subject, and now it is completely dependent on the will of other Western countries. It is simply being manipulated," the political scientist said.
But if, as he believes, Azerbaijan continues to have a rigid and principled position, no one will be able to interfere in the processes in the South Caucasus. Armenia has neither political, military nor financial resources to compete with Azerbaijan. And in a few months, the US will enter the phase of the election race. The conflict in Palestine, the war in Ukraine - these are problems for Washington of primary importance and therefore no one is going to drag Armenians on their backs for a long time.
"And if not on November 30, then in early 2024, I think that Armenia will be forced by circumstances to sit down at the negotiating table - to sign a peace treaty, to start working on the delimitation and demarcation of the border. Because otherwise political disintegration awaits Armenia. This country will simply disintegrate. However, Armenia is already mentally torn", Aisin concluded.
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