No gunboats
    But unmanned aerial vehicle

    ANALYTICS  06 December 2023 - 16:22

    Samit Aliyev

    “The parliamentary commission on state legal affairs voted against amendments to the Armenian Criminal Code, proposed by the bill within the framework of the Ayakve initiative. The bill was about criminalizing the denial of the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh. The project was presented to the relevant commission of the National Assembly by the secretary of the Armenia faction Artsvik Minasyan. Thus, the commission did not support the ban on recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan,” Armenian media reports.

    That is, some sort of Ayakve wanted to push through a law that would prohibit Armenian citizens from recognizing the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. But it didn’t work out, because the reason still turned out to be stronger. But this is all only because the force used by Azerbaijan somewhat clarifies the neighbor’s mind. In order not to be unfounded, some statistics: three members of the commission (opposition representatives) voted for a positive conclusion on the bill, and seven voted against it (parliamentarians from the ruling Civil Contract faction). This is commendable, but I think this is not enough. Still, there were three who were in favor, and this must be remembered.

    Avetik Chalabyan, a representative of the coordination council of Ayakve, explained that two projects were submitted to parliament. One of them is an initiative put forward by Ayakve, and the other is a statement by Artsvik Minasyan on the same initiative.

    “The discussion of Artsvik Minasyan’s statement was postponed for two months, and the bill itself was rejected,” he said.

    Chalabyan himself negatively assessed the vote of pro-government parliamentarians. According to him, the government parliamentarians, who voted against the project, did not provide clear justification for their position.

    What is there to justify? This is common sense and a correct understanding that non-recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is not just a risky business, but a matter fraught with severe and inevitable punishment, like last time.

    “And for revanchism, we will tear off our arms and legs,” as an unknown Soviet colonel said to the silenced fascists in Berlin in April 1945.

    Artsvik Minasyan had not heard of that colonel, and therefore, added that if the parliamentarians had voted for the bill, it would have limited the possibility of “surrendering Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan on paper”. No, that's not true at all. Even on paper, we can only do what will not cause our displeasure.

    There are people smarter than me in the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, and they will write down in the draft peace treaty with Armenia (if one is signed) not just “renunciation of territorial claims against Azerbaijan”. It will be necessary to stipulate “that there are no such ‘Artsakh governments in exile’.” I will say more, this thesis will be under the close, vigilant attention of not only our Foreign Ministry but also the Defence Ministry, because only that diplomacy that has gunboats, is good.

    Armenia has no access to the sea, so in this case, gunboats can be replaced with MLRS and UAVs. And not only. There are no less interesting and effective ways to protect our interests.

    On August 31, 2023, the initiative group of Ayakve transferred the collected 58,000 signatures to the Central Electoral Commission of Armenia. They were in a hurry as the required number of signatures was transferred ahead of schedule. Per the legislation of Armenia, collecting 50,000 signatures makes it possible to submit to parliament a legislative initiative on “criminalizing the denial of the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and leveling the significance of the ‘Armenian genocide’.”

    The Armenian Central Electoral Commission thought a little, checked the signatures on September 25, and allowed the bill to be submitted to parliament. However, not only the parliamentary commission gave this dubious initiative a “turnaround,” but the entire Armenian parliament also refused to include this project on the agenda of the plenary session, because “the project cannot be discussed at the plenary session”. This is commendable and demonstrates a certain political maturity. However, Ayakve has a fallback option.

    They can start the next stage and try to collect 300,000 signatures to hold a referendum on the future of Armenia and certain ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’. There was even a squabble between Artsvik Minasyan and the Speaker. Minasyan stated that “the ruling faction not only violated its election promise on a key national issue but is also doing everything diametrically opposed to this promise”.

    In response, the speaker stated that he “doesn’t understand what the opposition has to do with the government’s election promises, and that the opposition itself, to be honest, came to parliament to kill parliamentarians from the ruling force.”

    In general, the conflict is flaring up, which is good news. Let’s not be hypocritical: any crisis, even the smallest one, any unrest, any political problem with your opponent (even if it’s recent, but still remains an opponent) is very, very good. Nevertheless, I repeat: I consider it necessary to include in the peace treaty with Armenia a ban on the presence of any “Artsakh governments in exile” on its territory.


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