Unveiling dynamics of recent diplomatic talks on South Caucasus
    Secret agreements and political manoeuvring

    ANALYTICS  09 April 2024 - 15:30

    Murad Abiyev

    So, the meeting that everyone has been talking about for so long has taken place. Of course, we are talking about the negotiations in Brussels in the EU-Armenia-US format with the participation of Ursula von der Leyen, Nikol Pashinyan and Antony Blinken, as well as Joseph Borrell, who unexpectedly joined them (obviously as a French spy).

    The participants of the meeting, obviously in order not to cause excessive irritation to regional players, formalized everything in such a way that they did not reveal the military component of the agreements in any way. A modest joint statement made between the sessions of the talks reflected the EU and the US admiration for the democratic reforms being carried out in Armenia, as well as their commitment to provide all possible assistance to the economic development of the South Caucasus country.

    For this purpose, the EU promised to allocate 270 million euros to Armenia, and the US - 65 million dollars. As we can see, not much. However, let's not fall into hubris. During a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken before the meeting in Brussels (Blinken was the initiator of the conversation), Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev told his counterpart that the upcoming meeting was aimed at "creating dividing lines" in the South Caucasus and "isolating our country".

    Political scientist Farhad Mammadov believes that the modest amounts of financial aid to Armenia are only a visible part of the iceberg and that other amounts will be allocated in the future. Moreover, although the formal purpose of this money at first glance has nothing to do with military aid and is linked to support for democracy and economic reforms, Mammadov believes that these injections will allow Yerevan to save funds from its own budget, which will already be used for the purchase of weapons. Such is this kind of veiled military cooperation.

    However, despite the secret agreements on military cooperation, which, according to Caliber.Az, took place in Brussels, one major victory of Azerbaijani politics and diplomacy can be stated without any doubt. None of the statements made during or following the Brussels meeting mentioned the unconditional return of Armenians who voluntarily left Karabakh after the September 19-20, 2023 anti-terrorist events.

    The only point related to this population group was their settlement and integration in Armenia. If we take into account that the rendezvous in Brussels is a logical continuation of the disgraceful Granada meeting in October last year, at which there was an attempt to rudely interfere in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan and, in particular, in the issue of "unconditional return of Armenians to Karabakh", we can state that Europe and America have given up before the just and unyielding policy of Azerbaijan.

    Returning to the West's arming of Armenia, I would like to note once again that in response to any weapons purchased by Yerevan, Baku will buy many times more and of better quality. We were prepared for such a scenario. Armenia is rapidly losing the remnants of its subjectivity, fully implementing the instructions of its handlers, whose goal is to prevent stability in the South Caucasus.

    Pro-Western experts and media rushed to present the results of the Brussels meeting as an unconditional victory for Armenia. "The importance and appreciation of the Brussels format, which in terms of cooperation with the collective West was unprecedented in the history of independent Armenia, and the realization of which became possible primarily as a result of geopolitical realities and the policy pursued by the RA government, should be noted," political scientist Armen Petrosyan expressed this opinion.

    But opposition leaders and media outlets point to the futility of the agreements. "It's very funny to watch how the so-called ‘Westerners’ (and in fact they are not even ‘Westerners’ but primitive nonsense) are beating in convulsions, trying to justify, explain, cover up, ignore the fairy failure of the Armenian velvet power in Brussels," writes the "Armenia Sensations-Reconquista" Telegram channel.

    Or this is what the well-known Armenian political scientist Arthur Khachikyan says: “They demand that we fight the Russians, break our political and economic ties with Russia, which they do not impose on either Azerbaijan, Georgia, or Türkiye. For some reason, other countries can defend their interests, but we cannot. And this shows where the West's interest lies. Let me remind you that the West has already managed to apologize to Ilham Aliyev and stated that the meeting in Brussels cannot pose a threat to Azerbaijan.”

    Meanwhile, the Armenian Armed Forces continued to fire at the positions of the Azerbaijani army on the conditional border before, during and after the Brussels meeting. Obviously, Yerevan’s goal is to provoke return fire, in order to then blame Baku for the escalation of tensions and to justify all possible assistance from the West. Moreover, they thus demonstrate that morale has not fallen and that the idea of war with Azerbaijan is not leaving the Armenian agenda.

    It is interesting to see how recent statements by Pashinyan about the need to return four non-enclave villages to Azerbaijan correlate with this. It turns out to be an intriguing picture. Pashinyan attempted, as it seems to him, to portray Azerbaijan in a humorous light, thereby inspiring his own society. After all, he said that if the villages are not returned, there will be war by the end of the week because Azerbaijan will return for the villages itself. However, this did not happen, and now Armenians can congratulate each other on the fact that Baku allegedly backed down.

    The paradox is that this appeasement once again will play a nasty trick on Armenia. Azerbaijan awaits the return of the villages, and if this does not happen, it indeed reserves the right to reclaim them itself. However, the day when this is to be done is determined in Baku, not in Yerevan.

    This is how Baku's policy should be understood.


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