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France and the USA – two of the three OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs with a mandate to hammer out a viable solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan – have not only failed to come up with a solution but also displayed their uttermost reluctance to that end.
After the Azerbaijani army has gained a convincing victory over the Armenian army and made Yerevan sign a tripartite statement – termed as the act of capitulation of Armenia in the 44-day Patriotic War of Azerbaijan, Paris and Washington – in the grip of own domestic turbulence – are trying to save Armenia’s blushes.
The French Senate is expected to vote on a draft project “On the need to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh republic” on 25 November. For nearly 30 years, France did not cope with the mandate of the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and now Paris wants to reignite the war in Karabakh with own adventures that are doomed to failure from the very start since even if this draft project is passed in France, it will not be legally binding.
Russia will never forgive Armenia for the courage to violate the capitulation document and the Kremlin has repeatedly warned Yerevan against efforts to undermine the document with Putin’s signature and call for new actors to join the conflict on its side. Pundits are confident that Nikol Pashinyan’s next wrong step would cost him the loss of his post and Armenia to see the next stage of the war and Moscow’s zero reaction. If the Armenian government obeys provocations of the U.S. and France, this would be the end of Armenia as a geographical entity as it has already lost its military and state resources in the recent war.
Azerbaijan has successfully completed a military, political and historical stage that will be of special importance for the future of the country. Azerbaijan is now on the threshold of the next and more important stage and now almost everything, even time itself, is an ally of Azerbaijan.
The first stage brought a great and historic victory to Azerbaijan. The country’s calendar has been enriched with many significant historical days. Undoubtedly, starting next year, the citizens of Azerbaijan will celebrate each of them individually and in sequence. All the heroes of those historic days of victory will be remembered with great respect. And this will continue for years, decades, centuries, as long as Azerbaijan exists, forever.
Can you imagine, we used to remember the days of occupation of different cities and districts of Azerbaijan with sorrow every year. There will be no more sorrow. Because the days of occupation have been erased from our history. We will now have calendar days when our cities are liberated from barbaric occupation.
Azerbaijan also has its own day of victory. Back in the former USSR, May 9 was celebrated as the day of victory over fascism. After that, we will celebrate November 10 as the day of victory in the Patriotic War of Azerbaijan. The day of a decisive victory over barbarism that continued the occupation and destruction of Azerbaijan’s districts, cities and villages.
Azerbaijan rebirth will not be limited to these as Azerbaijan will have brighter victories. In particular, Azerbaijan is already the main determinant of the ongoing international war for the South Caucasus. Everything in this region depends on the military-political will of Azerbaijan.
That is, the second stage of this struggle has just begun. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have already begun to move out of inertia. In Moscow soon after Azerbaijan’s victory on the battlefield, the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs gathered to discuss ways of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that they were supposed to do minimum 20 years ago.
With no information from the horse’s mouth, Azerbaijan is unaware of the content of the discussions behind the closed doors as they kept what they discussed under seal of secrecy and this is incomprehensible. Can they explain with normal arguments what they wanted to discuss and aren’t they late to discuss anything after the military solution replaced their nearly 30-year long aimless visits to the conflict region?
After all, in the last 30 years, these countries – the USA, France and Russia – have had every opportunity to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. But none of those opportunities were used properly. They just made tourist trips to the region, ate kebabs with Armenians in Xankandi, drank cognac, made another statement and dispersed.
Now they are not excited for Azerbaijan’s convincing victory but are worried about their malicious intentions and plans with regard to the region and their roles. After all they had nearly 30 years at their disposal for discussions en masse if they wanted. Time has proved that they did not want and did not have the desire. The Azerbaijani army coped with their task within 44 days what they could not honor for 30 years. Throughout those years, they tried to dissuade Azerbaijan from the military solution under unsubstantiated arguments by reiterating “there is no military solution to the problem an d peace talks have no alternative” – on the contrary, Azerbaijan crushed the enemy on the battlefield and proved its righteousness.
The Azerbaijani army showed this 30-year lie to the whole world and it proved that, in fact, there was no solution to the problem through peace talks. The only correct option was the military one. Now the problem has been solved militarily. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group have nothing left to do. The existence of this institution is currently only formal. This body, which is not normally able to cope with the mediation mission, should convene, applaud the results and disband itself.
However, it is clear that they have no plans to suspend their activities. On the contrary, they are trying to muddy the water, to change the current situation, to slow down the process stemming from the capitulation document signed by Armenia.
There is no other explanation because if they were peacemakers, they would have respected international law for the last 30 years. They would have given the right to the righteous one. That is, they are not as sincere as usual. Undoubtedly, the co-chairs, especially the U.S. and France are not interested in the mediation mission and the problem itself.
The main concern of these two states is directly related to the new situation in the South Caucasus region after Armenia’s capitulation. The document has significantly changed both the content and direction of regional geopolitical processes.
Now Azerbaijan is the main geopolitical actor and military-political willpower in the South Caucasus region depends on it. Only the center of international political will, which is loyal to official Baku, can have a chance to pass through the gates of the South Caucasus. In other words, the keys to all the entrances to the region are in the hands of official Baku.
Armenia’s capitulation also undermined the format of the Minsk Group co-chairs, leaving the U.S. and France out of the game. Now all issues in the conflict zone are resolved in accordance with the provisions of this document.
Consequently, Russia is still directly involved in the process. At the same time, a new actor has joined the process. Turkey has alone filled the gap left by the U.S. and France, which were left out of the game in the process of solving the main problem of the region. Now Turkey is a direct actor in the geopolitical processes in the South Caucasus.
This is the main factor that irritates the U.S. and France. These two states are directly interested in bringing the process back under the control of the previous format as in this case, they can restore the status of actors in regional geopolitical processes.
Of course, there are certain chances for this. True, there are very few, but they seem determined to try their luck anyway. However, in order for this chance to become a reality, first of all, the capitulation document signed by Armenia must lose its legal force. This does not seem convincing at all.
If Russia-guaranteed peace deal fails, the Russian peacekeepers will have to leave the region. The Azerbaijani army will have the right to resume military operations. Unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia does not currently have the capacity to continue the war and this would be the end of Armenia as a geographical entity, which has lost all its military potential and state resources.
Anyway, Russia with its sensitive attitude towards own international prestige will not forgive Armenia for its courage to oppose the document. This means that even if Azerbaijan intervenes in the territory of Armenia as a continuation of the war, Russia will not react.
Under such a scenario, it is not difficult to imagine the future of Armenia as Russian President Vladimir Putin described it very figuratively: “Violation of the agreement would be suicide for Armenia.”
To recap, everything is clearly explained in the same sentence of the Kremlin owner. This means that the attempts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, or rather the U.S. and France, to muddy the water are completely inappropriate and it is not convincing that it will give any results in the near future.