Peace - and point: How Vladimir Putin stopped the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
It seems that Vladimir Putin has succeeded in what none of the Soviet, Russian and international leaders have managed for 30 years, namely the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev during a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Moscow on May 25 announced the solution of the territorial dispute between the two countries. Both reported on the existence of agreements on the mutual recognition of borders, the correspondent of The Moscow Post reports.
On Monday, Nikol Pashinyan said at a press conference in Yerevan that he recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which also includes Nagorno-Karabakh, but subject to ensuring the safety of the Armenian population.
Ilham Aliyev considers the signing of a peace agreement between Baku and Yerevan inevitable. "Naturally, this peace agreement should cover international norms and principles," he said, too, on Monday.
Hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh resumed in September 2020. The truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan was signed on November 10 with the mediation of Moscow. Yerevan handed over to Baku Kelbajar, Lachin and Agdam regions. Russian peacekeepers are stationed in the region. The conflict resumed on the night of September 13, 2022. The parties concluded a truce through the mediation of Russia.
Spirit and Letter
Russian President Vladimir Putin is glad to take steps towards each other by the leaders of two countries neighboring Russia. This looks like an important shift towards cooling the oldest hot spot in the post-Soviet space. Maybe the words uttered by Aliyev and Pashinyan will someday be called the result of trusting diplomacy, which the Russian leader personally led in a trilateral format.
He led and achieved success. The message of the parties about mutual agreement to recognize the borders sounded in the Kremlin. Moreover, it happened on the day of the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.
According to Putin, the trilateral format managed to agree on not only the cessation of hostilities. Work was also launched to unblock economic and transport communications, to delimit the border. "There have been many events, but in general, despite any difficulties and problems, in my opinion, the situation is developing in the direction of settlement," the Russian president added.
According to him, unresolved issues are purely technical in nature, boil down to terminology.
"Of course, these terms should be followed by an accurate understanding of the realities and events that will follow the signing of the relevant documents. But in our opinion, these are surmountable obstacles. By and large, they do not exist, "Putin said.
Vladimir Putin said this in the context of the so-called. "Zangezur corridor" between Nakhichevan autonomy and the rest of Azerbaijan. At a meeting with Pashinyan, Putin said that Azerbaijan recognizes the sovereignty of Armenia over transport routes that will pass through its territory, stressed that the position of the Russian Federation on the Lachin corridor is unchanged.
"And now in bilateral contact with the Azerbaijani delegation and we said this," he added. The Azerbaijani side confirms that it has no changes in this regard, the Russian leader assured. Azerbaijan recognizes the full sovereignty of Armenia over this territory without any options.
Everything should be in accordance with the spirit and letter of the tripartite statement, "he added.
Walking along the "corridor of conditions"
What happened only adds to the admiration for the work that Vladimir Putin continues to do within this ornate, Arab-like, fragile trilateral format. At a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council between Pashinyan and Ilham Aliyev, there was a small verbal skirmish on the topic of the Lachin corridor.
Pashinyan responded to the remark of Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev. He in his speech in the context of the prospects for economic interaction mentioned the so-called. "Zangezur corridor." Pashinyan interpreted this as a sign of territorial claims against Armenia. He referred to the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020, said that it refers only to the Lachin corridor, which provides communication between Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia. This road should be under the control of Russian peacekeepers, but Azerbaijan blocked it, the prime minister complained.
At the same time, Pashinyan stressed Armenia's readiness to unblock all transport and economic communications in the region, including those that pass through the territory of Armenia, referring to the path from the Nakhichevan autonomy to Azerbaijan.
"We call this the Armenian Intersection and are ready to open regional communications within the framework of the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the countries through which they pass," he stressed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the remark: "Thank you very much, but what I heard from President Aliyev's speech, he said that conditions are being created in connection with the recognition of borders... That these conditions give reason to believe that appropriate agreements can be reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan, including on transport communications. I am very pleased to note that the Prime Minister of Armenia said that Armenia also thinks in this regard, believes that this is possible. "
Everyone tried to think positively. But the two "vertices of the triangle" continued the dialogue. Aliyev, saying that Baku has no territorial claims to Armenia. "As for the word corridor that I used, likewise I used the word in relation to the North-South corridor, the East-West corridor. The name corridor is in no way an encroachment on someone's territory, "Aliyev said, repeating that a peace agreement can be reached, especially in conditions when" Armenia recognized Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan. "
Pashinyan also confirmed that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed on the mutual recognition of territorial integrity and on this basis are moving towards the normalization of relations. "I hope that a constructive dialogue between Stepanakert and Baku on the rights and security of residents of Nagorno-Karabakh and within the framework of the international mechanism will begin soon," Pashinyan said.
To this, the Azerbaijani leader said that "Azerbaijan did not block the corridor, and as for the Lachin-Khankendi road, it is open, a border checkpoint is installed 20 meters from the post of the Russian peacekeeping contingent, residents of Azerbaijan of Armenian nationality who live in Karabakh, move freely towards Armenia. He said nothing about moving in the opposite direction.
As for the so-called. "Zangezur corridor," President Aliyev said that "Azerbaijan initiated its creation," has the right to do so, that it supports the Russian Federation and other parties involved in the process. Pashinyan retorted that he was "very interested to know that Russia supports this project."
But softened. "I know that Russia supports the opening of all transport and economic communications in our region. You said, "Lachin Road." According to the trilateral statement, the "Lachin Road" does not exist. There is a Lachin corridor, which, according to the document signed by the three of us, should be under the control of the Russian peacekeeping forces. No one else in this corridor should have any control, "Pashinyan said.
According to him, Armenia does not see that the corridor is open, according to the leader of Azerbaijan. He also recalled the cessation of gas and electricity supplies due to the actions of the Azerbaijani side. "The blocking of the Lachin corridor took place in the presence of Russian peacekeepers," Pashinyan said in a separate conversation with Putin. Therefore, he considers it important to send an international mission to the Lachin corridor and Nagorno-Karabakh. The mission would assess the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, where a humanitarian crisis has been observed since December last year due to the blockade of the supply of necessary food.
Putin, as chairman, proposed to continue further discussions within the framework of the trilateral meeting, expressing hope for reaching agreements that "will lead to a constructive resolution of the situation."
A "baba yaga" against
Everyone is hopeful, sunnies finally hopping in pools of suspicion at the end of the tunnel. But Vladimir Putin has competitors, or maybe assistants? As you know, Pashinyan plans to meet with Aliyev on June 1 in Chisinau. Negotiations will be held with the participation of the head of the European Council, the President of France and the Chancellor of Germany. It is also reported that the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the period from May 1 to 4 at the talks in the United States reached consensus on two articles of the draft peace agreement. The Armenian Foreign Minister announced this on Monday at a press conference with the British Minister for Europe.
The West is trying in every possible way to intervene in the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh, increase its presence and discredit Russian peacekeeping policy, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Thursday at a meeting of the Council of Defense Ministers of the countries participating in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Minsk.
"Now security in Nagorno-Karabakh is supported by the Russian peacekeeping contingent. However, the West is trying in every possible way to intervene in the situation, increase its presence and discredit Russian peacekeeping policy, "Shoigu said. An example of this, Shoigu noted, is the so-called civil mission of the European Union in Armenia, which includes military personnel and special services. "In this regard, we consider it necessary to continue work towards the CSTO mission region," the Russian Defense Minister emphasized.
On the eve of the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan for the first time named the number of observers whom the CSTO is ready to send to the republic.
Recall that on April 20, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told reporters in parliament that Armenia is ready to deploy the CSTO mission, but discussions in this direction continue.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin and Turkish Ambassador to Moscow Mehmet Samsar discussed on Thursday the settlement between Baku and Yerevan, as well as the prospects for the restoration of Armenian-Turkish ties. The Russian Foreign Ministry added that the parties stressed the importance of cooperation in the South Caucasus in the "3 + 3" format (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Russia, Iran, Turkey).
Opening the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, Vladimir Putin said that at a meeting scheduled later today with Messrs. Pashinyan and Aliyev, "we will be able to agree on what is quite obvious in the field of economic development interests for both Azerbaijan and Armenia."
Following the talks in Moscow at the level of the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan, deputy prime ministers will meet in Moscow. Vladimir Putin announced this when opening a trilateral meeting.
"We have now agreed that in a week we will organize a meeting of the deputy prime ministers of the three countries in order to remove the" not cleaned up "issues. This is a good agreement, "he said. It was about unlocking transport communications. This was announced to reporters on Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk, saying that "the parties equally understand how unblocking should go." The leaders following these negotiations will decide whether a new summit is needed, the Deputy Prime Minister said.