Armenia Should Recognise Kosovo, Integrate Into NATO, EU – Expert

by Nelly Grigoryan

July 25 2008

"Kosovo as a precedent"

"Armenia has to recognize Kosovo’s independence or recognize Kosovo’s
and Karabakh’s independence at the same time. I have always opposed
to recognizing the independence of the Nagornyy Karabakh republic
alone, as this would be an isolation from the world. But considering
that the Kosovo precedent nowadays works in our favour, tomorrow,
when everyone recognizes Kosovo, including the Russian Federation
and China, and this is going to happen very soon, our step will no
longer have a value," political expert Stepan Grigoryan has said.

"We must take unexpected steps." From this point of view political
expert Stepan Grigoryan welcomes Serzh Sargsyan’s offer to Turkey.

"As no process is taking place within the framework of the OSCE Minsk
Group, the Karabakh problem should worry our society in the following
aspect: The likelihood of a military resolution of the conflict is
high," Grigoryan says.

The expert is concerned about this because Armenia has not changed its
attitude towards the Karabakh issue and Serzh Sargsyan continues the
policy pursued by [former President] Robert Kocharyan. On the other
hand, Azerbaijan has managed to strengthen its political positions
regarding the issue in international bodies, through resolutions
adopted at the UN and the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe
this year.

Proceeding from all this, the political expert says now that the world
disputes which [of these principles] is more important – the right to
self-determination or the inviolability of the countries’ territorial
integrity – we should recognize Kosovo’s independence, as Kosovo
proclaimed independence based on the principle of self-determination.

"In this way could we prevent a military settlement. Such steps
would make the world regard the Nagornyy Karabakh republic more
seriously. Let’s not cheat each other – Azerbaijan understands that
today Armenia has been quite weakened. As nowadays Azerbaijan has
other advantages as well – as a result of oil and gas transactions – we
should take unexpected steps. After recognizing Kosovo’s independence,
Armenia will make friends by several superpowers."

The expert said that the government’s recent steps in the sphere of
foreign policy show that there is an understanding to take unexpected
steps and these steps are aimed at raising the country’s international

[Passage omitted: The expert comments on Turkish-Armenian relations,
says Armenia’s agreeing to establish a joint commission of historians
to investigate the 1915 killings in Turkey is a compromise made
by Armenia.]

Mr Grigoryan is also worried about the fact that issues related to
the country’s security are not among the priorities.

"It has became clear after [Russian President Dmitriy] Medvedev’s
visit to Azerbaijan that the Russian Federation can get concessions
from Azerbaijan and it is obvious what Azerbaijan will demand in
return. It is wrong to pin hope on only the Collective Security Treaty
Organization, which is a non-working system. It is not sufficient
to advance with small steps. The recent aggravation of tension in
Russian-Georgian relations kills all projects that we wanted to carry
out via the Georgian territory. Thus, our only way is the opening
of the Armenian-Turkish border, to move in the direction of NATO,
towards the West, the European Union."

In this context, he believes that the discord and disputes in Europe
in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy is interesting.

"Where will we be? Our future and place are being decided today, in
the sense of the region and security. The issue of the NKR will be
settled when these issues are solved. If we are not ready for these
challenges, we will be in a bad situation."

And will the superpowers calmly observe if Azerbaijan decides to
resolve the Karabakh problem by military force?

"Changing the ‘status quo’ it is not beneficial to the Russian
Federation now. But I am not sure that maintaining the status quo
would be beneficial to Russia if Azerbaijan decides to supply its
gas via the Russian territory," Stepan Grigoryan says.