New Hostilities In Nagorno-Karabakh Unacceptable

Oct 27 2010

“I do not expect any impressive results from the trilateral
presidential meeting. On the other hand, the Armenian and Azerbaijani
Presidents must meet and discuss issues. Such meetings are an
alternative to unilateral meetings, growing tension and conflicts in
the region,” Konstantin Zatulin, First Vice-Chairman of the Committee
for the CIS and Relations with Russian Nationals Abroad, RF State Duma,
and Vice-Chairman of the Armenian-Russian Commission for Parliamentary
Cooperation, told

It is difficult to imagine discussions along with preparations
for military operations or provocations. “Unfortunately, since the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict broke out we have seen such behavior. This
year has seen incident which claimed human lives in the conflict zone,”
Zatulin said.

“In organizing such meetings, including the ones in Russia, Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev pursues a certain goal. Russia feels somewhat
uncomfortable – two of the CIS member-countries, Azerbaijan, which has
a common border with Russia, and Armenia which is Russia’s ally, are
in a permanent conflict. Russia is trying to bring the sides’ closer
and find a solution to the conflict. Of course, it is up to Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh to arrive at a final decision. Russia
is a mediator, unwilling to appear to be on either side. Russia seeks
good relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Russia wants to build up normal relations in the region. Another
matter is that each side has its own recipe and understanding of the
essence of the conflict and of its consequences. I think Russia’s
behavior shows it desire for an agreement, whereas an agreement
largely remains unachievable,” Zatulin said.

His is concerned that the political intrigue by Turkey – when it
thwarted the rapprochement with Armenia, pleading Nagorno-Karabakh
problem, thereby showing its solidarity with Azerbaijan – may have
been interpreted by Azerbaijan as its victory. “Azerbaijan got a
swelled head. This year that country has been much more aggressive
than before. I have the impression Azerbaijan is deviating from the
former mutual understanding behind closed doors,” Zatulin said.

The statement made by the Russian, U.S. and French Presidents implies
that Nagorno-Karabakh will gain its independence status sooner or later
provided an agreement is reached. The statement also says about the
regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh which, according to the mediators,
must be returned. “The point is that at least the Lachin corridor
is not among the three regions. That is, it means that the fate of
the corridor, as well as of entire Karabakh, is quite different than
that intended for the Azeri regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh,
which are currently under Nagorno-Karabakh troops’ control. That is,
the mediators see the difference Azerbaijan does not see. Azerbaijan
is officially stating they all are Azerbaijani territories, sovereign
Azerbaijan – nothing else. However, it is not pragmatic, as, in this
case, the only way is war and victory,” Zatulin said.

However, resuming hostilities has so far been an unacceptable way
for both Armenia and mediators, and, which is the most important,
for Azerbaijan. Another war will certainly be a tremendous shock for
the country. Azerbaijan underwent a number of upheavals during the
Karabakh war, the country’s economic situation worsened. Reverting
to the idea of resuming hostilities would be tantamount to running
the risk of losing power for the Azerbaijani authorities. On the
other hand, they hope the international community will be impressed
by their militant rhetoric and border incidents.

“After the trilateral presidential meeting, the Azerbaijani media –
in the context of the forthcoming parliamentary elections – will make
comments. First, it has been an effective and promising meeting:
on the threshold of elections it is supposed to attract public
attention to the ruling forces’ activities and improve their chances
for victory. Second, arousing nationalistic sentiments by aggressive
statements on Armenia’s being unready for anything and the need for
Azerbaijan to prepare for victories at any cost. This is a move the
ruling forces might make in their election campaign,” Zatulin said.

From: A. Papazian

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