The government authorities are closing the topic of installation of

The government authorities are closing the topic of installation of a
customs checkpoint between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh

October 18 2014

Mediators are getting prepared for the next Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting On
October 27, the meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan
initiated by the French side is planned on October 27, in Paris. A few
days ago, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to
Armenia, Henri Reynaud, confirming this earlier published information
on the media, added that France is seeking for the peaceful settlement
of the Karabakh conflict. “The parties should decide themselves on how
the agreement should be. Mediators assist them, but they cannot decide
instead of them.” At a briefing with journalists on October 15,
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said that Azerbaijan
expects major shift from the tripartite meeting of presidents planned
in Paris. He mentioned that Azerbaijan is for “intensive preparations”
of the great peace treaty for Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement.
Later, Mammadyarov informed that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have
made a couple of questions involving recommendations. “We came to the
decision that we can pass to drafting the peace agreement based on
structural recommendations, which also include liberation of the lands
and the return of refugees. We are fully prepared to a new stage and
expect a similar move from Armenia, too,” announced Azerbaijani
Foreign Minister, according to agencies of Azerbaijan, adding,
“Azerbaijan is ready to start such negotiations on the level of
experts.” OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are in the region since October
15. To what extent Mammadyarov’s statement are accurate with regard to
the recommendations made by the co-chairs, perhaps it will be clear to
them after the visit to Armenia. Pertaining to the “great peace
treaty”, the official Baku is speaking not for the first time. At
times, Azerbaijan government officials voice that they are ready for
drafting the “great peace treaty”, whereas it is obvious that they
just are not ready for any concessions, even respecting the agreements
reached during the on-going negotiations. While the preparation of
Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting is underway, the issue of installation of the
customs checkpoint between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh remains open
after Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Union. First, everything
started with the statement of the President of Kazakhstan months ago,
when in the Astana summit, he voiced Aliyev’s letter addressed to the
EaEU member countries leaders. Now, Nazarbayev himself made it clear
that everything is settled. Official Yerevan is trying to put an end
to this issue. Recently, by “R-Evolution” TV broadcast, the deputy FM
of Armenia, Shavarsh Kocharyan, emphasized that the issue of
installing a customs checkpoint has not been a subject of
negotiations. “Moreover, there is nothing about it in the agreement. I
am surprised at when there are analysis saying that such a thing is
derived from the agreement. It just states a very logical formulation
that the customs territory is their territory. In other words, the
customs territory falls under the territory of the state. This is what
is fixed, and it applies to all member states. The Republic of
Armenia, naturally, could not accept a selective approach to itself to
have a tougher statement. They do not have it.” But with regard to the
remark made by Nazarbayev recently, Sh. Kocharyan mentioned, “The
problem is as follows. The matter here is not about mutual concession.
We have just reconfirmed the approach that Armenia had initially,
since the days of independence. This means that Karabakh is not a part
of Armenia. We have built our relations with Karabakh as a de facto
established state, recognizing de jure, and our relations are
horizontal.” The Minister of Economy of Armenia, Karen Chshmarityan,
in his turn, stated that there is no clause in the agreement of
Armenia’s accession to the EaEU saying about installation of the
customs checkpoint between Armenia and Karabakh, and that in all
agreements of Armenia it reads, “RA borders”. Meanwhile, Russian
experts continue voicing views that there will be customs checkpoints.
Russian expert, also former editor-in-chief of the “Regnum” agency,
also currently editor-in-chief of the REX news agency, Modest Kolerov,
for example, believes that there will be customs checkpoints between
Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. “Also, there will be a Customs Service
representative on already existing border between Armenia and
Karabakh.” He, however, added that it is also obvious that the
Karabakh production, today, comes out to the European market under the
name of the Armenian product, and so it will continue. “If the product
reads that it is made in Armenia, no problem will arise.” In the
interview with, the Russian political scientist, also
publicist, also Russian President Vladimir Putin’s opponent Andrey
Piontkovsky also expressed an opinion that a customs checkpoint will
be installed between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. “Formally, it will
be installed, perhaps, the custom rules will not function there, but
it will be formally installed. This is going to have a political
importance rather than economic. Kazakhstan and Belarus would not go
for exclusion of the customs checkpoint. They cannot subordinate their
relations with Azerbaijan. Whereas Russia is playing a double game in
the South Caucasus, so it is also advantageous to Russia.” As to which
allegations on existence or non-existence of the customs checkpoint
are close to reality, time will tell. However, it should also be noted
that in those days, there were also publications in the Russian press
that Moscow seeks to smooth the relations with Azerbaijan after
Armenia’s accession to the EaEU, therefore, Russia’s Defense Minister
Sergei Shoygu left for Baku. Such information was reported by
“Kommersant”, the military source standing close to the Kremlin. The
military and technical cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan
gaining a new impetus, as well as some information that in 5 years
Azerbaijan will receive from Russia another 5 billion dollars arm, as
to why it should be considered an equivalent “comfort” in terms of
easing down Azerbaijan, to put it mildly, is not clear.

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From: Baghdasarian

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