Azerbaijan demands total and unconditional surrender of Armenia — expert opinion

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Source., 29.10.2008

The inaugural address of Ilham Aliev, President of Azerbaijan, reiterates that Azerbaijan’s stance on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict remains unchanged, Dr Armen Ayvazyan, Head of the ARARAT Center for Strategic Research told a REGNUM correspondent.
Dr Ayvazyan noted that Baku rules out, even in theory, the possibility for reasonable compromise with the Armenian side regarding not only the question of territories, but also the future status of Nagorno-Karabakh. “As a matter of fact, the Armenian side is dealing with nothing less than Baku’s demand for total and unconditional surrender of Armenia.” This uncompromising stance of Azerbaijan completely undermines the current negotiation process, making it a common farce, which in the future will beget nothing but a full-scale war,” Dr Ayvazyan stresses.

He noted that the Armenian side continues to invoke the “Madrid agreements,” which mention the right of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh to self-determination. “Yet, the right to self-determination may be defined in various ways. De jure, the now defunct Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast was also a form of self-determination: Nevertheless, it was unable to ensure the physical, demographic or cultural security of the Karabakh Armenians.” Dr Ayvazyan further noted that if the parties to the conflict interpret the very fundamental provisions of their agreements differently, then those “agreements” as well as the negotiations that lead to them have no value whatsoever. “After all, with many different interpretations in place, the interpretation that will be implemented will be the one which the stronger side of the conflict forces upon the weaker, in accordance with the ‘might decides right’ principle. Whereas surrender of territories in the meantime will radically decrease the defensibility of the Armenian side,” says the expert.
In Dr Ayvazyan’s opinion, “at a time when Azerbaijan is airing ultimatums, it is suicidal for the Armenian side to make any compromises, especially to concede land — the utmost component of its military security. In this context, the diplomatic overtures by high-ranking Armenian officials towards Azerbaijan and its ally Turkey, are not serious, to say the least. Such unreciprocated pleasantries only mislead the Armenian public.
The expert highlights that Armenia’s stance lacks precisely that clarity which is explicit in Azerbaijan’s position on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Complementary policy, no less inherent in the Azerbaijani foreign policy than in the Armenian one, succeeds only because it clearly draws the line beyond which no compromise is acceptable. This enables Baku to put constant pressure on Armenia and, at the same time, protects her from the pressure and criticism of the mediators and other third parties,” he explains. “As for the current intensive debate in the press about possible scenarios of how the events may unfold in light of the so called ‘pressures’ by Russia on Armenia, this is very much akin to fortune-telling: they torture themselves with the question ‘will they or will they not cede’? This attitude is especially evident in the commentary about the remarks of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who suggested the ceding of liberated territory, which serves as a security/buffer zone around NKR,” argues Dr Ayvazyan.
Ayvazyan believes that the number of unknowns in the Russian initiative does not give Yerevan or Baku, and even more so the expert community, any grounds for making far-reaching conclusions. “There is no doubt Russia is trying to make a diplomatic leap into the former Transcaucasus, and it is possible that Russia wants to achieve this by partly sacrificing the interests of Armenia’s military security.” But the expert notes that even this Russian scenario, if it really consists of surrendering territories and deploying Russian peacekeepers in and around Karabakh, would not satisfy the ambitions of Azerbaijan. The latter will hardly agree to the presence of Russian military bases on the Nagorno-Karabakh territory, especially when considering the fate of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “Such scenario cannot be accepted by the Armenian side either. And in this particular case — namely in this life and death issue — the party to the conflict is not the Armenian government, but all Armenian people,” he noted.
Ayvazyan does not exclude other scenarios as well. “It is possible that an entirely different combination is being laid out by the Kremlin — namely a bluff intended to grab first place in the new game for dominance in the Transcaucasus. A similar short-lived bluff is the Turkish initiative for Caucasus Stability and Security Platform, which, though it has no chance of fruition, is already yielding dividends to Turkey, the initiating side,” Ayvazyan explains.
The expert deduces that the only somber conclusion that can be made in regard to the current peace talks is that the Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved through negotiations. “A peaceful settlement of the conflict could only imply preservation of the status-quo solidified in a legal form, because all other scenarios will imply resumption of war, with unforeseen consequences for the parties to the conflict as well as to the region at large.” Ayvazyan believes that in the current situation the Armenian leadership should focus its attention not so much on the external processes that defy reliable medium-term forecasts, but on strategic constants of security — such as strengthening the army, utilizing the liberated territory, building effective state institutions, and launching a demographic policy focused on mass repatriation of Armenians.

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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Azerbaijan demands total and unconditional surrender of Armenia — expert opinion”

  1. Bagradon 29 Oct 2008 at 10:52 pm

    A friendly but weak and vulnerable Armenia is not in the long term interests of a newly assertive Russia in the Caucasus, post the implosion of Sahakashvili’s Georgia. Armenia without its current de facto borders (i.e. including Artsakh and the ‘liberated/occupied territories’ = de facto borders) will be weak and vulnerable. Russia knows this well, even if certain official circles in Yerevan may not!
    The simplistic postulation that ‘Russia wants a deal with the Turks/Azerbaijan and is therefore sacrificing Nagorno Karabagh for this objective’ can hardly stand any critical analysis. Even if Russia short-sightedly and mistakenly is entertaining such desires and intentions (ala the Bolshevik deal of 1921 with the Turks) it cannot be implemented given its failure in 1988-91 period (largely due to strength of feeling amongst Armenians for liberation of Artsakh), leading to the disintegration of the mighty USSR!
    The best defence, from Russia’s standpoint, against US/European/Turkish appetite for Azeri and Caspian/central Asian energy resources is a strong and secure Armenia. In fact it is objectively in the interests of Russia to arm its strategic partner, Armenia, to the hilt and to equip it with a modern and strong air-force (like Israel’s) to enable it to guard the entire Caucasus secure for their joint (and even Iranian) interests. Russia could start doing this by recognising Nagorno Karabagh “in its de facto borders”. Azerbaijan would clearly get the message! In any case with such a strong Armenia it would have no other choice! In fairness to Russia perhaps one reason why she is not enacting this scenario is that Yerevan, due to the absence of independent national thought and strategy, is not yet sufficiently awake and ready to do her part!
    There is yet another angle to the developing situation in the Caucasus: Namely that in Georgia, to use a sporting or football terminology, we have only reached half-time as Sahakashvili is still in power and the west has not quite given up on him or further mischief there for Russia. On the other hand the Ajarian and Javakhk regions still are awaiting their liberation with possible Russian intervention.
    Given the unstable and plummeting oil prices, any serious instability in the Caucasus, a likely sharpening of tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan/the Karabagh conflict, can only stop further oil price falls. Taking this scenario further it would be even better, from both the Russian and Iranian perspectives, if the newly elected Ilham Aliev is tempted to do a Sahakashvili type adventure, vis-à-vis Artsakh, which leads to the total destruction by Armenia (with tacit approval if not covert help from Iran) of its Caspian oil installations in a 5 day war – a fait accomplis that the west can do nothing about and will simply have to accept.
    Such a scenario and outcome will, for a start, push oil prices to well above $100 mark again immediately helping both Russia’s and Iran’s coffers; it will also, for ever, end western interest in Baku/Caspian oil or “alternative routes” for its transportation. As for Armenia it will lead to the destruction of the Azerbaijani threat as we know it and possibly to its dismemberment with rise of Talishi and Lezgi, etc., mini states perhaps allied to Iran and Russia. (It must be noted that Baku’s Caspian installations and Iran’s potential to destroy them, are currently Iran’s best defence against an Israel/Bush attack, a threat and danger which will disappear with the disappearance of the latter after US elections and an Obama victory in November).
    Therefore Armenia must resist all temptation for rash moves or compromises to a seemingly dangerous Azerbaijan as such moves would go against not only its long term security and national interests but also against strategic and regional interests of Russia and Iran. Armenia must instead concentrate on its military preparedness and defence of its strategic territories coupled with democratisation and strengthening of its society, state and economy.

  2. gerason 30 Oct 2008 at 2:37 am

    И Россия и Запад толкают к одному и тому же, к Турции и сдаче семи районов. Разница лишь в составе миротворцев, но для нас результат- один, вытеснение армянского населения из НКР и поглощение Армении турецкой экономикой и политикой.
    Турция ключ для обоих и четко это осознает, и без соблюдения ее персональных условий и интересов ни Запад, ни Россия не смогут утвердится в Азербайджане, этой двери на Каспии.
    Послать надо обоих, однозначно и твердо.
    Будет трудно, очень трудно. Но вполне реально. Несколько месяцев оттяжки обострят взаимные противоречия между сторонами и разрушат негласный консенсус по форсированному решению. Но наша проблема вовсе не в этой внешней давке в одном направлении, а во власти, которая боится и ненавидит собственный народ. Ибо без реальной поддержки и опоры ни одна власть не может идти на внешнеполитическую эскалацию и тем более на войну… Поэтому и мечется от Москвы до Вашингтона и обратно, ищет выхода там, где его нет и не может быть. Тогда как надо было идти на Оперную площадь к своему народу и попытаться наконец стать Президентом, а не числится им.

  3. gerason 30 Oct 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Последнее время территориальными уступками со стороны Армении “сильно заинтересована Россия”. “После югоосетинского конфликта Россия, контролируя территории Южной Осетии и Абхазии, потеряла территорию остальной Грузии. И теперь, пытаясь обойти Грузию, и тем самым лишив ее роли транзитного государства, Россия желает в перспективе создать коридор между Арменией и Турцией, а далее из Армении в Азербайджан. Однако, за это Россия предлагает заплатить Армении – уступить освобожденные территории Карабаха Азербайджану”, -сказал Александр Кананян.

  4. Petrossianon 22 Jul 2009 at 3:55 pm

    A recipe for national suicide for Armenia
    by N. Petrossian

    Armenia must surrender land, namely all of the liberated territories between Armenia and Artsakh and Artsakh itself must go to Turkic Azerbaijan. We must, because Armenia is too big and we Armenians do not need so much territory. The Seljuk Turk is right, we Armenians do not deserve to have our own state. Armenia is too large, even though we Armenians have lost 9/10th of our homeland to the Seljuk and are left with the miserable 1/10th of the area that historically belonged to us, our country is too large still. Even though we have the smallest country in the region, even though Azerbaijan is twice as big as Armenia, even though Turkey is twenty times larger than Armenia, even though the Turks have all of central Asia where they originated, we do not need so much territory. Armenia should place Artsakh under Azerbaijani control and ask Azerbaijan and Turkey for forgiveness. If Azerbaijan claims Zangezur because Joseph Stalin had given it to Azerbaijan, Armenia should give Zangezur to Seljuk Turkic Azerbaijan as well because we don’t need the southern border anyway. We have so many open borders that we can let that one go. If the Turk demands that Armenia pay reparations to Azerbaijan for illegally saving Armenians of Artsakh from another 1915 genocide by the Seljuk with a Genghis Khan attitude, we Armenians must be willing to submit to their demands. We Armenians must understand the importance of appeasing the caring and humanitarian international organizations such as the UN, NATO, OSCE and all other kind organizations and powers that wish us well, the ones whose countries were there in 1915 when we needed their help when our children were being slaughtered by the Seljuks, the ones that were there in 1988 to save our people trapped in Soviet Azerbaijan. We know how much the UN, NATO or OSCE care about Armenians because they can’t stop talking about the Armenian Genocide, they always mention pogroms in Baku and Kirovabad, they always wish us well don’t they. So their opinion matters to us because we know how much they care about the truth and justice, we know that if another 1915 were to take place in Artsakh they would intervene and prevent another genocide, instead of helping Azeri Turks despite their oil. We know that no Western power cares about the Azeri oil and their opinions on Artsakh and Armenia are purely based on historical truth and justice. The Turk is indigenous to the Caucasus as we all know because there is no connection between the Turk and the Uygurs for instance. So to aver that Armenians are the only historical owners of Artsakh, Zangezur and Western Armenia, and the Turk is the central Asian invader is absurd because all of Armenia is part of the great TURAN. If it’s not now it will be in the future if our politicians follow my advice.

  5. Nokiuson 03 Sep 2009 at 7:15 am

    Я думаю, что Вас ввели в заблуждение.

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