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EU is trying to jump above its head

EU is trying to jump above its head

The most interesting thing about this story is that Baku is eager to replace France with Turkey, which is not, and hardly ever will become a EU member.

After the resolutions on Iran, Syria, Belarus, Greece, and the financial-economic crisis in general, the EU decided to also refer to the Karabakh problem. Adoption of a document on Armenia by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, in which it proposes to replace the French mandate with the mandate of EU in the OSCE Minsk Group, looks at least odd from the legal point of view. European Union is a separate international structure that has nothing to do with the OSCE, and in this case it is necessary to replace not only France, but also the United States and Russia, if not the institute of co-chairs at all.

PanARMENIAN.Net - The first question that arises upon adoption of this kind of documents is “Who is to benefit from it?” And, generally, why is it necessary to replace France? If you look at the Karabakh conflict settlement negotiations process through so-called European eyes, there is obvious the desire to oust Russia from the South Caucasus. This was successfully done in Georgia and partially in Azerbaijan, so there remains only Armenia. And the Karabakh conflict is the most suitable “sphere”, where you can make political capital, thus increasing your presence in the region. However, France is one of the most important “engines” in the EU, along with Germany, which makes it rather unlikely for Paris to agree to reduction of her role, even for the sake of such “European values” as the oil and gas.

But this is not what is most interesting. Well, the MP suggested, they listened to him, but it turns out that on February 20, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. The delegation was headed by Andrey Kovatchev, the very parliamentarian that initiated the adoption of this document. Comments are presumably unnecessary - being in Baku, the delegation “admired the unique potential of Azerbaijan, which can fill up the whole of Europe with gas.” Outcome of the visit was a totally unintelligible document that simply won’t be accepted by the EP. The document must still be put to vote at the EP plenary session, which, in all appearances, will take place in a month. Experts consider ratification of this provision rather unlikely.

The document also contains recommendations to the European Commission on negotiations for association agreements with Azerbaijan and Armenia. And here’s what Kovatchev said: “Since Armenia and Azerbaijan have a conflict lasting for 20 years now – the Nagorno-Karabakh issue – our main task within the Foreign Affairs Committee was how to deal with this conflict within the Association agreement, and whether it was necessary to associate the conflict with the agreement.” He recalled that the Karabakh issue settlement is dealt with by the OSCE Minsk Group. “But we also hear dissatisfaction that the process is dragging on far too long in the MG, and we are trying to encourage the EU to a more active involvement in resolving the conflict,” Kovatchev said. Dissatisfaction, presumably, was voiced to Kovatchev in Baku, and he did what he had promised to the president of Azerbaijan. No other description can be given to the actions of the parliamentarian.

It is noteworthy that the EU has long been saying that Europe would intensify its participation in the conflict settlement process, and this move is a direct evidence of it. However, the parliamentarians did not consider how many people and from which countries would enter the OSCE Minsk Group and how decisions would be made. In all probability, the conflict will finally be tangled, Europe will not get the Azeri gas and everything will return to its normal course. The most interesting thing about this story is that Baku is eager to replace France with Turkey, which is not, and hardly ever will become a EU member. No other country in this position would please Azerbaijan, because the EU states are well aware of the history of the Karabakh conflict. Or, at least, they should be aware.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
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