Another visit of OSCE MG to region - Mission impracticable

Another visit of OSCE MG to region - Mission impracticable

Sooner or later Baku shall have to decide whether to recognize the NKR as a full participant in negotiations and an independent state or to launch a military adventure with an obvious outcome.

The forthcoming regular visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to the region is already calling for comments and all kinds of assumptions about the object of the visit. However, this visit, as well as all previous ones, will not give any new results. It will only be intriguing if Baku once again speaks of the “inadmissibility of France to co-chair the Minsk Group”. But such a development is rather unlikely, since it is one thing to speak following in the footsteps of Turkish politics, and another - to report the French directly. All the more so when Baku understands the futility and ridiculousness of such proposals.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Neither this time will the co-chairs offer anything to the conflicting parties, since there's nothing to offer. The situation was best described by Russian co-chairman Igor Popov, who doubts the possibility of settlement of the Karabakh conflict in the near future. This was reported by Sabina Fraser, Director of the European programs in the International Crisis group, in her microblog on Twitter. “But there is some good news from Popov: “The most important thing is that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan are friendly. The atmosphere in Sochi was fine,” the Russian mediator said”.

Futility of reaching an agreement on Karabakh is the tip of the iceberg, and as it has repeatedly been said, everything hinges on the reluctance of Azerbaijan to admit the obvious and try to find common ground with NKR. Until this has happened, the negotiation process will remain at a standstill. And it wouldn’t be a simple exchange of territories or return of refugees, but the borders between Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh would be decided. According to Lawrence Sheets, Analyst and expert on the Caucasus region for the International Crisis Group, difficulties in the Karabakh conflict settlement are mainly caused by minor issues. If refinement of a border is a minor issue, Sheets is right. But he clearly had something else in mind. “When you start discussing these smaller issues, which are politically potentially explosive or dangerous to the administrations in control… it becomes very difficult,” Sheets said in an interview to “Vatican Radio”. In this case we are dealing with the agreement of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to return to the zero point: Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan with wide autonomy, refugees are returning, but the road from Armenia to Karabakh operates smoothly. The plan of Baku, for some reason, enjoys rare unanimity among politicians and experts, who want an early resolution of the conflict. One can understand them – Baku has energy, which Europe needs very desperately and will need even more if the oil embargo against Iran begins to work. But for some reason the interests of the Armenian side, and especially those of the Artsakh people, are completely neglected in these calculations. Artsakh, however, is not going to act in favor of the oil lobby.

The co-chair visits, as well as the meetings of foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan are patterned after the following plan: “The parties agreed to continue the talks, reiterated the impossibility of a military solution to the Karabakh conflict, based on...” Next come all the statements made by the heads of co-chair countries at highest level within the frames of OSCE summits. As for the attempts of Baku to change the format of talks and transfer the settlement of conflict to other organizations, they have always met denial by NATO, UN, EU and others. Sooner or later Baku shall have to decide whether to recognize the NKR as a full participant in negotiations and an independent state or to launch a military adventure with an obvious outcome. Hardly is it possible that Ilham Aliyev may want to look a pariah in the eyes of the world community, for he is not the president of Georgia, who is still considered to be a Democrat, even though everyone is already tired of him. In light of the events in the Middle East, Turkey has neither time nor interest to deal with the problems of Azerbaijan; as for Iran, she would never allow a war in Karabakh, at least for the common border with NKR.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
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