The deputy minister of foreign affairs of Russia Grigori Karasin stated in a press briefing during his working visit to Yerevan that the international community has consensus over preventing use of force in Artsakh.
At the end of the day, the statement of the Russian deputy foreign minister is about the international consensus on maintaining the status quo. Evidence to this is Karasin’s answer to the question whether a breakthrough in the settlement process is likely in 2019. Karasin said it is desirable, of course, to have a rapid solution but it is necessary to be realistic. According to him, there are a lot of complicated circumstances which require lasting effort.
It goes without saying that the deputy foreign minister of Russia, as well as a Minsk Group co-chair or another international subject cannot state about an international consensus over the status quo. Therefore, they have to speak about consensus over not allowing a military solution or war.
At the same time, statements indicate a general atmosphere and guiding moods but this does not mean that the international community is going to maintain the status quo instead of Armenia. The core of the consensus of the international community is the Armenian control on the status quo, its reliability and Armenia’s strategic intentions on this matter.
Their absence will inevitably shatter the international consensus, which may lead to such situations as the four-day war in April.
Hence, the international community, the Minsk Group co-chairs are currently trying to understand whether Armenia is capable of assuming strategic responsibility for the status quo after the velvet revolution.
In fact, the Armenian control over the status quo proceeds from the interests of all players, even Turkey, strange though it may seem. The point is that thanks to this Turkey maintains its regional importance to some degree, at the same time keeping the Azerbaijani government and public in dependence.
This does not mean that the centers of power would not wish to replace the Armenian control by themselves. In this connection they have, of course, different strategic scenarios. However, at the same time, what is the basis for their consensus? The fact that they are not capable of defeating each other and the four-day war in April demonstrated this. Russia tried to “bypass” the other Minsk Group co-chairs and Iran but four days later it was obvious that if continued, the war would become a serious issue where either they would lose or it would be necessary to defeat Azerbaijan together with the Armenians.
Defeating Azerbaijan is not part of Russia’s plans and Moscow hurried to achieve a ceasefire.
This does not mean that there cannot be new attempts but this already depends on the circumstance whether Armenia will give a new chance, like it did starting from 3 September 2013. In this respect, the issue of sovereign policy of Armenia is essential, especially in the Eurasian direction which the new government has been trying to put forth after the velvet revolution. The question is to put these attempts in the foreign policy and security strategy as soon as possible.