The statement by the OSCE Minsk Group continues to be discussed intensively in Armenia, and the circles standing close to the former government are using it as another occasion for a scandal on “giving up on” the territories.
In fact, the March 9 statement of the Minsk Group co-chairs is about not giving up on “land”. The co-chairs would not have made this statement if the Armenian side had agreed to discuss it, like in the past 25 years or the so-called settlement process, from hand to hand of the three presidents. In addition, they blamed one another for “giving up on” the territories, traditionally presenting that one saved the territories from another. When leaving, Levon Ter-Petrosyan cursed and stated that there will never be a better proposal than the one he had agreed to. Robert Kocharyan was trying to appear as a symbol of nation liberation, a fighter, but was discussing the issue of turning the territory of the Republic of Armenia to an infrastructure of Azerbaijan under the international mandate. His foreign minister Vardan Oskanian publicly confessed this.
Then Robert Kocharyan agreed to negotiate with Ilham Aliyev after he came to power and “ordered” to kill the Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest. In this way started the so-called Prague process at the end of which Robert Kocharyan left the table of talks in Rambouillet, which means he lost otherwise Aliyev would have left.
Serzh Sargsyan was proud that unlike his predecessor and predecessors, the issue of status was included on the agenda during his epoch. After the four-day war in April he had to admit to the deception, announcing that the Kazan plan included return of several territories without clarifying the status, leaving it for the future.
The statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs only unmasked the policy of the three former presidents of Armenia on the Artsakh issue. Their motivations are a different issue, you cannot treat them similarly when it comes to this but it is clear that this policy had the same nature and logic or lack of logic. And at the heart of it was the lack of a strategic assessment of the Artsakh issue for the Armenian state.
In this regard, the question occurs whether there has ever been a ruling elite in Armenia after the independence, an elite in general and in particular which had a strategic pragmatic understanding of the Armenian state, without emotional, and sometimes visual shades of the Armenian state.
But this is already another issue, and the co-chairs of the Minsk Group are currently putting forth the circumstance that they are arbiters, not mediators. They are not mediators of the settlement but a geopolitical arbitrage, managing the situation, which has recognized the outcome of the movement of Artsakh and the first war, as well as the result of the four-day war in 2016.
The statement of the co-chairs was about their readiness to recognize any result of the competition between Armenia and Azerbaijan, so the matter of concern is whether the Armenian state with its current Artsakh-Armenia result is more viable and competitive than Azerbaijan or not.
Hence, when the co-chairs disagree to the agenda pushed by the new government in the lines of their statement, between the lines they recognized the agenda as an outcome of competition where the Armenian side achieved certain success.
In this sense, the statement of the Minsk Group co-chairs obliges the Armenian side to keep to the tactics of success and fit this tactics in the state strategy.