The Azerbaijani foreign minister Elmar Mammedyarov told the Izvestia that he is disappointed with his meeting with the Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan in New York. Mammedyarov announced that it was a meeting, not a negotiation. The Azerbaijani foreign minister said it is necessary to move on to the “substantive talks” mentioned by him.
The disappointment of the Azerbaijani foreign minister is Baku’s disappointment with Russia which would not bring Yerevan to discussions on the “Kazan plan” or “Lavrov plan”. Starting from April 2016 or rather the meeting held in May under the American auspices in Vienna Azerbaijan is has been trying to work with Russia towards restoring the Kazan or Lavrov plans based on the principles of Madrid.
After the four-day war in April Serzh Sargsyan revealed the plans to public trying to secure himself from “planned pressure”. On the other hand, however, the lack of legitimacy did not allow securing Sargsyan for a long term, in which connection pressure intensified a month after the three-party meeting in Saint Petersburg in the result of the armed incident in Armenia, the storming of the State Protection Service regiment.
The Saint Petersburg meeting was the first attempt to neutralize the Vienna agenda, namely the American proposal on installing investigation mechanisms, evidence to which was the press release that mentioned the Vienna meeting but did not the mechanisms and only specified the enlargement of the staff of Kasprzyk’s office.
Interestingly, after the meeting in Saint Petersburg France informed about its readiness to organize the third post-April meeting, underlining the priority of installing ceasefire mechanisms but this meeting did not take place, and the third meeting was a year and a half later, in October in Switzerland during which Vienna was not mentioned at all.
On the other hand, however, during the April war the Armenian army did not only block the military diplomacy of Azerbaijan but also placed Russia before the new setting, appearing between the “joint crime” of Azerbaijan and Turkey on one side and the “guilt” and obligation to Armenia on the other side. In fact, Russia is still in between and Moscow’s behavior depends on the ability of Yerevan to ensure Russia feels obligated for a possibly long time.
At the end of the day, this may be an unpleasant feeling and situation for some economic and political circles that maintained their positions in Russia at the price of Armenia’s vassalage but deep in the context of the rational interest and prospect of the Russian state it is also a “vital” feeling for Russia. Because it is only the obligation of Armenia and the Armenian people that may be an undeniable argument against the Turkish-Azerbaijani pressure of “joint crime”. It is not accidental that recently Putin, speaking about the relationship with Armenia, often refers to publics, mentioning that the Armenian-Russian relation is based on the centuries of friendship between them. He stated this in Yerevan, noting that this relation does not depend on personalities.
The Russian president thereby underlines the circumstance that currently the Armenian people is the factor of the Armenian-Russian relations. And Pashinyan has, on the one hand, expressed the readiness to strengthen the strategic relations with Russia and, on the other hand, deepened the sense of obligation of Russia to the Armenian people, announcing that Russia is able to restrain Azerbaijan’s military ambitions, so a war would mean that Russia has allowed it to happen.