In his interview prior to his arrival in Yerevan the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov commented on the issue of Artsakh.
“As to the question about the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh, it is one of the most difficult ones. The heads of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair states have stated many times that the status of Artsakh must be defined during the negotiations, through a political way, based on binding expressions of will. These parameters of work, including the organizational aspects, must still be agreed between the lines,” he said.
Lavrov refers to the statement of the Minsk Group co-chair countries that it is not too bad. Russia has lost the “prerogative” of settlement of the Karabakh issue which was expressed in the so-called Kazan (Lavrov) plan to which Serzh Sargsyan agreed. The April war and the Vienna agenda was the end of the Russian monopoly.
Afterwards, Russia made several attempts to reaffirm the prerogative and to cancel the Vienna agenda, which was partly achieved. When during the presidency of Serzh Sargsyan the Armenian side stopped speaking about it, the Vienna agenda was not mentioned in the statements by co-chairs. This still continues.
The process of negotiations was moving in two directions, in the framework of Russia’s dominance and the rights of Azerbaijan. At the same time, it was obvious that the main task for the Armenian side was to thwart Russian plans in this process. The status of Artsakh is almost not found in Lavrov’s and other Russian plans, unlike other proposals by the co-chairs. On the other hand, Lavrov has stated repetitively that the issue of Artsakh is a difficult issue and ahead of his visit to Yerevan he announces that the issue of the legal status in Karabakh is one of the most difficult ones, referring to statements by the heads of co-chair states.
Is Lavrov thereby trying to justify Russian plans of will again try to impose them on Armenia? Does Lavrov have renewed hope, considering the growing activeness of different circles of the former ruling system in Armenia which believe in return to the old setting of negotiations?
The current borders of Artsakh are the result of the war which was unleashed by Azerbaijan, violating international commitments. This is the legal and political basis on which the Armenian policy must be based and which has been recognized by the international organizations.
Why does Moscow not recognize the independence of Artsakh, which would be an indication of the Armenian-Russian brotherhood and strategic partnership. It would be good to ask this question to our Russian friends, expecting a sincere answer from them.