The Minsk Group co-chairs made a statement on June 30 on the Mnatsakanyan-Mammedyarov video conference mediated by the three co-chairs. The co-chairs noted that there is no military solution to the conflict. At the same time, the co-chairs expressed concern on recent provocative statements and inflammatory rhetoric. Interestingly, immediately after this concern they state that there is no military solution.
The Co-Chairs emphasized the importance of promoting and maintaining an atmosphere conducive to peace and favorable to substantive negotiations.
The statement of the Minsk Group co-chairs is a slap to the president and minister of defense of Azerbaijan who have been escalating their militaristic statements over the past few weeks. At the same time, by condemning inflammatory rhetoric, the co-chairs actually announce that the tough response heard from Armenia is fair.
Aliyev’s statements “provoked” in Yerevan a tough distant “debate” between Serzh Sargsyan and Nikol Pashinyan. Many people in Armenia disliked this, saying that they should not be provoked by Aliyev and criticize each other with Aliyev “watching” them. If you say something to say to each other, do it without Aliyev, many people suggested.
Could Serzh Sargsyan and Nikol Pashinyan be politically so inadequate to be taken by Aliyev’s “provocation” so easily? I would hardly believe in this, and I am more prone to think that both Sargsyan, and Pashinyan who responded to him through his spokesperson, saw beyond Aliyev a bigger process in which Aliyev could be a bolt. A broader process when the old world order, the key tandem for the Caucasus, the Russian-Turkish tandem, is collapsing or going through a crisis of relations.
When Russia and Turkey are in that stage, especially that Moscow has arrived at this stage in a rather weak status and has to keep silent while Erdogan threatens that 25 million Muslims will take Russia to parts from inside, Armenia must be extremely cautious and vigilant to increase its resilience. Unfortunately, for almost three post-Soviet decades Armenia has developed under a neo-imperial logic in which the internal circle of resistance Armenia’s sovereign resilience is the most effective form of generating resistance to the imperial ambition. Armenia has to play whatever cards it has, as long as no stable tools have formed at the institutional level and at the level of culture and values.
The Minsk Group co-chairs state that Armenia’s game is right. Russia also joins to state this whereas for Russia the sovereign game of Armenia is unacceptable though, on the other hand, is a vital necessity in its game against Turkey. With this Russia can keep Mammedyarov in Azerbaijan, even despite the attacks of the Azerbaijani ruling elite against him.
With their statement the co-chairs actually supported Mammedyarov. In other words, the United States and France supported Russia’s effort if it is aimed at maintaining regional stability and peace. Aliyev would not be against it because the statement by three out of five permanent members of the UN SC that there is a no military solution for the issue of Artsakh is a voucher in its hand against Turkey which is pushing Azerbaijan into military adventures.