Armenian PM proposes mutual withdraw of forces from Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on May 27 made an official proposal to Azerbaijan to de-escalate the situation on the border.
He proposes to mutually withdraw troops from the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and deploy international observers. The prime minister speaks of observers in the person of Russia or other countries of the OSCE Minsk Group (USA and France).
If the situation is not resolved, it can lead to a large-scale clash, the Armenian prime minister said.
However, Pashinyan’s proposal drew sharp criticism from both the country’s political forces and political scientists.
At the same time, Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan resigned. Some experts interpreted his decision as a categorical disagreement with Pashinyan’s proposal.
On May 27, on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, in Gegharkunik, six Armenian soldiers were captured while performing engineering work. And about. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan interpreted this as a kidnapping, since the military were on their territory. Since May 12, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces have advanced several kilometers deep into the sovereign territory of Armenia and are not retreating, despite the demands of the Armenian side. Azerbaijan insists on border demarcation and delimitation.
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Pashinyan considers his proposal to be the shortest way to de-escalate the situation:
“I appeal to the international community and my proposal was also sent to the leadership of Azerbaijan. We agree that very quickly the armed units of the two sides “mirror” move away from the border and return to their places of permanent deployment, and international observers from the Russian Federation or other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are deployed along the border. “
If the problem of Azerbaijan is connected precisely with the clarification of the borders, then the country’s leadership, according to Pashinyan, has no reason not to agree to this plan.
He explains the presence of international observers by the need to guarantee compliance with the agreements.
The reaction of political forces
The “I Have the Honor” political bloc sharply criticized the proposal to deploy international observers on the Sotk-Khoznavar section of the border. The bloc’s statement says that this could turn Armenia into a field for regional and geopolitical clashes.
Moreover, Pashinyan’s proposal is regarded as a reflection of the “defeatist policy” of the current leadership of Armenia, which has exhausted the possibilities of resolving the situation:
“For the sake of maintaining power, the government of the capitulators is ready to make any concessions, succumb to the blackmail and pressure of Azerbaijan.”
The ARF Dashnaktsutyun party demanded the immediate removal of Nikol Pashinyan from power and the appointment of a new interim head of government.
The statement of the opposition party says that the authorities of the country are responsible for the events taking place on the border of Armenia. In their inaction, according to Dashnaktsutyun, lies the reason that “the enemy is becoming even more impudent.”
The party considers unacceptable the fact that six Armenian servicemen were taken prisoner, and on the eve “a serviceman of the Armenian Armed Forces was killed by an enemy bullet”.
Why did the Foreign Minister resign
Ara Ayvazyan served as foreign minister for only seven months. He was appointed to this position in November 2020 when his predecessor Zohrab Mnatsakanyan resigned. Both left office amid disagreements with the country’s political leadership.
There are no official comments on the reasons for Ayvazyan’s departure yet. But many believe that the resignation is due to a fundamental disagreement with the position of the acting president. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the crisis on the border with Azerbaijan.
“Pashinyan makes scapegoats out of ministers: he does not give them freedom of action, but in case of failure he puts all the blame on them,” political analyst Armen Baghdasaryan told Kommersant newspaper.
Rumors about Ayvazyan’s resignation began to appear since February 2021.
Orientalist Sergey Melkonyan expressed his point of view on Pashinyan’s proposal:
“one. This statement, like all previous ones, was made without consulting the president or foreign minister. Adopted individually. During consultations, experienced diplomats would explain the absurdity of such a proposal.
- The OSCE Minsk Group has nothing to do with the delimitation and demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. It has no mandate to consider such issues. The only thing that the OSCE Minsk Group should do (as it should be from the position of Yerevan) is to consolidate the status of the Republic of Artsakh.
- Before making such statements, it is necessary to obtain an appropriate proposal or consent from the “guests” who are invited (if it is not in the OSCE format, but on the basis of bilateral and then multilateral agreements). Judging by the fact that in recent days there have been no direct contacts with Paris and Washington, it can be concluded that neither France nor the United States gave direct consent. Such decisions require lengthy discussions and consultations, which did not exist.
- One can expect bewilderment on the part of Russia, since it is difficult to imagine that Moscow would agree to the joint deployment of its forces with NATO representatives in its zone of influence, where it has a military presence.
- To make such a decision, there must be consent from Baku. I am not sure that the leadership of Azerbaijan and Turkey will agree to a French or American presence. Unless, of course, Pashinyan plans to place them only on the territory of Armenia, which is even more stupid. “