Dialogue between Baku and Khankendi: contrasts and ways out - a view from Baku
One of the stumbling blocks in the settlement of the protracted Azerbaijani-Armenian confrontation is the issue of the Armenian population of Karabakh. Armenia wants a dialogue between Baku and Khankendi (Stepanakert) with the participation of international observers.
Official Baku demands that the authorities of the unrecognized NKR surrender and ask for amnesty. According to CSSC analysts, no deadline has been specified by the Azerbaijani authorities, which means that “if the negotiations are not successful in the near future, Baku will unilaterally neutralize the Armenian armed forces in Karabakh with targeted strikes, and put Yerevan and the mediators before the fact.”
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The South Caucasus Analytical Center (CSSC) in Baku analyzed the situation that arose in the negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to it, one of the main problems is the issue of the Armenian population of Karabakh.
“Recently, there has been positive inertia in the negotiation process. The parties have a common opinion on such issues as sovereign rights over communications, the exchange of enclaves, the inevitability of the delimitation process, the reduction of the Russian factor in the region, the mutual harm to the parties of such projects as Vardanyan, the fight against the “fifth column”. The only serious obstacle to the signing of a peace treaty remains the “army” and “institutions” in Karabakh,” a CSSC analytical report says.
“Position of Armenia/Azerbaijan”
“Official Yerevan considers the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from the territory of Armenia as a priority and the start of a dialogue between Baku and Khankendi within the framework of the international mechanism. official Baku demands that the separatists surrender and dissolve the “institutions”-imposters, in return offering them amnesty, i.e. safely leave the territory of Azerbaijan”.
“Position of Russia → separatists”
“In order to counteract the signing of the peace treaty, Moscow involved separatists and proxy forces in Armenia (the opposition + the Armenian Apostolic Church).
At the insistence of Russia, the so-called “NKR parliament” gathered at 23:00 to oppose Pashinyan’s statement on Karabakh (recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan). Following this, Arayik Harutyunyan signed a decree according to which the organization of rallies is prohibited, and the search for information against the separatist government is criminally prosecuted, the security agencies of the impostor state forbade the Armenians of Karabakh to answer calls from abroad.
The regime that refused to dissolve the so-called army said that the armed groups would remain even if Baku withdrew its troops. In parallel, R. Vardanyan promised to allocate 50 million dollars to the Karabakh fund and negotiate with the Armenian diaspora in order to increase this amount.
It can be assumed that in this way Moscow wants to reduce the financial dependence of the separatist regime on Yerevan, and establish sole power over it.”
“Factor of the West”
“On June 12, another meeting of foreign ministers in the United States is expected. On the eve of this meeting, the US Special Representative for our region, Louis Bono, paid a visit to both countries and presented the proposals of the Americans on uncoordinated issues.
With a high degree of probability, these proposals also affect the most difficult issue in the negotiations – the fate of the illegal regime in Karabakh. The fact that the State Department positively assessed the statement of the President of Azerbaijan about a possible amnesty suggests that Washington is not averse to such a scenario.”
“Dialogue = alternative institutions”
“According to the so-called adviser to the so-called President of the unrecognized NKR D. Babayan, his “country” did not give a mandate to Armenia to recognize it as part of Azerbaijan.
The regime’s demarche against Armenia, its total control over the Karabakh Armenians, and the parallel transformation into a regional proxy of Russia makes it impossible for negotiations between Baku and Khankendi. For a constructive dialogue, all the so-called institutions should be dissolved and instead of them, the Karabakh Armenians should create alternative formations.
One of these alternative formations could be the Council of Elders. The peculiarity of this institution is that it exists with a slight difference in structure and functions in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Such an institution is legitimate enough to represent Karabakh Armenians in negotiations, and unlike fictitious institutions such as “president”, “parliament”, “deputy”, “minister”, does not contradict the requirements of the Constitution of Azerbaijan.”
“The establishment of a checkpoint by Azerbaijan in the Lachin region freed Armenia from the obligation to give Russia an extraterritorial corridor, and made Yerevan more subjective in relations with Moscow.
At present, the main goal of Baku is to eliminate the illegal army and impostor institutions in Karabakh.
In a statement, President Ilham Aliyev did not name the exact date until which the “authorities” of the Karabakh Armenians could surrender and hope for an amnesty in return. This means that if in the near future no result is achieved in the negotiation process on this issue, Baku will unilaterally neutralize the Armenian armed forces in Karabakh with targeted strikes, and put Yerevan and the mediators before the fact.”