"The tug of war continues." Fifth day of protest on the Lachin corridor
Fifth day of protest on the Lachin corridor
A second meeting of employees of Azerbaijani state bodies and the command of Russian peacekeepers took place in Khojaly on the fifth day of the protest by Azerbaijani activists on the Lachin corridor. Azerbaijani specialists were again not allowed to monitor the mining areas in Karabakh. According to political scientist Farhad Mammadov, the tug-of-war continues. “The parties have outlined their positions and demonstrate that they are ready to stand to the end,” he said.
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The fifth day of the protest began with news that the gas supply to the part of Karabakh controlled by the Russian peacekeeping contingent (RCC) has been restored, as stated by Armenian sources in Karabakh.
Earlier, Azerbaijan stated that it was not involved in the termination of gas supply to the territory. The part of Karabakh controlled by the RCC is not integrated into the gas distribution network of Azerbaijan, Baku noted.
Convoys of RCC trucks with humanitarian aid passed through the blocked part of the Lachin corridor on Friday.
Azerbaijan has given out a hotline number for assistance to the Armenian population of Karabakh.
Second meeting in Khojaly
A meeting was held between representatives of state bodies of Azerbaijan and the command of the RCC in Khojaly. The first such meeting was held on December 10, and after that meeting, the Azerbaijanis were not allowed to monitor gold and copper deposits in the territory controlled by the peacekeepers.
Nor did today’s meeting yield any result, according to Masim Mammadov, head of the Azerbaijani monitoring group.
Mammadov reports that at the meeting it was again requested that Azerbaijani specialists be permitted to carry out monitoring and inventory at two fields.
“The sides are ready to stand to the end”
According to Azerbaijani political scientist Farhad Mammadov, the sides have outlined their positions on the Lachin corridor and demonstrate that they are ready to stand to the end:
“Azerbaijan has built infrastructure on the spot, they were even watching football on a large monitor. Armenia and the Armenians of Karabakh switched to all-round defense and complaints — what they do best.
Russia mediated on the first day and took a wait-and-see attitude, did not take responsibility for making decisions, conveyed Azerbaijan’s demands and listened to Armenia’s response — the position is similar to the position of Russia during the 44-day war, the only difference is that now Russia is “on the ground “, but without a mandate. They will wait until one of the parties accepts the conditions of the other.”
“The main theme of everything that happens”
Mammadov noted that the fate of the Lachin corridor is the main theme of everything that is happening:
“Azerbaijan has set its sights on control over the road. For several months, Baku has demonstrated the facts, such as a photo of Iranian saboteurs, which Volkov acknowledged; a video of the export of ore; mines in 2021 from Armenia, etc.
It would still be this way after the signing of the peace treaty. The dynamic in the temporary zone of the RCC in Azerbaijan created the conditions for all this.”
“Does Russia agree to joint control?”
“Does Russia agree to joint control with Azerbaijan? Of course not, but it will have to since the Vardanyan Project went sideways! However, I will assume that Russia is seeking to share responsibility in making this decision in a tripartite format.
If Azerbaijan shares relations with Armenia and the processes in Karabakh, then Russia is still seeking to leave all negotiations in a trilateral format with the participation of Armenia. Let us recall the mandate of the RCC, which we learned about from the Secretary of the Security Council of Armenia when he admitted that Armenia agreed to the mandate of the RCC while Azerbaijan refused.
Baku, in turn, is not going to make decisions on the Karabakh issue with the participation of Armenia. That is why Russia is now waiting, letting Armenia’s patrons forward with pressure on Baku. The US, EU, and France, with their one-sided statements against Azerbaijan, wholly fit into Russia’s tactics in the current situation.
This allows you to keep Vardanyan in Karabakh, disrupt the peace treaty process, discredit the West in its impotence to influence the process,” Mammadov maintained.
“This is the beginning of the reintegration process”
Mammadov emphasizes that control over the road is critical for Azerbaijan:
“This is the beginning of the process of reintegration, the dissolution of myths among the Armenians of Karabakh (simple Armenian residents of the Azerbaijani region), the destruction of the Vardanyan project.
On the other hand, if Armenia does not lie and has indeed withdrawn its soldiers from Karabakh, does not supply weapons and mines to Karabakh, and is not engaged in illegal economic activities, then why oppose Azerbaijani control of the Lachin road? Just because it’s in a tripartite statement?! There are other points that Armenia itself has not fulfilled.”
“Everyone (from the West: USA, EU; North: Russia; East and South), who sincerely wants to resolve the situation and calls on Baku, must admit that the territory of Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. They must understand that “Karabakh is Azerbaijan”, “Khankendi, Agdere and Khojavend are Azerbaijan” and say so publicly.
The events on the Lachin road are also a test for third parties, which Azerbaijani is sounding out — do they see the process with the Armenians of Karabakh in the general package with that between Azerbaijan and Armenia? Will the parties involved in the peace treaty, represented by the US and the EU, be able not to make the process of the peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia dependent on the process in Karabakh, since this is an internal affair of Azerbaijan? This is a test of the sincerity of these parties.
And so the tug-of-war continues,” Farhad Mammadov concluded.
Fifth day of protest on the Lachin corridor