Lavrov-Bayramov-Mirzoyan negotiations in Moscow - opinion from Baku
“There is no alternative to the tripartite statements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia to resolve the situation in the South Caucasus,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today at the opening of a trilateral meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Farhad Mammadov, a political observer from Azerbaijan, believes that Russia will certainly learn about the results of the negotiations in the United States from first hand, the direct participants in the negotiations. “Russia is also interested in where Russia is in the agreements reached in the United States and how to squeeze in on points where there are fundamental differences,” he says.
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“The agreements between the leaders of the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan and Armenia are a road map”
On May 19, in the afternoon, another round of negotiations on a draft peace agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in Moscow. The foreign ministers of the two countries, Jeyhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan, sat down at the negotiating table with the participation of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Lavrov, speaking to journalists before the start of the trilateral meeting, expressed hope that the meeting would be constructive, and that direct dialogue between Ararat Mirzoyan and Jeyhun Bayramov would help achieve additional results.
Lavrov suggested considering the whole range of issues of normalizing Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and agreeing on further steps, taking into account Russia’s capabilities.
“The tripartite statements of our leaders contain, in fact, a roadmap to achieve sustainable solutions. We analyzed the situation around the South Caucasus, we believe that there is no alternative to the agreements of our leaders. Russia wants peace and stability in the region, Russian interests are directly tied here. The Russian Federation will do its best to ensure that the decisions regarding the stabilization of the situation are implemented, hoping that they will be respected by all other countries that are one way or another interested in being present in this region, ”RIA Novosti quotes Lavrov.
Lavrov also noted the need to stabilize the situation in Karabakh and on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the need to solve humanitarian problems, unblock transport communications and agree on the text of a peace treaty.
“Russia plays a historical role in all this”
On the same day Lavrov held separate meetings, first with Bayramov and then with Mirzoyan.
At the meeting between Lavrov and Bayramov, in addition to discussions on preparations for the trilateral meeting, issues of bilateral relations were also touched upon. According to Lavrov, Moscow “is aimed at the implementation of all the agreements reached earlier by the leaders of Russia and Azerbaijan.”
During Lavrov’s meeting with Mirzoyan, the Russian minister noted that achieving progress in all areas is “a key condition for stability in the Caucasus.”
According to him, Russia plays in all this “a historical role and has the most serious interests.”
In turn, Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan accused Azerbaijan of “violating trilateral agreements, installing a checkpoint in Lachin and infiltrating Armenian territory.” He also noted that Armenia is ready for negotiations on a settlement.
Political observer Farhad Mammadov analyzed the events leading up to this meeting and Russia’s role in the peace process, and shared his predictions about what can be expected in the future.
What will Russia offer?
“The Prime Minister of Armenia announced a meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia on May 25. Today, on May 19, a meeting is being held at the level of foreign ministers. That is, the meeting of the chief diplomats took place 6 days before the meeting of the leaders. This is interesting!
Surely Russia will learn about the results of the negotiations in the United States first-hand, the direct participants in the negotiations.”
What to expect?
“In this context, the visit of Special Representative Khovaev to Baku attracts attention. What did Khovaev bring before the meeting of the foreign ministers and leaders? That is, he is preparing a meeting of foreign ministers, and foreign ministers are preparing a meeting of heads of state!
After Azerbaijan installed a checkpoint on the conditional border and the activities of the West, Russia has an understanding that something needs to be changed in its approach. If so, then Khovaev brought a draft of a new Russian version of the peace treaty or came to find out what was discussed in the United States in order to correct the proposals and approaches that Lavrov will present at the meeting on May 19, so that the foreign ministers would take them to the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia for consideration before the meeting May 25th.
Russia is also interested in where Russia is in the agreements reached in the United States and how it is possible to squeeze in on points where there are fundamental differences.”
Where is Russia?
“Exclusivity is lost on the Lachin road. There is a threat of transformation of Russia’s role in the Zangezur corridor. The fate of the RMK in Karabakh and the provisions of the tripartite statement.
On these points, Russia has different relations with Baku and Yerevan.
According to the trilateral statement, there is support from Baku, along the Zangezur corridor there is also support from Baku; according to the fate of the RCC, there is support from Yerevan.
Representatives of the military dictatorship among the Armenians of Karabakh remain the only lever of influence for Russia. But this lever is not effective, as in relation to pressure on Baku, which surrounded the remnants of the Armenian Armed Forces in Karabakh, neutralized the “Vardanyan project” and established a checkpoint; and in relation to Yerevan, the Karabakh issue does not lead to the consolidation of the protest electorate.
I mean, they’ve tried everything. We need to accept reality and designate our role in various topics on the agenda. According to the RMC, to accept the conditions of Baku, to show constructiveness in the process of reintegration. To ensure control along the Zangezur corridor, to advise on the border, to stick the CSTO into Armenia.
And on this track they tried a lot, but unsuccessfully. No results, only losses in positions.
In any case, the marker of Moscow’s reaction will be traced to Karabakh. Only there Russia still has leverage. And then limited, because in terms of resources, without the support of Armenia it is impossible to leave the level of resistance in Karabakh at a high level. And to escalate with Baku will provoke strikes on the military infrastructure in Karabakh.”