"By providing a corridor, Armenia can request a road to the Black Sea." Opinion
Normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations
In order not to bring the topic of unblocking transport in the region to a dead end, it should be moved to “the area of projects satisfying both sides.” This is the opinion of political scientist Areg Kochinyan. He says if Azerbaijan wants to get a road uncontrolled by the Armenian side – without paying customs duties – Armenia should know what it can get in return.
In particular, he suggests considering the possibility of transport with Iran through the territory of Nakhichevan and access to the Black Sea through the territory of Turkey. The political analyst suggests that the Armenian authorities formulate their options and see what the reaction is.
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Corridor topic is irrelevant for Baku
“The topic of the extraterritorial corridor has become irrelevant for Azerbaijan, especially after the version of the end of the Karabakh issue that we have seen. And also due to the international consolidation against the corridor [of Armenia providing a road uncontrolled from its side].
The approach of the Azerbaijani side is as follows: we recognize Armenia’s territory, we have no questions about sovereignty [in relation to the territory where the road linking Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan runs]. At the same time, Baku believes that it is its right to use this road without customs control, without customs and tax duties.
Is it a corridor or not? Yes. Sovereignty is recognized, there is no extraterritorial element here, but in terms of content it is a corridor.”
What can Yerevan get in return for the “corridor”?
“If Azerbaijan manages to get our road X without customs duties, taxes, what do we get in return?
One of the options is as follows: in return we get a road, a railroad with the same control regime through Nakhichevan, which will connect us with Iran. The Armenian-Iranian railroad has not been functioning for a long time, there is only a highway.
A more interesting option is to involve Turkey in this conversation. If we provide a road with favorable conditions for Azerbaijanis, Turkey will provide us with the same road with access to the Black Sea, for example, in the direction of Trabzon.”
Joint statement by the authorities: a step forward in relations or a threat?
“In the short term, obviously it’s a wonderful achievement, our guys [Armenian prisoners] will finally go home. I see certain threats in the long term.
When we combine this with the holding of extraordinary presidential elections in Azerbaijan, it seems that Baku wants to buy time with this move. And at the same time to ensure that it will not be under pressure. Theoretically, it will be interesting for Azerbaijan to wait until next summer, as the European Parliament and US elections are ahead.
If Trump wins in the US and the leftists and Euroskeptics win in the European Parliament, it could create additional positive conditions for Azerbaijan on the peace treaty.
And this transitional phase creates ideal conditions for putting additional, even military pressure on Armenia to get the maximum possible before signing the peace agreement.”
It is better to negotiate with one adversary than with three
“I don’t think that in the long term Azerbaijan is seeking to bring the negotiation process to a deadlock. It only wants to maximize its victory on the battlefield and gain maximum benefit at the negotiating table.
For us, the most promising negotiating platforms are the Western ones: Brussels, Washington. Direct negotiations are much less interesting. For a party with a lower defense capability, it is desirable to bring additional forces to the negotiating table – mediators, guarantors.
The worst option is Moscow. Direct negotiations with Azerbaijan, even with Azerbaijan and Turkey, are a more desirable and favorable option for Armenia than the Russian platform. It is better to negotiate with one adversary than with three at the same time.”
Best moment for Aliyev to go to the polls
“Now Aliyev has a chance to reach a historic high. In a year’s time, the situation may change.
But there are other layers. This is a move aimed at preventing Russia from interfering in Azerbaijan’s elections. The Russians will be busy with their elections.
In addition, it seeks to buy time again, to try to wait for a stage when he can get more out of the negotiation process.”
Close the topic of Nagorno-Karabakh
“The military-political leadership of Azerbaijan wants to ensure that the conversation about Nagorno-Karabakh is finally closed. Now international relations are quite flexible, any document can be changed if there is a balance of power that supports it.
At the moment there is no such balance. And Azerbaijan is taking advantage of this situation. But it cannot be sure that tomorrow this balance will not be restored or not change in Armenia’s favor.
Azerbaijan wants a third party guarantee that the story of the Karabakh conflict is over, and that what it has achieved on the battlefield and intends to consolidate at the negotiating table is final.”
"You can't invade Armenia's territory". Response of the Speaker of the National Assembly of Armenia to Aliyev
Alen Simonyan listed what Azerbaijan should not have done in order “not to be afraid of revanchism on the part of Armenia”. He generally touched upon relations with Azerbaijan and with Russia
Normalization of Armenia-Azerbaijan relations