Opinion from Baku: Russia is behind provocations at Armenian-Azerbaijani border
In a short period of time, the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia held two rounds of direct telephone conversations without intermediaries. On the same day, Azerbaijani border guards detained an Armenian serviceman on the border of the two countries. What do these two facts indicate? “Baku will not endure for a long time and silently observe what is happening”, a political observer from Baku comments on the latest reports.
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Telephone conversation without intermediaries
The second direct telephone conversation in the last month took place between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and Armenia, Jeyhun Bayramov and Ararat Mirzoyan, without the participation of intermediaries. In the entire history of relations between the two neighboring countries, these are the first contacts at the level of foreign ministers without the participation of an external party.
“The heads of the foreign ministries exchanged views in continuation of the agreements reached at the level of the leaders of the two countries.
The parties agreed on the composition of the Joint Border Commission.
During the conversation, an agreement was reached to hold meetings of the Joint Border Commission, as well as a working group to develop a peace agreement in the near future.
The parties also exchanged views on the continuation of mutual steps in the humanitarian sphere”, the press service of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
Detention of Armenian Armed Forces serviceman
On the eve of this conversation, the Azerbaijani border service announced the detention of a serviceman of the Armenian Armed Forces on the border of the two countries in the direction of the Zangilan region, which returned under the control of Azerbaijan as a result of the second Karabakh war.
Interestingly, on the morning of Sunday, April 24, the State Border Service (SBS) of Azerbaijan reported an attempted sabotage at the border on Saturday evening.
“On April 23, at about 18:00, a sabotage group of the Armenian Armed Forces made an attempt to cross the state border of Azerbaijan in the Zangilan region of the Azerbaijani-Armenian border”, the press service of the State Border Service said in a statement.
Toward evening, it became known about the detention of an Armenian serviceman.
“Service employees detained a member of the sabotage group of the Armenian Armed Forces, serviceman Eduard Arturovich Martirosov”, the state border service of Azerbaijan said in the evening message.
Immediately after that, the Ministry of Defense of Armenia issued a statement regarding the capture of its serviceman.
“On April 23, on the way from the military unit to the combat post, communication with a conscript soldier, private Eduard Arturovich Martirosov, was lost”, the Armenian defense department reports.
The message of the Armenian Defense Ministry also notes that “as a result of the work carried out jointly with representatives of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces through the mediation of the Russian side, it turned out that Martirosov crossed the border on the same day, under circumstances not yet established, and is currently being held by the Azerbaijani side”.
From the report on the telephone conversation between Bayramov and Mirzoyan, it can be concluded that work is underway to create commissions for the delimitation of the border, Turan Rzayev, a political scientist and employee of the Azerbaijani analytical center Atlas, believes.
“In general, Yerevan’s attempts to slow down the process of border delimitation cannot be crowned with success. The fact is that the delimitation will be carried out according to the maps of the Soviet period. These maps are being held by Russia.
Europe is also interested in resolving the border issue, the President of the European Council is overseeing this himself. It is no coincidence that in the final document of the last Brussels meeting there was a reference to the Sochi statement of November 26, 2021.
As for the maps of the Soviet period, such an approach to business is not in the interests of Armenia. Because those maps reflect all the enclaves, exclaves, seven villages of the Gazakh region of Azerbaijan, which are still under occupation.
But Armenia has no choice. There is no other constructive solution to this issue.
But despite these negotiations between the foreign ministers, on the eve of these, the Armenian servicemen tried to violate the border of the two countries.
I must say right away that such provocations at the border were expected. It’s not just that the Pashinyan administration is unhappy with the progress of the process, the opposition in Armenia is also showing a radical stance towards the negotiations.
Pashinyan is forced to negotiate with Azerbaijan, even if he does not want to. This is also demanded of him in Brussels. The West seeks to conclude this process itself.
But this is not in the interests of the Kremlin. Russia is already dissatisfied with the involvement of Europe in the process of establishing relations between these two South Caucasian countries. But so far it has not spoken openly about its dissatisfaction, so as not to scare away the parties to the conflict.
Russia is trying to put pressure on Pashinyan through the opposition in Armenia. At the same time, Russia is behind the provocations at the border. The reason is obvious.
Thus, the Kremlin is trying to force Europe out of the peace process and once again take all the threads into its own hands.
It is clear that there are currently forces in the Armenian army that are loyal to the “Karabakh clan”, but in fact – to the Kremlin. It is quite possible that all these provocations are the work of their hands.
Armenia needs to ‘clean up’ its army as soon as possible. The probability of repetition of such provocations is very high. But regardless of who is behind these sabotage, all responsibility for them lies with Yerevan. And Baku will not endure for a long time and silently observe what is happening”, Rzayev said.