Ruben Vardanyan out: Comments from Baku
Ruben Vardanyan out
Ruben Vardanyan has been fired from his post of state minister in the unrecognized republic of NK. Some experts believe this move will speed up the process of integration of Karabakh Armenians into Azerbaijani society. Others say that Vardanyan’s departure will only increase the contradictions in the leadership of the unrecognized regime.
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As expected in the Azerbaijani media, today, February 23, the President of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Arayik Harutyunyan, announced the dismissal of State Minister Ruben Vardanyan. Vardanyan, who actually assumed power in this part of Azerbaijan, was called in Baku a “Kremlin project”. His removal from power was one of the conditions for official Baku to start a dialogue with Khankendi.
“Big wins from small steps”
“Vardanyan was actually dismissed from his post by the decision of Ilham Aliyev. This is an important step to start a dialogue with Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian ethnicity in Karabakh, stop the protest of eco-activists ,and disrupt the games of the Kremlin in our region.
Big victories are achieved with small steps,” said opposition politician Natik Jafarli.
“It would be wrong to stop the protest”
According to Elkhan Shahinoglu, a political scientist and head of the Atlas analytical center, the protests on the Lachin road have no connection with Ruben Vardanyan.
“The main requirement there is the admission of Azerbaijani specialists to monitor mineral deposits in Karabakh. This requirement has not yet been met.
So it would be wrong to stop the protest just because Vardanyan was dismissed. In my opinion, the action should end with the establishment of Azerbaijan’s border and customs posts on the Lachin road.
As for Ruben Vardanyan, he is left with one of two options: either he will stay in Karabakh and continue to create problems for us, or he will understand the futility of this and leave to manage his money.
As long as Vardanyan remains on the territory of Azerbaijan, our fight against him is not over.”
“The results will show themselves over time”
Political observer Agshin Kerimov noted that after Vardanyan’s departure, three things can be distinguished:
- “Azerbaijan will try to restore contacts with the Karabakh Armenians, taking advantage of the conflict between the separatists and, in addition, their problems in relations with Armenia;
- The behavior of Gurgen Nersesyan, who came to replace Vardanyan, his role in the processes will depend on the directives of the circles to which he is attached;
- Moscow will try to influence Nersesyan’s steps.”
“But two questions remain open,” he notes:
“What will Vardanyan do after this and what will the Kremlin’s instructions be? In which direction will Nersesyan prefer to lean?
In any case, Azerbaijan is taking serious steps to violate Vardanyan’s “Karabakh plans” and the results will make themselves felt over time.”
“Confrontation in Karabakh is growing”
Military observer Asaf Guliyev believes that today Arayik Harutyunyan announced the “expected decision”:
“There is information that Nikol Pashinyan supported Nersesyan’s candidacy. In this situation, this may mean that the Karabakh Armenians (more precisely, those who have taken control of this territory) agree with the political line of Yerevan.
It is unrealistic that Russia would agree to such a course of events. For the Kremlin, which wants to keep the reins of governance in Karabakh in its hands, the appointment of Pashinyan’s protege could have serious consequences.
This is just the visible part of the matter. To clarify the situation, it is necessary to pay attention to the forces that have remained in the shadows.
Today those who are in opposition to the local authorities did not take part in the meeting of the main governing body of Karabakh. The main protagonist of these people is Vitaly Balasanyan. It operates with the local branch of the Dashnaktsutyun. Ashot Ghulyan, who is well known in the Armenian diaspora, is a member of the same organization.
The fact that the Dashnaks support Balasanyan is not news. This means that the diaspora is supporting him. Gulyan’s participation in this process only strengthens this line.
Recall that Balasanyan was removed from office amid a conflict with Vardanyan. His relationship with Pashinyan also leaves much to be desired.
From all of the above, one can come to the conclusion that today the diaspora, which is watching everything that is happening from the outside, does not agree with this and is waiting for an opportune moment to intervene.
And what steps it will take at the moment when this time comes is unknown. These steps can be both destructive and constructive. At present, the main goal of the diaspora is that the Armenians should remain in Karabakh. And how to achieve this is a matter of tactics.
But so far, all that is visible is that the confrontation in Karabakh is growing.”