"Passivity equals complicity". Discussion of the war in Karabakh in the UN Security Council
UN Security Council meeting at the initiative of France
“No one can believe that the operation was not pre-planned,” French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said of the recent military actions on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. She said they began after Azerbaijan had been accumulating “a large volume of troops and military equipment” for several weeks.
The statement of the French Foreign Minister was made during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, which was initiated by Paris. Representatives of Germany and the European Union also condemned Baku’s actions and position in their speeches. The US believes that the presence of an international mission is necessary in NK, while Russia continues to believe that “there is no alternative to the Russian peacekeeping mission”.
The EU High Representative for International Relations and Security Policy Josep Borrel in a speech stressed the necessity of unblocking the Lachin corridor connecting the unrecognized NKR with Armenia. He also talked about the importance of realizing the right of NK Armenians to live in dignity in their homes.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister again declared the military actions an “anti-terrorist operation”, laying all the blame on the Armenian side. He accused Armenia of mining the territories under Azerbaijani control and the death of Azerbaijani citizens. At the same time, the UN International Court of Justice rejected Azerbaijan’s suit against Armenia on this issue back in February.
At the meeting, only speeches of representatives of different countries were made, the Security Council did not adopt any statement or resolution on the issue under discussion.
Commenting on the results of the session, political observer Hakob Badalyan, urged not to discuss the issue according to the logic of “fans”, how “good or bad the speeches sounded”. He is convinced that even those “who make good speeches have their own interests, which at the moment do not motivate them to take any action against Azerbaijan”.
Theses of the Armenian Foreign Minister’s speech, assessments of the UN Security Council members, the European Union’s appeal to Azerbaijan, commentary by an Armenian analyst.
“Baku’s goal is to bring the ethnic cleansing of NK’s Armenian population to an end”
Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan announced that “taking into account the intensity and brutality of Azerbaijan’s military actions, Baku’s goal was obvious – to bring the ethnic cleansing of the Armenian population of NK to an end”. He said Azerbaijan used missiles, heavy artillery, attack drones and combat aviation, prohibited cluster munitions. As a result, more than 200 people were killed on the Armenian side in two days, more than 400 wounded, with women and children among the victims.
According to Mirzoyan, the military actions were predictable and there were clear signs of preparation. He emphasized that Armenia has repeatedly warned of Azerbaijan’s intentions, but the international community did not take those statements seriously enough.
The Armenian Foreign Minister appealed to the members of the Security Council to take urgent measures, in particular,
- deploy a UN interdepartmental mission in NK,
- to ensure unimpeded access of UN agencies and other international structures to the territory of NK,
- not to allow punitive actions against NK politicians and military men.
“Azerbaijan is responsible for the fate of the population of NK”
According to the French Foreign Minister, Baku has taken responsibility for the fate of Armenians. This is evidenced by Aliyev’s statement about his intention to “live in peace with the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh and protect their rights”.
Catherine Colonna said, in case Azerbaijan really intends to reach a peaceful solution through negotiations,
- the use of force or threat of force must be ruled out,
- it is necessary to start a peaceful dialog on the rights and guarantees of the population with the support of the international community,
- amnesty should be granted to the military, the forces that have taken the decision on ceasefire, and also
- The Lachin corridor should be restored without delay,
- accept an international humanitarian presence in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We cannot remain passive observers of the events taking place in Nagorno-Karabakh, because in this case we will become accomplices of the mass eviction of local residents,” she emphasized.
“It is important to send an international mission that will instill confidence in the people of NK”
According to U.S. Representative Linda Thomas-Greenfield, confidence is needed that the rights and security of residents will be protected in accordance with Azerbaijan’s public statements.
She emphasized that despite the announcement of a ceasefire, the situation on the ground remains difficult:
“The U.S. is deeply concerned about reports of violence against civilians. Azerbaijan has a responsibility to ensure that the actions of its armed forces are in full compliance with international law.”
Speaking about the humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, the U.S. representative called on the sides to ensure that food, medicine and other necessary attributes are delivered by humanitarian organizations “without any roadblocks.”
“There is no alternative to the Russian peacekeeping mission”
This was stated by First Deputy Russian Permanent Representative Dmitry Polyansky. He assured that since the beginning of hostilities, the command of the Russian peacekeeping forces has been in contact with representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan in order to “stop the bloodshed.”
“About 5,000 citizens have been evacuated from the most dangerous regions, including about 1,000 people provided with accommodation in a tent camp,” he said.
Polyansky said Russia was interested “more than anyone else” in resolving the situation as soon as possible.
He said that Moscow counts on contacts between Baku and Stepanakert, as a result of which it will be possible to alleviate the humanitarian situation in the region.
“Deportation of Armenians from NK is unacceptable”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock spoke more forcefully and emotionally than others. She emphasized that in just two days of military actions in Karabakh hundreds of people were killed, thousands were forced to leave their homes.
“Deportation, forced eviction of Armenians from NK is unacceptable. Azerbaijan has chosen the path of changing the situation on the ground through military force. We strongly condemn Baku’s military attack and call for a permanent and definitive end to its military actions.”
Berbok said Azerbaijan is responsible for the full and complete protection of local civilians, especially children.
She said the functioning of the Lachin corridor is vital as a “cultural and humanitarian bridge for Armenians” living in Karabakh.
“The women, men and children of Nagorno-Karabakh and the people of the region in general deserve to live without fear of violence, without fear of being forcibly expelled from their homes, without fear of being deprived of their rights, language and religion. They deserve to live in security. They deserve to live in peace, as we all do,” the German Foreign Minister said.
EU expects Azerbaijan to take concrete steps
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell recalled that the European Union condemned Azerbaijan for the military operation and loss of life in Nagorno-Karabakh.
He emphasized that the population of Karabakh now urgently needs humanitarian aid and guarantees of their rights and security. In this regard, Azerbaijan should take concrete steps, in particular,
- ensure unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to civilians, including by fully unblocking the Lachin corridor;
- engage in a comprehensive and transparent dialog with the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh to ensure their rights and security, including the right to live in dignity in their homes.
Political observer Hakob Badalyan notes that Armenian residents react to the UN Security Council meeting like “fans – this one spoke well, the other one spoke badly”.
In his opinion, the speeches at the meeting do not at all indicate that these countries will act against Azerbaijan:
“We see that none of the good speakers have bad steps for Azerbaijan. Why? Because the task of those who speak well on our issue is to act badly not towards Azerbaijan, but towards Russia”.
In the current situation Badalyan finds it unacceptable that politicians also show themselves as “fans”, which is “evidence of political illiteracy or some personal calculations”.
According to the analyst, those countries that have “an opportunity to act well for Armenia have no motive to do so” based on their own interests and relations with Azerbaijan.
“We should work intensively with everyone, but not to be in an infantile political trap of good and evil, but to be based as much as possible on the analysis of the situation on the ground,” Badalyan concluded.
UN Security Council meeting at the initiative of France