What will be discussed at the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting in Sochi? Opinions
Armenia’s expectations from the meeting in Sochi
“A lot of questions have accumulated on what topic an exchange of views should be held, clarifications and questions should be heard,” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said regarding expectations about a meeting with Putin and Aliyev in Sochi. In particular, the Armenian prime minister expects “an assessment of the latest events, that is, the invasion of Armenia by Azerbaijan.” From which it follows that Pashinyan is also waiting for answers about the long-term inaction of its ally Russia on September 13-14, when another escalation took place on the border of Armenia.
The trilateral meeting of Pashinyan-Putin-Aliyev is scheduled for October 31 in Sochi. The last meeting in this format took place in November last year.
The opposition of Armenia claims that Yerevan takes a “compliant position in the negotiations and does not put forward preconditions.” According to representatives of the ruling team, the preconditions may lead to a freeze in the negotiation processes, which “will not lead to anything good.”
Statements by the Prime Minister of Armenia on the eve of the talks in Sochi, opinions of deputies from the opposition and the ruling party.
“Signing a peace agreement before the end of the year is realistic”
According to Pashinyan, he also expects comments regarding the agreements reached earlier with Azerbaijan:
“Despite the agreements reached in the trilateral working group [led by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia – JAMnews], Azerbaijan makes statements about some corridors [Azerbaijan demands a corridor to its Nakhchivan exclave, which Armenia will not control; Armenian government categorically rejects such a possibility, but agree to provide controlled roads]. And in Russia there are incomprehensible people who are trying to develop this narrative.”
According to the Prime Minister of Armenia this is happening contrary to the tripartite documents.
The Prime Minister of Armenia announced his desire to sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan before the end of the year. Moreover, he vowed that his government will make “every effort” to make it a reality.
Pashinyan considers it important that the issue of border delimitation be resolved by that time.
“If we take into account that in Prague [Pashinyan-Aliyev met on October 6, mediated by European partners], we agreed that the delimitation will take place on the basis of the 1991 borders, this may be real. Because these borders are, in fact, known,” he said.
Opposition: “Yerevan is compliant in negotiations”
Gegham Manukyan, an MP from the Hayastan (Armenia) opposition faction, believes that the Prime Minister will speak at a trilateral meeting in Sochi with a “weak, fearful and compliant position.”
According to him, this is evidenced by the statements and actions of Pashinyan. The MP claims that the peace agreement which the prime minister intends to sign is a document of “war and surrender”, and the delimitation of the borders under these conditions means that official Yerevan “did not put forward any preconditions.” Manukyan means the demand for Azerbaijan to return its armed forces to their original positions.
According to Tigran Abrahamyan, an MP from the opposition I Have The Honor party, Baku is trying to solve much more serious problems than it seems through aggression:
“Azerbaijan’s goal is to establish such control over the critical facilities and communications of the Republic of Armenia in order to deprive it of its viability, that is the possibility of struggle and natural development.”
Abrahamyan says that the Azerbaijani armed forces occupied those territories of Armenia and deployed in such directions that they solved their main task “for several decades.”
“The territorial losses that we are talking about threw Armenia back at least twenty or thirty years. And this is a security issue for both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh,” the MP believes.
The opposition MP is sure that Azerbaijan does not intend to delimit the border with Armenia. According to him, Azerbaijan has in fact completely completed the process of delimitation and demarcation at its own discretion.
Abrahamyan believes that despite Armenia’s readiness to join the process, there are different approaches to delimitation, and there is no abandoning positions:
“It is possible that there will be a process regulated by some document that will announce or launch delimitation and demarcation. But this process will be short-lived. Azerbaijan will do everything to torpedo it.”
Deputies from power: “Preconditions will freeze the negotiation process”
Artur Hovhannisyan, secretary of the ruling “Civil Contract” party, said that in the current extremely tense situation, it is not worthwhile to come up with preconditions at the negotiations, which would be dangerous both for Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and for the region.
But he also adheres to the position that Azerbaijan should withdraw its troops from the sovereign territory of Armenia. The MP recalled that official Yerevan puts forward this demand “on all possible platforms.”
“We hope that when the moment comes when it will be possible to talk about any text of a peace treaty, move on to practical steps, at that time the Azerbaijani armed forces will leave the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia,” the deputy stated.
According to the head of the parliamentary commission for defense and security, Andranik Kocharyan, the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from Armenia is not a preference, but a necessity. Otherwise border tensions will persist which will not benefit anyone, he believes.
Kocharyan stated that it is not possible to complete the process of delimitation and demarcation before the end of the year, and that we can only talk about the beginning of the process:
The MP believes that the delimitation and the signing of a peace agreement are interconnected, but the simultaneous resolution of these issues is not a necessary condition.
Armenia’s expectations from the meeting in Sochi