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The most important step in implementing the UN Security Council resolution on the Karabakh settlement is the signing by the parties of a document adopted in Moscow in April 2019, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday at a round table with participants in the Public Diplomacy Support Fund A.M. Gorchakova.

"These documents imply progress in the settlement on the basis of a phased approach. I believe the first stage is the solution of the most pressing problems, the liberation of a number of areas around Nagorno-Karabakh and the unblocking of transport, economic and other communications," Lavrov said.

The Karabakh issue, forgotten during the pandemic months, was unexpectedly raised by the Russian Foreign Minister, who is unhappy with both sides of the conflict. Armenians point Russia to the sale of arms to Azerbaijan, and in Baku they say that Russia is defending Armenia, not allowing the Azerbaijani army to free the occupied territories.

What made Lavrov recall the pro-Azerbaijani UN resolutions and the phased solution to the Karabakh problem? The foreign minister could have answered the question of Azerbaijani journalists differently, having agreed on an on-duty phrase about Russia's readiness to help a peaceful settlement. However, he preferred to give a detailed and positive assessment of the phased solution. There are much more critical assessments of Lavrov’s speech in Armenia than in Azerbaijan.

“This statement caused outrage in the information field of Armenia. On the one hand, it looks like a “stuffing”, albeit at the highest level (since, apparently, it does not reach other levels). Supporters and government officials believe that this is Lavrov’s provocation against the Armenian authorities at a difficult moment. Opposition supporters believe that Lavrov exposed a plot of power against the people and Pashinyan threatened national security, the territorial integrity of Karabakh and all the ideals for which Armenia had fought for the past 30 years and accepted the approach Ter-Petrosyan followed, "a Yerevan-based analyst writes on the Political Geography of the South Caucasus blog.

The blogger is sorting out the options: one is that the negotiation process is going in the wrong direction, as the Russian side would like to see. It is divided into several sub-options. For example, Western players are beginning to dominate it, or the question of Russian peacekeepers is off the agenda. In this way, Lavrov may try to push him in the right direction. On the other hand, Lavrov may consider that the negotiation process, potentially ending with the concession of the territories by the Armenian parties, is unprofitable for Moscow, since the 1988 national project will be destroyed and another, not oriented towards Moscow in Armenia, but Azerbaijan will not be a friend of Russia will become. In this case, Lavrov tries to disrupt the negotiation process. The second option is that Lavrov wanted to “annoy” Pashinyan and his government against the backdrop of growing disagreement, the spectrum of which is in no way reduced. Pashinyan criticized Russia before he came to power, and his support network continues to do so now. On the agenda is the issue of gas prices, perhaps a number of other issues already mentioned by Russian Railways, the case of Robert Kocharian is not ignored. Pashinyan is not very accommodating and Lavrov is thus trying to break out the negotiating position already in bilateral relations.

Analyst Karen Bekaryan demands the resignation of the Armenian Foreign Minister: “if what the Russian Foreign Minister says is not true, then this is just an indication of the complete failure of the Armenian-Russian bilateral relations, since disinformation sabotage is never organized for no reason. If that says the Russian foreign minister is true, then we are dealing with the collapse of the national and state interests of Armenia and Artsakh and the consistent deception of our society. In both cases, the Foreign Minister must resign or be removed from his post. If the Foreign Minister does not resign, or he is removed, this will mean that the Prime Minister is directly responsible for all this with all the ensuing consequences," wrote Bekaryan in the FB.

Former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofig Zulfugarov advises not to take Lavrov’s words seriously, since if the documents mentioned by Lavrov were significant, they would have been implemented long ago.

Why then did Lavrov say this and why now? Zulfugarov draws attention to the economic crisis in Russia, because of which the foreign policy of Moscow in any direction equaled zero. Moscow just wants to show that it exists in world politics and the negotiation process, under her leadership, continues. Since recently, they began to say that Moscow could not be active in the Karabakh problem. Moscow wants to say that it is still “in business”. However, we must understand that in the documents listed by Lavrov there is not one that suits Azerbaijan, Zulfugarov said in an interview with the Sharg newspaper.

"Lavrov did not say anything new and revolutionary, but repeated only one of the positions of the Minsk principles, on the basis of which negotiations have been ongoing for many years. You can diverge," the Azerbaijani historian and publicist Eldar Ginesly reacted to Lavrov’s speech.

 

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İran Prezidentinin həlak olduğu hadisə Azərbaycan- İran münasibətlərinə təsir edə bilərmi? – Nəsimi Məmmədli Çətin sualda



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