Translated from Armenian to English using Google Translate
When the world’s attention is focused on Ukraine, Azerbaijan can at any time make an attempt to start a large-scale provocation, stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan in an interview with one of the Greek periodicals.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia emphasized that it is extremely important for the international community to take effective steps to prevent attempts to destabilize the situation in the South Caucasus.
“After the situation in Ukraine, the Azerbaijani military invaded the village of Parukh in Nagorno-Karabakh, which was preceded by continuous bombings of villages and civil infrastructures, calls addressed to the peaceful Armenian population of neighboring villages to leave their homes under the threat of using force, disruption of the gas pipeline for several weeks in unprecedented cold weather conditions and etc.,” said Mirzoyan.
Ararat Mirzoyan was in Greece on a working visit at the end of June and during that time he talked with the “Kathimerin” periodical. The text of the interview was published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Armenia referred to the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh problem, Armenian-Azerbaijani and Armenian-Turkish negotiations.
Responding to the continuous claims of the Azerbaijani authorities that the Karabakh conflict is over after the 44-day war, Mirzoyan stressed that the Nagorno Karabakh conflict must still be settled through negotiations under the mandate of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship. According to Mirzoyan, the official statements of international partners and organizations, including mediating countries, also clearly show this.
“A regulation that will guarantee the safety of Artsakh Armenians and the protection of all rights, and accordingly, the final status of Nagorno Karabakh arising from it,” added Mirzoyan.
After the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war, official Moscow announced in April that France and the United States refused to cooperate with Russia in the OSCE Minsk Group triad. Meanwhile, Washington emphasizes that, despite deep disagreements over Ukraine, America is ready to continue cooperation with Russia in the Minsk Group for the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem.
Under these conditions, when the OSCE Minsk Group is not actually functioning now, how realistic is the settlement of the Karabakh problem under the mandate of that structure, which official Yerevan regularly talks about. Political scientist Beniamin Poghosyan emphasizes that the return to the previous level of the Minsk Group’s activity is now unlikely.
“It is obvious that under the conditions of these statements, it is to be hoped that the co-chairmanship of the OSCE Minsk Group, which had significantly limited functions until February 24, 2022, will be able to restore approximately the role it had before September 27, 2020. The probability of that is low enough,” the political scientist emphasized.
Is Minister Mirzoyan optimistic about the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, asked the Greek journalist. Mirzoyan replied: Yerevan reaffirms its commitment to making constructive efforts in all directions and emphasized that the process would be much smoother and more efficient if Azerbaijan would refrain from its dangerous bigotry and anti-Armenian rhetoric, stop holding many Armenian prisoners of war and civilians hostage.
“In general, we believe that despite all the blood and hatred that has been in the region, there is a real chance for peace in the South Caucasus. Armenia has repeatedly reaffirmed its willingness to establish long-term stability and open an era of peaceful development in the region. At the same time, it is obvious that these efforts cannot be one-sided, and in that direction we expect an equally constructive approach and sincere practical steps from the Azerbaijani side,” the minister stressed.
How correct and realistic is it to talk about the possibility of peace in the South Caucasus, when Yerevan says that the Karabakh issue is not yet resolved, Baku claims the opposite, says political scientist Beniamin Poghosyan.
“The main difference between our position and that of Azerbaijan is that we declare that Nagorno-Karabakh exists, and the 2020 war did not close that fact, while Azerbaijan declares that it is over, there is no Nagorno-Karabakh, there is no question of Nagorno-Karabakh, therefore they do not have any with someone: it will be Armenia, it will be Russia, it will be Armenia-Russia or Armenia-European Union in a tripartite format, they are not going to discuss this issue with anyone,” emphasized Poghosyan.
In the conversation with the Greek newspaper, Mirzoyan also spoke about Armenian-Turkish relations, stressing that Armenia expects political will to normalize relations from Turkey.
Within the framework of this Armenian-Turkish process, which started after the 44-day war, both sides appointed special representatives, who have already met 4 times. Last time , the parties agreed to start direct air cargo transportation and open the border for citizens of third countries. Neither Yerevan nor Ankara have specified dates when these steps will be implemented.
Two days ago, at the government session, the Prime Minister of Armenia instructed the Armenian departments to work in coordination with the Turkish state structures so that the agreement reached will be implemented as soon as possible. When talking about this process, the Turkish authorities regularly announce that they are discussing steps towards the normalization of relations with Azerbaijan.