It would be all right if these statements had not been made on the day when the Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia were supposed to meet in the United States. But you may recall that Azerbaijan refused to attend the meeting after a series of unfriendly moves on the part of the United States. First, it was about the scandalous statements of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O’Brien at the Senate hearings. Now they have been joined by the Senate Armenian Protection Act, which “exhumes” Section 907.
We could attempt to break down the West’s current “love fest” for Armenia into components. It is clear that there will be elections in 2024, and the votes of Armenians will come in handy. It is clear that Armenia staged a scandal against Russia, and the West intends to spectacularly steal its once favorite outpost from Moscow. But there is another element. The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, which the West never dared to call Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, was also a very convenient manipulation tool.
Keeping both countries on the hook and making hints to one side or the other seemed like a subtle and clever policy to some. And it would be all right, but in September 2023 Azerbaijan put a definitive end to this conflict. The territorial integrity and sovereignty of our country have been restored within the internationally recognized borders. There are no pockets of armed separatism, “gray zones” and “hornets’ nests” of terrorism left on the territory of Azerbaijan.
And how, one might wonder, should truly intelligent politicians in the West have reacted to this? On the positive side: stabilization of the situation, the possibility of establishing a lasting peace, the elimination of the threat to global communications, including oil and gas pipelines. The downside: the hysteria of the Armenian lobby and the loss of manipulation tools. Frankly speaking, the leading Western countries have plenty of opportunities to introduce policies without this kind of conflict game. But in reality, the political top brass in the US and France have simply been unable to recognize the new reality in the region. Most interestingly, as our sources note, even Armenia has come to terms with the new realities, where they already realize that it will not be possible to revive the separatist project in Karabakh. And yet some people in Washington and Paris continue to flog the dead donkey. One wonders why. Out of “Christian solidarity”? For the sake of PR? Out of great love for Nikol Pashinyan?
Sadly, it is much cruder and simpler than that. As former French President François Mitterrand once allegedly said: “I am the last of the great presidents. After me, only financiers and accountants will be in power.”
It sounds immodest, of course, but the political elite of the West today is no longer made up of politicians, but of petty bureaucrats. Moreover, unfortunately, their political thinking is at the level of grant recipients from various NGOs, where it is important to find a problem, get funds to solve it, and regularly report back on the measures taken… And no one cares about what happens “in the field”. The Karabakh conflict, which lasted for more than a quarter of a century, was very convenient in this respect—right up to the moment when Azerbaijan resolved it by military and political means. Diplomatic schemers were robbed of their favorite toy. They were forced to move from manipulation to serious politics.
The political elite of the United States and France on the Azerbaijani track proved to be simply unprepared for this. Hence all the feverish flailing, resentments, scandalous statements that will not bring the region back to its previous state. Even if Madame Colonna and Mr. O’Brien are incapable of grasping that.