With this in mind, it conducted a full-scale publicity and propaganda campaign against Azerbaijan, gradually raising the stakes, pushing for this emergency UNSC meeting, which proved to be disastrous for Armenia: not even a presidential statement was adopted following it. As a result, Pashinyan claims today that “the main result of yesterday’s UN Security Council meeting was that the fact of the blockade of the Lachin corridor and the threat to the existence of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh has been documented.”
Understandably, Pashinyan is acting on both foreign and domestic fronts. On the one hand, he wants to show Russia, France and the Armenian world that he is not a capitulator. On the other hand, the situation itself is in the hands of the radicalized part of the Armenian society. In general, the results of the meeting are important not only for Baku, but also for Yerevan.
Azerbaijan acted within international law, so no one could demand that Baku open the Lachin road.
But there is a small “but” here, which lies primarily in the position of the states, and this calls for special attention. Note the position of the key countries, the moderators of the negotiation process, namely the United States, Russia and the EU. The statements of the US and Russian representatives can be considered balanced; moreover, the Russian representative’s statement can even be considered pro-Azerbaijani, if we ignore the use of the word “Stepanakert”. There was, of course, a fly in that ointment. He spoke in general about the opening of both roads and that the rights and security of Karabakh Armenians should be implemented within the legal framework of Azerbaijan.
A knockout for Armenia
Obviously, Russia understands the impasse in relations with Baku and plans to negotiate an extension for its peacekeeping mission in the region, so they are acting with surgical precision. At the same time, the Russian peacekeeping forces do not allow Karabakh Armenians to be fully integrated into the legal framework of Azerbaijan. Apparently, Russia wants its peacekeepers to be involved in this integration. In short, the Karabakh separatists and the Russian peacekeeping forces have to simultaneously enter the country’s legal framework, whereby the Armenians become citizens and the Russian peacekeepers get a mandate. They are persisting: “Either with us or not at all”. Hence all these Russian contortions.
The position of the United States may not satisfy both the Armenians and Azerbaijan. In this case, Washington’s position is linked to the interests of the Armenian lobby of the United States in the run-up to the presidential elections. It is more important for the Republicans to win the elections than to please Baku or Yerevan. However, even with this situation in mind, Washington’s position can be viewed as more or less restrained. Still, the US did propose to use alternative roads.
The less said about France’s position, the better. Macron’s France should be ignored for the time being. Only after Macron’s exit will it be possible to turn to Paris. However, France’s policy should not hinder trade and other ties between the two countries, and apparently it is not. Of course, Macron is not leaving tomorrow, but we are in no hurry either.
And now onto the EU’s position. Things are more complicated here. Of all the countries, the EU representative spoke most sharply. Of course, we can remember that the EU is a continuation of France in foreign policy, albeit in a somewhat milder form. However, the EU is not only France, but also Germany and the other countries it represents there. There are countries within the EU that have close ties with Azerbaijan. Thus, Brussels must balance its foreign relations with Baku, taking into account the interests of these countries as well.
It is another matter that the EU representative’s speech sounded rather like that of a resentful teenage girl. In a sensitive issue such as a country’s territorial integrity, it is hard to remain calm in the face of the EU representative’s harsh wording and outbursts. We cannot take offense at them either. The EU and its countries are the main trade partners of Azerbaijan, and the entire foreign trade activity and strategy of our country is based on the trade with the EU. The only thing we can do is to make our diplomacy more flexible and elegant.
We have to admit that one of the weaknesses of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy is that we have taken away our own strong foreign policy leverage, and to some extent we are inferior to the Armenians here. Consequently, this is reflected in the position of the EU and the US. Even France’s position can be made more balanced. If a partner is faced with a choice between economy and sentiments towards the Armenians, profit will, of course, win.
Another problem is parliamentary diplomacy; it is weak. There are not enough strong figures and influential lobbyists of our national interests in the parliament in interaction with their foreign colleagues. The participation of civil society in these issues also needs to be increased.
Yes, Azerbaijan has won another diplomatic round in the highest international institution, but it happened in the conditions of compliance with international law …
Translated from Minval.az