Our Analytics 26 november — 12:03

Pashinyan wanted to break Vladimir Putin's game. Michel winced. Aliyev took for granted

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

As previously predicted by Azeri Daily, all attempts of the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his political team to transfer the negotiation process around the Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement to the platform of the collective West turned into a complete political collapse. Although, in fairness, we admit that Pashinyan tried to drag the collective West into the settlement process immediately after the devastating military defeats in Jabrayil and Fuzuli, when the fate of the second war was already a foregone conclusion.

The unprecedented activity of Paris, which literally identified its foreign policy assessment with the approach of Yerevan. The unceremonious intervention of the previously neutral Berlin on the side of Yerevan. The threat of Kosovarisation of the conflict, put into the mouth of the shameless Trump... Ornate peacekeeping of Brussels, ready at any cost to stop the war, that is, the de-occupation of Karabakh. This is how we remember the position of the collective West in the period of the liberation war, which ended with the liberation of Karabakh. London is the only exception in this anti-Azerbaijani line. However, in Foggy Albion, the oil mind prevailed. But that is another story.

From the first day of the war, the collective West sided with Yerevan

The collective West, consolidated and unanimous, sided with Armenia, or rather its protégé, the embryo of the love revolution -- Nikol Pashinyan. Had the 'Karabakh clan' in the face of the reactionary and forgotten provincial duumvirate been in power in Yerevan in the autumn of 2020, the West would not have rushed to engage in biased and hasty political intervention. Even despite the active role of the powerful Armenian diaspora, integrated into the Western political establishment.

Ultimately, Russia became the only geopolitical force equidistant from the sides, expressing cautious and balanced assessments from day one. The Kremlin, as the spokesman for the dominant regional power, acting as the guarantor of regional stability, assumed the role of a neutral, restrained and loyal arbiter to the participants in the military conflict. In the early days of the war, Moscow became a diplomatic platform for active negotiations between foreign ministers. Washington, Paris and Berlin a priori could not assume the role of peacemaker, because from the first day they stood on the same side of the barricades with the occupation regime.

And from the first days of the war, Moscow became a neutral negotiating platform

The logical conclusion of the active peacekeeping role of Russia and personally of Vladimir Putin himself was the signing of a peace agreement, which predetermined the final defeat of Armenia and the fall of the administrative centre of Karabakh -- Khankendi -- where, as recently became known thanks to the Armenian media, only 7 separatists remained on the eve of the signing of the Moscow Agreement. Azerbaijani troops stood at the gates of Khankendi. In Armenia, the Moscow Agreement was perceived as an Act of surrender.

Thus, Russia literally saved Armenia from complete defeat. In addition, Russia saved the lives of thousands of Azerbaijani soldiers by securing the signing of the Moscow Agreement and achieving the withdrawal of the occupation troops from Lachin, Kalbajar and Aghdam. Of course, after the liberation of Shusha and the fall of Khankendi, the fate of these three districts was a foregone conclusion, but if the war continued, the provinces turned into mined fortifications of the occupation army would have to be liberated at the cost of the lives of several thousand Azerbaijanis. And it was not Brussels, Paris and Berlin that saved Armenia from the fall of Khankendi, by no means, with their sanctimonious and treacherous position, these capitals lost the last remnants of moral authority in the eyes of the Azerbaijani authorities and public opinion. Moscow intervened, Vladimir Putin said his weighty word, who has a personal relationship of trust with the Azerbaijani leader.

Putin's word... Aliyev and Putin have a personal relationship of trust

On November 9, the historic settlement process began in Moscow. The occupying forces left three Azerbaijani districts. And the territory in Karabakh inhabited by the Armenian population entered the temporary zone of responsibility of the Russian peacekeeping forces until the final settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. On January 11, another meeting of the three leaders took place in Moscow. And there the so-called Overchuk format with the participation of the vice-prime ministers of the three countries took shape. Two fundamental problems remained a stumbling block on the path of the final resolution of ethnopolitical problems between the two states: delimitation and demarcation of borders on the basis of administrative maps of the USSR and the resumption of the corridor of communication between Azerbaijan and the exclave of Nakhchivan Autonomy created during Sovietisation.

And at a time when the parties, with the active mediating mission of Russia, came close to solving these two fundamental problems, Pashinyan made a demarche, tried to disrupt the agreements reached, moreover, rejecting the dominant role of Moscow as a mediator, called on Brussels to take on the main mission of the settlement. And this was already a challenge personally thrown down to Vladimir Putin. In addition, Pashinyan, in a duet with the Washington emissaries, directed all his efforts to resume the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group, tied to the first Karabakh war and its agenda, whose presence in the region was categorically rejected by Baku. Pashinyan tried to break Putin's game. And to undermine all the early agreements in the framework of the Moscow process. Moreover, the Armenian prime minister rejected Putin's initiative to organise meetings between the heads of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the anniversary of the signing of the first peace agreement. Aliyev and Pashinyan were supposed to meet in Russia on November 9. The insidiousness of Pashinyan, presented as existential problems, interfered. But more on that later.

For Russia and Putin, this meeting was significant, because the localisation of the second war and the signing of the Moscow Agreement are presented to the world as a conquest of Russian foreign policy. And suddenly Pashinyan, in his usual impulsive and unpredictable manner, without good reason, disrupts the meeting, and having entered into a separate agreement with Brussels and the White House, insists on creating a new negotiating platform.

Pashinyan decided to strike a blow at the reputation of Putin and Russia

According to diplomatic sources, on November 9 in Moscow it was planned to sign a new special Statement on the settlement. But Pashinyan was adamant. And Charles Michel, involved in the game, called Ilham Aliyev twice with a proposal to meet in Brussels. The Azerbaijani President, of course, agreed. Why would Baku intrude on the plane of conditional, but still allied relations between Armenia and Russia?

And Baku turned out to be a thousand times right, because unexpectedly, the unpredictable Pashinyan again for some reason found himself on the wire with Vladimir Putin. Yerevan and Moscow sources of information did not provide details of the talks between the two politicians. However, immediately after the conversation, which was unpleasant for the Armenian head of government -- it is not surprising, because Pashinyan struck an open blow to the reputation and prestige of the Russian state -- a number of Armenian publications, without reference to government sources, replicated the sensational news about a new unplanned meeting between Aliyev and Pashinyan. But not in Brussels, but at the residence of the Russian leader in Sochi. The Armenian Foreign Ministry did not comment on this news. And Pashinyan's office remained stubbornly silent until official Moscow sources informed the world about the meeting scheduled for November 26 in Russia. And then everyone knows everything. Putin, as the main mediator, called Michel and explained himself. Pushing aside the European Union with its amorphous mission. Pashinyan was silent, Michel winced. Aliyev took it for granted. Moscow and Baku eagerly awaited Pashinyan's explanations.

The Armenian PM appeared before the public as if tied to a pillory. Pashinyan's absurd explanation shocked, first of all, the Armenian public, tired of the government's throwings. The Armenian leader explained his refusal to meet with Aliyev and Putin with psychological problems. 'November 9 is a difficult day for me,' Pashinyan said bitterly. However, the Armenian premier did not tell the whole truth, did not finish, did not dare to utter this humiliating phrase -- 'the day of defeat' and 'the date of surrender' of Armenia. Surrender is a heavy cross that Pashinyan inherited, which he must carry to the end of his political career. However, this is the choice of the politician himself, who resigned himself to the defeat of his country in the name of prosperity in power.

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