Sargsyan calls Karabakh “inseparable part” of Armenia amid border unrest

Sargsyan calls Karabakh “inseparable part” of Armenia amid border unrest –

Armenianow – The latest escalation of the situation on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as along the line of contact in around Nagorno-Karabakh was followed by a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers in New York and the statement of the OSCE Minsk Group. But analysts still find it difficult to predict the future course of the Karabakh conflict settlement. There are opinions that the OSCE Minsk Group will collapse, some speak about the inevitability of war, but other expert say that the Karabakh problem may be close to some sort of resolution. 

Now, apparently, the scenario of this ending is being discussed and among the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair nations – Russia, the United States and France – there is clearly no consensus on this matter. Despite the fact that Russia officially is Armenia’s strategic ally and partner in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Moscow-led defense grouping of six former Soviet nations, it is selling high-precision offensive weapons to Azerbaijan and supporters Baku at a political level. Russian experts voice Moscow’s plan – an Armenian withdrawal from some of the Karabakh-controlled territories and deployment of Russian peacekeepers or CSTO troops at the new boundary.

Apparently, France and the United States propose a different way – the freezing of the conflict, stabilization of the situation, increase of the OSCE’s mandate to create a commission to investigate incidents and to establish confidence-building measures. The increase in the mandate of the OSCE could also imply the deployment of international units.

Over the weekend the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs called on the parties to establish a mechanism for investigating incidents, and Armenia, they said, has agreed to this proposal. Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, considered that to be sort of recognition of the current status quo, and said that instead of that “it is better to create a mechanism for the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Karabakh.”

Meanwhile, in his speech about the incidents at the border and in the conflict zone in general, in which three Armenian civilians and four soldiers were killed in recent days, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan made a new accent in the issue. He, in particular, stated that Karabakh is an inseparable part of Armenia and the Armenian army will not only defend it, but will also punish all those responsible for human deaths.

This has allowed experts to assume that Armenia has its own scenario – it may be ready to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic if the efforts of the mediators will lead to some results that would be undesirable for Yerevan. President Sargsyan is expected to address the Nagorno-Karabakh issue in his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York. 

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