Nov 30 2010

Armenia is not persistent in pushing forward its proposals for the
settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Ambassador Vladimir
Kazimirov, First Vice-Chairman of the Association of Russian diplomats
(ARD), who was Russian Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group in 1992-1996,
wrote in an article entitled "Karabakh and the new OSCE Summit:
are endless refusals a way to settlement?" in Dipkuryer.

In May 1994, through Russia's mediation, the OSCE Summit in Budapest
made the most substantial decision on Nagorno-Karabakh by instructing
the OSCE Co-Chairs (Russia, United States and France, which have acted
as Co-Chairs for 13 years) to negotiate an agreement on ceasefire with
the parties to the conflict -Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh.

The OSCE then viewed Nagorno-Karabakh as one of the conflicting
parties, which accounted for the negotiation format. Official Baku did
not raise any objections in Budapest, and repeatedly signed documents
with Stepanakert rather than Yerevan during the war of 1991-1994.

Also, the main issue, Nagorno-Karabakh's final status, is impossible
to settle with Nagorno-Karabakh's participation. Later, for fear
Nagorno-Karabakh's recognition, official Baku began ousting it from
the negotiation process. Armenian failed to take that into account,
while the OSCE forgot about its own decisions.

Nagorno-Karabakh has been out of Azerbaijan's control for over 20
years, but Azerbaijan still considers it its part. Referring to its own
Constitution, Azerbaijan does not even think of any referendum there.

"Azerbaijan is absolutizing territorial integrity, though this
principle is not the Absolute," Kazimirov writes.

According to him, the reality is complicated and contradictory.

Occupation cannot be tolerated nowadays, but it was the result of
the Azerbaijan leadership's blunders in their desire for defeating
Armenians and unwillingness to put an end to that war. However,
threats of new war are even worse. There are no alternatives worse
than war. On the other hand, Baku's threats help Armenians to justify
the "security zone round Nagorno-Karabakh," using this factor in its
negotiations for Nagorno-Karabakh's status.

Azerbaijan's appeals and preparations for war make it impossible to
consider the conflict in a politico-legal rather than military aspect.

On the other hand, it is unacceptable to Armenians to leave the
reinforced lines.

Armenian radicals' claims to the occupied lands, their strongly worded
responses to Baku are weakening the Armenian side's positions in the
international arena. Yerevan is not persistent in pushing forward
its proposals even when they are quite right.

"On the threshold of the Astana Summit, Dmitry Medvedev and Sergey
Lavrov continue exerting efforts to draw the sides' positions on the
basic principles closer and achieve at least some improvement. A
'road map' is beneficial for ensuring the sides' consistent and
interdependent actions. However, it requires at least the lowest level
of mutual confidence. Is it available? Baku has lately demanded that
Armenians agree to the updated Madrid principles they [Armenians]
accepted with 'some reservations'," writes the diplomat.

From: A. Papazian