IMPERATIVE OF THE TIME: TO TRANSFORM CEASEFIRE TO PEACE
Leonid Martirosyan

Azat Artsakh Newspaper
19 May, 2010
Nagorno Karabakh Republic [NKR]

On the night of May 12th 1994, and even more exactly - from 00:01am,
the agreement on ceasefire in a zone of the Karabakh conflict has
come into force. The agreement, for which both the Armenian and
Azerbaijan people have been waiting for a long time, who have tested
all tragedy of bloody and severe war untied by the management of
Azerbaijan. Baku has gone on this frankly adventurous step which
threatened with accident not only to both people, but also to all
region of Southern Caucasus cherishing dreams of the power resolution
of conflict and creating illusions concerning unpunished punishment
over Nagorno-Karabakh, who proclaimed independence. It was easier
to untie war, however where it was more difficult to stop it. And
this difficulty was greatly conditioned again by uncompromising
position of Azerbaijan side, which in any way did not wish to be
reconciled with realities and to refuse the policy of armed capture of
Nagorno-Karabakh and destruction of its Armenian population. The way
to the world, to be exact - to ceasefire, has been difficult enough
and thorny. To the agreements on cease-fire signed by Azerbaijan,
Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia, preceded rather heavy negotiations
in the capital of Kirghizia- Bishkek, passing under the aegis
of Inter-parliamentary assembly of the CIS and marked on May 5th
by so-called Bishkek report signed by heads of parliaments of all
three parties of the conflict. It was preceded, in its turn, by the
Statement of heads of the states CIS accepted in Moscow on April 15th,
1994, in which it was imperatively required to stop bloodshed in
Nagorno-Karabakh. Acquaintance to documentary materials of that time
gives clear representation about complications of diplomatic struggle
around already mentioned documents. Here it is necessary to give due
to the Russian intermediary -Vladimir Kazimirov - the co-chairman
of the Minsk group of OSCE in 1992-96 heading intermediary mission
of Russia on Nagorno-Karabakh. The skilled diplomat needed many
efforts to achieve signing by all parties first the Bishkek report,
and then the agreement on cease-fire. After all official Baku in
any way did not wish to be reconciled that by its signature of the
documents with equal rights and with equal duties would also certify
Nagorno-Karabakh, the status of which it tried to reduce to level of
the Armenian community to equate to the community of Azerbaijan. That,
certainly, contradicted the sensible logic, as Azerbaijan community
of Nagorno-Karabakh had no representative body, so, it had no powers
for signing of documents to bear responsibility for realization of the
future agreement. It is necessary to tell, that Azerbaijan during this
period made too many steps which were running counter to common sense.

Though why only during this period? 16 years have already passed,
and Baku tries to pretend till now, that Nagorno-Karabakh as the full
party of the conflict does not exist. But after all, the tripartite
configuration of the conflict has actually been confirmed in the same
Bishkek, and then a at the Budapest summit of OSCE in December, 1994.

Baku should understand, at last, that without comprehension and
acceptance of this obvious true, it is hardly possible to expect
high-grade and meaningful dialogue in negotiating process. On advantage
estimating the contribution of the Russian intermediary to ceasefire
establishment, nevertheless it would be desirable to notice, that
the Azerbaijan party was forced to the world by NKR Defence Army.

After all till Bishkek there were arrangements on ceasefire, however
Azerbaijan rather often used them for a respite and then broke these
arrangements hoping to achieve its aim by military way. As an example
it is possible to result military campaign of Azerbaijan in winter
of 1993-94, when in infringement of arrangements the Azerbaijan army
undertook counterattack practically on all extent of a front line,
however it had big losses and could not achieve crisis. Actually to
spring of 1994 the Azerbaijan party was already ready to agreement
undertaking about ceasefire, and first of all - from a hopelessness
and military weakness. By the way, when the situation at the front
developed for Azerbaijan not in the best way, it, not resorting to
services of intermediaries and not being considered with the suffered
reputation, directly entered into contact with Nagorno-Karabakh
asking for peace, which it needed too much. Here peace is maintained
16 years in the conflict zone. Then, in 1994, agreement undertaking
about ceasefire, let with compulsion of Azerbaijan, nevertheless
was marked by itself celebration of a common sense. Why Baku has
lost today feeling of realism, and with it reason, not stopping
threats to renew war? Most likely, lessons of the past have gone to
Azerbaijan not useful and it does not draw corresponding conclusions
from the negative experience. So, compulsion to the world should be
continued, and the NKR Defence Army, as the major factor of safety
of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and stability in region should bear
the peace-making mission further. Till the reason in Azerbaijan will
not prevail. And only then the fragile ceasefiree is transformed to
the high-grade and termless peace.