Armenia was reminded of peace in Karabakh
The main political event of the week was the meeting between the Presidents of Russia and Armenia, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan, and especially the fact that this meeting coincided with the statement of the outgoing temporary co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Richard Hoagland, which the Armenian authorities strongly disliked.
"Putin met Serzh Sargsyan at the door, but stubbed him in the back with Hoagland's hand," Armenian media report. The Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper writes: "On the day of the working meeting between Serzh Sargsyan and Vladimir Putin in Sochi, the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Richard Hoagland organized a farewell press conference in Washington, where he presented several principled provisions for the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
... Hoagland's statement caused a big stir in Armenia: the provisions indicated by him were not pleasant for Armenian ears, and Armenia's Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said that they contain inaccuracies. But at the moment these provisions are insignificant: more importantly, why the US co-chairman decided to oppress the Armenian side, and why this coincided with the Sargsyan-Putin meeting.
There are two opinions: the first is that this is a coincidence, just pure coincidence, and the second is that it was not coincident at all. According to experts, who hold the second opinion, having made such a loud statement on the day of the Sargsyan-Putin meeting, the US either reminded about itself, or tried to prevent some separate agreements between the presidents of Armenia and Russia. We believe, however, that what happened there was an example of unique Russian-American cooperation.
During the Sochi meeting, it was to be clarified whether a new summit on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflicit would be convened in autumn, which depended on the agenda. If Ilham Aliyev agreed to discuss at the meeting with Putin the issue of implementing confidence-building mechanisms in the conflict zone at a new meeting, Vladimir Putin would pass it to Serzh Sargsyan, who would welcome it, and the format and terms of the meeting would be clarified.
But since Aliyev, apparently, abandoned this agenda, there was a need for a multi-way diplomatic combination. The maximum that Aliyev could do - to agree to the agenda of confidence-building provided that several basic provisions of the conflict, for example, the withdrawal of Armenian troops from some territories, are considered in parallel.
Apparently, President Putin was cunning, saying to Sargsyan only that Aliyev is ready to talk about the Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements, while the role of stimulating the talks on the principles of the conflict settlement was entrusted to the US wing of the OSCE Minsk Group.
This puts the Armenian leader in a quandary. If, on the basis of information provided by the Russian President, he agreed to an autumn meeting, the refusal with reference to the public statement of the outgoing co-chair of the Minsk Group would look ridiculous.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, commenting on the statement made by Richard Hoagland, said that "if Armenia admits that these principles noted by the US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group Richard Hoagland are not new and accepts them, then substantive negotiations should be started to discuss the details," the author writes.
Political expert Anoush Sedrakyan told the correspondent of the Aravot daily that Armenia's position will not change after the Putin-Sargsyan meeting, because three things are needed: "Economic and energy independence, all the possibilities of which we still deny, the perception of sovereignty, which our political leadership lacks, and a certain solution to the Karabakh conflict, which has not happened yet ... "