All quiet on Karabakh front: Sargsyan resigns, occupation remains in force
Armenia's new power in the person of Nikol Pashinyan - a young Yerevan politician, a member of the first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan's team and an indefatigable fighter with the rule of the Karabakh clan of Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan - apparently does not intend to change the foreign policy of his internal political opponents regarding the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This is evidenced by the statements of the comrades-in-arms of Nikol Pashinyan in the Yelk parliamentary faction and the Civil Contract party, with which correspondents of Vestnik Kavkaza spoke today.
Ararat Mirzoyan, the MP from Yelk faction and member of the board of the Civil Contract party, said that the team of Nikol Pashinyan does not plan any radical changes in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. "Everything will happen within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, we will continue to contact the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and we will adhere to the framework of this negotiation process," he said.
At the same time, the opposition MP, repeating the words of the authorities, which Yelk and Civil Treaty seek to expel from Armenia, accused Azerbaijan of unresolving the conflict, not the Karabakh clan of Kocharyan and Sargsyan. "I want to emphasize that negotiations and compromise require will and readiness for this compromise, but the rhetoric of the Azerbaijani authorities does not show it. We hear threats of attacking not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but also the borders of the Republic of Armenia, which is unacceptable," Ararat Mirzoyan reproduced the standards of Sargsyan propaganda.
His colleague Lena Nazaryan promised to adhere to negotiations with Baku. "We believe that this issue should be resolved through peaceful means, we do not see any other way out, so we will continue the negotiations. Nikol Pashinyan will describe it in further detail when he will become prime minister," she promised.
Meanwhile, Nikol Pashinyan already voiced his position on Karabakh on the eve of the May 1 elections and at the parliament session, repeating the words of his political enemies from the Karabakh clan. "Our task is to strengthen the army, raise the level of combat readiness. This is the way for Azerbaijan's return to the constructive channel," he shifted the blame for the unresolved Karabakh problem and the blockade of Armenian borders from Sargsyan to Baku.
The future new government's plans to unblock the borders also show the intention to continue the policy of the "war party". Arthur Mirzoyan said bluntly that "this issue is not on the agenda," adding that "no specific steps are being discussed with regard to Armenia's return to the regional economy as a whole."
Lena Nazaryan reproduced Yerevan's standard position on the borders of recent years. "We are ready to open borders with Turkey and restore diplomatic relations, but Turkey does not want to go to these talks now. Perhaps there will be a chance to return to this issue in the future, and I hope that Armenia will have good friendly relations with all its neighbors," the deputy of the Yelk faction said, noting that Pashinyan's team plans to use ties with Georgia and Iran to developm the economy.
On May 1, Pashinyan said in the parliament that "what is happening in the neighboring country leaves no room for optimism, we cannot say that we can unlock the borders in the near future", once again removing the responsibility for the closed borders from the power, against which he took the majority of Armenian citizens to the streets these days. According to him, Armenia will have to reconcile with this, that is, with its own unwillingness to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and count only on the borders with Georgia and Iran.
Thus, the change of power in Armenia can change nothing, even the change of the Karabakh clan and its aging leaders (Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan are 63 years old) who are vitally interested in the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories, in favour of the young generation of Yerevan politicians (Nikolay Pashinyan is 42 years old, Ararat Mirzoyanu - 38 years old). We can assume that these statements are made only to facilitate the "gentle" transition of power and in the future Yelk ("Way out") will become a symbol of the way out of the Karabakh stalemate - but with the same probability one can assume the irremovability of the dominant occupation ideology under formal change of power: names and persons will be replaced, but the plan for maintaining the status quo and the power confrontation will remain in force.