Igor Korotchenko: Nikol Pashinyan deliberately derails Karabakh talks
When the leader of Armenia's 'velvet revolution', Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan came to power, he has began to block peace talks on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan at every possible way, editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine Igor Korotchenko told the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.
"Pashinyan demonstrates an absolutely non-flexible policy, whereby Yerevan does not want to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He puts forward requirements that are inappropriate to the norms of international law - that the 'NKR' delegation should be present at the talks. Persistent Pashinyan’s persistent demands are, in fact, derailing the negotiation process as such. Pashinyan does this consciously, he cannot but understand that the requirement to put a third party at the negotiating table blocks the entire settlement," he stressed
"Under international law, we must state that the regions of Azerbaijan are occupied by Armenian military forces. Nobody, including Armenia, contests the status of these territories as occupied. Therefore, as a gesture of goodwill and assistance to the negotiation process, first of all Yerevan should transfer five occupied areas to Azerbaijan, for example, under the guarantee of the CSTO troops entry into the demilitarized zone through the contact line, which would ensure the non-resumption of hostilities. Next is the transfer of two more regions to Azerbaijan under guarantees of the deployment of the CSTO peacekeeping contingent and Baku's guarantees to preserve the transit of non-military goods through these territories to link Armenia with Karabakh," Igor Korotchenko suggested.
"Then, when the population returns to the de-occupied areas, Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons should be returned to the territory of Karabakh with the CSTO peacekeeping contingent providing a peaceful coexistence of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities there. Next is the creation of a joint Armenian-Azerbaijani police force to ensure law and order and maintain security in the territory. Then the parliamentary elections should be held under international supervision, and Nagorno-Karabakh's fate should be decided with the basic principle that it is the territory of Azerbaijan, but perhaps with a particular interim status," the military expert explained.
"If Pashinyan was to proceed in this manner, the new Yerevan's desire to bring peace to the region would be visible - but so far its position is unconstructive. Most importantly, sooner or later the problem of returning the occupied territories will have to be solved, because there are economic restrictions imposed on Armenia by Azerbaijan and Turkey. If the process is unblocked, both Yerevan and Nagorno-Karabakh will be able to receive substantial preferences, since Azerbaijan possesses the necessary resources and is able to make lives of all those living in the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh more stable, calm and prosperous. But practical actions are needed from Yerevan, but Nikol Pashinyan rather make statements, so the negotiations are being hampered," Igor Korotchenko concluded.