Peace in Karabakh would spell death to Sargsyan's 'party of war'

Peace in Karabakh would spell death to Sargsyan's 'party of war'

Provocations of the Armenian armed forces both on the contact line in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as other parts of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which constantly accompany attempts to promote and develop the political settlement process, are driven by the desire of the so called 'party of war' to remain in power. For the head of the party, who is one of the leaders of Karabakh separatists and at the same time the president of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, a peaceful settlement of the conflict would mean his political death, the same goes for his team.

A historian and political analyst, Candidate of Historical Sciences Oleg Kuznetsov, Director of the Institute of Political Studies Sergey Markov and a member of the Presidential Council on civil society and human Rights Maxim Shevchenko said as much, commenting for 'Vestnik Kavkaza' the latest Armenia’s attack of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. Nakhichevan does not have common border with the occupied regions of Karabakh, and located far away from the conflict zone.

Above all, Oleg Kuznetsov drew attention to the direct relation of the frequency and strength of such provocations to progress in the peace talks. "Such provocations always occur on the eve of any diplomatic efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, especially before the meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. As soon as minimal progress in the negotiations is achieved, a new escalation very often is provoked by Armenia and causes new victims. It disrupts and stops the whole negotiation process. Yesterday's shelling of the territory of Nakhichevan was a typical and, unfortunately, a typical story in modern Azerbaijani-Armenian history,'' he said.

One of the reasons of provocations is attempts by Yerevan to create grounds for future concessions. "Now the Armenian side is heightening the tensions in order to look like a peacemaker in the future, and, for example, stop provocations.  The shelling of Nakhichevan showed that Yerevan can go that far. Now, during negotiations Sargsyan may say that there will be no more aggression against Nakhichevan. This will create a new political reality where Armenia will look like a country that tries to ease the tensions in the region, although it was Armenia who heightened the tensions in the first place.  It is a PR move in order to influence the main issue – the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan,'' Oleg Kuznetsov said.

Maxim Shevchenko agreed that the provocation is a result of personal interests of the 'party of war'." The Karabakh party is in power now. Naturally, the people of Karabakh have interest in making the Karabakh policy the center of the country’s domestic policy. Undoubtedly, there are some forces in Armenia that do not want any agreements, as they gain from maintaining the escalation of the military conflict," he said.

Sergey Markov also noted what Yerevan's provocative behavior means for domestic policy. "Under the pressure from a large number of factors Yerevan cannot formulate its strategic position on the resolution of the conflict. These factors are military and political pressure of Azerbaijan, pressure of the Armenian population, pressure of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, which differs from the population of Armenia, as well as pressure of the Armenian diaspora abroad," the expert said.
"It seems to me that as a result of all this the Armenian leadership is confused and today it has no clear plan for Nagorno-Karabakh and no proper strategy to resolve the conflict . Russia's and Azerbaijan's joint actions should help the Armenian leadership to find the right strategy under all this pressure,'' Sergey Markov said.