What does Yerevan expect by tightening its rhetoric?
It has been more than two months since a major armed incident occurred on the border of Armenia's Tavush region and Azerbaijan's Tovuz region on July 12, resulting in casualties on both sides. From the very beginning it was clear that it was the provocation by the Armenian Armed Forces that led to the aggravation of the conflict, but then they failed to achieve military successes, and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, despite all his efforts, was not able to gain support of Russia and other CSTO countries.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization capitals quickly realized that it's Armenia's military-political leadership which was responsible for tragic incidents like the one that happened on July 12, and no CSTO countries had a desire to maintain a new hotbed of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that could divert attention from the fact of the occupation of Azerbaijani lands.
However, after the July provocation, there was an August one. "A sabotage group was sent to commit military provocations against our servicemen, and the leader of that sabotage group was arrested. He gave evidence, made a confession, mentioned names of those who sent them and how," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said, stressing that these provocations were the logical result of that policy of the Armenian nationalists, whose goal is to disrupt the talks, blame Baku and make the status quo unchanged.
Today Yerevan put forward seven conditions for Baku, and Baku has one condition - the Armenian troops must leave the Azerbaijani lands, as prescribed by the UN Security Council resolutions. The conditions of the Armenian side of Baku seem absurd, and how can one start a new stage of negotiations on the settlement of the conflict if the occupation of Azerbaijani lands is called "liberation" by Yerevan?
The Armenian Prime Minister's statement dealt a serious blow to the negotiation process last year. His "Artsakh is Armenia and that's it!", "the Armenian people have been living in Nagorno-Karabakh for thousands of years" statements, as well as "the toponym "Artsakh" goes back thousands of years" has been laughed by historians. The fact is that the Iravan Khanate was one of the Azerbaijani states. The lands where the Iravan Khanate was created were Turkic territories since the 10th century, and only at the beginning of the 19th century the Russian Empire started annexing these lands. On the basis of the Treaty of Turkmenchay, the Armenians were resettled to the territories of Karabakh and Iravan khanates, and of course this process was not coordinated by the tsarist dignitaries with the local population.
During the resettlement of Armenians from Turkey and Iran to the territory of the Iravan province, as well as to other Azerbaijani lands, a parallel process of history falsification has begun. Archival documents were falsified, even the names and texts of treaties. As a result, already in the 19th century, the Armenians who had been resettled to the South Caucasus became "the oldest indigenous population" of the region. Now Armenian propaganda not only builds its nationalist policy on this false attitude, but also broadcasts deliberately distorted information to the whole world.
During the years of Soviet power, Armenian nationalists achieved the creation of autonomy in Nagorno-Karabakh, and at the end of the 20th century they began to "liberate" its lands from the indigenous population. Now, according to Armenian nationalists, Azerbaijan should conduct negotiations not with Armenia, but with the unrecognized "NKR". This means a change in the format of the negotiations, which Baku cannot accept, rightly claiming that "we can have no contacts with this puppet regime of the criminal junta." There are no meetings and consultations, and not because of the pandemic - Yerevan's statements simply leave no room for negotiations.
Once Nikol Pashinyan's rhetoric raised hopes for constructive negotiations not only in Azerbaijan, but also in the OSCE Minsk Group, which mediates in the conflict, but soon everyone saw the lack of progress, while provocations on the border and on the front line showed that the new prime minister followed in the footsteps of his predecessors.
Meanwhile, today Armenia is actively discussing the issue of resettlement of Armenians from Lebanon and Syria to the territory of the so-called "NKR". "Armenia is conducting illegal settlement. This contradicts all international conventions ... This is completely contrary to the Geneva Convention. It is a crime. It is a crime to bring people to the occupied territories and settle them there illegally. The Pashinyan regime is doing this consciously. This is a provocation. We are being provoked, they show it on the Internet – some Lebanese Armenian family has come and is doing something there. After that, the so-called leader of the so-called regime is allegedly sworn in our ancient historical city of Shusha. This is another provocation," Ilham Aliyev says.
Experts see the special cynicism of the Armenian side in the fact that when Baku says that they will not tolerate such actions, in Yerevan they call Azerbaijanis "aggressors" from all tribunes. But they use this term to refer to a people expelled by the occupiers from their lands; people, whose houses, infrastructure and historical monuments were destroyed by Armenian nationalists.
Among other things this is happening against the background of Armenia being in a semi-blockade position due to the aggressive policy of the authorities towards Azerbaijan and Turkey, while its population, not wanting to live in poverty, leaves the country. Nevertheless, Yerevan pushes its agenda, claims to Turkey's territories as well. This surprises all the peoples living in the region.
Baku states that Azerbaijan will not participate in the negotiations for the sake of their imitation. "Nagorno-Karabakh is our historical land, and we will definitely return to these lands. We will restore all destroyed historical sites and houses. We will give the streets Azerbaijani names and return the renamed villages their real names. We will definitely do that because the truth is on our side. We do not lay claim to the lands of other countries, but we will not give our lands to anyone either," Ilham Aliyev stressed.