Azerbaijan news

Open and secret points in the negotiations


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Baku last night and met with President Ilham Aliyev on the same day. The meeting discussed the implementation of the Declaration on Allied Interaction signed between Russia and Azerbaijan on February 22 this year and the ongoing peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The President said that Azerbaijan hopes that the work of the tripartite commission for the opening of communications in the region and the unimpeded access of Azerbaijani cargo and citizens to Nakhchivan will yield real results. “I would like to note the intensification of the work of the trilateral working group chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. We hope that practical steps will be taken to implement the November 2020 statement in the context of the opening of communications, which is a legal obligation of the Armenian side, and the unimpeded access of Azerbaijani cargo and citizens to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. “Unfortunately, more than a year and a half has passed since the end of the Second Karabakh War, but this clause of the declaration has not been implemented yet,” Aliyev said.

The head of state later expressed regret that Baku’s proposal to start work on a peace agreement has not been answered so far.

“I am confident that our efforts will be welcomed by the Armenian side and the long-term confrontation will end. Our proposal to start work on a peace agreement has not been answered so far, but we still hope that this proposal will be welcomed. We also hope for the active efforts of the Russian Federation in establishing lasting peace in the Caucasus, “he said.

Sergei Lavrov said that there was some progress in the work of the trilateral working group on the opening of communications. “We are discussing issues to be agreed with the Armenian side. We have a general understanding of how to solve the problem of the most convenient organization of traffic so as not to create artificial obstacles. Russia will help in this until the results are achieved. I hope this will happen soon. Russia is ready to provide advisory services to the commissions on delimitation and demarcation of the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia. There are concrete proposals in this regard. I am glad to discuss them with you, “Lavrov said.

Later, the Russian Foreign Minister noted that the Armenian side is ready to discuss the provisions of the future peace agreement proposed by Azerbaijan: “We have heard that Prime Minister Pashkina is ready to negotiate on this issue. We are ready to provide assistance with the consent of Azerbaijan and Armenia. “

Lavrov arrived at the Foreign Ministry today. It was noted that he was received “ordinary” by Minister Jeyhun Bayramov. After the meeting, the ministers held a press briefing.

Bayramov called the relations between Azerbaijan and Russia an example of mutually beneficial cooperation. He stressed that today, June 24, the two countries signed another document – an agreement on cooperation in the field of international information security. The Minister also touched upon Azerbaijan’s relations with Armenia: “It is necessary to fulfill all trilateral statements to normalize relations with Armenia. The priority for Azerbaijan is the restoration of the liberated territories. In the near future, we will witness the return of IDPs to the liberated territories.

The Minister noted that a joint Azerbaijani-Russian center has been established in the industrial park in the East Zangazur region.

Lavrov said that Azerbaijan’s exemplary attitude to the Russian language and culture is highly valued in Russia.

The Russian Foreign Minister noted that the OSCE Minsk Group has suspended its activities. He said that this was initiated by the United States and France: “But, of course, we discussed the process of post-conflict settlement. The basis of this process is the trilateral statements of the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

He expressed satisfaction with the work of the trilateral working group on the opening of all communications and economic ties in the South Caucasus region.

Political scientist commenting on Lavrov’s visit to Azerbaijan to Farhad Mammadov He said that his attention was drawn to the Russian minister’s use of the term “Karabakh” and not “Nagorno-Karabakh” in the talks:

“This is important in terms of continuing the terminology outlined in the European Union (EU) statement. It seems that the EU approach has already played a role. Undoubtedly, without the growing initiatives of the international community, we would not see the strengthening of Russia’s mediation efforts. “

As for the results of the visit this year, the political scientist said that Lavrov also made it clear that there is no OSCE Minsk Group. According to him, this is a message to the Armenian side and other co-chairs that there is no other option: “The US State Department must also draw conclusions from this. Because Assistant Secretary of State Ms. Donfried spoke about the “status” in Armenia and “the possibility of US cooperation with Russia within the Minsk Group.” What has the United States gained from this statement ?! ”

According to Mammadov, Russia is strengthening its mediation activities and takes the process seriously:

No one intends to liberate Armenia from the tripartite-quadripartite format. Mediators must accept Azerbaijan’s terms in order to succeed. Both Russia and the EU accept this reality. We are waiting for concrete decisions in the near future, because time is limited. This also applies to other issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan”.

According to the expert, it was decided to hold round tables on the problematic topic on the Azerbaijani-Russian agenda – the blocking of sites. According to him, this is something new, the problem is not solved, but it is no longer a serious problem for the parties: “I do not think that the unblocking of Azerbaijani resources will take place before the end of the war, but this issue has been resolved as a problem.“.

Mammadov believes that some topics were discussed in the bilateral agenda, although they were not disclosed:

For good reason, on the day of Lavrov’s arrival, photos and videos from the construction of the new Lachin road were shown. The most important issues are the commissioning of the road, the relocation of Russian peacekeepers and the rules of entry into the territory of Azerbaijan. An alternative to the agreement here is the rules of access to the Zangazur corridor. Therefore, the opening of the corridor, its parameters, along with the formation of unfounded illusions among the Armenian population of Karabakh, also has an impact on the issues of delimitation and demarcation. This dual approach must end.

Then it is important to remove the remnants of the Armenian Armed Forces from the territory where the peacekeepers are temporarily stationed and to demilitarize the Armenian population of Karabakh. By the way, this issue is also related to border control, but since this is a separate item of the Tripartite Declaration, steps must be taken in this direction. Russia is required to show political will here, and in the current situation, postponing this issue is primarily dangerous for Russia’s own interests.“.

Mammadov stressed that these issues are very important in the Azerbaijani-Russian relations, as they irritate and strain public opinion.If Russia intends to withdraw from the Armenian-Azerbaijani normalization process in a tripartite-quadrilateral format, then it must make its own decisions and encourage Armenia to make decisions in this format. The Azerbaijani side has expressed “cautious optimism” in this context, ie the process is expected to be resolved as soon as possible“.

Political scientist Arastun Orujlu He said that the following conclusions can be drawn from the statements made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Azerbaijan:

“Russia is interested in conducting its economic relations through Azerbaijan to avoid sanctions;

Moscow wants to use Azerbaijan’s transport and communication opportunities;

Moscow considers the Azerbaijan-Russia “Declaration of Alliance” signed two days before Russia’s attack on Ukraine serious and expects the same from Baku;

The Russian Federation should be the main mediator in the peace talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia;

Continuation of the Russification of Azerbaijan through education is not a cultural issue for Moscow, but a foreign policy priority;

Russia wants Azerbaijan’s activities in international organizations to be coordinated with Moscow.

All this can be summed up as follows: Russia wants and sees Azerbaijan as its province.


Azerbaijan news

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