After the series of meetings of Putin with the heads of state of Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia there is a point of view that there is a decision to “freeze” the Karabakh issue. There are not enough resources and means for the solution according to the plan of Russia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Armenia would not agree to hand territories in return for uncertain “guarantees”. It is possible that Armenia has the support of the “third” forces.
There is a probability of a force majeure, and it is not ruled out that Azerbaijan will try to capture at least a small area. However, judging by published information, the Karabakh issue has been “put off”.
The campaign of the parliamentary elections will start in the fall of 2017. The government system in Armenia will change with this election. A government will be formed which will take full authority to govern. However, “new centers of power” will appear.
In particular, it is about the National Security Council which will be entitled to decision and policy making, including in army management. According to the new Constitution, the Security Council will be dealing with policy. And this means that though in the time of peace the army will obey the prime minister, it will be managed by the Security Council. This is an important component, considering the key role of the army in the structure of governance and security.
There will be another important position – the deputy prime minister/foreign minister who will coordinate the foreign policy and security. nevertheless, it is not clear who will be dealing with the negotiations on the Karabakh issue.
The president of Armenia is dealing with it but it is not clear who has assigned the president of Armenia to this function. Only the government of Karabakh can assign such authorities but there is not a document that authorizes the president of Armenia to conduct negotiations on behalf of Karabakh, and especially discuss its territorial integrity.
Obviously, Serzh Sargsyan is not willing to make decisions on Karabakh. Serzh Sargsyan needs a time out at least until next March, and apparently he has it.
Russia and especially Turkey will hardly realize that afterwards it will be harder to resume the talks based on the platform developed earlier. It is not accidental that the notorious principles of Madrid during the latest meetings. Azerbaijan and Turkey put forth a specific condition – handing of several territories, meanwhile Armenia insists on the issue of status.
At the same time, Russia puts forth its own conditions to Azerbaijan – lifting of the blockade. In addition, as the Russian experts put it, “Azerbaijan blocks the Russian investments in communication in Armenia”. In other words, Russia proposes opening the Russian communications in Armenia.
These conditions are almost unachievable, at least until next spring when there will be a new parliament, government and other agencies in Armenia which are authorized to make decisions and participate in negotiations. And this means that the Karabakh issue has again been “frozen” for a time.