Armenia's Answer to Azerbaijan's Shot

    • Comments - 20 October 2017, 13:48
Three days after the meeting in Geneva another tragedy and crime is reported at the line of contact: an Armenian serviceman is killed by the Azerbaijani shot. Is this the direct or indirect answer of the Azerbaijani president Aliyev to Serzh Sargsyan’s statements he made during his meeting with the Armenian community in Switzerland?

After the meeting with Aliyev in Geneva Serzh Sargsyan went to meet with the local Armenian community and commented on his meeting. He said they did not discuss any proposals but agreed to alleviate tension at the line of contact. Sargsyan also announced that both himself and Aliyev are interested in this. At the same time, he said Artsakh will never be part of Azerbaijan.

Aliyev responded to this statement through his assistant. Novruz Mammadov said Sargsyan breached the agreement on limiting to the statement of the co-chairs on the meeting in Geneva.

Did after this Aliyev think that he is free to breach the agreement on taking steps towards alleviating tension at the line of contact.

It appears so at least indirectly. On the other hand, there are two circumstances. There is no doubt that we deal with another human tragedy resulting from the conflict. On the other hand, it is true that the actions of the snipers, being a slow death machine, are not associated with tension at the border. They are not a large-scale military action as such.

There is an opinion that the meeting in Geneva freed Aliyev’s hands in terms of military actions because he had not fulfilled the Vienna agenda but there was a meeting which gave him a “legitimate” opportunity for the so-called ceasefire breaches.

Snipers worked, work and will continue to work irrespective of meetings. Over the past year and a half there were no meetings but there were such incidents.

There is one circumstance with regard to human tragedy – one victim is an irreplaceable and expensive loss – in a purely political sense, the scaling is beyond the so-called mediation standards of the Karabakh conflict dynamics and observation of the situation.

In this sense, calling this murder a direct response will hardly be adequate to the situation. However, it is definitely an indirect answer to Sargsyan and the Minsk Group co-chairs. At the same time, this circumstance is evidence that Geneva passed not in accordance with Aliyev’s agenda though in the past three days Azerbaijan has issued a series of such political testimonies.

Geneva passed in accordance with the international agenda, the regional share of which has been formed by the Armenian armed forces, by way of pushing back the Azerbaijani aggression in the April war. This agenda was also expressed through a geopolitical consensus among the Minsk Group co-chairs over building Armenia’s technical military capacity. This led to essential limitation of Azerbaijan’s scale of military diplomacy.

In fact, the Armenian armed forces were and continue to be the ceasefire mechanism because the introduction of de jure international mechanisms is determined by long-term strategic interests which the centers of power have and on which they have essential contradictions.

In this sense, some important capacity building of the Armenian armed forces is their tactical consensus which has led the situation to the action of the armed forces and society in April 2016.

The objective of the current stage of the problem is to limit the action of snipers. However, the question is that this scale is seen as a small issue by the co-chairs which does not touch upon their medium-term and long-term interests, hence does not create a necessity for spending significant effort and resource on this.

Can Armenia ensure this issue is “included” in the framework of interests of the co-chairs?