Lavrov Hurries to Yerevan: What's Up Next?

    • Comments - 14 November 2017, 21:53
The 168 Zham has informed that next week the Russian foreign minister will visit Baku and Yerevan on November 19-20. The agenda of his visit is the Karabakh settlement.

On November 13, the meeting of Putin and Erdogan met in Moscow. Yesterday it was stated unexpectedly that on November 14 the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will meet in Moscow with the foreign minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan.

The impression is that after the Putin-Erdogan meeting Nalbandyan was invited to Moscow but the U.S. and French co-chairs “did not allow” Russian-Armenian separate negotiations and have appointed a meeting with the three co-chairs. Moreover, one month ago a meeting was appointed in Paris on November 12 to discuss the monitoring but it did not take place.

After the Putin-Erdogan meeting there were no statements on Karabakh though ahead of his visit to Sochi Erdogan stated twice that he will talk to Putin about Karabakh. The Kommersant reported that Erdogan has not been able to force Putin into compromise.

If Lavrov’s visit to Armenia and Azerbaijan is confirmed, it may indicate Russia’s likelihood to accelerate certain processes. Interestingly, this is happening a week before the possible signing of the EU-Armenia agreement.

Does Lavrov have a new plan or will he try to “lead” the sides back to the Kazan plan? Can Lavrov spark undesirable movements in Armenia with a “careless” word which might hinder the signing of the EU-Armenia agreement?

This agreement, despite the indifferent looks, has caused worries in Azerbaijan and Turkey. On the other hand, the agreement of the text was signed one month before the signing, and everyone has seen that there is nothing “awkward” in it. Another way of thwarting the signing is a sabotage at the border. However, on November 9 a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council was called in Vienna where the United States and the EU have stated that a military solution of the Karabakh conflict is unacceptable and insisted on introducing mechanisms for restraint. This means that the side which will start military actions will face a tough punishment.

Is it possible that they will provoke political instability in Armenia through statements or leaks on the settlement?

If the Armenian government is indeed committed to signing an agreement with the EU, if it really wants stability and peace, it has to ask Russia to refrain from mediation of settlement of the Karabakh issue until November 24.