In a move that made headlines in international media the Armenian government on May 5 markedly did not turn down a bill drafted by two opposition lawmakers that would oblige Armenia to formally recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh.
As Armenia marked May 9, the 71st anniversary of allied victory in World War II in Europe and the 24th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi during the first Nagorno-Karabakh war (1992-1994), there was no shortage of statements from officials related to the recent escalation of fighting in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone.
The last three days in the Karabakh conflict zone passed without news of new casualties as the sides exchanged the bodies of servicemen killed in the worst flare-up of violence on April 2-5.
Armenia refuses to negotiate on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem until international security guarantees and the introduction of international ceasefire monitoring mechanisms are ensured to pave the way for peace talks.
Last week was relatively quiet on the Nagorno Karabakh front as the military said there were fewer shots and less intensity of fire at the line of contact and along the restive Armenian-Azerbaijani border. At the same time, calls for peace talks after last month’s deadly fighting in Karabakh were made at the diplomatic front.
Public debate in Armenia centered around corruption and blunders in the political-administrative system and the military that purportedly led to heavy casualties in last month’s war against Azerbaijan has been gradually degrading into spiteful speculation rather than useful analysis.
A possible meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno Karabakh with the participation of the foreign ministers of Russia, the United States and France has already been confirmed by Moscow. The other OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries have at least not denied such an opportunity.
Last week, the Armenian National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Commission considered two major drafts – the agreement on creating a joint Armenian-Russian air defense system and the motion for the start of procedures to quit the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
Despite the diplomatic row between Germany and Turkey caused by the Bundestag’s adoption of a resolution formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire and the German responsibility for this crime, Berlin and Ankara are likely to remain allies, the difference being that Germany will strengthen its positions in its future negotiations with Turkey over migrants and other issues of the European agenda.
The trip of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to Nagorno-Karabakh took place before the visit to Yerevan by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was expected to present a Russian peace plan to resolve the Karabakh conflict. However, Sargsyan’s visit to Nagorno-Karabakh has apparently changed the Armenian side’s attitude towards this plan discarded by many as “anti-Armenian”.
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