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”.
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.
After participating in the celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the European People’s Party in Luxembourg on May 30, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan the next day went to Astana, Kazakhstan, where a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) took place.
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.
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).
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.
Criticism has been leveled in Armenia at foreign policy decision-makers who are blamed for being unable to convert the results of military operations into diplomatic achievements. The main gripe concerns an excessively cautious attitude of Armenian diplomacy which does not take initiatives, while only feebly reacting to foreign-policy trends.
After the four-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh in early April calls for bringing those responsible for the situation to justice have been voiced more vigorously in Armenia. The matter concerns not only the level of preparedness of the army, but also allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the country as a whole. More than nine dozen Armenian soldiers were killed in the April 2-5 clashes with Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and critics claim Armenians would have fewer casualties had proper armaments been purchased and deployed.
The two-day visit to Yerevan by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov due to start on April 21 will come amid speculation of a new plan by Moscow to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.