A bill that would commit Armenia to formally recognizing the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) was not included in the agenda of the current session of parliament. The authorities call into question the prudence of passing a Karabakh recognition bill now. However, they say that, when a timely opportunity comes, not only Armenia, but also the international community will recognize the independence of NKR.
Presenting the Government’s opinion on May 16, the day when the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan were to meet through international mediation for the first time since the April escalation in Nagorno Karabakh, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said: “Our President clearly stated that there is a need for stable truce, moreover, some confidence-building measures have to be implemented.” According to the government representative, at the moment, the basis for the negotiation process is a stable ceasefire, which should be firstly provided.
The discussion of the bill that was referred to the National Assembly from the government on May 5 comes weeks after hostilities in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone during which President Sargsyan, the leader of the majority Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), warned Baku that Yerevan would consider recognizing Karabakh should the armed clashes escalate into a full-blown war.
Opposition Heritage party MP Zaruhi Postanjyan, a co-author of the bill, said that back in 1994, instead of Azerbaijan’s capitulation, an agreement on ceasefire was signed. [Karabakh’s independence] was not recognized in 1994, and the same thing is happening now.
“At the moment, [Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia] Khachaturov’s leaving for Russia, was the same as that we surrendered. At the moment, we have several high grounds, which are occupied by Azerbaijan. We have many casualties, so we can stop this aggression only in this way,” she said before the vote.
Expert Ara Papian, the head of the Modus Vivendi analytical center, said that the Armenian side has long been using the issue of Karabakh recognition or non-recognition as a lever of pressure on Azerbaijan, something like the last bullet.
“If you have one bullet, then you keep it for using at the end. I think this process will run longer,” said Papian.
According to the expert, everybody understands that the Karabakh problem has no solution through negotiations, but at the same time none of the sides wants to take the charge of disrupting the negotiation process, despite the fact that Armenia can accuse Azerbaijan of violating the ceasefire many times.
Earlier, MP Alexander Arzumanyan, former Foreign Minister, said that the three presidents of Armenia had always expressed the thesis that if Karabakh is attacked, then one of the steps taken by official Yerevan will be the recognition of Karabakh.
“I think that if we consider these four-day hostilities as a war, we should have recognized NKR’s independence on April 3 and should have given the government an opportunity to continue military actions. As we did not do it at that time, now it becomes meaningless and the idea of recognition is devalued,” he said.