A bilateral meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was held in Brussels, where the Eastern Partnership summit was taking place. Before this, the two leaders met with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, separately and then in a "trilateral format".
The official "first person in the EU" thus mediated between the two sides.
Against the background of the meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia in Sochi earlier on 26 November 2021, the EU initially attached great importance to its role as mediator, since it was important for it to show that peace in the South Caucasus was not only the merit of Moscow, but also that of Brussels.
The trilateral meeting in Brussels between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and European Council President Charles Michel resulted in the final unblocking of communications and the start of the "launch" of the Zangezur corridor, at least in its "railway" part.
" It was agreed to start restoring the railway lines with appropriate border and customs controls on the basis of the principle of reciprocity. The EU is ready to support the development of the connecting lines in line with its economic and investment plan. The proposed economic consultative platform can also support this process," a statement from the trilateral meeting said.
The unblocking of communications, including the "railway component" of the Zangezur corridor, was confirmed by none other than Nikol Pashinian, who tweeted the following: "During the trilateral meeting with Charles Michel and the President of Azerbaijan, we confirmed the agreement to restart the railway on the basis of the border and customs regulations we have adopted on the principle of reciprocity under the sovereignty and jurisdiction of the countries.
Armenia will have railway access to Iran and Russia. -The head of the Armenian government noted.
Also after the meeting, Armenian Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan said that "a mutual understanding on the railway has been formed.
"Our negotiations relate to the Yeraskh-Ghoradiz line. This section is important because it gives an opportunity to connect to Iran from Yeraskh and is a link to the Georgian railway," Mher Grigoryan explained.
In fact, "Yeraskh-Goradiz line" is another name of Zangezur corridor, as it's possible to connect these two settlements only through Nakhichevan and Zangezur.
All the attempts of the revanchists to stop the process of unblocking the communications have come to nothing. Neither have attempts to prevent the start of normalisation of Turkish-Armenian relations and reconciliation between the peoples.
Of course, there are certain forces that will continue to hope to "reverse history" with provocations, but too serious geopolitical actors are standing up for peace in the South Caucasus and the unblocking of communications. This includes Russia and the US. It is interesting to note that immediately US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken officially declared his support for the process of normalisation of Armenian-Turkish relations, writing on his Twitter:
"We welcome and strongly support the statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the Armenian Foreign Ministry appointing special envoys to discuss the normalization process," the US diplomat wrote. Not a single word about "genocide," which Armenian nationalists always insert when speaking about relations between Armenia and Turkey, was mentioned by the U.S. foreign minister.
The agreement on the restoration of the transit railway through Zangezur corridor is only the beginning of the work to completely eliminate the consequences of aggression and unauthorized border changes, which were organized by the separatists and Armenian nationalists in the South Caucasus. Work has yet to begin on unblocking road communications.
The "automobile component" of the Zangezur corridor is the subject of separate negotiations. If it is with Armenian customs posts, as Ilham Aliyev noted on the eve of the meeting in Brussels, similar Azerbaijani posts will have to appear on the motorway in the Lachin corridor even before the 5-year mission of Russian peacekeepers ends. If the Armenian side does not want to "rush things", it will have to accept that Azerbaijan will also be connected to Nakhichevan via Zangezur without customs and border inspections from the Armenian side.