Yerevan has agreed to use "ancient Armenian statehood" as a tool that can be disposed of

24.11.23 13:30

The fate of the Karabakh leaders who remain steadfast in their commitment to the separatist "Artsakh" project and adamantly refuse to engage in dialogue for peaceful integration into Azerbaijan, despite having almost three years to do so and multiple peace proposals from Azerbaijan, has not served as a lesson to the people of Yerevan. The government of the Republic of Armenia persists in disregarding Azerbaijan's peace initiatives. The Armenian authorities have yet to reach a peace treaty and have made no effort to unblock transportation communications.

The separatists in Khankedi had hoped for assistance from the West, particularly France, which sent even the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo to aid "Artsakh," in addition to Russia. Today in Yerevan, they only and exclusively rely on the West and have broken relations with Russia in a defiant manner. Therefore, the deliberate undermining of Azerbaijan's peace proposals can result in a faster collapse. A wait of not even 3 years may be necessary.

The "Crossroads of Peace" proposal by Yerevan, without an assurance of peace, is merely political speculation. The Khayan "crossroads" continues to be a potential ground for war and aggression against its neighbors while also obstructing transcontinental communications in the South Caucasus region. It is no coincidence that Hikmet Hajiyev, an aide to the President of Azerbaijan, highlighted the unrealistic nature of Armenia's proposal to establish the "Crossroads of Peace" without first signing a peace treaty and removing communication blockades. Therefore, Armenia must reevaluate the effectiveness of its approach. "This is a decision made by Armenia, but it is inherently unworkable," he stated. After three years of negotiations, no progress has been made. Azerbaijan has a backup plan to establish transportation links through Iran, with intergovernmental documents already signed. Additionally, Azerbaijan is currently collaborating with Turkey in constructing the Kars-Igdir railroad, which will ultimately create a circular railway around the region. Unfortunately, Armenia has not taken any action to build this line in the past three years. "The Middle Corridor opens up new opportunities," according to Hikmet Hajiyev.
Meanwhile, Armenian authorities are implementing policies that aim to hinder the functioning of the Middle Corridor. This voluntary cooperation with certain unnamed Western forces has turned Armenia into a mere tool for their interests in the region. With the aid of France, the US, and India, they are engaging in military buildup and armament, which threatens the stability of communication routes passing through Armenian territory.

For example, the provision of French armored vehicles via Georgia is a deliberate attempt to involve Georgia, a critical Middle Corridor transit country, in the conflict, thus jeopardizing said transit. Furthermore, the U.S. ultimatum that transit must occur solely through Armenia and with its mandatory participation, i.e. through the infamous "crossroads," and exclude Iran from the transit, exacerbates communication blockages.
The United States appears to be taking measures to impede transit across Eurasia linking China and Europe from the north to the south in every location and in all possible ways.

The Russo-Ukrainian conflict has resulted in the obstruction of transit from China to Europe through Russia. The EU nations have also experienced the repercussions of this conflict, as they no longer have direct access to Russian resources. However, despite this transit blockade, the geopolitical factors that led to this conflict remain unresolved. Natural gas supplies to Europe from Russia were significantly disrupted due to Nord Stream, resulting in limited energy carrier transit through warring Ukraine that can be halted at any time.
Unfortunately, instead of opening additional communications such as the Zangezur corridor, there are attempts to cut off transit through the South Caucasus with Yerevan's assistance. Unfortunately, instead of opening additional communications such as the Zangezur corridor, there are attempts to cut off transit through the South Caucasus with Yerevan's assistance. This undermines the importance of opening new communications in cutting Eurasia.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry is requesting that Armenia resume negotiations to finalize a peace treaty. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry highlighted that it caused a significant delay in the process when it took Armenia over two months to respond to the draft peace treaty proposals from the Azerbaijani side.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry issued a statement urging the Armenian side to avoid further unnecessary delays and respond positively to initiate negotiations promptly. They further suggested holding meetings at the state border to advance the peace process. According to Hikmet Hajiyev, the Assistant to the President of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan has submitted the updated 5th peace agreement to Armenia, but there has been no response from the Armenian side for two months.

Moreover, the Western countries appear to be enabling Yerevan's actions that undermine the peace process. They have not taken any steps towards the de-occupation of Azerbaijan's Karabakh and the eradication of the separatist regime until the Azerbaijani army's intervention.

The recent statement of criticism from the Council of Europe against Azerbaijan seems unwarranted. The question remains, why? For years there has been a distinct approach to separatist structures in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine compared to Azerbaijan. We have consistently cautioned member states, including France, against endorsing separatism in Azerbaijan and abstaining from any encouragement of Armenian revanchism or geopolitical maneuvers in our region. It is regrettable that this remains an issue. We want to build a new regional security architecture based on justice, recognizing each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, ending all territorial claims.
"We consider this a historic opportunity to end the antagonism and hostility between the two nations and establish a sustainable peace based on the five principles presented by Azerbaijan to Armenia," noted Hikmet Hajiyev.

However, Yerevan appears to have agreed to be "expendable material" for the United States in its geopolitical games. The overt acquisition of weapons, specifically French armored vehicles, that Ukraine refrained from procuring due to their low quality, provides minimal enhancement to Yerevan's military capabilities. However, such arms fundamentally impede peaceful negotiations.

As evidenced by the Karabakh dispute, the United States and France still persist in bolstering the Yerevan government with unrealistic expectations of retaliation and the belief that they will receive assistance from the West in case of conflict. As a result, the supposed "most ancient Armenia" is becoming a dispensable tool that can easily be sacrificed for the interests of certain global players.

Armenian statehood could be burned in a short regional conflict to block the Middle Silk Corridor temporarily. Eventually, this corridor will reopen, but it may leave behind no Khai statehood. There are no signs of the separatist "Artsakh."



Alexandre Chkheidze

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