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Lavrov brought to Yerevan "anti-plan"
Material posted: Publication date: 26-04-2016
The Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov in Yerevan "Karabakh question" on the background of anti-Russian demonstrations because of "anti-Armenian plans." He met with President Serzh Sargsyan and head of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian. Moscow calls on the parties to peace and follow the "road map" of the OSCE. According to sources "Газеты.Ru" Russia puts pressure on Yerevan to Baku has returned five of the seven occupied districts.

Ahead of the visit of Lavrov conflict in the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has deteriorated. Karabakh authorities said that during the shelling by the Azerbaijani armed forces of their territories a soldier was killed by local defence forces 32-year-old Marat Danielyan.

It is not excluded that the old conflict may reignite to become a headache for Moscow against the background of relative success in Syria. Due to the ambivalent position of Russia, in recent years, tacking from Yerevan towards Baku, Armenia is gradually growing dissatisfaction with Moscow. The deterioration of the situation and the possibility of a new conflict were scaring both sides — this was reflected in the visit of Lavrov.

Despite the fact that the Minister first visited the centre of remembrance of the Armenian genocide "Cicernakaberd" where signed the book of memory, his arrival in Yerevan were not all satisfied. Popular in the post-Soviet space Minister in Yerevan met the demonstrations.

Picketers, including many young people were holding posters "Karabakh is ours!", "Independent Armenia". Some carried banners in English that says "the Russian occupation of Armenia".

On the background of aggravation in Karabakh during the 4-day war the demonstrators even burned and trampled the Russian flag in protest against cooperation between Moscow and Baku.

The protesters also demanded to stop the sale of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan in the war against the Armenians, the Azerbaijanis, in particular, used a Russian flame thrower system "the Sun". The Armenian side is dissatisfied with the fact that Russia sells advanced weaponry to Azerbaijan.

In Moscow explain that thus maintain the balance of power in the region. Besides military ties between Russia and Armenia is not an example of tightly — this country is the military-political bloc the CSTO, and its territory is a military base of Russia. In Azerbaijan, military facilities there — from the station the radar station in Gabala, Russia refused in 2012 because of high prices. The supply of weapons Russia is not only Yerevan, but Baku is also due to the fact that the economy of Azerbaijan is ready to pay for Russian weapons by petrodollars. However, now it more difficult to do due to the fall in oil prices.


The protesters explained their actions by the fact that, in their opinion, Lavrov brought to Yerevan "anti-Armenian" plan. It is worth noting that in the official part of his talks with the head of Foreign Affairs Edward Nalbandian, the Russian Minister said nothing new. Moscow, he said, believes that a military solution to the conflict could not and it is important to follow the "road map" of the OSCE, prepared in the framework of negotiations on the Karabakh conflict settlement in 2011 in Kazan under President Dmitry Medvedev. The basis of the Kazan document are made before the Madrid principles from 2007-2009, but with augmented points that imply the return of the territories surrounding Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijani control.

What is "anti-plan" referred to the protesters, explain sources "Газеты.Ru" in the Russian oculoplastic structures. According to them, the solution of the Karabakh problem in the short term implies the pressure on Yerevan, as a result of which the Armenians until the end of this year will give the Azerbaijanis, five of the seven areas captured during the war in 90-ies. Two of them could be transferred later. It should be noted that they are adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh. In return, Armenia must obtain a lifting of the blockade of borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey that can fix the difficult economic situation in the country.

"Sources confirm the unprecedented pressure from Moscow for Yerevan, it is about the return of at least five regions by the end of the year. Moscow now exerts pressure on Armenia, — confirms "Газете.Ru" the first Deputy chief editor of Azerbaijani newspaper "Echo" Nair Aliyev. — No accident there was information that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is preparing an appeal to the people. Now everything is just waiting, what will be the result of pressure from Moscow. And, most importantly, when to begin the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories".

According to "Газеты.Ru" the Russian plan of settlement of the Karabakh conflict divides the impact in those areas with the status of Karabakh.

"The status of belonging of Karabakh will not be determined soon, and the future generations", says one high-ranking sources "Газеты.Ru" in the Russian elite.

However, close to the Armenian leadership, the source claims that the plan meets resistance on the part of Yerevan. Armenians fear that after receiving several districts of the Azerbaijani side will go further. Therefore, Armenia insists on a comprehensive agreement when the status of Karabakh will be linked to the release areas.

"It is impossible to return part of districts and to withdraw from the troops of Nagorno-Karabakh, and then to solve the issue of Karabakh's status, because then this would have an impact Stepanakert. April 4-day war showed that Baku cannot give security guarantees. And with the growth of the flow of petrodollars and in Alliance with Turkey and Azerbaijan could go to war on this," says the source.

However, another source from the Armenian side recognizes that if Moscow strongly will press for Sargsyan, due to the difficult political and economic situation, it may be at an impasse. And in the end to go to the transfer areas Azeris in exchange for economic preferences.

"The question is that then he will bury his political career. How will he explain this to the people?" — rhetorically asked the source. The situation is complicated by the fact that President Sargsyan himself is a native of Karabakh clan.

According to the Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries Vladimir Jarigina, Armenia and Azerbaijan can't reach a compromise, as leaders of both countries has a great influence public opinion. "There is power in militaristic circles who will say that our position has passed, — said the expert. — Both countries exist in conditions of electoral democracy, albeit limited. Therefore, neither the one nor the other the President cannot go for a serious compromise."

All except Ankara

In Moscow, a compromise is still trying to find, because at stake is the prestige of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom the West continues to believe the chief arbiter in the conflict. Former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza told the Financial Times that Russia is a "strategic silence US" on the issue of Karabakh. Therefore, Yerevan and Baku the impression that only Moscow can resolve the conflict.

According to the authors of the FT, Washington now is not to Karabakh for the transition state of the current administration. In Russia also tend to blame what is happening in the US or other European countries. The exception is Turkey.

At the meeting Lavrov sharply criticized Ankara, which endorsed military action in Baku and continues to take a tough anti-Armenian stance.

"These were calls to solve the conflict by military, by force, which runs counter to the position of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group, radically contradicts the position of the international community. Unfortunately, we are used to such freaks of the current Turkish leadership," he said.

The Minister of foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian noted, in turn, that the recent developments around Nagorno Karabakh has sharply threw back the negotiation process, and called Baku "joyride". The negotiations of Moscow with Yerevan and Baku intensified after the escalation of the conflict in the night of Saturday, April 2. Then between Armenian and Azerbaijani armed forces started fierce battles with artillery and aircraft.

A few days with both sides counted dozens of deaths of civilian and military. The parties have accused each other in the beginning of the war, which Azerbaijan has taken several heights in Karabakh. In Baku called "operation counterattack".

To negotiate a cease-fire was only on 5 April, however, reports of ceasefire violations came from both sides daily.

"Four-day war" is considered to be the most violent clash since the signing of the peace accords in 1994. This is why Russia immediately tried to extinguish the conflict. With the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan was contacted by President Vladimir Putin, defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Although Russia and Armenia are part of the Organization of collective security Treaty (CSTO), the organization in the conflict did not intervene. Formally, Armenia has not recognized Karabakh, and the war was waged at the third site.

Vladimir Dergachev, Alexander Bratersky


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