Sunday, 07 August 2022

W Weekly Update

12-19 March

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Weekly update

 

19 March
Azerbaijan and Iran have signed a transit agreement that could have big implications for Armenia. According to eurasianet.org one of Azerbaijan’s key demands after winning the 44-day war in 2020 was for Armenia to allow it overland access to its Nakhchivan exclave, a piece of territory surrounded by Armenia, Iran and Turkey. Since Armenia surrendered, Baku has persistently campaigned for this route, which it calls the “Zangezur corridor” and which would run over Soviet-era railways and roads across Armenia’s Syunik province. The November 10, 2020, ceasefire statement even included language that Russia would “guarantee the security of transport connections” between mainland Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan across Armenian territory. Talks have stalled as tensions between the two nations continue to fester. Nevertheless, it came as something of a surprise to observers in Baku when Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi arrived on March 11 to sign a memorandum of understanding allowing for new trade and communications links connecting the East Zangezur region of Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan.
https://eurasianet.org/azerbaijan-iran-sign-transport-deal-bypassing-armenia

 

18 March
Yerevan's application to the OSCE Minsk Group in the context of Baku's proposals gives rise to a number of questions, allowing different interpretations, Tevan  Poghosyan, Head of the International Center for Human Development  (ICHD), said in an interview with ArmInfo. On March 14, Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the  following statement: "The Republic of Armenia responded to the proposals of the Republic  of Azerbaijan and applied to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship to  organize negotiations on the signing of peace agreement between the  Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan on the basis of  the UN Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political  Rights and the Helsinki Final Act." "The best way to clear up the present misunderstanding would be  Yerevan's explicitly and publicly explaining the redlines in the  context of the Baku-proposed 5-point document. It is also important to understand if this application implies any changes in the Minsk  Group's mandate. It is common knowledge that the co-chairs' mandate  of 1994 deals with the settlement of the Artsakh problem proper  rather than with Armenian-Azerbaijani relations," he said. 
https://arminfo.info/full_news.php?id=68303&lang=3

 

17 March
Russia is softening up Ukraine with increased aerial bombardments while hinting at a diplomatic way out. According to chathamhouse.org this has led to equally predictable talk in the West of concessions that Ukraine must make – the need for it to ‘play ball’. Such calls can be well-meaning but sadly fail to understand both Ukraine and Russia. The ‘off-ramps’ still currently under consideration for offering to Putin are primarily at Ukraine’s expense – principally these are to accept its reissued and fresh demands of no accession to NATO (and the EU too), the independence of the separatist regions, an acceptance that Crimea is Russia’s, and no Western military bases on its soil. Only wide-ranging countermeasures can have any effect on Russia’s war in the medium-term. This means not ordinary sanctions but massive sanctions, ‘oligarch squeezing’, disinvestment especially in energy, cultural and sporting boycotts, supporting Ukrainian resilience with military, economic, and humanitarian assistance, and assurances of international criminal legal recourse in the long-term.
https://www.chathamhouse.org/2022/03/negotiated-peace-russia-fraught-danger

 

16 March
In line with arminfo.info a number of Armenian NGOs has prepared and submitted a comprehensive report on  the use of mercenaries by Azerbaijan and Turkey in the 44-day war.  According to the Open Society Foundations-Armenia, the report is  based on the evidence a group of human rights activists obtained  during and after the 44-day war.  "The submitted evidence proves that Syrian mercenaries were hired and  transported to Azerbaijan to fight against Artsakh Armenians and took  part in the hostilities for material gain, which was a violation of  the international humanitarian law. The evidence is incorporated in  the report entitled 'Human rights violations during the 44-day war',"  an OSF report reads. Both Armenian servicemen and civilians, including old people unable  to leave the combat zone, were killed by the mercenaries.  The NGOs are calling on the relevant U.N. agencies to investigate the  facts of hiring and using mercenaries by Azerbaijan and Turkey in  Nagorno-Karabakh and in other conflicts, as well as to apply  sanctions against the Turkish and Azerbaijani officials involved in  hiring and deploying Syrian mercenaries. The NGOs also proposed  submitting the evidence to the International Criminal Court for  holding Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as other countries,  responsible for using mercenaries. 
https://arminfo.info/full_news.php?id=68251&lang=3

 

15 March
Construction companies are carrying out construction works in the permanent deployment locations of the Armenian Armed Forces in the town of Jermuk in Vayots Dzor province and in the towns of Tsav, Vardavank, Karashen and Vaghatur in Syunik province, the Armenian Deputy Minister of Defense Arman Sargsyan said. According to armenpress.am he said the Armenian military conducted studies to ensure the security of military facilities and infrastructures, to examine the new boundaries after the war, to equip military positions, to ensure the temporary deployment facilities and conditions for troops, to select new permanent deployment locations for military bases and to specify possibilities for construction works requiring urgent solutions. Sargsyan said they are using light metallic modular homes as a fast solution given the urgency to house the troops, and the communal conditions in permanent deployment locations is being improved, with re-equipment underway. “We can say that the construction of the Jermuk permanent deployment location is almost complete,” Sargsyan added, noting that construction is underway also in Tsav, Vardavank, Karashen and Vaghatur.
https://armenpress.am/eng/news/1077923.html

 

14 March
Azerbaijan has released the five points of a peace treaty proposal it has offered Armenia. According to hetq.am Leyla Abdullayeva, Head of Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Service, in a press interview today, said the five points are:
- Mutual recognition of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of internationally recognized borders and political independence of each other.
- Mutual confirmation of the absence of territorial claims against each other and acceptance of legally binding obligations not to raise such a claim in future.
- Obligation to refrain in their inter-State relations from undermining the security of each other, from threat or use of force both against political independence and territorial integrity, and in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the UN Charter.
- Delimitation and demarcation of the state border, and establishment of the diplomatic relations.
- Unblocking of the transportation and other communications, building other communications as appropriate, and establishment of cooperation in other fields of mutual interest.
https://hetq.am/en/article/142211

 

13 March
Vahagn Khachatrian, an economist and veteran politician, pledged to “spare no effort to strengthen national unity” as he was sworn in as Armenia’s new president on Sunday. According to azatutyun.am the inauguration ceremony took place at a special session of the Armenian parliament boycotted by its two opposition factions. After 2015 amendments in Armenia’s constitution transforming it into a parliamentary republic the country’s president has largely ceremonial powers. Still, the president is considered to be the head of state. Khachatrian was nominated for presidency by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s ruling Civil Contract party after a sudden resignation in January by Armen Sarkissian, who had occupied the post of the country’s president since 2018. Civil Contract’s faction in parliament later installed Khachatrian as president in a two-round vote boycotted by the opposition Hayastan and Pativ Unem factions. In his speech today Khachatrian acknowledged that he was assuming office at a pivotal time for Armenia amid “complicated regional and international challenges.”  We are witnessing rapidly changing geopolitical developments as a result of which current global security systems are being transformed. Today, more than ever, we need wisdom, confidence, stability and unity,” the new Armenian president said.
https://www.azatutyun.am/a/31750679.html

 

12 March
In line with hetq.am Armenian Foreign Minister and his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, met today on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomatic Forum in Turkey. The two ministers, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency, discussed normalizing relations between the two countries during the thirty-minute meeting. Çavuşoğlu, according to the AA report, said the meeting was “very constructive and productive”. Mirzoyan is quoted as saying that Armenia is ready to continue the normalization process without preconditions. “Steps towards the full normalization of bilateral relations were discussed. I would like to state with satisfaction that we are making efforts for peace in the Caucasus. Steps between Turkey and Armenia are perceived positively by Azerbaijan as well. Baku supports this process. Peace and stability in the region meet the interests of all parties,” Çavuşoğlu said. The Armenian Foreign Ministry, in a statement today on the meeting, writes that Mirzoyan thanked Çavuşoլlu for the invitation to attend the Antalya conference and that the two reaffirmed their readiness to carry out the process of full normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey and the establishment of good-neighborly relations without preconditions.
https://hetq.am/en/article/142136

 

Sources: eurasianet.org, arminfo.info, chathamhouse.org, armenpress.am, hetq.am, azatutyun.am

27 July 2022
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28 June 2022
02 June 2022

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