Moscow. Farid Akbarov – APA. A peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan was ready just before the Armenian leadership stepped back from signing it, Sergey Markov, political analyst and director of the Russian Institute of Political Studies, told APA’s Moscow correspondent.
Markov noted that it’s not new of Azerbaijan’s president to state the possibility of granting the status of an autonomous republic to Nagorno-Karabakh.
“In fact, Azerbaijan has previously expressed its readiness to grant the autonomy status to Nagorno-Karabakh. In fact, such an initiative from Ilham Aliyev stands to another essential reason,” he said.
According to him, it’s no coincidence that the Azerbaijani president made this statement at the same time with the visit to the region of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the EU special representative for the South Caucasus. “These issues are interrelated,” he added.
The political analyst stressed that Armenia has suspended its participation in the talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement.
“The co-chairs as well as the EU special representative for the South Caucasus are trying to get the Armenian authorities back to the negotiating table. The fact is, it became clear after the four-day war in April of this year that the Karabakh conflict is not frozen and war may erupt at any moment,” he said.
Substantive talks began following this in order to achieve temporary compromises, Markov said adding that this compromise was supposed to be based on the Kazan formula, which had been prepared in 2011.
“The principles of the Kazan formula are already known to everyone. It demands the return of seven adjacent districts to Nagorno-Karabakh (except the corridor to Armenia) to Azerbaijan in the initial stage. And the status of Nagorno-Karabakh should be discussed in the future,” said Markov. “The agreement has almost been reached, everything was ready for signatures. However, the Armenian leadership stepped back from signing it at the last moment. Sargsyan was afraid of being overthrown and he refused to sign the treaty.”
A variety of forces, including the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs and the EU are currently trying to return Yerevan to the negotiating table, said the political analyst considering Azerbaijani president’s proposal on the possibility of granting the autonomy status to Nagorno-Karabakh ‘an attempt to resume substantive negotiations.’
“Because the conflict may break out at any time. The negotiation process is frozen. Azerbaijan’s president stands for the resumption of negotiations,” he added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.
A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.
The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.
Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.
Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.
Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.