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The Co-Chairs of the OSCE MG Should Review Their Approaches

The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan met on July 11 in Brussels. According to the releases of the sides and the Co-Chairs, the main achievement of the meeting was the agreement to hold another meeting in September and the signal of the mediators about their wish to organize a meeting of the presidents.

In the press-release of the MFA of Armenia an interesting point was the one, which said that during the meeting the discussions were held on the modalities of advancement of the Karabakh negotiating process. That concerns the need to provide the minimal modalities for a dialogue, which means the realization of the Vienna and St. Petersbourg agreements.

In the present situation, especially, after the escalation on the borders on July 4, it is logical, that the main goal of the mediators was to organize a meeting of the sides, bring them back to the dialogue. We deal with traditional formula “negotiations are better than a war”.

But the escalations and Azerbaijani provocations on the borders with Artsakh and Armenia that take place in parallel with the meeting and regional visits of the Co-Chairs, show that this approach doesn’t work any more. Azerbaijan resorts to provokations and escalations to get dividends on the table of negotiations. So, the effectiveness of the negotiations is being put under question.

Besides, the escalations toughen the positions of the sides, and raise a need to review the approaches of the OSCE MG Co-Chairs. Adressed announcements are not enough anymore and are not an end in themselves. So, these announcements should be followed by political steps, that will increase the predictability of Azerbaijan. The Co-Chairs are not arbiters and they cannot punish any side, but at the same time, they can toughen their position in response to the blackmail policy of Azerbaijan. Pliancy and caution of the Armenian sides and mediators create an atmosphere of impunity in Azerbaijan. So, this process should be stopped.

In this context, it would be logical, that in response to the attampts of Azerbaijan to avoid Vienna and St.Petersburg agreements, the Co-Chairs of the OSCE MG raised an issue of widening the contacts with Artsakh, for example, by establishing the Co-Chairs’ office in Stepanakert.

On the one hand, that is a need, and its illogical that the mediators of the conflict are limited in their contacts with Artsakh. On the other side, Azerbaijan should understand, that it cannot dictate its will to the mediators and Armenian sides, and the ignorance of the agreements will have political consequences. 

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