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What does Azerbaijan Try to Change?

After the four-day war unleashed by Baku in April several changes took place not only in military, but also in political processes. Particularly, the Azerbaijani authorities in their statements when talking about the ceasefire, mainly emphasize the verbal agreement reached in Moscow on April 5 between the Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces of Armenia and Azerbaijan, but not the 1994 tripartite agreement on ceasefire.

In parallel, the Chargé d’affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Azerbaijan to the United Nations sent a letter to the Secretary-General paying attention to the fact as if the military actions of the Armenian side have denounced the 1994 ceasefire agreement. With such a step Azerbaijan pursues several objectives.

First, in this way official Baku as if is trying to fix the situation after April war and nullify the agreements and negotiations that were before that, including their legal basis. This is a preliminary step to get rid of not desirable provisions of "Madrid principles" and to get more opportunities of maneuver in the new situation.

Second, the 1994 ceasefire agreement and the 1995 agreement strengthening this ceasefire are tripartite and under them the signature of the representatives of Azerbaijan, Artsakh and Armenia are put. Azerbaijan always avoids recognizing Artsakh as party to negotiations and conflict, presenting Karabakh conflict as a bilateral conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Now Baku is trying to take advantage of the fact that a new verbal agreement was reached in Moscow between Armenia and Azerbaijan, thus giving a legal character to leaving Artsakh out of the process.

Third, the 1994 ceasefire agreement is a written one, which in addition to ceasing the firing also means fixing the borders of that time, while only a verbal agreement was reached in Moscow in April to cease firing. Therefore, by referring to the latter agreement, Azerbaijan is trying to get rid of the problem of fixing the borders as well.

Azerbaijan’s this policy and rhetoric jeopardize the ceasefire in general and create a great risk of renewed war. In addition, in this way the whole reconciliation process of the 22 years is being put under question, nullifying mediators’, including Russia’ (which is the main mediator and the guarantor of 1994 ceasefire agreement) efforts. It is no coincidence that during his visit to Yerevan Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeatedly stressed that the 1994 ceasefire agreement is permanent and binding.

Baku, unable to solve its problems on the battlefield, is trying to get dividends from its April adventures at least on the political level. This approach is unacceptable for the Armenian sides. This is how the hardened stance of the RA and the RA President’s statement that one cannot speak about continuing the negotiations until the 1994-1995 ceasefire agreement is kept is explained.

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