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Investigative Mechanism on NKR-Azerbaijan Border: What is It About?

In the joint statement of the representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group countries made after the meeting of the Presidentս of Armenian and Azerbaijan in Vienna on May 16 it is mentioned that the sides have agreed to take steps for preserving the ceasefire, for the expansion of the existing Office of the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson in Office, for monitoring and establishment of the OSCE investigative mechanism.

The April four-day war showed that for preserving peace and stability in the region the mentioned points are more than important. To prevent new military operations, first of all it is important to establish investigative mechanisms, about which the mediators have been talking for years. However, first of all one should understand what those mechanisms are.

In fact, the introduction of such mechanisms requires some technical means – placing recording equipment on the line of contact. It is expected that due to these devices it will be possible to monitor the situation along the border and that they will allow to definitely say which side, where and when violated the ceasefire regime. It seems one cannot think of anything better. However, no matter how nice and good all these sound, it is even more important to understand how realistic it is. First, it should be mentioned that the OSCE does not have an experience of using a mechanism for preventing border incidents. In general, there is no such experience in the world. In no part of the world the ceasefire has not been preserved by video cameras and if this succeeds on Artsakh-Azerbaijan border, it will be a unique one in the whole world and may become a precedent for other conflicts as well.

In any case it is clear that if such equipment is installed, it will be the most effective mechanism for preventing incidents on the NKR-Azerbaijan border that one could ever think of. This is to what Azerbaijan has been against for many years, and it is not strange, because it itself insists that it will solve the problem by military means. However, if these investigative mechanisms are introduced, which, by the way, cannot be made without the participation of the Karabakh side, all the claims of official Baku will fail. Perhaps this is what makes one think that, in fact, in practice, Baku will never agree to the introduction of these mechanisms.

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