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The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ Targeted Statements are Not Sufficient

The regional visit of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs was "accompanied" by the tension on the borders, the reference to which in the Co-Chairs' statement was, to put it mildly, inadequate.

It is important to mention that the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing countries, despite the dissatisfaction of Baku, were consistent in addressing targeted statements. This time also the statement showed that the call to weaken the tension on the borders primarily referred to Azerbaijan, and only then to Artsakh and Armenia. This means that it is Azerbaijan that provoke tension and the Co-Chairs do not hide it anymore so as not to "offend" any of the parties.

Another issue is that the statement does not mention the loss of life recorded during their visit, and most importantly, the wording of the criticism is mild, with no clear-cut measures.

Another important aspect is that this statement stressed the need for measures to alleviate tensions, and called for returning to negotiations on substance, but no reference is made to the agreements on trust-building measures by Armenian and Azerbaidjani presidents reached in Vienna and St. Petersburg. This is probably quite favorable for Azerbaijan, which escapes from fulfilling these agreements from the very first days. Thus, the "retreat" of the Co-Chairs from Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements may be perceived by Baku as a regular "card blanche", further freeing the latter's hands and contributing to the strengthening of Baku's blackmailing policy.

In the current situation, if the mediators really want to reduce the tension and move forward to the political settlement, they should first force Baku to refrain from war rhetoric and provocations and only then talk about any political negotiations. Otherwise, the parties cannot get involved in the negotiations with "full trust and political will", as mentioned in the Co-Chairs' statement.

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