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Lessons Learnt From April War

It has been three years since the April war, but the days with their horrible consequences have not faded away which makes it difficult to analyze the issue without emotions. However one needs to analyze and understand what the April war changed in the region and in Karakbakh conflict regulation process.

The danger of war has always been there with Azerbaijan always threatening, and Armenia and Artsakh have never escaped or been scared. However the danger of real war had subsided in the past 20 years with Baku’s bellicose rhetoric being perceived as more addressed to the domestic audience. April 2016 testified that war is indeed possible rather than probable…  

Given the changes in the talks process it becomes natural that the need for reinforcing the ceasefire after the April war became pressing, the already shady mutual trust sharply fell and talks about concessions became meaningless.

Following the April war, Baku made efforts to exclude the 1994 trilateral ceasefire agreement, trying to replace it with April 2016 agreement reached in Moscow by   Azerbaijani and Armenian heads of General Staff. Naturally the Armenian sides did their best prevent it.

Under the international community's pressure to reinforce the ceasefire regime, Azerbaijan was forced to agree on creation of such mechanisms that would help prevent border incidents in the future, as well to clearly record the culprit through objective and impartial mechanisms for the international community. Those arrangements were enshrined in summary records of Vienne, Sank-Petersburg and Geneva meetings. Later the Azerbaijani side did their best to get rid of those agreements. Later Aliyev-Pashinyan oral agreements in Dushanbe on keeping ceasefire were used for that purpose.

As mentioned earlier, the April war tore open Azerbaijan’s face and the communities of Armenia and Artsakh once again were convinced that talking about compromises with Azerbaijan is impossible and dangerous. It was also perceptible for the mediators. Therefore, in spite of the coordination of confidence-building measures, an attempt was being made to return conflict content related issues to the negotiating table, pressure on behalf of the mediators in that issue significantly defused. The so-called Lavrov plan, if there was any, was pushed background. The war showed that Azerbaijan's allegations that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are too powerful today and that Artsakh and Armenia are weak and unable and not unleashing a war on Azerbaijan’s behalf is a great concession, are false and groundless. Baku attempted and failed, the Armenian soldier showed the power of his will and his hand...

April 2016 came to prove once more that it is impossible to speak to the Armenian people from power position, and peace has no alternative. Unfortunately that took the life of the soldiers…

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