The first visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to Armenia after the change of power in our country was held the other day. With a statement published by the co-chairs after visiting Armenia, the representatives of the OSCE Minsk Group noted that the visit was aimed at getting acquainted with the position of the new Armenian authorities on the further settlement of the Karabakh conflict through direct contact with them.
Despite the statements of the new authorities on the continuity of Armenia's policy on the Karabakh issue, there are some new accents. And in this case, the co-chairs would like to understand how much these new accents fit into the existing logic of the negotiations and what developments they can lead to.
From the statement of the co-chairs it becomes clear that during the visit three tasks were set:
- to clarify the "status" of the negotiation process: this can be understood as clarifying the perception of the parties regarding the current stage of negotiations, and discussing its format;
- to ensure the continuation of the negotiation process by organizing a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan;
- to confirm that the negotiation process will continue to be built on the three Helsinki principles (in this context, the listing of these principles in the statement of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group is symptomatic).
At the same time, proceeding from the statement, the tendency of the mediators to conduct the negotiation process in two parallel directions is evident: confidence-building measures, preservation of armistice and political settlement.
As for the Armenian authorities, they stressed the importance of a peaceful settlement and taking steps towards creating an atmosphere of trust (including the implementation of the agreements reached in Vienna, St. Petersburg and Geneva), which, in fact, corresponds to the spirit of continuity in foreign policy.
At the same time, it should be noted that the statement of the meeting with the co-chairs, shared by the press office of the Prime Minister of Armenia, does not mention returning of Artsakh to the negotiating table. Instead, it is noted that "the Prime Minister confirmed Armenia's readiness to continue efforts aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict together with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group."