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Are the maps according to which Yerevan and Baku intend to delimit the border legitimate?

February 01 2024, 17:00

On Wednesday, the sixth meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani border delimitation commissions was held on the border near Ijevan and Gazakh.
Regardless of the fact that during today’s meeting,

According to Azerbaijani media, Armenia handed over maps of the minefields of the three districts to official Baku. However, it is clear that the main issue that was discussed concerns the future configuration of the borders.

It is also obvious that this issue is being discussed between the foreign ministers of the two countries during talks on the points of the “peace treaty”.
During border delimitation talks, a specific document—specific maps—should be taken as a basis. In this context, the question arises: are the maps according to which Yerevan and Baku intend to delimit the borders legitimate? This question is not idle. It is a question of strategic importance.

Let’s figure out what situation we have today regarding the maps according to which the delimitation should take place between the countries:

1. Speaking at the session of the Valdai International Discussion Club on October 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that it is impossible to resolve the situation in Karabakh and on the border of Armenia and Azerbaijan without Russia’s participation because the maps of the USSR General Staff, which make it possible to make the most accurate delimitation, are in the Russian General Staff.
Putin also said that Russia is ready to provide Yerevan and Baku with maps of the USSR General Staff.

2. Then a number of developments took place, the result of which was the recognition of Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan, and the parties reaffirmed their commitment to the UN Charter and the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1991, through which both sides recognize territorial integrity and each other’s sovereignty. The parties confirmed that this would serve as the basis for the work of the delimitation commissions.

3. After the “anti-Artsakh conspiracy in Prague,” the parties held negotiations on both the “peace treaty” and the border delimitation at the western negotiating platforms, Brussels and Washington.

4. In January 2024, after many disputes between Yerevan and Baku about the maps, we learned from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that some maps of the Soviet General Staff are at the disposal of Washington and Brussels.
“They somehow turned out to have maps of the USSR General Staff. And that’s why they say, ‘you don’t need any Russians, we have the maps’,” Lavrov said.

This is where we come to our most important question: are the maps according to which Yerevan and Baku intend to delimit the border legitimate?
Which maps that are presented to the parties as “original maps of the USSR General Staff” are at the disposal of the EU and the USA? Which maps will form the basis for the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border?

The issue is so serious that in the future, the same Baku, which has already demonstrated that it can let down the West and refuse to negotiate on Western platforms, may refer to the fact that “the maps of the allegedly Soviet General Staff at the disposal of the United States and the EU were inaccurate, and therefore there is a need for a new delimitation”. Don’t the Armenian authorities understand this?
Logic, common sense, the messages in the speeches of Azerbaijani experts, and the ideas embedded in the Azerbaijani media allow us to come to the unambiguous and obvious conclusion that the meetings of Armenian and Azerbaijani officials on neutral territory (in the border zone not controlled by the Russian military stationed in Armenia), presented in the West as “a direct dialogue between Baku and Yerevan,” aim to exclude another Russian initiative from the negotiating agenda—conducting delimitation and demarcation according to real, legitimate maps of the General Staff of the Russian Federation.

In this case, it becomes obvious that the parties are agreeing on the delimitation according to other maps, which, in turn, on the one hand, will allow the next proposal of Vladimir Putin and official Moscow to be excluded from the global negotiation process and, on the other hand, will create the ground for Azerbaijan to challenge the results of the delimitation.
Think about it…