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How is Aliyev going to fill Pashinyan’s political emptiness?

January 10 2024, 22:10

If we analyze 2023 in the context of the political rhetoric of the authorities, then we can identify several fundamental narratives peculiar to Nikol Pashinyan:

1. The “red line” of the government is the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, and, thus, there cannot be an extraterritorial corridor through the territory of Armenia.

2. It is possible to sign a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, and even the whole of Artsakh could be sacrificed to achieve this goal.

3. After the “resolution of the Karabakh problem”, there will be no more difficult problems with our problematic neighbors, which will lead to the opening of the border with Turkiye, which, in turn, will allow us to develop the economy at an unprecedented pace.

However, the end of 2023 (after the fall of Artsakh and the signing of the declaration recognizing Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan in Granada), as well as the events of the first days of 2024 (Hikmet Hajiyev’s statement that Azerbaijan considers transport corridor models to Nakhichevan like the Kaliningrad one, as well as statements by Turkish Minister Abdulkadir Uraroglu that the Zangezur corridor project will be completed by 2028) indicate that Pashinyan is bankrupt from the political point of view.

Even after the surrender of Artsakh and its recognition as part of Azerbaijan, he did not receive a peace treaty, which he intended to use for domestic political purposes, and also did not receive an open border with Turkiye. This is what led to Pashinyan’s political emptiness. The emptiness that Pashinyan is trying to fill whenever possible, for example, by visiting the regions and checking the repair work in schools as well as checking the quality of garbage cans.

It is clear that this cannot last long, and one-man shows cannot last indefinitely. In other words, the political void must be filled with a political agenda. Since Pashinyan cannot do this, foreign policy actors will try to do it for him, as the “shadow CIA”, that is, Stratfor, wrote in great detail in its forecast for 2024.

Stratfor’s analysis notes that Armenia is likely to accept Azerbaijan’s demands on transit through southern Armenia and border demarcation. If we “decipher” this wording, we will understand that, according to American forecasts, Pashinyan, who declares that “the corridor will never pass through Armenia,” will be forced to surrender it to Azerbaijan in 2024, as well as cede new territories in the process of delimitation.

Moreover, at the end of 2023, we discussed that, having received Artsakh, Ilham Aliyev is preparing to go to the snap presidential election in 2024 with a new political project, which already has Armenia at the center, and in fact the same American analysts share this idea.

Thus, Stratfor’s forecast for 2024 says that after being re-elected president on February 7, Aliyev will continue to build up military capabilities along the border with Armenia to prepare for a possible invasion and gain leverage in negotiations. Stratfor even names a possible period when this could happen: the second half of 2024.

This is how Aliyev plans to fill Pashinyan’s political emptiness.

Returning to the failure of Pashinyan’s main narratives in 2023, one more thing should be said: reality has proved that the state headed by Pashinyan does not fulfill its main function-it does not protect its citizens and its territorial integrity.

Moreover, the state has squandered its security reserve by surrendering Artsakh to Azerbaijan, bringing military equipment, personnel and infrastructure of the enemy closer to its borders. Under these circumstances, it is a geopolitical folly, at the very least, to believe that the enemies of your state, who in the Shusha Declaration put forward claims against your territory and sovereignty, would open borders with you and allow taxes and duties to be levied for transit.

There is even an ideological and philosophical question here: if the state headed by Pashinyan does not fulfill its basic functions, then why should it have the right to collect taxes?

Pashinyan probably did not understand and does not even understand this simple truth, which led to the fact that he remained outside the geopolitical developments in the region, imperiling the integrity of Armenia…

Think about it.