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Is the Granada Declaration not saving Armenia and Pashinyan?

November 20 2023, 23:00

The autumn meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Yerevan was remembered not only by the fact that the Armenian authorities did not find a more suitable place to have dinner with parliamentarians than the building of the National Art Gallery of Armenia, but also by Nikol Pashinyan’s speech.

To cut a long story short, the speech was given to voice two crucial thoughts that are mutually exclusive: “the basic principles of peace with Azerbaijan were agreed at trilateral meetings with the participation of the head of the European Council Charles Michel” and “preparations are underway to unleash a new war against Armenia, and in Azerbaijan, they started to call Armenia ‘Western Azerbaijan’.”

Pashinyan’s statement should be viewed in several contexts, especially in light of Azerbaijan’s refusal to hold talks on the Western negotiating platform, such as refusals to meet in Granada, Brussels, and Washington.

The very refusal of Ilham Aliyev from negotiations on the Western negotiating platform is due to two factors: unwillingness to assume any obligations, as well as unwillingness to violate the consensus of Moscow, Ankara and Tehran that believe that “everything that happens in Transcaucasia should remain in Transcaucasia,” in other words, oppose the involvement of actors outside the region.

Baku, through its media and the expert community, openly declares that there is no point in taking on additional written obligations in a situation when, on the basis of the oral recognition of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over Artsakh in October 2022 in Prague, Aliyev received the whole of Artsakh without Armenians and even without any sensitive reaction from the West or sanctions.

Obviously, he understands this, and Pashinyan himself knows it. Hence his speech and constant statements that Azerbaijan is preparing aggression against Armenia. As in the case of the surrender of Artsakh, when, since the beginning of the blockade, Pashinyan declared at almost every government meeting that Baku was preparing “ethnic cleansing against the Armenians of Artsakh,” and when this cleansing began, he, having already talked with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did not lift a finger to prevent a catastrophe. He began to use his own statements from the past as a “political alibi”, justifying that “he had warned earlier, but the authorities of Artsakh did not negotiate with Baku, and that’s why they got cleansing.” We are now seeing exactly the same preparation of a “political alibi” in case of a tragedy in Armenia. And it is obvious that, among other things, Pashinyan is preparing to blame the EU and the West as a whole for a possible new Azerbaijani aggression. Yes, don’t be surprised. We will see such a scenario.

Pashinyan’s speech at the autumn meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Yerevan also demonstrated that the declaration signed by him in October in Granada under the auspices of the EU does not guarantee the security and territorial integrity of Armenia, just as the statement adopted in Prague in October 2022 did not ensure the “rights and security of the Armenians of Artsakh.” It guarantees nothing to the point that even Pashinyan is forced to admit the existence of the “Western Azerbaijan political project” that implies the disbandment of Armenian statehood.

But remember, all this is done by Pashinyan to prepare a “political alibi” for himself; that’s it. Otherwise, a person claiming that Baku actually wants to wage a war against Armenia would not have called for removing from the CSTO agenda a document on the military-technical assistance to Armenia.

Answer the question for yourself: why and in whose interests does Pashinyan, who talks about the threat of a new war, refuse another element that could help Armenia ensure its security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity?