As long as Russia backs Yerevan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict — with troops, wealth, and diplomatic efforts — the pressure in the region will continue to rise. For the sake of the millions all around, Russia’s role must cease.
To allow Armenia to establish purportedly legitimate symbols of sovereignty on soil the world recognizes as Azerbaijani is to take the already-fragile peace process in which the two countries have been engaged and ceremoniously set it ablaze.
While noting that Baku still has some distance to go, Stanley Weiss points out that while Azerbaijan’s strategic importance is unquestionable, the Obama Administration is nevertheless allowing the relationship to deteriorate.
Safarov’s pardon and victory celebration were frankly unbecoming a modern nation, but the ridiculous European Parliament resolution is yet another reminder of the deep scars borne by Azerbaijan as a result of the Armenian occupation.
The elections are either a profoundly unwise gamble that Azerbaijan will remain quiescent and the Minsk Group forgiving (at least until the region’s independence is a fait accompli) or a story of Armenia losing control of the forces it put in motion.
Baku’s understands what will be expected of it and that it is willing to take steps necessary to forge good relationships with the West. The government must resist the impulse toward control that could curtail its great national potential.
OSCE observers were quick to note that the Republican Party of Armenia engaged in systematic subversion of the electoral process, including pressure on voters and a refusal by electoral commissions to enforce the law.
Last week saw yet another small milestone in efforts to recognize the Khojaly Massacre and the frozen conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh, and to move closer to a day when the region will know peace.
Eric Lyman has a provocative piece in the Washington Times on the twentieth anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre. If the international community means to avoid another shooting war here, this problem must be solved sooner than later.
Armenia will miss the chance to show its better face to Europe and a wider world. The result will be that the capitals of Europe will look more favorably on Baku than on Yerevan during EuroVision and beyond.