OSCE Minsk Group-2020

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  • 27 January, 2021
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OSCE Minsk Group-2020

Javad Ahmedov, a student of international relations at Baku State University examines the activities of the OSCE Minsk group in 2020.

Since the very early beginning of the last skirmishes and swift victory of Azerbaijan on regaining the territories back, OSCE Minsk Group has not been playing an essential role. For that particular reason, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that OSCE did not play any major role, and as of now, I am not considering OSCE as a contributor to the brokered peace in the region. However, as a co-chair of the aforementioned organization, Russia has brought about a peace deal between the dissident parties; therefore it would not be a drastic change for Russian Federation to broke a peace whether in OSCE Minsk Group or independently. Nevertheless, being the sole promoter and protector of peace in the region, Russia explicitly uttered and displayed its strength and influence over the South Caucasus to the world community. In particular, it was defiance against Western powers and a potent indicator of unavoidable Russian influence over the Post-Soviet countries.

 

While questioning prime minister Pashinyan, namely BBC, but implicitly west, pressured Armenia to choose a path to follow. It was unimaginably contradicting to expect security from Russia and desiring for further funds from west. Whereas, Armenia could not pursue a balanced policy like Azerbaijan does since they do not have enough resources and power to stand against or prone to one of the parties of today’s bipolar system. And reasonably, as a representative of West, Stephen Sackur has demanded from the prime minister of Armenia and foreign minister of Armenia to make it clear to whom they want to get closer. Interestingly, the foreign minister, by posing a counter-argument and question,‘’ What if Armenia chooses to be under the western influence, do you truly assure that you will provide Armenia with necessary security and dignity?’’ puzzled Stephen Sackur[1].

Despite the fact that the new government and the people themselves were more inclined to have closer ties with the west, Russia called to mind Armenian people that, west is doing nothing but trying to stir up mud in water, which is projected by Russia. Hence, by not intervening directly in the conflict regardless of their CSTO agreement with Armenia, Russia meant that Armenia needs them as a protector of its identity and existence as a state by showing Azerbaijan just within 44 days has regained a vast amount of territories and is well capable of going further. But France insisted on going back to the political level discussion, specifically in the Minsk group, since they were a co-chair of this mandated group. Therefore, this would surely provide an upper hand to France to have a stiff position and ability to play a role in this recent diplomatic monoverse. However, its continuous support to Armenia irritated the Azerbaijani people, and Milli Majlis has urged the removal of France from the OSCE Minsk group. Furthermore, in his speech, US President Donald Trump showed his sympathy toward the Armenian people and promised help in case of his re-election. However, just like his predecessor, Joe Biden has also pledged a closer look at the conflict with particular sympathy toward the Armenian people. The former US representative to the OSCE Minsk group indicated a need for US intervention in the conflict, which would benefit not only Armenia but also Azerbaijan.[2] Hence, OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs' biased approach discouraged President Ilham Aliyev to have faith in these organizations. As a potent indicator of it, the President has repeatedly mentioned that he did not call OSCE diplomats to Azerbaijan, ‘’they wanted to come and say something, and I did not refuse, I am listening to you’’. [3]

However, it seems both governments will only refer to west, when they are in need of having further funds and investments in this stage. Mainly, since rebuilding all homes and infrastructure that have been either entirely or partly destroyed by the Armenian separatist forces should be implemented, there is high possibility that the Azerbaijani government will refer to Europe and the US for financial support. In the same order, since the war had utterly damaged the Armenian economy, it is expected that Armenia will appeal for financial aid from west.

The new pace- 6 -country regional cooperation platform

In the victory parade, the President of Turkey, R.T.Erdogan, has mentioned possible regional cooperation between 6 countries, namely, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Georgia, which will pave the way for win-win deals. “If Armenia joins this process and takes positive steps, a new page in the Turkey-Armenia relations can be opened. If new opportunities arise, it is obvious that Armenia will also have a serious advantage. Armenia will be the side gaining most from it.” [4] It is widely discussed whether it can be perceived as a new step for regional peace or not, but it is clearer that Turkey has an immense appetite to play a major role in peace processes. It is irrefutable that fighting a decades-long war would not benefit any country in the region except those who sell weapons; hence both dissident parties should be more constructive in their proposals over the solution of the Nagorno Karabagh. Now, Azerbaijan and Turkey seem more receptive to new proposals as long as it does not pose a threat to national security whereas, other countries are extremely motivated to keep the conflict on till they get what they are fancy about.

 

Will peacekeeper facilitate the peacebuilding processes in the region and should it be considered as a first step to the regional integration is another matter of discussion. First and foremost, all parties were well aware that there is a huge need to deploy peacekeepers into the region in order to halt the ongoing war. Since the very early beginning of the discussion over the Nagorno Karabagh's peaceful solution, the peacekeeper point was almost the only point that both parties agreed on. However, some disagreements on the numbers of the peacekeepers and whose military personals should be included in these peacekeepers have been the main stumbling block for the parties. When Armenia insisted on the Russian peacekeepers, Azerbaijan also proposed on Turkish peacekeepers, and now, it is clear that both parties got what they wanted in terms of peacekeepers.

  1. Armenia was a loser in the last Karabagh war, hence as they lose more military personal and equipment, they were demanding Russian help more eagerly, whether it is as peacekeepers or support militarily in the war. When it comes to Azerbaijan, the President has repeatedly made it clear that Azerbaijan does not intend to prolong the war as long as our territories are being liberated in peaceful means; right after the peace deal signed, Azerbaijan halted its military operations as promised. But according to some politicians, Azerbaijan, by agreeing to peacekeepers, also avoided France's fallacy and endeavor to show the war as an Armenian genocide. However, signing the deal and ending the military operations displayed the world that Azerbaijan fights for its territories and has nothing to do with the people of Armenia. For that particular reason, we stopped war as we get what we truly deserved and wanted. In contrast to what is believed, Azerbaijan has granted a right to the people to stay in Nagorno Karabagh as free as they want by accepting Azerbaijan nationality. That was a potent indicator of how benign mannered policy Azerbaijan pursues and even assuring them a better life than they used to have in Nagorno Karabagh under separatist regime also once more portrays the benevolent intention of Azerbaijan in the world politics.

But, a great number of uncertainties will surely pave the way for further disagreements as we can already see its outcomes. Having uncertainties provides an opportunity for parties to drag the situation according to their interest. For some, that is the exact reason why Russia insisted on getting their troops as peacekeepers in the region that rapidly, as they can relish and take most out of these uncertain situations. Furthermore, as there was no clear working framework for peacekeepers at the peace deal, Russia might use this opportunity to act freely as long as there are no apparent boundaries for peacekeepers. Nevertheless, having a Turkish military presence in the region subsidies unease feelings of people regarding the peacekeepers. But the position of the peacekeepers must be changed gradually as the years passed, according to Tofig Zulfugarov. He believes that the police forces must consist of Azerbaijanians, Russian, and ethnically Armenians who agree to take Azerbaijani nationality employed by an independent company funded from Azerbaijani budget in the same order, the composition of these police forces must be defined by Azerbaijan. This joint action will entail a better prospect for peace in the region, which can be brought in by introducing six countries' regional cooperation platform. Furthermore, creating an economic union will surely pave the way for stepping ahead of the first pillar of integration since the integration can only truly bring prosperity and peace to the South Caucasus. Interestingly, the unity of Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey against America's sanctions over purchasing the S -400 defence system might be perceived as a first step to the common understanding.

I of the opinion that if this six country regional cooperation platform follows the same step which European Union took back than, then South Caucasus can be as important as EU in the world politics in upcoming years.

 

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJTGRiBCRkw

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byFgkaaSL2o&list=LL&index=3

[3] youtube.com/watch?v=8ApDkMgiaVQ

[4] https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/6-country-regional-cooperation-platform-win-win-for-actors-in-caucasus-erdogan-says?gallery_image=undefined#big

 

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