Politics 16:43 04/10/2019 Armenia

The status of Artsakh and punctuation marks

Author Anna Mkrtchyan

When Russia announces that Crimea is Russia, what punctuation mark does it put in the end – a period, exclamation point or suspension point?

Naturally, the conflicts of Crimea and Nagorno-Karabakh have different origins, history and dynamics, but it’s not possible to avoid the temptation of drawing parallels between them when the Russian foreign minister compares Armenia and Albania in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Speaking at the Valdai Forum in Sochi on October 2, Lavrov touched upon the Karabakh conflict, noting that “the situation is much calmer now than a year ago, but the political process is stalled and attempts to advance it has been failing."

“The parties are making quite serious statements. In particular, there has been a statement that ‘Karabakh is Armenia’, just like Albanian prime minister announced from Tirana that ‘Kosovo is Albania’. Such statements certainly do not contribute to the formation of an atmosphere conducive to the resumption of the political process,” Lavrov said.

Yesterday, the Armenian Foreign Ministry responded to this statement, not in a tough but quite a persistent manner. Reaffirming Armenia’s position, the Foreign Ministry deemed it important for the mediators to avoid one-sided and selective assessments.

Around two months later, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev also referred to the Armenian prime minister’s “Artsakh is Armenia; period” remark during the same Valdai Forum. First, he dismissed the statement as “a lie”, since “the whole world recognizes Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan” and “Karabakh is an indigenous territory of Azerbaijan”, adding: “Therefore, Karabagh is Azerbaijan and exclamation point.”

It turns out that Russian FM Lavrov provided a background for the Azerbaijani president, giving him the courage to be able to make the mentioned statement.

In Russian, an exclamation point is put at the end of sentences that express surprise, strong emotions, excitement, etc. It isn’t clear in what state President Ilham Aliyev was when making that statement, was he surprised or excited? But obviously he is able to surprise others with his ability to repeat the same fruitless view many times.

Speaking about the Armenian PM’s statement that the settlement of the conflict should be acceptable to the peoples of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, he again voiced the provision of Azerbaijani propaganda that there is no such thing as people of Nagorno-Karabakh, there is only Karabakh population. And what kind of solution is acceptable to Aliyev? Of course, the restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.

The Azerbaijani leader has repeatedly presented the same theses from different floors and with different punctuation marks, in essence predetermining the outcomes of the negotiations. Whereas, Russia has never tried to compare Azerbaijan with Ukraine and accuse it of imposing a military solution to the conflict.

If the maximalist dreams of one side can be accepted and considered realistic, then similar positions of the other side must also be heard. 

Source Panorama.am
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