Armenia sees further political escalation in prospect of normalization with Azerbaijan

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April 28, 2022 2:16 p.m. (UTC+04:00)

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For a long time, the Armenian leadership tried to ignore the new realities of the region by refusing to accept Azerbaijan’s peace proposals in the hope of resuming negotiations under the auspices of the co-chairs of the Minsk Group of OSCE.

However, the disappearance of the Minsk squad deprived the Yerevan official of this opportunity. The conflict between the co-chairing countries of the Minsk Group over the events in Ukraine has dashed any hope of resuming this format, especially since the co-chairs have been unable to come up with anything new that reflects modern realities.

Simultaneously, at a recent meeting in Brussels, Pashinyan’s government finally accepted Azerbaijan’s peace proposals and agreed to start negotiations to reach a peace agreement, open transport corridors and demarcate and delineate boundaries. All this led to a rapid escalation of the internal political situation in Armenia.

Pashinyan’s decision, predictably, drew a mixed reaction in Armenia. The parliamentary opposition, represented by the “Armenia” and “I have the honor” blocs, as well as representatives of the separatists, the foreign diaspora, NGOs and associations, former diplomats and civil servants, and a certain number of representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church, categorically opposed the opening of peace talks with Azerbaijan, the normalization of relations with Turkey and the opening of transport corridors.

The upcoming anniversary of the events of 1915, which is used by radical Turkophobes to present territorial, moral and material claims to Turkey and Azerbaijan, has caused the beginning of protests against the current authorities in Yerevan. For a long time, Armenian radicals used this date to organize mass protests and marches under the banners of revenge and revenge. They take every opportunity to smear Azerbaijan and Turkey in the eyes of the international community, accusing them of racism and “Armenophobia” through racist propaganda and misinterpretations of historical events.

For many years, Armenian politicians used the events of 1915 to justify their territorial claims on neighboring states. It should be noted that Turkey has repeatedly offered to open archives and form a joint commission to investigate the history of these tragic events, but Armenia has rejected these offers each time, demanding unconditional recognition of Turkey’s responsibility towards them.

It is interesting how Armenian society still treats April 24 as a “day of mourning”, but on this day all protests and marches by Armenians are held with Turkophobic slogans and calls for revenge. This year, at the initiative of the foreign diaspora and opposition leaders, they added slogans condemning government policy and Pashinyan personally, accusing them of treason and the desire to return “Artsakh”.

Thousands of people who marched with torches through the streets of Armenia and other countries found themselves embroiled in an internal political struggle for power. Towards the end, the organizers of the procession burned the flags of Azerbaijan and Turkey in Yerevan Square, as if to symbolize their desire to fight to the end for the capture of foreign territories.

For several days, the Armenian opposition has been organizing marches and pickets to demand the overthrow of the Prime Minister. At the same time, law enforcement in Armenia moved to preventive measures to prevent anti-government protests.

The day-to-day situation in Armenia bears a strong resemblance to the events of 1998-1999 when first President Levon Ter-Petrosyan was ousted from power because he was ready to sign a peace accord to withdraw troops from occupied Azerbaijani territories.

Armenia is constantly trying to delay the implementation of trilateral declarations. While Azerbaijan has already built almost a third of the Zangazur corridor railway and road, Armenia has done almost nothing in this direction.

There is no doubt that the new intra-political escalation in Armenia has started to exacerbate the country’s already tense situation, but Armenia has only one way out of this situation: to take concrete steps to normalize the relations and sign a peace agreement with Azerbaijan.

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