Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Cognac of Peace?

Russia president Medvedev visits Armenia, quoting the press office of Armenia president, reports that “Dmitry Medvedev stopped in front of the Barrel of Peace in which the spirit of 1994 symbolizing the year of the cease-fire is aging. By the way, the barrel is called the Barrel of Peace because it will be opened on the day when the settlement of the Karabakh issue is finally reached.”

It seems to me that we are reaching the situation frighteningly resembling that of beginning 1998. In its essence, 'Madrid principles' (current working plan on Karabakh) = 'phased settlement' (1997). The main difference is the notion of referendum to determine Karabakh's final status. However, what we know so far about the "referendum" is so vague that unless it gets clearly stated and clarified - how, when, who... it will remain a meaningless notion. In any case, the question is: shall we expect no agreement and/or resignations? Effectively, we are in a déjà vu situation now.

Yerevan Brandy Factory presented a barrel of brandy to Russian president.

*photo - via


Anonymous said...

///what we know so far about the "referendum" is so vague///

Agree, the problem of all plans was theirs unknown details. However, the issue with referendum is not in its technical details. If such matter is signed by Az. it means, that Azerbaijan accepts the right to self-determination. Thats the main difference between all/semi-package and phased appraoches.

Haik said...

It is closer to "package settlement" than to "phased settlement". The aim of phased settlement was to give a region in return for something (get a region back, remove the blockade).
With Madrid settlement we are giving everything in one go in return for nothing. i.e giving buffer zone regions in return for Lachin which already belong to us and recognition of Artsakh as an Autonomous Republic which was the case before the conflic started in 1988.
As for the referendum it is bullshit because there was already one done many years ago. 100% of population voted to be independent, you can take out the 20% Azeris who didn't participate so you have 80% majority. Simple mathematics.
Lets say they sign under the Madrid settlement with a fixed day of a next referendum after 3 years. Baku will give huge incentives to all their 1 million refugees to settle in Artsakh instead of the surrounding areas after year 2. Artsakh will oppose but at that time we would have already lost our ability to bargain. New clashes will spark between local population and settlers. So we will have Getashen and Shahoumyan region situation 20 years later. Meanwhile SS and RK will be sunbathing and drinking cocktails at their Mykonos villas.
What they are doing is inventing solutions for things that are not problematic.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Well, I'd love to think peace was coming, but as in every other case when we've apparently been close, the main issue is Azerbaijan.

This also refers to the referendum, btw. One main obstacle to this is the fact that referendums can not be held in isolated locations.

They must be nationwide, so Azerbaijan has to amend its constitution which specifically states that this is the only way its state borders can be altered.

Interestingly, the 2005 constitutional amendments here allows the changing of Armenia' borders without one. Again, the problem is with Azerbaijan.

Here, it's up to the National Assembly. Anyways, one suspects that Aliyev has enough power to determine the outcome of any referendum, but the clause is still one of concern.

Article 11. Territory


III. No part of territory of the Azerbaijan Republic may be estranged. The Azerbaijan Republic will not give any part of its territory to anybody; state borders of the Azerbaijan Republic might be changed only by free decision of its peoples made by way of referendum declared by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic.

I think we should all be alerting people to the need to have the constitution changed.

Anonymous said...

hi Haik, please figure out what you wanted to say. You presented here a very hyperbolic logic. If one applies your logic to the phased settlement, then the worst scenario was phased one. However it seems you prise it? btw, the key word in incosistence of your logic is "trust"

Hi Onnik
you are comletely right on details or technalities of the referendum. However, as I mentioned eralier, the essense is not referendum but acceptance of the right to self-determination bu the Azerbaijan. Imagine a peace agreement:
Article 1. Azerbaijan recognizes the right of self-determination of Armenians living in Nagorno Karabakh.

And each settlement requires "selling out" process. So before signing such document Aliev should make a statement in line with Article 1.

Can he?

Onnik Krikorian said...

Otherwise, I'm tired of the [radical] opposition now trying to use a possible Karabakh peace deal to attack the government. We need peace and the only way is through compromise on both sides. Enough of politicizing the issue which is actually what is happening. Karabakh is seen as a tool. Kocharian used it when it suited him, and now some among Levon's people are. Sad.

Haik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Thanks for your answer.
I would add some comments:

1. ///my answer is that I don’t support any of the proposed solutions///

So I take my question back. And the question was very simple to those who support LTP-Aliev deal while opposing SS/RQ-Aliev deal. And the argumentation is "how can you trust ... Azeris" Such logic is strange to me, since in both cases the distrust is shed on Azerbaijan. Anyway, the question is not aiming you, in this case.

2. ///These areas were mainly populated by Kurds and they should be welcomed to return and live under Armenian protectorate. ///

be careful when making such statements. The 1920s karabakh didn't have Lachin-Kelbajar division line. It was Soviet Union who intriduced Kurdish Autonomous oblast in that area, and cleanse kurds from other caucasus area to kelbajar-lachin. Later this oblast was disbanded and as a result Armenia was cut-off from Nagorno-Karabakh. So, it's not autochthonous population. Talk about refugees, talk about your vision on their [possible] return, but don't make statements like kurds belong to that land.

3. ///But anyway who the hell are we to decide on behalf of Artsakh population?///

hmmm, aren't we all Armenians? so have your say, have your decisison. Such statements are offensive towards Karabakh Armenians. Did you ever talk to them?

Haik said...

Frankly I didn’t understand what you meant but that is not crucial because my answer is that I don’t support any of the proposed solutions because they were never specific and I dont know the details. Personally I think we should never give the area between Armenia and Artsakh. These areas were mainly populated by Kurds and they should be welcomed to return and live under Armenian protectorate. As a last resort we might give Azeris the Aghdam and Fizuli-Zangelan regions in return for still Azeri occupied Northern Artsakh and for Shahumyan, Getashen, Artsvashen and recognition of Artsakh.
I know one thing for sure we should not return back to pre-1988 situation because a) history will repeat b) we won the war, damn it.

But anyway who the hell are we to decide on behalf of Artsakh population? I have Artsakh roots dating back to 14-15 centuaries but that doesnt give me the right to talk on behalf of Artsakh population. All global problems come from this approach, few people sat and drew maps without any regards to people living in these areas. There are cases in Europe when a family house is devided into two so everytime you go to bathroom you cross the boarder, e.g.
The link is from :

N.B. I deleted my eairlier comment because it contained a geographic mistake. This is the corrected version.

Haik said...

3. ///But anyway who the hell are we to decide on behalf of Artsakh population?///

hmmm, aren't we all Armenians? so have your say, have your decisison. Such statements are offensive towards Karabakh Armenians. Did you ever talk to them?
Maybe I used a strong word , probably because I am angry that Artsakh government was remnoved from the negotiations table. I appologise if I hurt anybody's feelings in my above remarks.

We are all Armenians and we were all impacted by 1988 movement, the war and blockade in a way or other however I strongly believe that Artsakh population should have the first and direct say. They should be involved in the negotiations and should have a veto power.

Bruce Tasker said...

The Armenian regime is going ahead with the Karabakh conflict resolution agreement, i.e. to return the surrounding territories to Azerbaijan - and seeing recent information, that now possibly even includes Karabakh itself.

If the regime was now and again to tell the truth, instead of constantly lying about their actions and their intentions, including with Genocide, and informed the Armenian public of what it is they are actually doing, then there would not be so much concern about losing Karabakh and the surrounding territories, which will happen very soon - and in return for a major compensation package, which will benefit only the regime.

BTW - talking about constitutions, it is interesting that the latest Armenian constitution has had a clause added which states the Armenian Army is responsible for security of the territory of Armenia, which conveniently discounts Karabakh and the surrounding territories.

I consider the problem to be of major concern to all Armenians and Karabakhis, so as well as thrashing away on khosq, I have now published a special blog to cover as many related events as I can:

Including all the Nalbandian, Moffsissian, Sargsyan and Sarkissian misinformation, untruths, nonsense, and downright lies

artmika said...

Disclosed: Madrid principles of Karabakh conflict settlement