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Armenia sees new political escalation in run-up to normalization with Azerbaijan

28 April 2022 14:16 (UTC+04:00)
Armenia sees new political escalation in run-up to normalization with Azerbaijan

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

However, the Minsk Group's demise denied official Yerevan this opportunity. The conflict between the co-chair countries of the Minsk Group over the events in Ukraine buried all hopes for the resumption of this format, especially since the co-chairs were unable to propose anything new that reflected modern realities.

Simultaneously, during a recent meeting in Brussels, Pashinyan's government finally accepted Azerbaijan's peace proposals and agreed to begin negotiations to reach a peace agreement, open transport corridors, and delimit and demarcate borders. All of this has resulted in a rapid escalation of Armenia's internal political situation.

Pashinyan's decision, predictably, elicited a mixed reaction in Armenia. The parliamentary opposition, represented by the blocks "Armenia" and "I Have Honour", as well as representatives of separatists, the foreign diaspora, NGOs and associations, former diplomats and officials, and a number of representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church, categorically opposed the start of peace talks with Azerbaijan, normalization of relations with Turkey, and the opening of transport corridors.

The next anniversary of the 1915 events, which is used by radical Turkophobes to present territorial, moral, and material claims to Turkey and Azerbaijan, prompted the start of protests against the current Yerevan authorities. For a long time, Armenian radicals have used this date to hold mass demonstrations and marches under the banners of retribution and revenge. They seize every opportunity to smear Azerbaijan and Turkey in the eyes of the international community, accusing them of racism and "armenophobia" through racist propaganda and erroneous interpretations of historical events.

For many years, Armenian politicians have used the events of 1915 to justify their territorial claims to neighboring states. It is worth noting that Turkey has repeatedly offered to open archives and form a joint commission to investigate the history of those tragic events, but Armenia has rejected these offers each time, demanding unconditional recognition of Turkey's responsibility for them.

It's interesting how Armenian society always treats April 24 as a "day of mourning", but on that day, all demonstrations and marches of Armenians are held with Turkophobic slogans and calls for vengeance. This year, at the initiative of the foreign diaspora and opposition leaders, they added slogans condemning the government's policy and Pashinyan personally, accusing them of betrayal and readiness to surrender "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. Toward the end, the organizers of the procession burned the flags of Azerbaijan and Turkey on the square in Yerevan, as if to symbolize their desire to fight to the end for the capture of foreign territories.

For several days now, the Armenian opposition has been organizing marches and pickets to demand the overthrow of the prime minister. At the same time, the Armenian law enforcement agencies switched to preventive measures to prevent anti-government demonstrations.

The situation in Armenia day by day resembles very much of the events of 1998-1999 when the first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan was ousted from power for being ready to sign a peace agreement to withdraw troops from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.

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

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

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