ArmInfo.The Artsakh Foreign Ministry made a statement in connection with the continuing speculation of the Azerbaijani authorities regarding the format of the talks. The statement, in particular, says: "In connection with the continuing speculations of the Azerbaijani authorities regarding the format of the negotiations and the legal basis for resolving the Azerbaijani- Karabakh conflict, we consider it necessary to note the following.
The Azerbaijani authorities are persistently trying to present the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) adopted in 1993 as the legal basis for resolving the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict. Such an approach is one of the illustrative examples of the arbitrary interpretation of these documents by the Azerbaijani side. In this regard, it should be noted that in order to resolve local conflicts, especially those that do not pose a threat to international peace, the UN Charter prescribes to appeal, first of all, to regional organizations. This approach was guided by the UN Security Council regarding the Azerbaijan-Karabakh conflict, refraining from direct mediation initiatives in support of the efforts of the CSCE / OSCE, which is directly enshrined in the resolutions. It is for this reason that the UN Security Council did not establish any parameters or principles for the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict. According to the position of the international community, expressed in the resolutions of the UN General Assembly on cooperation between the UN and the OSCE, as well as the statements of the UN Secretaries-General, the political settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict is the responsibility of the OSCE, which issued the mandate of the United States, Russia and France to mediate. In addition, like any other documents, UN Security Council resolutions cannot be considered outside the context of the time and circumstances of their adoption. All four resolutions were adopted during the period of active hostilities and were aimed at putting an end to the war and starting a political dialogue to reach a settlement by peaceful means only through negotiation, as required by the UN Charter. The fact that the UN Security Council did not deal with the political settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict is confirmed by the fact that, after Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) concluded by Azerbaijan and Armenia the indefinite Agreement on a full cease-fire and military actions of May 12, 1994, he no longer adopted resolutions on Artsakh. It should be especially emphasized that the resolutions of the UN Security Council were not implemented precisely because of the position of Azerbaijan, which categorically refused to fulfill in full and in time the basic requirement of all resolutions - an immediate ceasefire, all hostilities and hostile acts. During the year from the moment of the adoption of the first resolution to the conclusion in May 1994 of the indefinite Ceasefire Agreement, the Azerbaijani side repeatedly broke the agreement on a temporary truce or refused to renew them. Against the background of unwillingness to guarantee peace and bind themselves to cease hostilities, appeals from official Baku to UN Security Council resolutions were aimed at achieving a military advantage to continue the war.
In addition, Azerbaijan's deliberate policy of destabilizing the contact line between Artsakh and Azerbaijan's armed forces, its unwillingness to take measures to build confidence and reduce tension, encouraging xenophobia and hatred against Armenians, refusing to conduct direct negotiations with Artsakh, trying in every possible way isolating it, as well as obstructing visits to Artsakh by representatives of specialized humanitarian organizations, are contrary to a number of requirements and izyvov contained in UN Security Council resolutions, namely to refrain from any action that will obstruct a peaceful solution to the conflict (resolution 822, 853); immediately cease all hostilities and hostile acts in order to establish a lasting cease-fire (resolution 822); negotiate through direct contacts between the parties (resolution 853); ensure the early convening of the CSCE Minsk Conference in order to achieve a negotiated settlement of the conflict (resolution 874); restore economic, transport and energy ties in the region (resolution 853); to ensure the smooth implementation of international humanitarian assistance activities (resolutions 822, 853, 874).
The sabotage of resolutions by Azerbaijan, its attempts to use them to achieve directly opposite goals and justify the continuation of hostilities created a situation in which the UN Security Council ceased to adopt new resolutions. The statement of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States dated April 15, 1994 and the Bishkek Protocol, signed by the heads of the parliaments of Artsakh, Armenia and Azerbaijan on May 5-8, 1994, paved the way for the military leaders of the three parties to the 12 May 1994.
Attempts by Azerbaijan to present certain provisions of UN Security Council resolutions that were torn by him 26 years ago as a basis for resolving the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict contradict the principle of good faith. Appealing to these resolutions, official Baku actually seeks to achieve a result (achieving a military advantage), which contradicts the goals of the resolutions (exclusively peaceful resolution of the conflict to strengthen peace and stability). Another evidence of the inadequate interpretation by official Baku of the UN Security Council resolutions and the norms of international law in general is an attempt to present a consent to negotiate as a compromise with the Azerbaijani side. Meanwhile, the peaceful settlement of disputes, including through negotiations, is a legally binding requirement of the UN Charter and cannot be negotiated.
In addition, on March 14, 2008, Azerbaijan initiated the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution on Nagorno-Karabakh, thereby confirming that the Security Council does not deal with the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict, and its four resolutions adopted in 1993 are not applicable as settlement principles. According to paragraph 1 of Article 12 of the UN Charter, <when the Security Council fulfills the functions entrusted to it by this Charter in relation to any dispute or situation, the General Assembly cannot make any recommendations regarding this dispute or situation unless the Security Council requests about this>. It is noteworthy that all three co-chairing states of the Minsk Group, who are also permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted against this resolution of the General Assembly.
The arguments of Baku regarding the format of the negotiation process on the settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict are also unfounded. The Azerbaijani side, as a confirmation of its position, is trying to present one of the early letters of the first chairman of the Minsk conference, Mario Raffaelli, ignoring both the general context of the discussion on the negotiation format and subsequent decisions taken by the OSCE on this issue. It should be noted that on September 23, 1992, just a week after the previous letter, to which the Azerbaijani side refers, Mario Raffaelli sent a new letter to the CSCE Chairman-in-Office Joseph Moravchik. In it, the chairman of the Minsk Conference stresses that <the Italian presidency steadfastly adhered to and continues to adhere to the principle that the formula <elected and other representatives> does not allow for a distinction between the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides of Nagorno-Karabakh. Further, Mario Raffaelli notes that <classification of the mandate establishing such a distinction would be justified>. <The population of Armenian descent is certainly not only the main interested party because it is 4 times larger than the population of Azerbaijan origin, but also because it exercises de facto control of the territory, but also is a party interested in changing the status quo. Thus, for any objective observer, it (the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh - the Artsakh Foreign Ministry) is the main interlocutor of the Azerbaijani government, "the letter says.
The subsequent course of the conflict convincingly demonstrated that Artsakh is one of the main parties to the conflict. This is evidenced by, inter alia, several rounds of direct negotiations between Artsakh and Azerbaijan, including a summit, as well as more than 10 agreements reached in 1993 directly between Stepanakert and Baku on limiting military actions, temporary truce or its extension. In 1993, the status of Artsakh as a full-fledged party to the conflict was recognized by the international community, which later was reflected in both the resolutions of the UN Security Council to which Azerbaijan refers, and in the final document of the 1994 Budapest Summit of the CSCE.
As we have repeatedly noted, according to the final document of the Budapest Summit, the parties to the conflict are those parties that confirmed the cease-fire agreement of May 12, 1994. We consider it necessary to remind once again that the cease-fire agreement of May 12, 1994 was reached by Artsakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
On July 26-27, 1994, Artsakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed an additional agreement, in which they confirmed "their commitments to cease fire, up to the conclusion of a large political agreement". On August 29, 1994, Artsakh, Azerbaijan and Armenia made official statements in which they publicly reaffirmed their obligations to comply with ceasefire agreements.
On August 31, 1994, the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation made a statement in which he noted: "Moscow welcomes special statements made these days in Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert, expressing satisfaction with the observance of the cease-fire around Nagorno-Karabakh and on Armenia's the Azerbaijani border, established through the mediation of the Russian Federation since May 12. The confirmation by the heads of the military departments of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh of a cease-fire order, the announcement by each side of the punishment measures against those guilty of possible violations, the decision by the parties to observe the cease-fire until a political agreement on the cessation of armed conflict increases, that, despite all the difficulties, the peace process in Karabakh can be made irreversible. On November 12, 1994, in connection with the six months of the cease-fire, the current chairman of the Minsk Group, Andres Bjorner, made a statement in which he "welcomed with satisfaction the encouraging statements that were simultaneously voiced by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, in which they reaffirm their firm commitments to the cease-fire until the signing of a broader political agreement>. It should also be noted that the text of the statements was proposed to the parties by Andres Bjorner and Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of Russia, Ambassador Vladimir Kazimirov.
On February 3, 1995, the Minsk Group co-chairmanship addressed the leadership of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Artsakh with a proposal to strengthen the cease-fire regime. After receiving consent from all three parties, the mediators sent a notification to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Artsakh about the entry into force of the agreement, and also indicated the numbers of the government long-distance telephone connection in Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert for direct emergency communication. All these facts leave no doubt that the wording of the final document of the Budapest Summit on the parties that confirmed the cease-fire agreement implies Azerbaijan, Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh). The final clarity on this issue was introduced by the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovachem, who made a special statement at the meeting of the OSCE Governing Council on March 31, 1995 in Prague and <confirmed the earlier decisions of the OSCE on the status of the parties, i.e. on the participation of the two participating States involved in the conflict, as well as a third party to the conflict (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the entire negotiation process, including the Minsk Conference>.
It was in this trilateral format that the negotiations within the Minsk Group continued until April 1997, until they were in fact disrupted by the Azerbaijani side, which attempted to impose the non-consensus proposals submitted by Azerbaijan during the 1996 OSCE Lisbon summit as a basis for settlement. It is noteworthy that after the start of the high-level meetings between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the OSCE did not consider bilateral dialogue as a substitute for negotiations within the OSCE Minsk Group. In particular, at the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit, supporting the dialogue between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan and calling for its continuation, the OSCE participating States at the same time expressed hope for the resumption of negotiations in the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.