ArmInfo.The prospects for the effectiveness, and indeed the very suitability of the new format for the peaceful settlement of the Artsakh conflict, are rather vague. Chairman of the Armenian Constructive Party, political scientist Andrias Ghukasyan, expressed a similar opinion to ArmInfo.
"The main change in the negotiation process was the actual removal of the Russian Federation from the activities of the OSCE Minsk Group. It is clear that the work of the format of the Minsk Group co-chairs in the conditions of Moscow's violation of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act became impossible. This brought the European Union to the fore, creating an opportunity for forming a new negotiating format. Another question is that the 24-year stage of discussion of the fundamental principles of the settlement within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group has also ended. That is, the principles on the basis of which the conclusion of a comprehensive peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan was supposed to be concluded. And this happened as a result of the decision taken in Brussels to begin work on the preparation of a peace treaty," he emphasized.
Meanwhile, according to the political scientist, from the latest sensational speech of Prime Minister Pashinyan in parliament, it becomes clear that these very fundamental principles of settlement by the parties to the conflict are still not agreed upon. There is no agreement around them, which makes it possible to forecast a very difficult course of the expected negotiations. In Ghukasyan's opinion, this is evidenced by the different interpretations by Yerevan and Baku of the Brussels wording on the inclusion of all necessary issues in the peace treaty that is being prepared for signing. Thus, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry hastened to declare that the Artsakh settlement is outside the framework of the agreement being prepared. And Prime Minister Pashinyan outlined the determination of the status of Artsakh as a condition necessary for the signing of a peace treaty.
All this, according to the political scientist, outlines the fact of the lack of agreement between the parties to the conflict around the fundamental principles of the settlement, which creates very tangible difficulties for the prospect of developing and approving the clauses of the peace, making the possibility of a new format becoming a platform for advancing the settlement even more uncertain. At the same time, the importance of the EU's role in resolving the current geopolitical conditions and the international situation, in his opinion, is indisputable.
"And finally, the last important circumstance is the interconnectedness of the role of the EU in the settlement, the course of the settlement with the cooperation of Armenia and Azerbaijan with the EU. The interconnection, that exists since the adoption in 2011 by the European Parliament of the decision to conclude an Association Agreement with Armenia and Azerbaijan. At the same time, as one of the preconditions for concluding this agreement, Brussels put forward the consent of Yerevan and Baku to the implementation of the Madrid principles for the settlement of the conflict around Artsakh. And as of today the European Commission cannot ignore the logic of the decisions taken earlier by the European Parliament. The latter means the absence of drastic changes in the position of the EU on the settlement of the Artsakh conflict that preceded the latest events," Ghukasyan summed up.