Among the most discussed topics in the Armenian media in December were the Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting in Brussels, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and Nikol Pashinyan’s year-end press conference.
Brussels meeting: results and opinions
On December 14, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met in Brussels, as a result of which an agreement was reached on the opening of railways. According to a government statement, Armenia will have rail access to the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation.
Commenting on the results of the trilateral meeting, journalist Tatul Hakobyan noted that Azerbaijan, using the tense situation in Armenia, is trying to deviate from the documents signed earlier, trying to snatch everything from Armenia as much as possible, but there are red lines for Armenia and Armenia is trying to resist. Unfortunately, Armenia is left alone, it does not have a friendly state, and in these conditions, it does its best so that Azerbaijan and Turkey do not step on those red lines.
“Azerbaijan considers it unacceptable that Armenia will be connected to Artsakh through a corridor controlled by the Russians and is trying to get that from Armenia,” he said.
“Brussels: Pashinyan came to know the results of the terrorist war against Armenia” the author, recalling the Brussels meeting, writes that Pashinyan’s commitment to establishing customs and border checkpoints means that the “borders” formed as a result of the war are recognized by Armenia. It means the recognition of the “territorial integrity of Azerbaijan” thereby closing the Artsakh issue.
“The absence of condemnation of the ‘settlement’ by force in the statement of the CoE President is substantiated by the fact that the Armenian government itself has recognized Baku’s right to resolve the conflict by force. After the recognition of Baku’s rights by Armenia, the EU can not offer its own agenda. Moreover, Pashinyan did not even mention the OSCE Minsk Group in his statement.”
“The Brussels meeting, the invitation of the Democracy Summit to Armenia, the invitation of the Secretary of the Security Council to visit the United States and the US welcome to the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations mean that the West removes both the Artsakh issue, the Armenian issue and the Armenian sovereignty from Russia and Turkey (from Russian-Turkish mines), bringing them to the field of international law,” wrote Vahe Gasparyan, a member of the National Democratic Pole Council.
According to him, there is an unprecedented opportunity to start the settlement of the Armenian issue, and the Artsakh issue, which is an integral part of it, in accordance with international law, and the decolonization of Armenia. Therefore, the creation of a National Transitional Government becomes more urgent, which will be able to correctly represent the interests of our country and people.
In the opinion of Tigran Abrahamyan, MP of the NA “I have honor” faction, Azerbaijan, which registered a steady decline in human rights and democracy, returned 10 prisoners of war after the meeting in Brussels, trying to show the role of the West in the processes with Armenia.
“The expectation from European structures is to turn a blind eye or soften their approaches to the authoritarian processes taking place in Azerbaijan.
“In the same way, Azerbaijan uses the topic of Armenian prisoners of war in relations with other geopolitical centers, the main purpose of which is to fix Azerbaijan’s new position and status,” the MP wrote.
In the article titled “Aliyev’s Dangerous Statement in Brussels,” the author recalls the statement made at a joint press conference after the meeting of the President of Azerbaijan with the Secretary-General of the NSTO that if Armenia wants customs checkpoints on the way from Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan will do the same in Lachin.
“Thus, it is obvious that Aliyev is raising the dose of blackmail and ‘corridor’ questions in Brussels, so to speak. This either comes from being in a frenzy, or Aliyev is getting a certain external signal of so-called self-confidence. Did he get that signal from a meeting with the NATO Secretary-General? By turning the meeting with Stoltenberg into a so-called platform for raising the dose of blackmail, Aliyev is hiding the real external impulse from which he was so inspired,” the author writes.
He added that although the NATO Secretary-General stated that Armenia and Azerbaijan are important partners for the alliance and NATO is neutral between Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to him, those statements do not sound convincing. “However, this is not the problem, especially since Armenia has many such issues first and foremost and should ask its so-called strategic ally and military-political bloc.”
168․am also referred to Aliyev’s statement, considering it a new precondition.
“Aliyev’s statement in Brussels probably means that the situation in the Lachin corridor will change, which will have a direct impact on the Artsakh conflict and its status, as, if Azerbaijan does not provide a corridor, it will take control of Lachin with all its grave consequences,” the website said.
In the same article, the website presents a conversation with Russian political analyst Alexander Skakov, who does not consider it accidental that the President of Azerbaijan decided to talk about this topic in Brussels, not attaching importance to the talks, even wanting to add some tension to the conversation and to get new concessions.
Eurovision: To politicize or not?
“Junior Eurovision” became a topic of heated discussions from the beginning among Armenian users, and then also among some media outlets. It was more politicized this year.
The first reason is that the winner was from Armenia and it was also announced that the next competition will be held in Armenia.
The representative of Armenia Malena took first place with her song “Kami-kami” (wind-wind).
Film and theater actor, freedom fighter Samvel Beglaryan, criticizing the contest, wrote that he would be proud if Armenians presented themselves to the world with an Armenian song and in an Armenian fashion.
“Remember, today and what I said, the ‘wind’ of this song will take us to many other places, when not only our friends, but also … especially Turkey and Azerbaijan with their smiling spies will come to our country, through the ‘opened roads’ to the Armenian ‘Eurovision.’ So, some Turkish lovers, especially women, let them not jump into cutting themselves…”
The photo where Malena hugged the Azerbaijani participant was also a topic of discussion. Many call it a provocation and an artificially forced peace game, while Baku continues its aggression and killings.
Blogger Alexander Lapshin writes, “We must learn, as the Jews say, to ‘separate meat from milk.’ Would I accept an Arab given the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict? I have done this more than once without any problems. If the person is normal and he is my friend, then why not? But that does not mean that by embracing Arabs, I will support the Islamists in Syria or the dictators in Sudan and Pakistan.”
“Of course, without the order of the Azerbaijani leadership, there would be no hugs in ‘Eurovision.’ This is a test balloon: The reaction of the society in Armenia and Azerbaijan is being tested. To insure against the negative reaction of the Azerbaijanis, all the media outlets of this Muslim country published articles that the alleged Armenian winner of ‘Eurovision’ herself asked the Azerbaijanis to support her. Simply put, another fake account has been opened in Azerbaijan under the name of little Malena, and, according to Baku, the Armenian girl writes from the account of ‘Stepan’ in Azerbaijani. The handwriting of Aliyev’s illiterate propaganda is clearly felt, let’s agree.
The Aliyev clan does not need peace with Armenia, but only the weakening of patriotic forces in Armenia,” Alexander Lapshin wrote.
Pashinyan’s statements and harsh reactions
During the online press conference in late December, Nikol Pashinyan’s statements about Artsakh received a harsh response.
Referring to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, Pashinyan noted, “During the whole negotiation process, the issue of the rights of the Azerbaijanis living in Nagorno Karabakh was never disputed. The NKAO has never been considered in the negotiation process as a purely Armenian union, because Azerbaijanis also lived in the NKAO, and the protection of their rights has been a topic of negotiation.”
Pashinyan was opposed by President Arayik Harutyunyan from Artsakh, noting, “The full recognition of the right of the Armenians of Artsakh to self-determination is not subject to any reservation or concession, and the exclusive owner of this issue is the Armenians of Artsakh. Therefore, only the authorities of the Artsakh Republic are authorized to speak on behalf of the people of Artsakh.” He also noted that if any Armenian wants to support Artsakh, he must take into account the will and goals of the Artsakh Armenians, otherwise they should simply not interfere.
In response, Haykakan Zhamanak published a conversation with political scientist Ruben Mehrabyan, who, in response to Harutyunyan’s post, said that he had not remembered a time when the Artsakh leadership had said something to a leader who had left them out of the negotiating table.
“I do not understand what Arayik Harutyunyan wants now, what is his motive? I do not understand what the Artsakh President wants to achieve. Harutyunyan says that if any Armenian wants to support Artsakh, he must take into account the will and goals of the Artsakh Armenians, otherwise, they should simply not interfere. Harutyunyan’s words are better addressed to the former leaders of Armenia, who speak left and right about Artsakh and throw false discourses into the public sphere,” Mehrabyan said.
The parliament of the Artsakh Republic has also expressed concern over Pashinyan’s statement: it is unacceptable to express a position without taking into account the position of the Artsakh authorities, as only the authorities formed by the citizens of the Artsakh Republic through elections have the right to decide on the future of Artsakh.
The assessments of the last press conference of the Prime Minister of Armenia are extremely dangerous for the vital rights of the Armenians of Artsakh and hinder the protection from the genocidal policy of Azerbaijan. Such a statement was made by the Human Rights Defenders of Armenia and Artsakh Arman Tatoyan and Gegham Stepanyan.
The statement says that the assessments of the RA Prime Minister are very dangerous. They substantiate the supremacy of political issues over human rights, strengthen the false narratives of Azerbaijan that ignore human rights and make more real the dangers of violations of the rights of our compatriots. This is what the Azerbaijani authorities have been striving for for many years.
“It is already clear that if the Prime Minister says that since 2016 there was not even a theoretical possibility of Karabakh having a status outside Azerbaijan, this is the position of Armenia. This means that Armenia has washed its hands of Karabakh. With these recent statements, the Prime Minister, in fact, questioned the Artsakh declaration of September 2, which is the basis for the existence and formation of Karabakh. Either they do not understand what they are doing or they are doing it in a systematic way. A puppeteer program is being implemented in Armenia,” the second president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan said on December 27 during a press conference.
Tigran Abrahamyan, a member of the “I have honor” faction and a former adviser to the Artsakh President, also made an interesting statement, noting that Nikol Pashinyan’s main goal is to remove the incumbent President of Artsakh from office. “For Pashinyan, the shortest and last step in depriving Artsakh of the last component of subjectivity is to start the process of removing Harutyunyan and ensuring the vacancy of the presidency.”
“Pashinyan’s internal motive is to completely get rid of the responsibility for the Artsakh issue, to get a compromise from Turkey and Azerbaijan on other issues in return. At this stage, the attention of political forces, active groups of society and people concerned about Artsakh and Armenia should be focused on the next wave of attacks on Artsakh, which is not based on Arayik Harutyunyan, but on the final collapse of Artsakh’s subjectivity,” he said.
The deputy of the “Justice” faction of the National Assembly of the Artsakh Republic Metakse Hakobyan also noted “On November 9, 2020, Pashinyan actually washed his hands and withdrew from Artsakh, and on December 10 of this year, he finally closed the topic. It is through him that Artsakh is not in any political process today. So, it is not his statements that are dangerous here, but the fact that this person continues to lead the country and decide the fate of the two Armenian states, this is genocide. Until our nation realizes that this is a genocide committed by Nikol Pashinyan and does not oppose all this, Pashinyan will very quickly achieve all his goals, which were planned with Aliyev.”