What You Need To Know:
The ongoing Azerbaijani blockade of food, fuel, and medical supplies from reaching the Armenian statelet of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, and home to around 120,000 people has today triggered the creation of a new anarchist group – Anarchist Artsakh.
The blockade dates back to Soviet-era territorial claims both Azerbaijan and Armenia have to the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is situated inside Azerbaijan, but in which, ethnic Armenians make up 95 per cent of the population. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, both nations took up arms against one another over the area.
The first Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, (1991-94) left Armenia with the majority of the autonomous zone. Following a 2010 strategic partnership agreement with Azerbaijan Turkey has become a key player in the conflict, supplying Azerbaijan with military aid when fighting broke out again in July 2020. This material support, alongside the aid of Syrian mercenaries, enabled Azerbaijan to recapture swaths of the Nagorno-Karabakh before a ceasefire was brokered by Russia in November 2020. The gains made by Azerbaijan in 2020 left Nagorno-Karabakh surrounded.
The group, in their first post on Telegram stated, “Comrades! A new front of anarchist resistance is maturing. This time Artsakh. For almost a year now, the fascist government of Azerbaijan has kept the local Armenian population under complete blockade, seeking forced submission from the Armenians.
The dictatorial power of Ilham Aliyev is actually starving our people in order to subjugate them, assimilate them and deprive them of the freedom for which we have fought for a very long time. In the territories occupied in 2020, the occupiers are destroying our cultural objects in order to erase our traces from our own lands.
We already had the sad experience of living under the rule of the Azerbaijani leadership in the 1980s – 1990s. We will no longer allow the fascists to enslave our people. We – Armenian anarchists – will fight for the freedom of our (and not only our) people. Most likely, the Azerbaijani tyrants will soon begin a ground operation on the territory of Artsakh. We are trying to organise ourselves to resist the onslaught of the imperialists.
Comrades! We ask you to support us in our fight. After all, solidarity is our main weapon. Help spread the word about the chaos going on. Glory and freedom to all oppressed peoples!”
The current siege is the result of the December 2022 blocking of the Lachin Corridor, a lifeline between Armenia and Artsakh by Azerbaijan, which claims that Armenia has been using the corridor to smuggle arms.
However, on early Tuesday, a truck carrying Russian humanitarian aid was given access through Azerbaijani territory to the besieged region’s capital, Stepanakert. According to DW, the Russian Foreign Ministry claimed the aid package represents “a first step” to resolving the crisis. It is unclear if this move by Russia will satisfy the clearly frustrated members of Anarchist Artsakh.
What and whom Armenia serves is still opaque. The pseudo-independent state, which once had ninety percent of its border territory under the control of Russia, today is gradually breaking away from the influence of Russia and trying to hand over its territories to the West.
We would not be wrong if we say that 2020 is the year when Azerbaijan restored its territorial integrity and simultaneously a period that political players swapped over Armenia. The 30-year occupation seemed to have led Armenia into a deep sleep under the shadow of Russia, and its inability to wake up from that sleep has kept it far off the political ground in the region. In addition, Armenia’s lack of appreciation for the opportunities it had and its short-sighted behavior left it in a desperate situation. The question is, why has Armenia never been able to benefit from the fact that it is surrounded by countries with strong economies in the South Caucasus, such as Azerbaijan in particular?
Although the answer to this question needs an in-depth interpretation, it can be enough to consider the events happening today. If we look at recent events, we can witness that Armenia has plunged into an extremely complex political game. Especially by partially skipping the Russian factor, Pashinyan seems to have given a bit more privilege to the Western forces. As they look more active in the South Caucasus today creates the impression that Yerevan is being played on a gambling table. Being in a confused state in political games, Armenia backs the wrong horse; completely ignores the priorities for the future of its country, and is currently trying to turn the region into a battleground between the West and Russia.
After the full operation of Azerbaijan’s Lachin State Border Checkpoint, Armenia began to seek refuge in the West. So, starting from January 2023, the European Union Mission group, whose real mission is unknown, suddenly appeared in the region. First, under the guise of humanitarian aid to Armenian minority in Garabagh, and then by misinterpreting Armenian armed provocations, the mission group began to expand its activities.
Yesterday, the mission group celebrated the opening of its base with a new name – European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) in the town of Ijavan, Tavush province of Armenia. It is noted in the information that this is already the 5th base of EUMA opened in the territory of Armenia so far. I wonder what the head of the mission Mr. HoM Markus Ritter intends to do in Armenia by opening so many bases.
If the mission group or EUMA has any interest in the conventional borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia, then it would be a more objective step for some of their representatives to come to Azerbaijan as well, to observe the situation from the flipside of the event. If we are talking about eliminating tension and ensuring security in the region, there is an answer here – Armenia and Azerbaijan, as two independent states, are capable of ensuring peace between themselves. However, there is an exception, which is Armenia’s taking an adequate step… But what does EUMA do for this? Is the mission group really taking purposeful steps for peace talks to take place?
Two days ago, after a long wait, a truck with food belonging to the Russian Red Cross Committee on the Aghdam-Khankendi route was able to enter Khankendi. This plan was actually an unambiguous solution to some groundless disputes surrounding Lachin BCP. Unfortunately, the European Union mission group and many representatives of the West expressed their “true intentions” by showing a stronger and pro-Armenian position regarding the border with Lachin. In particular, the ICRC’s involvement in political rather than humanitarian issues has made it somewhat of a spy for the West. If the separatists in Garabagh did not accept the food sent from Azerbaijan, it was an internal matter, but the fact that the Western forces did not let in the food sent from Russia this time began to look like the West was deviating from its mission.
It means that the West intends to put pressure on Russia through Armenia, and this means that external forces want create a battle ground for themselves in the region. As I mentioned earlier, Armenia completely confuses internal politics and tries to create tension instead of peace in the region. As a tool in the hands of certain forces, it deliberately exaggerates the issue of the Armenian minority living in Azerbaijan’s Garabagh economic region and deliberately focuses the attention of the outside audience on the region.
In fact, this is the helplessness and incompetence of Pashinyan, who cannot find a common language with the other side, i.e. Azerbaijan. All these are factors that lead to his repeated lies and denial of what he says. Pashinyan chooses not just what is in front of him and what is available to him, but on the contrary, he chooses the means that is wide of the mark and can put his country and the region in danger. The reason is simple – Armenia’s lack of perspective and political agenda and inability to see the error of its ways and most importantly, yet finding hard to recover from the trauma of 2020. These factors still seriously prevent Armenia from choosing the right path
Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz15:44, 7 September 2023
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 7, ARMENPRESS. The Azerbaijani media have reported the release of the three Nagorno-Karabakh students who were kidnapped by Azeri border guards while traveling to Armenia through Lachin Corridor in late August.
The three men were kidnapped and subsequently jailed on August 28. Azeri authorities had announced that the men would be jailed for 10 days for allegedly “dishonoring” the Azeri flag.
The kidnapping was condemned by the Armenian Foreign Ministry as a gross violation by Azerbaijan of the “Trilateral Statement of November 9, 2020, legally binding Orders of the UN International Court of Justice and open contempt for the unequivocal and targeted calls of the international community, including voiced by members of the UN Security Council.”
Pakistan and Azerbaijan reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing collaboration in multiple areas, including trade, energy, and the economy. Caretaker Minister for Planning, Muhammad Sami Saeed, met with Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Pakistan, Khazar Farhadov, to discuss the positive trajectory of their bilateral relations.
Both sides expressed their determination to bolster ties, focusing on trade, connectivity, energy, tourism, and Information Technology. Ambassador Farhadov highlighted the positive impact of direct flights between Azerbaijan and Pakistan since 2022, with approximately 50,000 Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan that year. He also noted the convenience of Azerbaijan’s online visa system, which processes visas for Pakistani tourists in just three hours.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2023.
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on Monday reviewed his visit to Georgia last week by saying the bloc wanted to “see Georgia succeeding on its European path”.
In an article over the visit, the bloc’s top diplomat noted “there is no doubt for the European Union that Georgia belongs to the European family”, and further highlighted the “overwhelming” European aspiration of Georgian citizens.
During my stay, all my interlocutors made a plea for Georgia to receive candidate status to the EU shortly. It is a call that we have heard over the past months consistently from the authorities, from the opposition and from the civil society representatives”, Borrell said.
The EU official stressed one of the “main” challenges on the European path for Georgia was the “strong” political polarisation, and for the country to become an EU candidate, “all political forces need to work together constructively”.
The EU accession process is a national endeavour that needs to stand over party politics. All institutions have to work together, i.e. cooperate. Georgian leaders should not miss this historic opportunity”, he noted.
Borrell added there were no “shortcuts” to EU accession neither for Georgia, nor anyone else as the enlargement process always followed “clear” criteria.
It requires, for sure, hard work, political will and clear commitment to the European Union’s values. […] This hard work is worth it, not only to become a member of the European Union, but, more importantly, for improving the everyday life of citizens. Georgia has a robust administration and a vibrant civil society. It has all the potential to achieve this historic task”, he said.
The European official also welcomed the clear position of Georgia in international fora in support of Ukraine and noted “it is crucial to coordinate our efforts with our closest partners to isolate Russia internationally”.
In the piece, Borrell also reiterated the EU’s “unwavering” support to Georgia’s security, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and further pointed out that “our longstanding commitment to stand by Georgia is today as strong as ever in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine”.