Not so while ago, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Nikol Pashinian, has put on the political agenda the question of recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh’s independency. It might appear surprising for some of us, who are not familiar with this region’s geopolitical nuances, that Armenia has been waiting so long to raise this question.
Why HAS Armenia not recognized the independency of the Nagorno-Karabakh?
So far, a cloudy and undetermined strategy has been prevailing in Armenia’s approach towards this question. In fact, Armenia has been supporting the region of Artsakh by all means – budget, economy, military support.
However Armenia has been playing a careful game by letting the status of Artsakh undetermined therefore avoiding any provocation of mass escalation that could lead to a potentially destructive war. At least, until Armenia would become self-sustainable enough to produce local arms & weapons, it would not take this risk.
Otherwise, there is no point of leaving this small territory independent. Moreover, shall Armenia be strong enough, would it have proposed Artsakh to be a part of Armenia. This is at least the official version of the current positions.
Surprisingly, in the early Spring 2020 the Prime-Minister Nikol Pashinyan has publicly claimed “Artsakh is Armenia!” – letting us suppose that “Armenians are the ones to determine their own fate”.
This sounds quite awkward as nowadays the Prime-Minister rather considers the recognition of Karabakh’s independence… How does it actually change anything in the lives of what the simple people experience today? NOTHING! It’s just an another tactical maneuver in the political terrain. This won’t prevent the poor Armenian young soldiers from fighting and leaving their lives at the ever disputed border of a that region.
Why can’t Armenia just let Artsakh vote IN A REFERENDUM SO to belong to Armenia – similarly to what Russia did with the Crimea?
During the courageous conquest of Crimea, Poutine has been smart enough – he let the Crimean people decide on their own, but with a little nuance that made a huge difference… The question in the referendum was supposed to be the following: “Are you in favor of the State Sovereignty of the Crimea itself within Ukraine?”. Yet, the main question (there were two) was put differently on the paper, it stated more or less as follows: “Are you in favor of the reunification of the Crimea to the Russian Federation?”
This is an example where the powerful State of Russia is 100% convinced and determined about gaining Crimea’s territory and defending it as its own.
Can Armenia do the same? Possibly not at this moment. However, why not grasping the chance of motivating the troupes to combat for a land that should theoretically belong to them? A basic knowledge of history (Strabone’s texts & testimonies for example) shows Artsakh has always been an Armenian territory. Granting this region an independence sounds like clipping feathers in the eagle’s wings. An eagle is strong predator, but its strength is also conditioned by every single feather it may use to fight for its life. Is the recognition of NK a reasonable step in that sense?
Actually, no matter how predictable this step may appear, the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh is not a gift to Armenia’s enemy – the Azerbaijan. On the contrary, Azerbaijan’s life will no longer be a piece of cake wile having at its border two hostile states that could have two different though convergent strategies.
Azerbaijan looks rather like a vulture expecting the eagle to leave some pray, some booty, so to have a good reason for an internal triumph in face of its president who only dreams about making some short term position wins and cease the fire at the first opportunity.
Yet, it is a well know fact that Armenians are the best chess players in the world. And by taking this step into the recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh state, they are implementing a new geopolitical dilemma which completely dismantles any established theories of land swaps.
Instead, Armenia shows itself more courageous since their desire is to truly ensure a stable future for the generations to come. A future without tears in mothers’ eyes and without wives left alone to raise children.
By providing the NK with an independence, Armenia lets a new paradigm to install: other states that belong to the OTSC military alliance would be inclined towards this recognition and step by step, slowly but surely, this would lead onto the inclusion and recognition of a separate State by the UN. Therefore this could end up with the application of the Article 5 of the UN: Article 5. A Member of the United Nations against which preventive or enforcement action has been taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.
Starting from there, all the occasions to get hostility against Azerbaijan from other States will be “de facto” justified, putting the former in a very bad position.
Check and mate.