“As Armenia’s internationally recognised government, [Armenian President] Sargsyan and his team are the country’s face to the world and are compelled see the bigger picture on the Karabakh conflict. They see that if Armenia is at least not seen to be prepared to be flexible and countenance compromise on the issue of the return of the occupied territories to Azerbaijan, that it faces the danger of possible near-term war with an ever-more bellicose government in Baku,” Thomas de Waal, a senior associate with Carnegie Europe writes.
In the article titled “Armenia’s crisis and the legacy of victory”, published in OpenDemocracy, the author presents his analysis concerning the seizure of Erebuni police station by members of “Daredevils of Sassoun” armed group discussing the successive governments, the crisis of public trust, the issue of opposition parties and the role of veterans of the 1992-94 war in the country’s domestic and foreign policies, etc.
Armenia's crisis is a clash of #NK veterans, as the country deals with legacy of that victory My piece https://t.co/F5Gj42zThK
— Thomas de Waal (@Tom_deWaal) August 3, 2016
Concerning the Karabakh conflict the author writes that; “Even if war is avoided, the status quo promises Armenia only a future of long-term international marginalisation. This is why Sargsyan continues to negotiate over the OSCE-sponsored peace deal, now being pushed hard by Russia, with the support of France and the United States, that looks very much like the one he deposed Ter-Petrosyan for backing — and why in the latest crisis Levon Ter-Petrosyan implicitly supported Sargsyan, calling on his fellow Armenians to focus on the external threat and on resolving the Karabakh conflict.”
“The only path forward on the Karabakh issue lies through much more serious negotiations. On the Armenian side, this will entail a firm commitment to giving up the occupied territories in return for Azerbaijani concessions on the status of Nagorno Karabakh itself. But in the context of the fighting in April and the political crisis in July, it is much harder for a government in Yerevan to deliver on that deal,” Thomas de Waal writes.
Referring to the content of the public discussions and the willingness of some leaders of the opposition to receive dividends on nationalist feelings of the public, de Waal concludes that; “It is unlikely that Armenia can find a way out of this impasse on its own. Its major ally, Russia, offers only coercive pressure. Armenia needs help from international friends and the more pragmatic parts of the diaspora to help it navigate a way forward at a time of domestic discord and great international uncertainty.”