To fully understand the outcomes of the European Council-Azerbaijan-Armenia meeting in Brussels, one should take a look at the goals of Baku and Yerevan. Before the meeting, the agendas of Baku and Yerevan on Karabakh were completely different. The situation becomes clearer when comparing them with the statement on the outcomes of the Brussels meeting.
The goals Azerbaijan wants to achieve:
• Withdrawal of Armenian militants from Karabakh;
• Delimitation and demarcation of borders;
• Signing of a peace treaty.
Armenia’s claims voiced by the country’s authorities are as follows:
• Status of “Artsakh”;
• Settlement of the conflict through OSCE mediation;
• Return of Armenian “captives”.
Outcomes of the Brussels meeting:
• Foreign Ministers will be instructed to work on the preparation of a future peace treaty;
• Joint Border Commission will be convened by the end of April;
• Nothing about “Artsakh” and its “status”;
• Nothing about the OSCE Minsk Group.
• Azerbaijan has managed to solve two of three issues on its agenda. (This means that the third one will automatically be resolved, because after the borders are defined and a peace treaty is signed, the presence of Armenian militants on the territory of Azerbaijan is impossible);
• No issue on Armenia's agenda has been welcomed (The issues related to the return of Armenian "captives" and the clarification of missing Azerbaijanis were approached on an equal basis)
• Europe is assuming Russia’s mediatory role for the conflict resolution
(Note: The statement adopted on November 26, 2021 in Sochi considered implementation of demarcation and delimitation of borders with ‘assistance of the Russian Federation’. There is no need for any other assistance).
It has been certified that Armenia's call for a "Minsk Group" was completely unfounded and meaningless. Following the Ukrainian war, Russia, US and EU cannot operate on the same geopolitical mechanism for a long time. Therefore, Armenia had better forget about the Minsk Group format soon.
The negotiations are mainly being held directly between two sides. The mechanism, which was developed thanks to EU support, aims to provide it. Thus, the period when Armenians tearfully asked Russia for help is gradually coming to an end. It is time to act mature and learn to discuss your problem directly with the other side. As Charles Michel stated, “the process has already started”. Hence, the relations must be normalised, and the hatred and insults towards Azerbaijan must be reduced in the Armenian media.
Armenia must understand that it has been defeated in its historical adventure against Azerbaijan in the region. It is meaningless to continue the lost game. The most reasonable step can be to abstain from supporting separatism and normalise relations with neighbours.