Listening to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s speech at the CSTO Yerevan summit without getting infuriated requires a will of iron, purely for his attempts at manipulating the elementary laws or reasoning and taking all listeners for fools. The other heads of state sat there, exasperation read on their faces and waited for ‘the Pash’ to finally finish his slurry speech.
Pashinyan uses a certain cause-and-effect focus in all his speeches: ‘If there is no border between Azerbaijan and Armenia, therefore CSTO’s responsibility zone does not exist; if there is no scope of responsibility, there is no CSTO.’ Voila! Thus ‘The Pash’ said ‘poof’ and made the CSTO disappear! As the saying goes ‘sleight of hand and no fraud!’
Pseudo-Thesis 1: ‘CSTO’s responsibility scope’
If we were to apply sound logic, there is no connection between the lack of demarcation and delimitation on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border and the existence of the CSTO. This strangely reminds the famous Soviet joke about Chapayev:
‘-… Do you have a match?
- I don’t.
- So you are impotent!’
His claim that ‘there is no border between Azerbaijan and Armenia’ is true because it is based on facts. A mere smartphone with Google Maps does not suffice to determine the border between the two countries. It needs tools somewhat more seriously. The border will not appear until demarcation and border security zones are clarified. These do not indeed exist. But this does not mean that the CSTO’s zone of responsibility is also unknown. The area of responsibility of international organizations is not subject to delimitation. Whatever ‘Armenia’ means undisputedly, that is precisely the responsibility zone of the CSTO. Yerevan must first discuss the disputed territories with Baku so that CSTO’s responsibility zone can be ‘trimmed’ correspondingly.
If ‘the responsibility zone of the CSTO is unknown’ and therefore ‘CSTO does not exist’ purely because there are disputed areas on the border, the state of Armenia does not exist. After all, Armenia is also within the CSTO zone of responsibility.
Pseudo-Thesis 2: ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’
The first paragraph of the 10 November Statement reads: ‘…a complete cessation of fire and all military operations is announced in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.’ Based on this, Pashinyan says that if the document says ‘Nagorno-Karabakh’, therefore Nagorno-Karabakh exists, meanwhile Ilham Aliyev claims that it does not.
The man is officially acting as a moron and considers his listeners of the same mind. The term ‘Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone’ in the 10 November Statement refers to the geographical area, not the separatist quasi-structures there. The term administrative division had not yet been abolished at the time. The decree by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 2 July 2021 cancelled the division and established the East Zangazur Economic Region. Presently, Nagorno-Karabakh does not exist even as an administrative entity.
When Ilham Aliyev says ‘there is no Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’ he refers to the separatist entity yet undissolved in the area where Russian peacekeepers are temporarily stationed. Nagorno-Karabakh is only a historical concept for Azerbaijan from now on. The temporary separatist entity there does not exist; no one has recognized it. Even Armenia hasn’t! We would love to hear Pashinyan’s answer to the following question whenever he has spare time from his logical hocus-pocus: If Nagorno-Karabakh indeed exists, why does Armenia not recognize it?!
Pseudo-Thesis: The Road
Pashinyan says Armenia is ready to provide a road through its territories running from Azerbaijan to Nakhchivan, but this will not be a corridor, which is why Azerbaijan does not want it. Another question arises: Then why should a corridor run from Armenia to the territories of Azerbaijan temporarily controlled by the Russian peacekeepers? Pashinyan’s logic says ‘because the 10 November Statement says so.’
We know that there was a verbal agreement on several nuances among the countries who signed the document, but both Moscow and Yerevan deny it now. That’s OK. They are simply demonstrating that they are not precisely perfect partners for a gentlemanly agreement. But let’s return to the document. The lifespan of the Lachin corridor is the same as that of the Russian peacekeepers, which is 5 years, two of which have already passed. Time truly flies. So, what is Armenia going to do when the ‘corridor’ status of the Lachin road expires? We do need to look a bit ahead if we want to solve the problem…
Yerevan must not forget that the benefits of the defeated country cannot surpass those of the Victorious one. This is what logic demands. Well, it is the same logic that The Pash seems to lack!
But, if Armenia does not consider itself defeated and Azerbaijan the winner, there is a way to clarify that. But that will happen in a completely different field!
Vusal Mammadov is an editor-in-chief at AzVision.az news outlet.