The truce announced on November 9 between Armenia and Azerbaijan after 44 days of conflict was broken in the past weekend.
Alin Ozinian, an expert on the Near East and the Caucasus at the Armenian Assembly of America, says that the real question is “Who will benefit from the breakdown of the ceasefire.”
Both sides accuse each other of breaking the truce. Are the articles of the truce agreement faulty?
Yes, the parties accuse each other regarding the violation of the truce announced on November 9. The area beyond the border line near Hadrut has become active.
Armenia says Azerbaijan is trying to enter this region and capture more land while Azerbaijan says Armenia insists on not pulling out of the region.
Since we were not in the region at the time of the start of the war last time, we are not soldiers and there is no camera system in the region, which was demanded by Armenia and the international community, our only baseline is the claims from the two sides.
But we can say that the Russian peace corps stated that no big clashes occurred, more important than who violated [the truce]. It’s difficult to make a guess on the first moment that the truce is violated. There were wounded and dead but the peace corps was not there on time.
If we start from the question, “Who benefits from the breakdown of the truce?” you should guess who violated the truce.
I personally know that Azerbaijan has been the party that violated [ceasefires] since the beginning of the war. After that, a planned war began.
But for the latest incident, it’s not easy to say this clearly. If there were intense clashes that night, it could be said that Azerbaijan started it, but it was not the case.
After Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry stated that it announced the violation of the truce, Aliyev [Ilham, President] said, “This time, we will obliterate them completely.”
This is a genocide-like sentence. If he has such a plan, it is possible that Azerbaijan broke the truce.
Could the celebrations in Azerbaijan psychologically trigger the breakdown of the truce?
I don’t think the celebrations in Azerbaijan will have a psychological effect. Because the breakdown of the truce is not related to this. The course of the war is entirely connected to statements by Aliyev and Erdoğan [Recep Tayyip, Turkey’s president].
I don’t think people’s motives would have an impact on the war.
No, the problem is not with the articles of the truce. I think the problem stems from not knowing the plans of the powers.
This violation of the truce might be to intimidate Armenia. Maybe the revenge they have taken is not enough.
How do you evaluate the wave of protests in Armenia following the truce?
The wave of protests in Armenia following the truce… Armenia is of course very sad. It is experiencing a defeat on a scale that it didn’t think of. The matter here is not loss of land, it’s losses of lives.
Almost everyone had someone dead in their homes.
Although it’s before Christmas, there is no jubilation at any home. I don’t consider the protests in Armenia as a people’s movement.
Yes, most of those who protest want Pashinyan’s resignation. Because it’s a great defeat. Pashinyan can actually repair his reputation by submitting this resignation, he can declare that elections will be held again.
And he can win in the elections again. Those who get a bribe are people from the previous administrations. While I understand that the wave on the streets is an artificial one, it’s evident that these old cadres are not wanted by the people of Armenia. (PT/VK)
*This interview was made in Turkish and translated into English by bianet editors.