Armenia Pans NATO for Pro-Azeri Statement

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian (right) at a press conference with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurtz in Yerevan. (Photolur)

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia on Monday criticized NATO for again backing Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and not explicitly acknowledging the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination.

Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said this stance contradicts the existing Karabakh peace proposals made by the United States and another key NATO member, France, together with Russia.

In an extensive declaration adopted at a summit held in Wales late last week, the leaders of the NATO member states said they “remain committed in their support to the territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.” They said NATO will therefore continue to seek settlements of the conflicts in the South Caucasus and Moldova “based upon these principles and the norms of international law.”

Speaking at a joint news conference with Austria’s visiting Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Nalbandian claimed that this “generalized” stance “does not correspond to the ideas, proposals and approaches” of the U.S., French and Russian co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. “Nor does it correspond to decisions that have been made in recent years within the OSCE framework,” he said.

“That certainly causes damage to the negotiation process and that certainly causes damage to stability and security in the region,” charged the chief Armenian diplomat.

President Serzh Sarkisian, who attended the Wales summit, likewise criticized the Karabakh-related language of the NATO declaration at the weekend. Sarkisian at the same time insisted that its adoption was a “very small success” for Azerbaijan. The latter has hailed the NATO stance.

Sarkisian boycotted the previous NATO summits because of virtually identical wordings of their concluding statements. His government wants the U.S.-led alliance to also cite the principle of people’s self-determination with regard to the Karabakh conflict.

Armenian officials argue that a combination of self-determination and territorial integrity is at the heart of the Basic Principles of a Karabakh settlement drafted by the U.S., Russia and France. The proposed framework accord reportedly allows for an eventual international recognition of Karabakh’s secession from Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani government meanwhile commended NATO for reaffirming its declared support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.

President Ilham Aliyev’s chief foreign policy aide, Novruz Mammadov, said late on Friday that “NATO’s position has not changed.” “Given that NATO is today the number one military-political organization, its support is very important,” the APA news agency quoted him as saying.


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  1. Armenian said:

    It’s nice to be assertive, but I feel as though the Armenian government reserves its assertiveness for everyone but the actual power it should [have] be[en] assertive to, and that is Russia.

    Russia has played a more active part in slowing down Armenia’s economy, cornering it, and limiting its options in terms of natural gas imports (especially when the world’s second largest producer of natural gas after Russia is right on our doorstep) economic prospects (shutting Armenia out of its largest trade partner, the EU, a market of over 500 million people), and foreign policy decisions (entering CU at gunpoint). Armenia should be panning at Russia, but of course, I am under no illusion that we have any room to do that. Had our idiot oligarchs not sold them everything, we would have been able to pick and choose what we do and don’t want from the Kremlin. Sadly, Azerbaijan’s many micro-victories are a result of our passiveness to seize the appropriate opportunities to assert our position in the world, as well as Armenia’s “shoot first, ask questions later” foreign policy, in which we dig ourselves into such a deep hole that we’d need a miracle to get out of it.

    Armenia really doesn’t need to be surprised at NATO’s decision. Look at the people running and representing Armenia abroad and at home, and you can see why nobody wants to have anything to do with us. We’ve turned into an oblast in everything but name. You can’t be a Kremlin poster-child at home and abroad, then expect anyone in the West to take you seriously or to do things that is in your benefit but in their detriment. Should have thought about the consequences of a short-sighted foreign policy, and about siding too much with Russia. You’ve made your bed, now lay in it.

    • Loh said:

      So NATO and others “want to have something to do with” Azerbaijan because of “the people running and representing” Azerbaijan abroad?

      Your worldview makes no sense. Nothing you say makes sense. Its one thing to criticize Moscow, which deserves criticism sometimes just like everyone else, its another thing all together to speak non sense. You give a bad name to anyone who has actual grievances against Putin’s Russia.

      • Armenian said:

        No, but given Azerbaijan’s oil and natural resources, it’s rather obvious that its leaders and their cruelty are overlooked. Not only that, but they don’t seem to have the same general ambivalence our leaders and diplomats do.

      • Armenian said:

        And to be clear, my comments are regarding foreign investment in Armenia, not political interaction. The oil and natural resources will always draw a large group of interested investors even despite the prevalent corruption and flimsy justice system in Azerbaijan. Armenia, on the other hand, lack sufficient resources for foreign investment, and does not have strong enough legal mechanisms to attract foreign investment, and consequently, foreign support (made even more significant by having a financial stake in the country). Instead, everything was given to Russia, and our practices have shut ourselves off from everyone else.

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      If NATO wants a pro Nato Armenia, than Armenians of diaspora can make Western Armenia a pro NATO Armenia, Armenians can win beeg time by having 2 Armenias East and west

  2. Gagik Melikyan said:

    How convenient to come back home and then bravely criticize NATO for its anti-Armenian resolution. But, what has been done at the conference to impact the content of the NATO statement so that the Artsakh’s right of self-determination is unequivocally mentioned? It is an apparent diplomatic defeat that should make our diplomats to think how to become more efficient, how to modify their approaches, and how to better work with NATO members in order to secure the desired outcome.

  3. GeorgeMardig said:

    For NATO geopolitics is the core of it’s existense, and it overides all other priorities, such as human rights, values, respect, humanity, and the list goes on, they are only interested in how to promote wars that can give them strategic advantages over the others.They do not care for the battered Armenian people who for the last 100 years they’ve been suffering by the inhumane actions of the West and it’s organazations. So be it, if war is what they want, Armenia and Armenians EVERYWHERE FROM INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF ARMENIA , should prepare themselves for the war, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

    • Armenian said:

      Do you think the growing diaspora that the government of Armenia has helped create will come and fight for it? Do you know how many people are alienated from Armenia, that they leave it with no intention of looking back? It’s easy to be an internet cyber warrior and threaten to fight and go to war with everyone in your vicinity, but are you at least aware of how incredibly unfeasible what you’re saying is? You should be saying “enough is enough” to the corruption and criminal organization that governs Armenia at home and represents it abroad, not to the foreign countries who equally disrespect us by taking the government and HHK’s example.

      • GeorgeMardig said:

        Don’t talk about corruption of Armenia, MOST of EU countries have corrupt governments and corrupt ROYAL families, never the less most of US politicians are corrupt and are for sale legally. as for the West, 100 years passed and had not been for Russia, all Armenians would have left Armenia and the land of Armenia the West would have donated to Turkey for services rendered, Russia have done far more then the West than sitted on their ass watching how Armenians are suffering, without taking into consideration the faith of Armenians was dictated by them, when they shamelessly lied and betrayed Armenians. BASHING RUSSIA IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

  4. Josef said:

    This is why Armenia will never leave Russian side good job NATO for backing up a Dictator backed government! And throwing the first Christian country under the bus thank you . These people will sell there mothers for money boycott NATO what have they done for Armenia? Most of them deny the Armenian Genocide anyway and talk about peace in the world what a joke!!

    • Armenian said:

      And apart from economic and political isolation, constant armament of Azerbaijan, and refusal to allow Armenia to execute an independent foreign policy, what has Russia done for Armenia? NATO’s damage to Armenia is an indirect result of its support for Turkey. NATO has never damaged Armenia directly as Russia has by literally forbidding us from doing things, and increasing the likelihood of war and dead Armenian youth by giving billions of dollars of weaponry to Azerbaijan. NATO is not the enemy. Be weary of the friend who acts against your interests.

      • GeorgeMardig said:

        @Armenian; ARMENIANS this time around should be smarter, do not Bash Russia until you see results from the West, So Far Nothing, BASHING RUSSIA IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

        • Armenian said:

          Okay, I will stop stating the obvious because– uh, you really like Russia and think they’re helping us? I will bash whoever is worth bashing. Armenians shouldn’t be quiet if someone is overtly wronging them.

  5. dvo said:

    this proves why armenia should stick with russia. not sanctoned imposed on Russia, Azerbaijan becomes more important

  6. Arthur A said:

    Since when the NATO is a political organization ? It was founded as a military alliance between governments, not a political venue for opinions on world matters. NATO has been a war machine by design and its statements on matters of political conflicts are irrelevant and should not be given much weight.

  7. Hratch Karamanoukian MD said:

    NATO does not have the best interest for Armenia in this geopolitical issue – Artsakh – they need their oil one way or another from Azerbaijan through Armenia to the Mediteraranean. BP has dirty hands in this too as they have invested 44 billion dollars in Azeri oil fields.