Episode 291 | Recorded: October 31, 2023
This past week Pashinyan attended the Silk Road Forum conference in Tiflis where he unveiled his new plan he calls Crossroads of Peace. While Pashinyan presented, Azerbaijan was represented only at the deputy prime minister level. The plan is based on four principles:
First let’s note how it doesn’t include any hint of Artsakh at all, it’s like it never existed.
Fig. 1: Map of the “Crossroads of Peace” provided by Government of Armenia
We read this week that the Armenian authorities are already looking past whatever peace they plan to sign, and start buying gas from Azerbaijan.
If you remember, the 3+3 format was pushed by Iran, Russia and Turkey as a means to keep important geopolitical decision making in the region. The first meeting was held in December 2021 in Moscow, so nearly 2 years later, it seems that regional forces are trying to rekindle the project and thus a meeting was held this week in Tehran.
This time, as in the first time, Georgia refused to participate. Yet the remaining players keep calling it “3+3” and pretending Georgia is in it. We’re not aware of any declarations made, and in fact the only thing memorable from this meeting is a photo that shows the group walking and talking. Lavrov and Abdollahian in the back, clearly engaged in a conversation. Similarly, Fidan and Bairamov also engaged in a conversation. The only one out of place seemed to be Ararat Mirzoyan, walking all alone and looking disgruntled. But maybe there’s more to it than meets the eye?
The relations between Russia and Armenia continue to deteriorate. This week each country summoned the other’s ambassador to file complaints about their country.
Pashinyan appears to be rejecting Russia’s offer to mediate so-called “peace treaty” negotiations, and implying that Armenia doesn’t need maps from the Russian general staff. Instead, he suggests that maps exist both in Armenia and Azerbaijan that can help the process.
Meanwhile it’s evident that Aliyev has no further interest in continuing negotiations mediated by the West. He’s more interested in a direct negotiation or maybe mediated by Georgia, who is in a much weaker position than Azerbaijan and so it’s not clear what benefit they can provide as a mediator.
This week, Armenia and France signed a MOU on the supply of French weapons to Armenia. The deal includes:
The government of Armenia introduced regulations this week to give those who left Artsakh refugees a “temporary protected” status:
After a lengthy period of media silence, Artsakh’s last president, Samvel Shahramanyan gave an interview to Artsakh Public TV.
When asked whether he had any hope of guarantees or support, he said that he became confident that they were left alone at the beginning of the attack.
We hope you found our Week in Review helpful. We invite your feedback and your suggestions, you can find us on most social media and podcast platforms. Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts.
Tevan Poghosyan is president of the International Center for Human Development. Mr. Poghosyan was an MP in the National Assembly between 2012 and 2017 from the Heritage party. From 1997 to 1999 he served as the Nagorno-Karabakh Public Affairs Office Director in Washington, D.C.
Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.
Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.