in Russian – https://aga-tribunal.info/kazimirov-12-11-2020/
On November 12, 2020 V. Kazimirov published an article in the popular Russian information agency REGNUM. Vladimir Kazimirov – is a former ambassador, head of the Russian mediation mission in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1992-1996, honored worker of the Russian diplomatic service. V. Kazimirov’s website – http://vn.kazimirov.ru/mir.htm
Below is a non-official translation from Russian by AGA-Tribunal.info.
This repeated war against Nagorno-Karabakh attracted special attention with regular shelling and barbaric bombing of cities and settlements, the murder of civilians, contrary to all norms of humanitarian law. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, also saw signs of war crimes in the new conflict. Of course, this question should be investigated.
But for some reason, it is not paid due attention to the treacherous breakdown of the indefinite ceasefire (since May 12, 1994) and the too frequent violations of the ceasefire and military actions (even for the most moderate, humanitarian purposes). Agreements to end the fighting were thwarted three times in two weeks (by Azerbaijan). This is becoming almost the norm in this conflict, starting with the failure to comply with four UN Security Council resolutions. Should the international community ignore or tolerate this?
A special shame, no other than a crime, is the breaking of a long-standing truce for the sake of a second war in Karabakh with thousands of victims. Over the years, there have been many incidents (someone even needed them and was against their investigation), but in general, the truce was held for 26 years. It can be noted that “one and a half generations” of Azerbaijanis and Armenians have grown up who did not personally know the horrors of modern war. And suddenly the truce is blown up! Sudden death and blood of thousands of people. Shouldn’t the leaders of the parties to the conflict be held accountable for this?
It is a pity that there is no tribunal yet, as in Nuremberg. In this whirlwind of events, we must not forget those responsible for the new war, for so many troubles of both peoples. War crimes still need to be clarified. But responsibility, at least moral, for the breakdown of the truce should be assigned, and not later, but immediately, in these days. For everything that happened and is happening further is a direct consequence of this rude act of one of the leaders of the warring parties. Everything fatal and ominous is only a derivative of what he did on that date, September 27, 2020.
The parties to the conflict blame each other for the outbreak of hostilities. Could the Armenians encroach on one more height, strip or region to the seven regions of Azerbaijan? It’s time for them to think about how and for what to free them. And if they did, they could be rebuffed by the other side in the same area. But Azerbaijan launched its “counteroffensive” (Baku vocabulary) along the entire line of contact of the forces of the parties. And this required a lot of preparation ahead of time and everywhere.
How to believe in a “counteroffensive” so sudden and widespread? And how can we forget the decades of warlike threats to Baku, which have been discussed and condemned more than once? Remember the revelations of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev himself at the military parade that the war is not over, will it continue. Was it a whole series of incidents to reassure compatriots? Eloquent is also Baku’s withdrawal from a number of proposals of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs … Or does all this taken together mean nothing at all?
I well remember a number of analogs from the first war in Karabakh. Azerbaijan even then had a clear superiority in potential, hoped to defeat the Armenians by force, did not even want to comply with the UN Security Council resolutions. But he failed, losing region by region. Breaks of the ceasefire were also more often allowed by Baku. I remember the funny thing about how Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev openly chastised his violators of the short truce of those years.
As before, the parties to the conflict do not prefer an integrated approach to controversial issues, but a selective one. They snatch from the UN Security Council resolutions only what is beneficial to them. Ilham Aliyev takes from them only the demand to liberate the occupied territories. And not a word about how Azerbaijan fulfilled their demands to cease fire, military actions and hostile acts. Baku did not want to fulfill them, it repeatedly disrupted, continued military operations, which actually helped the Armenians to occupy the regions of Azerbaijan, but it never admits it. By resolution 822, only two of the seven regions of Azerbaijan were occupied. When Russia, the United States, Italy (as the chairman of the CSCE MG) and even Turkey called on the parties to comply with this resolution, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh agreed, Baku did not even respond.
In three resolutions of 1993, the UN Security Council did not want to convict the guilty of non-compliance, but in the fourth it named the violator, although for balance the Armenians were told about “excessive use of force in response to these violations”. Aware of the unreliability of the “counteroffensive” version, Baku today wants to justify the new war by the long-standing occupation of its territory (although he himself helped the Armenians with the battles of those years). Aliyev strenuously emphasizes that he is ready to end the war if the Armenians liberate the occupied territories. Is this accidental? Recently, undermining his own version, he argued that there is no military solution to the conflict (“we have proved that this is not so”). These words also make it clear who started the war.
In the well-known “triad” of international principles, two of them will confirm that each side of this conflict has its own truth. For some, the right of peoples to self-determination is sacred, for others – the territorial integrity of states. But the third principle is most important: the non-use of force and threats by force. It is universal. The international community is called upon to reject and criminalize disregard for this principle, no matter what its cover. And not at all in hindsight, but already in these days and now.
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