YEREVAN—The recent adoption by the European Parliament of a report urging the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azeri rule could have been prevented, the head of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Supreme Council in Armenia said on Tuesday.
Armen Rustamian criticized Armenia’s authorities for failing to prevent the appointment of the resolution’s author, Romanian Member of European Parliament Yevgeny Kirilov, to the post of EP Rapporteur to the South Caucasus. He explained that it was the incongruous foreign policy agenda of the Armenian government that leaves openings for individuals like Kirilov to endanger the Karabakh peace process.
The report, titled “Report on the Need for an EU Strategy for the South Caucasus,” urges the immediate withdrawal from the liberated territories surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a move analysts say will impede efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group and does not fall within the purview of the European Parliament.
“I was aware of the report’s text and addressed a letter to the chairman of the socialists’ group in the European Parliament,” Rustamian said in a joint press conference with Parliament Vice-Speaker Samvel Nikoyan. “We were able to remove some of the negative provisions from the document, but the report still contains paragraphs that distort the reality of the Karabakh conflict.”
Rustamian stressed that had the Armenian authorities clearly articulated and comprehensively presented the matter of occupied Armenian territories—Shahumian and Getashen—others would not have the ability to derail the process in Azerbaijan’s advantage. He said Armenia should immediately send a delegation to the EP to present Yerevan’s official position on the report.
Nikoyan, for his part, said Armenia needs “to do its utmost” to prevent discussion of the Karabakh conflict outside the format of the Minsk Group, which has been exclusively mediating for a Karabakh settlement since a ceasefire agreement in 1994 brought an end to the fighting. “Representatives of these structures are basically unaware of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while Azerbaijan can play on heartstrings of such audiences,” he stressed.