On November 10, after the statement signed by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, a number of speculations started about certain provisions of that agreement.
However, this statement does not correspond to reality. The tripartite statement has already been officially published by the Kremlin and on the website of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
Paragraph 9 of the statement refers to the border between Armenia and Iran.
“All economic and transport links in the region shall be unblocked. The Republic of Armenia shall guarantee the safety of transport links between the western regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic with a view to organizing the unimpeded movement of citizens, vehicles and goods in both directions. Control over transport communication shall be exercised by the Border Guard Service bodies of the FSS of Russia.”
In other words, it is about the unimpeded movement of vehicles and goods from the territory of Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan. There is no word in the statement about giving up the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia.
By the way, discussions on providing a “corridor” to Azerbaijan through Meghri to Nakhichevan have been ongoing since at least the late 1990s. The Union of Informed Citizens published a study on the so-called “Meghri version” last year. According to former President Robert Kocharian, in the year 2000, the then President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev offered to give Azerbaijan a “sovereign route” over Meghri. However, according to Kocharian, this plan was thwarted by Aliyev during the meeting in Key West in 2001.
Villages of Qazakh District
There is information on the Internet that according to the tripartite statement, the villages of the Qazakh District, which were exclaves in the territory of Armenia in the Soviet period, that is, were completely surrounded by the territory of Armenia, would be handed over to Azerbaijan. These villages are Verin Voskepar, Barkhudarlu and Sofulu.
Prior to the publication of the tripartite statement, a document was circulated on the Internet, which was presented as the final text of the agreement. However, there is no word about that in the officially published statement. The return of the villages of the Qazakh District was announced by Ilham Aliyev himself. However, it was not included in the official statement. The initial text was preserved on the Russian Meduza news website, which, however, was later edited.
Despite that, on November 11, during the rally in the Freedom Square in Yerevan, former Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan presented it as a point of the statement.
“Plus, from Armenia… there was the village of Barkhudar of Qazakh District, also the road from Goris to Kapan… It was actually built on former Azerbaijani territories. This is unacceptable. It is done to have zero problems with Azerbaijan and Turkey and then do what we want,” Bagratyan said.
There is no question of conceding the territories of the Republic of Armenia
Doctor of Law Arthur Ghambaryan wrote a post on his Facebook page, noting that the tripartite statement contradicts the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of Armenia.
“Paragraph 9 of the tripartite statement, insofar as it refers to the change of the territory of Armenia in the LEGAL sense, contradicts Paragraph 2 of the Declaration of Independence of Armenia, Article 1 of the Constitution of Armenia, Article 205(1),” he noted.
The mentioned articles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution define the sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia and the rules of territorial changes. That article of the declaration states that “only the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Armenia are valid in the whole territory of the Republic of Armenia.” And in Article 205(1) of the Constitution it is mentioned that the issues related to the change in the territory of the Republic of Armenia shall be solved through referendums.
However, as we see from the text of the officially published statement, it does not envisage any change in the territory of the Republic of Armenia, at least at this stage.