We have repeatedly underscored the inadmissibility of arms race in the Karabakh conflict zone, which contradicts the OSCE principles of peaceful resolution of conflicts.
According to our estimates, in the past 4 years, 2014-2017 at least 50% of the total deaths in the armed forces on the Armenian side only are caused by ceasefire violations. Moreover, after the ceasefire of May 12, 1994, unprecedented large-scale military actions started for the first time on April 2-5, 2016, which, by our estimates, resulted in 77 human lives of the Armenian armed forces. The data on the human losses in the Azerbaijani armed forces are unknown because of being confidential.
The increase in ceasefire violations were due to the unprecedented arms race by the states involved in the conflict in the same period and the Russian Federation has a direct participation and contribution to it.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) 2016 Report, in 2012-2016 Azerbaijan and Armenia obtained a large number of arms from the Russian Federation, though Armenia purchased 20 times less. Azerbaijan’s main supplier is Russia, which supplies 69% of the arms acquired by Azerbaijan.
In this context, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement on the supply of weapons by the US to Ukraine at the press conference of September 5, 2017 summing up the BRICS summit results, sounded quite strange: “It is the sovereign decision of the United States whom to sell arms to or whom to supply them to free of charge, as well as of the sovereign decision of the recipient country of such aid. We cannot influence this process. However, there are some general international rules and approaches: the supply of weapons to a conflict zone is not conducive to peace, but only aggravates the situation.“
Thus, the Russian President realizes quite well the grave consequences of arms supply by his country to the Karabakh conflict zone, yet continues the practice, which contradicts “the international rules and approaches” as he says.
The Russian Federation, represented by President V. V. Putin, pursues a policy of double standards regarding various conflicts.
Being one of the co-chair states of the OSCE Minsk Group engaged in peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the Russian Federation implements a policy not only contradictory to the principles of conflict resolution but also hindering peaceful conflict resolution.
It is obvious that the Russian Federation must refrain from such actions, as it is one of the co-chair states of the OSCE Minsk Group engaged in negotiations over the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We condemn such a selective and anti-human approach of the Russian President and believe that the Russian Federation should:
– follow the international rules and approaches it points out;
– immediately stop supplying arms to the Karabakh conflict zone.
In case of failure to take steps in the abovementioned directions, we consider that the OSCE should discuss the termination of Russia’s participation in the OSCE Minsk Group.
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor
Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation