Will ethnic nationalism or a vision of peace and cooperation prevail? The role of Ruben Vartanyan could be completely different

Shortly after the war, the President of Azerbaijan, announced that he would start an era of peace with Armenia and turn a black page in order to build the future, leaving the past behind, despite the fact that society was not ready for this. Azerbaijan did not appeal to international courts to compensate for the damage caused to the country by the occupation, did not conduct anti-terrorist operations to immediately arrest those responsible for committing war crimes, did not try to put the topic of destroyed houses of hundreds of thousands of people, destroyed cultural and religious objects on the agenda of international organizations, parliaments .

On the one hand, 3000 of our soldiers who fell for the motherland, thousands of houses, villages and cities wiped off the face of the earth by the enemy, the remains removed from the graves and scattered in the valleys, mass graves discovered, many villages and houses still stuffed with Armenian mines, material damage estimated at 60-80 billion dollars, hundreds of thousands of destroyed and broken.

No matter how painful and unfair it may be, and despite the unpreparedness of society at the present time for these steps, such an approach in a broad historical perspective reflects a broad vision of the victorious side of peace and cooperation, is a reasonable approach that reflects the vision of the future, for the sake of the future for our children to live and create in the world. In the world practice, there are rare cases when a victorious country would declare against the backdrop of committed crimes that it is ready to sign a peace agreement and put forward a peace agreement that does not humiliate and respects the opposite side. Given that our military is at its peak and the other side is extremely weak, the strong side’s offer of peace to the weak side means they are opening their arms to a former enemy…

The principles set out by Azerbaijan earlier this year for the signing peace agreement were endorsed by the Pashinyan government and formed the basis of the agreements adopted at recent tripartite meetings held in Europe and America. These principles actually put an end to the ongoing conflict between the two countries since Soviet times, confirm the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries. As a result, there are ample opportunities for peace and cooperation between the two countries, as well as in the region. However, the statements of the two leaders that “a peace agreement will be signed before the end of this year” set in motion all external and internal actors interested in continuing the conflict. New obstacles are being created to frustrate well-intentioned initiatives that serve to establish lasting peace in the region, or to veer those initiatives in a different direction.

Of course, the war of the Russian President in Ukraine, his policy of occupation and holding “referendums” in the occupied regions of Ukraine on their accession to Russia inspired the Armenian separatists, who lost any prospects. It is likely that Putin’s speech at Valdai gave them confidence, but they should not forget that Putin’s policy of partition and recognition of the results of “referendums” led to an even greater strengthening of the world community’s unequivocal support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the states of the world, and primarily the states that exist in the post-Soviet space. And Putin’s defeat in Ukraine will put an end to separatism.

In this context, the appearance of the Russian billionaire of Armenian origin Ruben Vartani, known for his closeness to the Kremlin, in Karabakh, can be seen as a fallback to the diversified Russian policy at the current stage. We all know his position during the 44-day war and his appeal to President Putin. Of course, his arrival in Karabakh can be considered the result of the negotiations he has been conducting in Moscow over the past year. In fact, such coordinated actions, first of all, lead caused distrust between Azerbaijan and Russia. Obviously, Vardanyan’s move is an alternative to Putin’s statement in Valdai: “If you want Karabakh to be under the sovereignty of Azerbaijan, please accept, the American version.”

While the parties have not signed a peace treaty in the region, the unhindered entry of such a successful and influential businessman as Ruben Vartanyan, who is not a representative of the local population and has never lived here, to the structure represented by separatist remnants unrecognized by Azerbaijan, is perceived, along with other arguments, as Russia’s goal to take control of all actions along with the military forces. At the same time, it is perceived as a challenge to the Azerbaijani state from outside and as a plan to implement the revanchist demands of radical Armenian circles in Karabakh.

On the other hand, such a step, which can be considered adventurous, is perceived as a precedent that does not correspond to the level of education and analytical skills of Ruben Vartanyan, who considers himself a patriot. One gets the impression that ethnic nationalism or ethnic hatred, which is often its leading element, has left other higher values ​​out of the picture.

If Ruben Vartanyan came to Azerbaijan with the slogans of peace, progress and security in the region where his compatriots live, and with a peacekeeping mission, then the principles he proclaimed would bring peace and progress to the Armenian population of Karabakh and Armenia. If he put forward his program together with Azerbaijani billionaires in Russia (I believe that they are familiar), let’s say, as the “Initiative or Fund for Regional Peace and Development”, then he, being supported by both the parties to the conflict and the international community, through economic development would serve the world , mutual understanding and harmony throughout the region. He would get a chance to act as a leader in the movement for world peace. I think that by contributing to long-term peace with his influence, he would remain in history as a person respected by peoples and governments throughout the Caucasus.

Throughout history, such influential and capable people have played an invaluable role not at all in fomenting conflicts, but on the contrary, in such post-war situations they played an invaluable role and promoted forms of economic cooperation, made the greatest contribution to the cause of peace. If such foundations were put into action, then, as he put it, “the security and development of the Karabakh Armenians” would be built on a solid and good foundation.

Businessmen and philanthropists in such a status as Ruben Vartanyan are becoming more creative, applying their talents and initiatives not in the field of ethnic nationalism or taking political steps, but on the contrary, transferring post-conflict situations to the level of economic cooperation. In this regard, it was not ruled out that Ruben Vartanyan, closely familiar with the consequences of the conflict, would be at the forefront of such initiatives. However, I think that this kind of partisan approach, launched at the present stage, will lead to the preservation of the conflict situation, the Armenian population being in a state of uncertainty and a possible escalation of the overall situation, and ultimately to the detriment of both sides, but I think that to a greater extent this will not be in the interests of the Armenian population.

In this regard, with all due respect to the personality of Mr. Ruben Vartanyan, his desire to act together with a bunch of totalitarian-minded, provincial blind ethnic nationalists who look like fish thrown onto land and are relics of the past and dictate their slogans to the Azerbaijani state – show not a broad vision, peace, the consent which is expected from him, but his ethnic nationalism, which is unacceptable in the modern world.

Historical experience has shown that if the peace, cooperation and development is replaced by a policy based on ethnic nationalism, national hatred and revenge, then the processes will cause not development, but confrontation leading to enmity. The events after the First World War are a vivid confirmation of this. After the Second World War, Germany, following the terms of the signed surrender, on the basis of peace and mutual economic cooperation with its neighbors, pursuing a policy of non-enmity, achieved the astronomical development of the German people. Although the Pashinyan government has declared these ideals, it either does not have the determination, or is slow to implement them, or, as they expect in the radical circles of Armenia, is trying to take revenge, waiting for a change in the “geopolitical situation”. However, it should be understood that in an atmosphere of mutual peace and cooperation, the Armenian people will benefit more from the capabilities of Azerbaijan and Turkey and will be able to build their future as an independent state, revealing their own capabilities.

Azerbaijani citizenship is the guarantor of the life of the Armenian population of Karabakh in conditions of peace and security. This is the only dream of a simple Karabakh citizen. Every Armenian family also wants to live in their home, in their homeland, they do not want to lose their home and land in the midst of hostility rather than friendship, unacceptable language and propaganda, and the turbulence of its consequences. This is the most common human need. Whoever comes up with slogans against the will of the Azerbaijani people and the army with slogans on the issue that beats the heart of the Azerbaijani people and the army, he will not succeed in front of the people united in this issue as a single fist, on the contrary, he can lead to the complete collapse of the existing fragile peace-oriented situation. The last 30 years have shown that the policy of obtaining or maintaining an advantage through the use of a third power does not benefit anyone, on the contrary, it leads to the loss of what has been achieved. First of all, residents of Karabakh of Armenian origin should think about this.

Elhan Mehdiyev

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