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The US-Armenian-Russian military alliance as the strategic solution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict

Currently, there is no feasible plan for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict on the negotiating table. Since any territorial concessions to Azerbaijan would mean a drastic decrease in the military security of Karabagh and Armenia, the peaceful settlement of the conflict should be guided by the following strategic maxim: any territorial concessions to Azerbaijan should accompany commensurate compensation for the security of the Armenian side.
   Hence, the central question of the peace process should be the following: what security substitutes would Armenia receive in return for the territories from which the Armenian side withdraws? With this consideration in mind, I propose an entirely new settlement plan based on a recognition and careful consideration of current strategic realities. The outcome of this plan would fulfill Armenia's legitimate defense requirements, preserve Karabagh's de facto independence and provide it with solid security guarantees, and return to Azerbaijan all currently occupied territories (except the Lachin corridor) while preserving its territorial integrity.
   The proposed plan consists of three interrelated political, military, and legal agreements. The political framework would consist of the following agreements:

1. The Republic of Armenia, the Russian Federation and the United States would sign a tripartite defense treaty, which guarantees the long-term strategic security of Armenia. The treaty should include the explicit statement "any attack on the Republic of Armenia would be considered as an attack against the United States of American and the Russian Federation; and consequently, if such an attack occurs, the US and the Russian Federation will assist Armenia in meeting the attack by taking immediate, individually and in concert with each other, such action as is deemed necessary, including the use of armed force, in the exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized be Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations." Any other, less certain formulation constitutes an illusory promise and will be of no use to Armenia.[28] This treaty shall be of unlimited duration.
2. The Republic of Armenia, Republic of Turkey and the Azerbaijani Republic would sign a tripartite agreement, clearly recognizing the territorial integrity of each of the three states.
3. The Nagorno-Karabagh Republic is renamed the Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian Republic and is recognized by Armenia as a confederative part of Azerbaijan. The relations between NKAR and Azerbaijan are based on a confederate or horizontal relationship
4. The USA, the Russian Federation, Armenia and Azerbaijan sign a quadripartite agreement recognizing Armenia as a guarantor of the security of the Nagorno-Karabagh Armenian Republic (exactly as the Moscow Agreement of 1921 recognized Turkey and Russia as the guarantors of the security of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic). S. According to a gentleman's agreement between the parties, ne mention of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 is made in any of the documents to be signed.
5.According to a gentleman`s agreement between the parties,no mention of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-23 is any of the documents to be signed.

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The military framework would consist of the following agreements:


1. The Nagorno-Karabagh Armenian Republic maintains its separate armed forces under the name of NKAR Defense Army.
2. In the absence of war, the NKAR receives the right to have up to 25000 personnel armed force (the same as its present size).
3. It is agreed that separate negotiations will be held within the frame-work of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe to determine the numerical limitations (the so called "ceiling") on armaments and equipment of the NKAR Defense Army.
4. The NKAR Defense Army unilaterally waives the right to have such offensive weaponry as combat aviation (excluding armed helicopters) and surface-to-surface missiles with a range of over 100km.
5. The NKAR Defense Army withdraws from the six districts it currently holds, namely from Aghdam, Fizuli, Jebrail, Zangelan, Kubatli and Kelbajar.
6. The Azerbaijani Army withdraws from currently occupied territories of the NKAR, including the Shahuri1ian district.
7. The road from Armenia to Karabagh running through Lachin remains under the control of the NKAR Defense Army. This land strip includes the territories extending to 25 km on each side of the road.
8. A Limitation of Forces Agreement is signed, under which, inter alia, Azerbaijan agrees to maintain a demilitarized zone along its border with Karabagh and Siunik, varying from 20 to 30km (excluding the border of Nakhichevan with Siunik). In practice, this will include all those territories from which the Armenian forces are withdrawing; only police could be stationed in this zone. In turn, the Armenian forces of Karabagh and Armenia (in Siunik) establish a similar 1km demilitarized zone on their side of the border with Azerbaijan (excluding the border of Siunik with Nakhichevan). This zone would be monitored by an approximately 300 unarmed OSCE or UN mission personnel for an unlimited period.
    Azerbaijan needs to accept this asymmetry in the deployment of Armenian and Azerbaijani forces with the understanding that Armenia and Karabagh lack any substantial defense' depth. The Camp David Accords of September 17,1978 established a similar asymmetry in the deployment of Egyptian and Israeli forces. Only United Nations forces and Egyptian civil police equipped with light weapons to perform normal police functions were allowed to be stationed within an area lying west of the international border and the

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Gulf of Aqaba, varying in width from 20km to 40km. In the second zone, lying to the west with a width of approximately 100 km, only about 4000 Egyptian border patrol troops are stationed and in the third zone, which is almost 150km from the international border with Israel, one division of Egyptian armed forces is stationed (22000 soldiers, 230 tanks, 480 armored personnel carriers). The same accords allowed Israel to establish only an km zone of limitation, but even in this area Israel was allowed to station four infantry battalions (4000 soldiers, 180 armored personnel carriers). [29]
9. Armenia, Azerbaijan and the NKAR hold talks on border issues with the understanding that the former greatly unnatural borders of Nagorno-Karabagh and Siunik should be slightly revised to provide these Armenian regions with a basic defense depth.[30]


The legal framework would consist of the following agreements:


1. The NKAR receives the right to have its own government, constitution, flag and coat-of-arms.
2. The citizens of Azerbaijan or at least those who permanently live in the NKAR receive the right to have dual citizenship.
3. The NKAR itself determines the extent of trade and other economic relations with Azerbaijan.
4. The NKAR participates in the activities of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan. The forms of participation should be decided during further negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert.
5. The NKARs extent of co-operation and co-ordination with Azerbaijan's foreign policy, defense, security and law enforcement establishments become the subject of negotiations between Baku and Stepanakert.

Note 1. All aforementioned accords should be signed and implemented simultaneously and in a package deal. Omitting any of these articles would thoroughly undermine the entire package.
Note 2. The remaining problem of displaced populations could be realistically addressed only when all aforementioned accords are agreed.
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