Karabakh leaders believe that they have sucessfully weathered pressure to make unilateral concessions at last week’s round of OSCE-and Russian-mediated negotiations in Bonn. Stepanakert, the unrecognized republic’s foreign minister Arkady Gukasian told a news conference that Karabakh (with Armenia’s support) was able to defend the principle of a "package solution," in which the issue of Karabakh’s political status is closely linked to security guarantees for its population. On another "dangerous point," he said, Karabakh was able to hold out against discussing the issue of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity separately from the issue of Karabakh’s self-determination. Underscoring this point, Karabakh’s parliament chairman Karen Baburian reaffirmed their revocability of "the decision of the people of Karabakh to withdraw from Azerbaijan and form an independent country." History shows that the loser in a war has never been successful in imposing its will on the winner, he commented. Karabakh’s envoy in Yerevan said in his turn that Azerbaijan and the mediators attempted but failed again in Bonn to start discussions on the status of Lachin corridor. The envoy ruled out any discussion of that issue before Karabakh’s political status has been resolved. (14)
Armenia and Karabakh are engaged in an uphill battle to counterpose the principle of self-determination of peoples to that of the territorial integrity of states. The latter principle finds greater favor at the OSCE, and Russia currently also supports it less ambiguously than was the case before the Chechnya crisis. Moscow’s current feelers to Baku, reportedly offering to be more cooperative on the question of Karabakh in exchange for military bases in Azerbaijan, may add to pressures on Armenia and Karabakh.
Kazakhstan Holding Legislative Elections.