Downing of the Armenian helicopter has changed the political situation: Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan

Anna Nazaryan
Public Radio of Armenia

The downing of the Armenian helicopter has changed the political situation in the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations and has made it clear that the mediating efforts that started in summer have no effect on Baku, political scientist Hrant  Melik-Shahnazaryan told reporters today. According to him, the international community does not possess the set of tools to exert influence on Azerbaijan and the relative peace is maintained only thanks to the efforts of the Armenian Army.

Melik-Shahnazaryan said the Karabakh conflict has entered a new stage after the August events. He also presented details of the special operation of retrieving the bodies for the four pilots of the downed plane.

He said the operation was carried out by a four-member group after the examination of the area, de-mining of some parts. Three types of air devises were used in the operation, one of which was used for the first time in the history of the Armenian military forces.

Doesn’t’ the incident mean that the Minsk Group Co-Chairs are unable to solve certain issues and could this serve as a basis for changing the negotiation format, something Azerbaijani is aspiring for?

“Of course, Turkey would like to see Turkish role here, because they understand that the Minsk Group is also a club, where the superpowers coordinate their policy on the South Caucasus. I think the resoluteness of the Armenian party and the leaders of the Minsk Group co-chairing countries will help maintain that format.

According to Armenia’s ex-Ambassador to Canada, Director of the Modus Vivendi center Ara Papyan, the operation of the Armenian side was “necessary, but not enough.” He considers that 2015 will be a decisive year, a year of opportunities and risks.

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