Armenia-Artsakh agreement on mutual assistance: De jure reinforcement of de facto situation

Arlusinevasilyanmenian President Serzh Sargsyan instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop an agreement on mutual military assistance with Nagorno Karabakh, immediately after Azerbaijan launched an offensive against Artsakh.

President Sargsyan also declared that “should military actions continue and escalate into larger scales, the Republic of Armenia will recognize the independence of Nagorno Karabakh.”

The document has not been brought to the National Assembly, and it’s still unclear when it will be considered.

“The text of the document is being developed. Several versions are being worked out. We’ll make conclusions depending on the situation,” says Vahram Baghdasaryan, head of the Republican faction.

In general, all parliamentary forces agree on the opinion that the adoption of the document is a must. They believe it is the real step that Armenia can take in response to the current situation.

Head of the ARF faction Armen Rustamyan says the document will seek to solve two main issues. “First, it should be clearly mentioned that Armenia is the guarantor of NKR independence and security.”

Although the Armenian Revolutionary Federation favors the creation of a military-political union, it doesn’t mind reinforcing the two principles through an agreement on mutual military assistance.

According to Rustamyan, the second important provision that should be incorporated in the document is that “any assault against Karabakh will mean an assault against Armenian borders, with all consequences deriving from this.”

Some say the agreement on mutual military assistance could serve a basis for the recognition of Artsakh’s independence. “It’s not recognition, but a legal-political basis for standing next to Nagorno Karabakh,” MP Alexander Arzumanyan says. According to him, it’s more effective at this point than the recognition of independence

What is the main issue the agreement is meant to solve? What will Nagorno Karabakh gain from it? “Under this agreement we’ll assume political and military responsibility for NKR. We’ll say that Armenia will not stay apart in case of any assault against Karabakh,” Arzumanyan says.

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