The OSCE Should Review Its Principles
The closure of the OSCE office in Yerevan raises lots of questions first of all for the OSCE itself and makes the issue of updating the mechanisms of the organization, of not allowing “impunity” of its separate states vital.
In fact, we face a situation, when Azerbaijan, trying to expand its policy for isolating Armenia from the outer world, not only with its brother Turkey keeps close two borders of the RA, but also tries to hinder Armenia’s political cooperation with the international community.
The importance of the OSCE office in Yerevan is first of all the financial aid that it gives to Armenia and through it the implementation of projects that aim at promoting democracy, carrying out reforms, developing the opportunities of different layers of the society. By succeeding in the closure of the OSCE office in Yerevan, Baku tries not only to deprive Armenia from this support, but also to put political pressure on Yerevan.
Another question is whether by succeeding in a formal way, Azerbaijan will de-facto succeed. Today the OSCE leadership, the Presidency discuss issues of maintaining all aspects of cooperation on security in the South Caucasus and on finding alternative ways of engagement. This means that the OSCE will by all means continue close cooperation with Armenia, especially because the official Yerevan does its best in that direction. As for the political isolation, this will also not succeed, as today, OSCE’s interest in finding alternative ways shows that the OSCE attaches importance to the political cooperation with Armenia.
Nevertheless, this incident showed that a country like Azerbaijan, which creates not only security threats, but is also hindering the cooperation of the OSCE in the region (also by closing the OSCE office in Baku), is having its disruptive influence on the everyday activities of the organization. This is also the result of the fact that the aggressive and the destructive policy of Azerbaijan does not receive a corresponding response by the international community, thus creating an atmosphere of impunity.
Therefore, the OSCE should be able to develop mechanisms that will protect it and its members from destructive and mercenary ambitions of separate countries. Besides, the response of the OSCE to this should be appropriate. Otherwise, the importance of the organization as one that has its role in building security and cooperation in the region, will be put under question.