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Woensdag 6 juli 2011 - Straatsburg Herziene uitgave

14. Situatie in Nagorno-Karabach (debat)
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  Presidente. − L'ordine del giorno reca la dichiarazione del Vicepresidente della Commissione/Alto rappresentante dell'Unione per gli affari esteri e la politica di sicurezza sulla situazione nel Nagorno-Karabakh [2011/2688(RSP)].

 
  
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  Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Council/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Madam President, I am very grateful to have the opportunity to exchange views with honourable Members on the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.

When I, along with President Barroso and President Van Rompuy, met with President Medvedev at the EU-Russia summit, President Medvedev was optimistic about the possibilities for a breakthrough at the Kazan meeting. We made clear to President Medvedev that we fully support his personal mediation efforts and of course the work of the Minsk Group.

The Deauville statement of Presidents Obama, Medvedev and Sarkozy made clear that the time had now come for an agreement, failing which the parties’ commitment to a solution would be questioned.

Regrettably, despite strong messages at the highest level, the expected breakthrough at Kazan did not materialise. The Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia did not take the opportunity to reach a compromise.

Relations between the two countries are difficult. I recently met with the Foreign Ministers of both Armenia and Azerbaijan and I do not have any illusion about the complexity of the negotiations. The co-chairs keep the EEAS fully informed of their work and the many difficulties that they face.

Last Friday I also took the opportunity to be briefed by the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, who is now Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE.

Efforts to find an agreement on the basic principles must continue, and I welcome the fact that both parties have re-committed themselves to the diplomatic process and to finding a peaceful solution. But we need to see more than that in the coming months. The parties need to redouble their efforts to find an agreement before the end of the year. This would then happen before the domestic priorities take over in 2012: elections in Armenia in 2012, and in Azerbaijan in 2013.

A continuation of the status quo is unacceptable, as is any effort to resolve the conflict or influence the negotiations by using force, or even the threat of force.

The peaceful settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict is a key strategic interest of the European Union. It would also transform the South Caucasus region and would pave the way towards political and regional stability, and new economic opportunities. Borders could open not only between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also between Armenia and Turkey. Roads, railways and pipelines could take the shortest routes, and tie the countries of the region more closely together. The South Caucasus could become what they should be already – a gateway between Europe and Asia. All of this is clearly in the interest of the European Union, too.

So we are ready and committed to stepping up our efforts in support of the work of the Minsk Group co-chairs. The negotiations have been going on since 1994 in the current format and an agreement on the basic principles is within reach. The nature of the additional support that we can provide is of course a matter that we need to consult with the Minsk Group co-chairs and the parties. We are holding regular consultations now on this subject.

Let me be very clear, however. Whatever happens in these final negotiations will matter greatly to us and we will play a role in the way we shape our policy towards the two countries concerned.

On my behalf, Miroslav Lajcak, our managing director, travelled to both countries last month, and made these points very clearly. We want to see progress by the time of the planned Eastern Partnership Summit in September in Warsaw. I also see clear possibilities to enhance the EU engagement outside the negotiations themselves.

We are already supporting confidence building and outreach activities to people on both sides through civil society organisations who promote people-to-people contacts, including in the framework of the Council of Europe. But we can do more.

I also believe we need to take significant responsibilities in the implementation of a settlement, once we reach this stage, in close cooperation with our international partners. There will be much to do: reconstruction, mine clearance, refugees, internally displaced people returns, and the promotion of economic recovery and security support. I also recognise the other partners who will play a significant role in this region and once again it will be important to work closely with our regional partner, Turkey.

I have proposed the appointment of a new Representative for the South Caucasus to take these different work strands forward, in cooperation with the Minsk Group co-chairs.

Perhaps our most important contribution will be to continue to strengthen our bilateral relations with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The new European Neighbourhood Policy communication, which we discussed earlier today in this Chamber, sets out an ambitious agenda for the countries of the South Caucasus: for new Association Agreements, deep and comprehensive free trade areas, increased and facilitated mobility, increased sectoral cooperation and participation in EU programmes and increased support for civil society and the open society.

Our overall objective is to help our neighbouring countries build this comprehensive agenda. In that context we will be looking at ways in which we can enhance our bilateral cooperation in order that it can be geared to support conflict settlement.

Stefan Füle recently visited Armenia to discuss how to take our relationship forward and to build this agenda. I believe that a more confident, attractive and modern country, in both cases with ambitious reform agendas, will be in a stronger position to overcome the difficult legacies of the past.

Ultimately this is a choice that the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan need to make in the best interests of the people they represent. We know the choice we want them to make: the choice of compromise and peace. We believe that we have a role to play in supporting the co-chairs of the Minsk Group to realise that ambition.

 
  
  

PRESIDE: ALEJO VIDAL-QUADRAS
Vicepresidente

 
  
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  Elmar Brok, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Hohe Beauftragte! Diese Frage beschäftigt uns in der EVP-Fraktion außerordentlich, weil wir Sorge haben, dass durch Waffenlieferungen ein neuer Wettlauf entsteht, an dem zwei große Nachbarstaaten beteiligt sind, und dass es dadurch zwangsläufig zu einer kriegerischen Auseinandersetzung kommt. Es ist unsere Pflicht, einen solchen Kreislauf zu durchbrechen, damit wir in dieser Region nicht wieder einen Sommer haben wie vor drei Jahren, in dem es dann plötzlich zu kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen kommt. Man sollte diese sehr konkreten Gefahren nicht herunterspielen. Deswegen muss es klar sein, dass wir auf der Seite der Flüchtlinge stehen, die in ihre Heimat zurück wollen und dass die Snipers wegmüssen.

Wir sind aber auch der Auffassung, dass die sechs Prinzipien, die die Minsker Gruppe ausgearbeitet hat und die von beiden Seiten akzeptiert worden sind, jetzt auch umgesetzt werden müssen, und dass nicht andere Gründe gefunden werden dürfen, um diese sechs Prinzipien nicht umzusetzen. Das ist von großer Bedeutung!

Ich glaube, dass die Europäische Union hier eine sehr aktive Rolle zu spielen hat. Und wenn Sie sich auf den Gipfel in Kasan berufen, so weiß ich nicht, ob der Dritte, der am Tisch gesessen hat, wirklich der neutrale Moderator war, der er sein sollte. Die Europäische Union sollte gegenüber diesen Ländern der Östlichen Partnerschaft eine konkrete Politik betreiben und – wie ich in einer früheren Debatte schon gesagt habe – diesen Staaten endlich Anreize bieten, damit sie einen multilateralen Ansatz verfolgen. Wir müssen deren Interessen miteinander verknüpfen. Wir müssen deutlich machen, dass sie Unterstützung durch die Europäische Union erhalten, wenn sie miteinander kooperieren.

Wir sollten nicht nur bilaterale Beziehungen zu diesen beiden Staaten haben, denn so können wir den Wettlauf nicht stoppen. Die Idee der Europäischen Einigung ist immer gewesen, Interessen miteinander zu verbinden, um dadurch den Stress der Vergangenheit zu überwinden und unnötig zu machen, weil es ja größere gemeinsame Interessen gibt. Was ich zur Nachbarschaftspolitik gesagt habe, richtet sich in erster Linie an die Vizepräsidentin der Kommission. Überragend ist unser Interesse daran, dass diese Region nicht destabilisiert wird, denn das würde die Kräfteverhältnisse verändern, was aus außen-, sicherheits- und energiepolitischen Gründen nicht in unserem Sinn wäre.

 
  
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  Кристиан Вигенин, от името на групата S&D. – Уважаеми г-н Председател, уважаема г-жо Ashton, колеги, доволен съм, че темата за Нагорни Карабах намери място в днешното заседание на Европарламента. Много от нас са загрижени за нарастващото напрежение между Армения и Азербайджан и в никакъв случай не бихме искали да се окажем отново в ситуацията да вървим след събитията в Южен Кавказ.

Ако Европейският съюз иска стабилност в съседните региони, трябва да действа сега. Неуспехът на срещата в Казан трябва да ни послужи като сигнал, че Минската група може би е на път да изчерпи възможностите си.

Искам да подчертая обаче, че основната отговорност за разрешаването на конфликта е на лидерите на двете страни. Нека бъде ясно: ние не можем да толерираме нито безкрайното протакане на преговорите, нито заплахите за бързо военно решение. Призоваваме към сдържаност и отговорно отношение. Лидерите на Армения и Азербайджан трябва добре да помислят как ще ги запомни историята: като хората, донесли дълготраен мир и просперитет в Южен Кавказ, или като президентите, довели до смърт и страдания.

Групата на социалистите и демократите изрази своето задоволство, че в ревизираната Европейска политика на съседство се споменават изрично така наречените "замразени конфликти" и разчитаме чрез тази политика да бъде насърчено целенасочено сътрудничеството не само между съответните страни и Брюксел, но и между самите страни. Подкрепата за мерките за създаване на доверие трябва да има особен приоритет що се отнася до Азербайджан и Армения.

Не мога да не спомена, че Европейският парламент дава своя принос за засилване на политическите контакти между двете страни. Представителите на Армения и Азербайджан участват активно в работата на създадената в началото на май Парламентарна асамблея на Източното партньорство. Представители на двете страни съпредседателстват заедно една от важните работни групи на асамблеята.

Вярвам, че възможността парламентаристите на Европейския съюз и на съседите от Изток да работят заедно в тази многостранна среда ще допринесе за осъзнаването на простия факт, че сътрудничеството е пътят за по-добър живот на народите. Разчитам полското председателство на срещата във Варшава (срещата на високо равнище) да даде своя принос въпросът за "замразените конфликти" да мине по-високо в дневния ред на Източното партньорство.

 
  
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  Kristiina Ojuland, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, we have received several alarming signals from the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the recent months, despite the ceasefire agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan. I would call on Yerevan and Baku to refrain from any activities in the conflict zone that might provoke a violent response from the other party.

The failure of the Kazan Summit that took place on 24 June is a clear indication that the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group have been insufficient and further endeavours are needed. Since Armenia and Azerbaijan are target countries of the European neighbourhood policy, the European Union should play an integral part in the resolution of the conflict.

Madam High Representative, I would encourage you to address the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, keeping in mind the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, especially in the light of the four resolutions of the United Nations Security Council on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

It is in the interest of both the conflicting countries as well as the European Union to overcome this dispute in accordance with international law, to be able to concentrate on the economic and democratic development of the South Caucasus region.

 
  
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  Ulrike Lunacek, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I think frozen conflicts are a stumbling block which are preventing the Eastern Partnership from succeeding, especially the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which is a special case. Both are members of the Eastern Partnership, so I would call on Armenia to immediately start to withdraw from the occupied territories. But at the same time, I would demand that Azerbaijan limits its defence budget. The Azeri military budget is higher than the total state budget of Armenia, and others have already said that there is again a danger of violent conflict there. Nevertheless, I also think that the European Union should play a more active role.

What do you think, Lady Ashton? I think it would be great if the European Union replaced France in the Presidency of the Minsk Group. It should be the European Union as a whole which is represented there, leading these efforts, and not one of the Member States.

I also think that the credibility and coherence of the European Union is at stake. If we look at the conflicts involving Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, we speak about territorial integrity, whereas with Nagorno-Karabakh we speak about territorial integrity and self-determination. Why this different approach?

 
  
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  Fiorello Provera, a nome del gruppo EFD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Alto Rappresentante, la questione del Nagorno-Karabakh è poco conosciuta e spesso attraverso informazioni di parte, ma un punto chiaro, indiscutibile e direi fondamentale è il principio dell'integrità territoriale di uno Stato sovrano.

L'inviolabilità delle frontiere va rispettata: è il caso della Georgia, della Moldavia, di Cipro e quindi dell'Azerbaigian. Sul conflitto del Nagorno-Karabakh ci sono state numerose prese di posizione e sono state ricordate: la dichiarazione di Helsinki del 2008, quattro risoluzioni del Consiglio di sicurezza dell'ONU e anche il nostro Parlamento si è pronunciato sulla questione.

L'integrità territoriale di uno Stato sovrano è garantita dal diritto internazionale e mettere in discussione questo principio significa incoraggiare future aggressioni militari e tentativi di cambiamento dello status quo internazionale, con conseguenze destabilizzanti nel mondo intero.

L'Europa ha un particolare interesse alla soluzione della questione del Nagorno-Karabakh, perché Armenia e Azerbaigian rientrano nel progetto di partenariato orientale in cui sono espressamente previste la stabilità e la collaborazione tra paesi partner. Dobbiamo quindi lavorare per questo. Ricordo infine che il tempo consolida di fatto la posizione dell'Armenia nei territori occupati e questo rende più difficile un accordo e più rischiosa la situazione nell'area.

 
  
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  Димитър Стоянов (NI). - Искам да не се съглася с последните двама изказващи се, защото коренът на конфликта в Нагорни Карабах се корени в абсолютно незаконното от международна гледна точка решение на руските болшевики през 20-те години на двадесети век да откъснат парче от Армения и да го дадат на Азербайджан.

Ако не знаете, да ви кажа, че по абсолютно същия начин и горе-долу по същото време Коминтернът взема едно решение за създаване на несъществувалата дотогава македонска нация, от което решение ние още имаме проблеми на Балканите. Слава богу, тези проблеми не стигнаха до такова развитие като в Нагорни Карабах, благодарение на изключително добросъседските отношения, които имаха Гърция и България спрямо новосъздалата се Република Македония (все още под названието Бивша югославска република Македония).

Но да видим дали е същия случаят с Нагорни Карабах и с Южен Кавказ. Грузия, Азербайджан и Турция (преките съседи на Армения) заговорничат да я изолират. Г-жо Ashton, Вие казахте, че ще е много хубаво да минават петролопроводите и железниците по най-краткия път. Но Грузия, Азербайджан и Турция не желаят това да се случи. Те нарочно изолират Армения. И това е изключително недобросъседско отношение. Нека да го заклеймим, защото това отношение няма да реши проблема в Нагорни Карабах.

 
  
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  Michael Gahler (PPE). - Herr Präsident! Es ist gut, dass wir diese Debatte zu Nagorno-Karabach noch vor der Sommerpause führen, noch besser wäre es meiner Ansicht nach gewesen, wenn wir als Parlament eine Entschließung angenommen und damit eine deutliche Botschaft an alle, die es angeht, geschickt hätten.

Ich bin besorgt, dass wir in dieser spannungsgeladenen Region wieder einmal einen Sommer vor uns haben, in dem die Befürchtung besteht, dass einer der Beteiligten die Nerven verliert und dann ein Dritter geostrategisch profitiert. Dieses Parlament kann sich in dieser Auseinandersetzung keine Parteinahme für die eine oder andere Seite leisten. Wir müssen aber alle Beteiligten verpflichten, die vereinbarten sechs Grundprinzipien in einem diplomatischen Prozess zu wahren.

Gerade, weil der Status quo nicht haltbar ist, besteht die Gefahr, dass eine der Seiten diesen Weg verlässt. Kontraproduktiv ist die Aufrüstung in Aserbaidschan und Armenien, wobei Russland offensichtlich Hauptlieferant für beide Seiten ist. Das nährt den Verdacht, dass es eine hidden agenda hat, wo es im Fall einer kriegerischen Auseinandersetzung dann als Friedensstifter auftritt, in Wirklichkeit aber seinen alten Einflussbereich wiederherstellt.

Ich bin überzeugt, dass wir als EU der Region insgesamt viel mehr bieten können als andere: Erfahrungen in Vertrauensbildung, in grenzüberschreitender Zusammenarbeit, beim Minderheitenschutz, beim Aufbau demokratischer Strukturen und bei der wirtschaftlichen Modernisierung und der Einbindung in einen gemeinsamen Wirtschaftsraum. Die EU kann bei der Lösung des Problems für beide Seiten eine Win-win-Situation anbieten.

Ich bin froh, dass Sie, Frau Hohe Beauftragte, jetzt auch in jüngster Zeit mit den beiden Außenministern gesprochen haben. Gerade weil der Gipfel in Kasan in dieser Form gescheitert ist, weil Russland vielleicht doch kein ehrlicher Makler ist, sollten wir dieses Vakuum nicht ungefüllt lassen und dafür sorgen, dass für die beiden Seiten eine Perspektive der Einigung erreicht werden kann.

 
  
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  Evgeni Kirilov (S&D). - Mr President, about one year ago our Parliament adopted its resolution on the need for an EU strategy towards the South Caucasus with an overwhelming majority. The resolution outlined the strategic importance of this neighbouring region for the EU and the danger the unresolved conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh poses not only to the parties in the conflict but to the entire region and the EU as a whole.

The ordinary people affected by the conflict continue to live in constant fear of war: isolated in poverty and without prospects for development or development aid. Nearly one million internally-displaced persons (IDPs) are hostages to the current situation, which has been going on for too long. Yes, the Minsk Group, and lately President Medvedev personally, have invested a lot of effort in order to reach a peaceful agreement.

Then why is there deadlock each time both sides meet? In my opinion the principle of top secrecy of these negotiations is nearly exhausted, and the time has come to drop the position whereby, if both countries cannot agree, we are helpless, since if a war breaks out we cannot afford to be bystanders. The European Union should work out a mandate for France and its representative in the Minsk Group and start playing a much more active role, together with the US and Russia, in exerting pressure on both sides for bilateral concessions based on the basic Madrid principles.

On the other hand, political and security guarantees should be provided to both sides as requested, in order to pave the way for the development of mutual trust. The EU should also be active in providing incentives regarding infrastructure, economic development and investment so that the people on the ground and the IDPs and refugees coming back feel the benefits of peace once a settlement is reached.

Such a role for the Union – broadly supported a year ago by this House – would ensure a safer neighbourhood and also provide additional leverage in securing the energy corridors for alternative supply to Europe.

Let me say in conclusion, Lady Ashton, it is high time for you to visit the region and engage with the resolution of this frozen conflict, which is getting rather hot.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 149(8))

 
  
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  Sławomir Witold Nitras (PPE). - Chciałem zapytać, czy Pan wie o tym, że Rosja jest największym dostawcą broni w rejon konfliktu, gdyż z jednej strony sprzedaje, z drugiej strony użycza, daje, posiada bazy? Chciałem zapytać, na czym polega – bo ja nie wiem – to wielkie zaangażowanie premiera Putina w pokój na Kaukazie, szczególnie na południowym Kaukazie, a już szczególnie w Górnym Karabachu?

 
  
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  Evgeni Kirilov (S&D). - Mr President, I would like to thank my colleague for this question. I admit that it is a difficult question. What is interesting in this case of course is that we should encourage Russia to play a positive role. I believe that it is in the long-term interests of Russia to contribute to the settlement of this conflict, although there are probably forces who think that it is the other way round, namely that it is in our short-term interest to keep both countries in this conflict. I believe that it is possible and this is actually what the active role of the European Union within the strategic partnership means.

 
  
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  Csanád Szegedi (NI). - Tisztelt elnök úr, tisztelt képviselőtársaim! A Jobbik Magyarországért mozgalom már idén április 11-én kezdeményezte, hogy a Magyar Országgyűlés ítélje el az 1992-93-as hegyi-karabahi örmény agressziót, és Magyarország kezdeményezze a nemzetközi közösségnél a máig rendezetlen hegyi-karabahi konfliktus napirendre vételét. A szovjet–örmény hadsereg támadása következtében Azerbajdzsán elvesztette területének 20%-át, 20 000 civil lakost meggyilkoltak és mintegy 1 millió embert fosztottak meg otthontól. A hegyi-karabahi örmény népirtás a 90-es évek egyik legnagyobb feledésbe merült genocídiuma volt. Fontos, hogy az emberi jogok iránt oly érzékeny Európai Unió figyelme ne legyen szelektív, és amikor nemzeti tragédiák sorára tekint, ne alkalmazzon kettős mércét. Magyra képviselőként szeretném biztosítani az azeri népet, hogy testvéri szeretettel, bizakodással követjük sorsuk alakulását, és egyúttal önmérsékletre szólítunk fel mindenkit Azerbajdzsánnal szemben.

 
  
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  Андрей Ковачев (PPE). - Уважаема г-жо Aston, днешният дебат е провокиран от нарастващото напрежение в Нагорни Карабах. Тази тенденция трябва да бъде прекратена чрез ясни и конкретни ангажименти от двете страни, както и чрез прекратяване на агресивната риторика и поставянето на нови условия от едната или от другата страна, които предотвратяват постигането на съгласие за подписването на мирен договор. Недопустимо е също така лидерите в региона да използват тлеещия конфликт за засилване на вътрешната си легитимност.

Конфликтът в Нагорни Карабах трябва да намери мирно разрешение в съответствие с принципите на самоопределение, териториална цялост и въздържаност от употреба на сила (принципи с равна тежест). Обезпокоен съм, както казаха и другите колеги, от продължаващото въоръжаване и придобиването на офанзивна военна техника и от двете страни. Това представлява заплаха пред перспективата за решаване на конфликта и понижава прага на евентуална употреба на сила, нещо, от което няма интерес нито една от двете страни.

Необходимо е Армения и Азербайджан да направят отстъпки и да престанат с прекомерната упоритост, което ги поставя в ролята на двете магарета на моста, никое от които не иска да направи крачка назад и накрая и двете падат от моста и се удавят. Колкото и жалко да е, единственото положително послание след поредната провалена среща на двамата президенти в Казан е уговорката поне отново да се срещнат в близко бъдеще.

Регионалните сили трябва да играят конструктивна роля в процеса на преговори и въздържане от употреба на сила, както и да засилят контактите си с Армения и Азербайджан. Турция и Русия трябва да покажат зрялост и да надмогнат принципите на Макиавели, за да може конфликтът да намери своето мирно разрешение.

Накрая и не на последно място, г-жо Ashton, Европейският съюз, както казаха много от моите колеги, трябва да играе по-голяма роля в региона и приветствам, разбира се, назначаването на специалния пратеник за Южен Кавказ, като е необходим диференциран подход както към целия регион, така и към отделните страни и към конфликта.

 
  
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  President. − Mr Tőkés, I am sorry to interrupt this romantic scene, but you have the floor. You may resume afterwards but for the moment you must take the floor! Do not worry, Mr Tőkés, we are all human.

 
  
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  László Tőkés (PPE). - Mr President, prior to the Kazan summit of 24 June the international community expressed high hopes that a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan would be concluded on the Nagorno-Karabakh region, populated for centuries by Christian Armenians and Muslim Azeris who lived intermingled in the South Caucasus, coexisting under different foreign rules. Sadly no agreement was reached. Instead, all international hope was destroyed, leading to the further frustration of two broken nations and a powerless community to mediate.

To avoid further suffering, the EU cannot linger any longer and let other actors in the region, such as Russia, shade the process according to their strategic influence. We have to continue to pressurise and support both countries in a balanced way so that they will adopt the basic principles and we must help these two nations with European aspirations build peace through reconciliation.

The time to resolve the humanitarian crisis has never been more pressing, so that the hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced people can return to their homes in dignity. The only solution for real and sustainable peace is dialogue and compromise, together with a shift in thinking, so that all actors reflect on the needs of others and the suffering of their people. Peace came to the Balkans. It is high time that peace also came to the neighbouring South Caucasus.

 
  
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  György Schöpflin (PPE). - Mr President, as is very clear from this debate the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute has been frozen for a long time but there is now a serious danger that it could unfreeze and trigger off a major crisis. We know the background: at the end of the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1994, Armenia occupied around a fifth of Azerbaijan’s territory and made about a million people refugees. But there are other actors as well to complicate matters: Russia, Turkey, Iran too, all have interests in this area and could become involved if the Karabakh conflict were to erupt again.

In addition Azerbaijan has used the money from its energy wealth to acquire a major quantity of modern weaponry; Armenia has likewise made military preparations. Last month, as we know, Russia attempted yet another mediation between the two parties in Kazan but this failed. The level of trust between the two antagonists is too low. Now the outcome is frustration in Baku, and frustration can be a bad counsellor, though it is understandable when a sizeable part of one’s territory is under foreign occupation.

Azerbaijan’s disappointment at the inaction of the world, and of the West in particular, is further indicated by its recent decision to join the non-aligned movement. Now an escalation of the conflict – maybe by accident on the ceasefire line – cannot be excluded; that is in no one’s interests and further mediation should be pursued urgently. I agree with those who have argued in favour of an EU involvement.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE). - Mr President, I would like to say to Baroness Ashton that, first of all, I regret that this debate has not resulted in a Parliament resolution. Today’s conclusion is that the current status quo in this conflict is unsustainable and urgently requires a peaceful and diplomatic solution. We should warn all the parties that any use of force in the present situation could lead to incalculable consequences for the entire region.

Our responsibility today is to send a very strong signal to all parties – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia – to refrain from increasing tensions. Russia’s responsibility is significant. It sells or gives arms to both parties and Moscow seems to be interested in a lasting conflict which enables it to increase its grip over the region. I welcome the High Representative’s increased attention to this programme. As she said, the EU has a role to play. But what we especially need today is a convincing commitment from the EU to peace and stability in the region.

Until recently concrete EU incentives for peace have been lacking, but it is crucial for our credibility in this region that we are not only committed, but also consistent in our approach to all interested parties. As a first step, troops should be withdrawn from this region.

 
  
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  Damien Abad (PPE). - Monsieur le Président, Madame la Haute représentante, en octobre 2010, j'ai eu l'occasion de me rendre dans cette région du Haut–Karabagh et de rencontrer à la fois les autorités et les populations réfugiées. Aujourd'hui, je ne fais que constater l'escalade de la violence dans cette région, ainsi qu'une véritable course aux armements et le déploiement d'une rhétorique belliqueuse, notamment de la part de l'Azerbaïdjan.

Dès mon retour, j'avais appelé le groupe de Minsk à jouer un rôle plus actif et à multiplier ses efforts pour rapprocher les deux parties, et force est de constater, notamment avec le sommet de Kazan, que les avancées n'ont pas abouti à une paix durable. Aujourd'hui, je suis au regret de constater que la rhétorique agressive du président Aliev ne fait qu'aggraver la situation.

Madame la Haute représentante, je vous rappelle que les trois présidents du groupe de Minsk ont présenté au G8 de Deauville une feuille de route avec, comme l'ont rappelé nos collègues, six principes de base en vue d'un règlement pacifique du conflit. Dès lors, il est temps de passer au stade de la mise en œuvre et je suis convaincu que, sans une participation des représentants du Haut–Karabagh, une paix durable est difficile dans cette région.

S'agissant de l'Union européenne, elle doit se saisir de la question et intervenir en soutien des efforts diplomatiques du groupe de Minsk, mais également envisager un appui aux populations civiles et une aide aux réfugiés, à l'image de ce que nous avons pu faire pour l'Ossétie du Sud et l'Abkhazie en 2008, puisque notre devoir est de protéger les populations.

Les risques d'explosion de ce conflit sont aux portes de l'Europe et nous devons nous saisir de cette question. J'appelle aussi la présidence polonaise, qui a érigé le partenariat oriental en priorité de sa présidence, à jouer un rôle accru dans le Sud–Caucase.

Nous devons faire confiance au groupe de Minsk pour le règlement de ce conflit. J'espère que le Parlement européen, aussi, pourra adopter une résolution qui est beaucoup plus équilibrée que la résolution Kirilov qui avait été votée.

 
  
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  Inese Vaidere (PPE). - Parlamentam aizejot vasaras pārtraukumā, es gribētu būt pilnīgi droša, ka Kalnu Karabahā neatkārtosies tā situācija, kādu nācās piedzīvot Gruzijā 2008. gada vasarā. Tomēr saspringtā situācija un notikumi reģionā liek par to bažīties. Tieši tādēļ ir ļoti žēl, ka tika pieņemts lēmums neveidot Eiropas Parlamenta rezolūciju par situāciju Kalnu Karabahā. Eiropas Savienība līdz šim nav bijusi pietiekami aktīva šī konflikta miermīlīgā atrisināšanā, kaut mums ir nepieciešamā ekspertīze, resursi un arī pieredze. Eštones kundzes ierašanās šajā reģionā, iespējams, varētu situāciju uzlabot. Nozīmīga ir Krievijas loma šajā reģionā. Tā turpina Armēnijai piegādāt ieročus, militāro ekipējumu un pat militāros treniņus. Zīmīgi, ka tikai trīs dienas pēc pēdējās prezidentu tikšanās 24. jūnijā Kazaņā prezidents Medvedjevs parakstīja likumu, kas Krievijas militāro klātbūtni reģionā pagarina līdz 2044. gadam. Zīmīgi arī tas, ka ieroču piegādes notiek uz otru konfliktā iesaistīto pusi — uz Azerbaidžānu — un to pašu dara arī citas valstis, kas atrodas netālu. Mums ir jāiestājas par profesionālu un patiesi internacionālu miera uzturēšanas spēku klātbūtni reģionā, ko neveidotu tikai atsevišķas Minskas grupas valstis, bet arī citi starptautiski spēki. Es gribētu uzsvērt, ka Armēnijai ir jāizved savi militārie spēki no okupētajām teritorijām un to apkārtnes. Vienlaikus ir jānodrošina bēgļiem un okupēto teritoriju bijušajiem iedzīvotājiem iespēja atgriezties savās mājvietās. Šis process ir jānovēro starptautiski. Pēc tam ir iespējams rīkot referendumu par reģiona juridisko statusu.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Lisek (PPE). - Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Wysoka Przedstawiciel! Zanim przejdę do sedna sprawy chciałem powiedzieć, że w wypowiedziach kilku moich szanownych kolegów usłyszałem wiele oczekiwań w stosunku do prezydencji polskiej w zakresie tego konfliktu. Chciałem jednak przypomnieć, że prezydencja może jedynie wspierać Wysoką Przedstawiciel, dlatego że traktat lizboński przekazuje wszystkie kompetencje w zakresie polityki zagranicznej Wysokiej Przedstawiciel. Wysoka Przedstawiciel zna ministra Sikorskiego, ja też go znam bardzo dobrze i mogę powiedzieć, że jestem na 100% pewien, że minister będzie wspierał Pani działania.

Chciałem powiedzieć, że my oczywiście niepokoimy się sytuacją w Górnym Karabachu, ale są takie miejsca bliskie temu rejonowi, gdzie odczuwane jest nie tylko zaniepokojenie, ale przerażenie. Myślę tutaj o Gruzji. Jako sprawozdawca Parlamentu Europejskiego do spraw Gruzji niedawno byłem w tym kraju i rozmawiałem z politykami, rządzącymi, ministrem spraw zagranicznych, szefem parlamentu, prezydentem i opozycją. Wszyscy oni artykułowali, że są absolutnie przerażeni tym, co może stać się w Górnym Karabachu. Trudno sobie wręcz wyobrazić, jakie mogłoby to mieć konsekwencje dla sytuacji w Gruzji, szczególnie w aspekcie zainteresowania stron trzecich. Jeszcze raz apeluję do Pani Wysokiej Przedstawiciel, abyśmy, jako Unia, poważnie zajęli się tym problemem, rozmawiając z Armenia, z Azerbejdżanem i z Rosją.

 
  
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  Ελένη Θεοχάρους (PPE). - Κύριε Πρόεδρε, λαίδη Ashton, θα ξεκινήσω λίγο παλιότερα από τη συνάντηση του Καζάν, θυμίζοντάς σας ότι, αν η εξέγερση του λαού του Ναγκόρνο-Καραμπάχ γινότανε σήμερα, παράλληλα με τις εξεγέρσεις των αραβικών λαών εναντίον τυραννικών και άδικων καθεστώτων, είμαι σίγουρη πως θα είχε την αμέριστη συμπαράσταση μας και την ενεργό στήριξη της Ευρωπαϊκής Κοινότητας. Το ίδιο θα συνέβαινε και στο Ναχιτσεβάν, μια περιοχή με πανομοιότυπο αυτόχθονα πληθυσμό, αν εξακολουθούσε να υφίσταται εκείνος ο πληθυσμός, αλλά δυστυχώς έχει εξαφανιστεί. Αντ’ αυτού εκείνο που βλέπουμε σήμερα είναι μια επιτηδευμένη ουδετερότητα απέναντι στην κατάσταση, με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να παραμένει αμέτοχη, ενώ μας ενοχλεί η πηγή των εξοπλισμών.

Δεν λέω ότι πρέπει να στείλουμε βομβαρδιστικά στον Καύκασο! Απεναντίας, πρέπει με κάθε τρόπο να στηρίξουμε ενεργά την ειρηνευτική διαδικασία, με εμφανή και ουσιαστική παρουσία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στον Καύκασο. Από την άλλη, εδώ και πάρα πολλά χρόνια βλέπουμε το Αζερμπαϊτζάν, που καταγγέλθηκε πολλές φορές διεθνώς, και ειδικά στην Κοινοβουλευτική Συνέλευση του Οργανισμού για τη Συνεργασία και την Ασφάλεια στην Ευρώπη, να ακολουθεί μια τρομαχτική εξοπλιστική πολιτική. Βλέπουμε την κυβέρνηση του Αζερμπαϊτζάν, αντί να αγωνίζεται για την ανάπτυξη και την ευημερία του αζερικού λαού, έχοντας στη διάθεσή της τεράστιο ορυκτό πλούτο, να τον δαπανά για εξοπλισμούς.

Από την άλλη, ανησυχούμε βεβαίως, γιατί τώρα μπήκε στην κούρσα των εξοπλισμών και η Αρμενία, μια χώρα που τελεί υπό οικονομικό εμπάργκο εδώ και πάρα πολλά χρόνια. Υφίσταται ένα άγριο εμπάργκο από όλες τις γειτονικές της χώρες. Και βεβαίως η Αρμενία οφείλει να αποχωρήσει από κατεχόμενα εδάφη από το πεδινό Καραμπάχ, όπως οφείλει να αποχωρήσει και η Τουρκία από την Κύπρο, αλλά νομίζω ότι όλα θα πρέπει να επιλυθούν στη βάση του Δικαίου και όχι στη βάση του από πού αγοράζει ο καθένας τους εξοπλισμούς του.

 
  
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  Anna Ibrisagic (PPE). - Herr talman! Fru Ashton! Jag representerar Sverige i dag, men jag är faktiskt flykting från Bosnien. Jag har upplevt kriget i Bosnien och det som flera kolleger här har talat om. Jag har suttit där och väntat att någon – EU, FN, Amerika, Nato – skulle intervenera, bomba, göra någonting i kriget, men ingen gjorde någonting. Den frustration som jag upplevde resulterade i mitt politiska engagemang. Det som jag ser i Nagorno-Karabach idag är en déjà-vu. Det var precis samma scenario: man ockuperade territoriet, man gjorde etnisk rensning, man flyttade på flyktingar så att man fick en majoritet av egen etnicitet. Sedan kräver man självständighet och folkomröstning.

Jag satt där och väntade att någon skulle göra någonting, men ingen gjorde det. Jag kommer i dag inte sitta och vänta utan kräva att den armeniska ockupationen måste upphöra innan flyktingar kan återvända. Först när flyktingar återvänder och vi får balans kan vi börja tala om den slutgiltiga statusen för Nagorno-Karabach. Någon gång måste vi börja diskutera det. Man kan inte genomföra en folkomröstning efter att man har förflyttat människor. Först måste flyktingarna tillbaka, och sedan måste vi börja diskutera Nagorno-Karabach, annars får vi Republika Srpska igen och det vill vi inte ha.

Talaren accepterade att svara på en fråga enligt förfarandet med "blått kort" (artikel 149.8 i arbetsordningen)

 
  
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  Димитър Стоянов (NI). - Г-жо Ibrisagic, доколкото си спомням Вашата страна призна независимостта на Косово. А Косово също беше отцепване на територия от една суверенна държава, което обаче ние го възприехме като много правилно. В същото време обаче това, което се случва в Нагорни Карабах, го осъждаме. Смятате ли, че трябва да има такива двойни стандарти? И понеже говорехте за етническо прочистване, искам да Ви питам: какво ще кажете за етническото прочистване, което извършиха азербайджанците спрямо арменците, избивайки и изселвайки цялото арменско население на Баку до крак?

 
  
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  Anna Ibrisagic (PPE). - Herr talman! Stoyanov borde veta att Kosovo är internationellt accepterat som ett exceptionellt exempel. Man har sagt att detta gäller enbart för Kosovo och ingenting annat. Jag anser att EU borde vara konsekvent i hur man betraktar liknande fall när vi pratar om Sydossetien och om Transnistrien. Vi pratar om territoriell integritet i Georgien. Vi pratar om territoriell integritet i Moldavien. Varför kan EU inte vara konsekvent och också skydda territoriell integritet i Azerbajdzjan?

 
  
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  Vytautas Landsbergis (PPE). - Mr President, it looks as if Parliament has recently begun a thought process on the frozen war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For too long we have buried our heads in the sand, washing our hands of the affair by means of the Minsk Group, and repeating happily that fruitless dialogue lasting 20 years is better than war.

The reality is that military force continues to be used. The cancer of the world is there and this illness continues to spread when the lands are occupied by foreign forces and when an enemy is not stopped from carrying out sniper killings.

We should therefore at least stop kidding ourselves here; ‘to act or not to act’, that is our question. All of our resolutions will be fruitless if they do not concern the realities of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, all expelled people, and all the problems of communication with Nagorno-Karabakh and the Nakhichevan region. We must fully understand what is at stake and have a serious talk with Russia about its role there as actor and stage manager.

 
  
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  Sławomir Witold Nitras (PPE). - Południowy Kaukaz to miejsce, gdzie uchodźców można znaleźć na każdym rogu. To prawda, oni są w Azerbejdżanie z Górnego Karabachu, są w Gruzji z Abchazji, czy, jak ostatnio, z południowej Osetii. Ale ja widziałem ich też w Armenii. Oni są nie z Górnego Karabachu, lecz z Baku, mają nawet swoją ulicę, taki „corner”, który nazywa się Baku.

Problem jest złożony i wydaje mi się, że musimy pamiętać o tym, że jeżeli staniemy się stroną w tym konflikcie, staniemy za bardzo po jednej z tych stron, to nie będziemy mogli odegrać pozytywnej roli na Kaukazie. To rzecz pierwsza. Rzecz druga: te wszystkie konflikty i czystki etniczne, bo o nich należy pamiętać w pierwszej kolejności, mają tylko jeden wspólny mianownik: imperializm sowiecki. I o tym nie wolno zapominać. Ja wierzę w plan grupy mińskiej, natomiast nie wierzę w praktykę działania grupy mińskiej w obecnym kształcie. Rosja musi być partnerem do rozwiązania tego konfliktu, bo ma tam interesy, natomiast nie możemy jako Europa powierzać Rosji negocjacji w tej sprawie, ponieważ będzie to prowadzić do zwiększenia roli Rosji, a nie do rozwiązania tego konfliktu. Pani Wysoka Przedstawiciel! To jest kwestia bardzo ważna z punku widzenia Pani zadań w tym roku.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). - Mr President, the Nagorno-Karabakh question is often described as a frozen conflict but this is far from the truth. It is actually thawing very rapidly with an increase in sniper fire at the line of contact, escalating Armenian casualties and the possibility now of a full-scale war breaking out, dragging in Iran and Russia on one side and Turkey on the other. This is extremely dangerous.

The massive flow of petrodollars is now financing a regional arms race, with Baku buying large amounts of big-ticket military items, trebling its defence budget and making increasingly bellicose noises about recapturing NK, and with the much smaller Armenia, with Russian help, desperately trying to catch up.

It is clear to all of those who know the region that Stepanakert will never accept direct Azeri rule, but of course Armenia must withdraw from the surrounding occupied raions and allow all the IDPs to return. In my view – and I am sorry to contradict Mr Provera who is a great friend – neither self-determination nor territorial integrity are absolute principles. Everybody has to be flexible in foreign policy so we cannot apply them absolutely.

I urge the Minsk Group now, particularly after the failure at Kazan, to try to resolve this dispute and to redouble their efforts, particularly with the help of the EU Special Representative for frozen conflicts. I would say to Lady Ashton that this is her chance to win a Nobel Peace Prize if she can resolve this one.

 
  
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  Elena Băsescu (PPE). - Declaraţia Înaltului Reprezentant completează iniţierea reformei politicii europene de vecinătate în dimensiunea sa estică. Rezolvarea conflictelor îngheţate, precum Transnistria sau Nagorno-Karabah, este una dintre priorităţile noii politici în scopul asigurării unei zone de stabilitate la graniţele UE. În ciuda acordului de încetare a focului semnat în 1994, tensiunile se accentuează între părţile conflictului. Negocierile desfăşurate cu sprijinul Grupului de la Minsk au atins un punct critic. Nici recentul summit de la Kazan nu a adus vreo detensionare a relaţiilor dintre Azerbaidjan şi Armenia. Dimpotrivă, reacţia la aceste negocieri a fost accelerarea înarmării în regiune şi o radicalizare a discursurilor politice.

Susţin o soluţie acceptabilă pentru ambele părţi din cadrul Grupului de la Minsk. Consider că o reluare a ostilităţilor pune în pericol grav stabilitatea regională, precum şi securitatea energetică europeană.

 
  
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  Bastiaan Belder (EFD). - Voorzitter, ik juich een grote rol van de Europese Unie in het Karabach-conflict van harte toe en ik gun mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger ook graag, als dat mocht slagen, de Nobelprijs.

Mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, kunt u mij vertellen welke rol Iran speelt? Kort na het mislukken van de gesprekken in Kazan, meldde immers de voorzitter van het Iraans parlement zich en hij zei dat zo'n regionaal conflict eigenlijk niet door de grote mogendheden moet worden opgelost, maar door de spelers in de regio zelf, want 'die kennen elkaar zo goed'. Dat is natuurlijk een erg humoristische noot uit Teheran.

 
  
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  Inese Vaidere (PPE). - Mr President, I am very sorry, I just wanted to make a correction. My colleague listening to my speech in English caught my attention because one of my sentences may have been interpreted incorrectly.

I just wanted to repeat this sentence: ‘Russia is providing Armenia with weapons and with military training as well’. Everything else was correctly interpreted.

 
  
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  Catherine Ashton, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. − Mr President, I will be reasonably brief because I think so much has been well covered in the contributions which have been made. The first thing to say is that I agree that it is time for me to go to the region. I would already have gone but for the number of issues that I have been dealing with in the recent weeks; however, it was a priority for me to send Miroslav Lajčák to ensure that we were sending the right messages. We are engaged in discussions with the foreign ministers of both parties and with the Chairs of the Minsk Group.

The second thing I wanted to say was that we are very happy to play a stronger role. France is very keen to continue in its present role and feels it has much more to contribute, so our role is to support our Member State in its work and to make sure that we are able to offer our contribution as appropriate, and we will continue to do that.

I agree with what has been said by honourable Members that it is important to engage not only with the parties but also in the work we are doing on the ground, and that is why I mentioned earlier the contributions we are trying to make in people-to-people contacts. As honourable Members have said, this is not really a frozen conflict; it is certainly warming up and a conflict which we are right to be extremely concerned about. I agree with what was said about the level of trust being extremely low.

This is a very timely debate and I thank you for it, because we in the External Action Service are well aware that we need to focus attention on this area and work closely on it with Paris, as well as ensuring that we collaborate with the other members of the Minsk Group. The reason for getting a new Special Representative is also to be able to take this forward with much more vigour and much more effort than we are able to provide with all of the other issues that are currently before us. So thank you again and I look forward to continuing this discussion.

 
  
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  El Presidente. − Se cierra el debate.

Declaraciones por escrito (artículo 149 del Reglamento)

 
  
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  Corina Creţu (S&D), în scris. – Unul dintre cele mai vechi conflicte din spaţiul ex-sovietic este pe cale să se redeschidă după eşecul discuţiilor de la sfârşitul lunii trecute, urmat de declaraţii belicoase ce au trezit amintirea războiului soldat cu peste 30 000 de morţi şi sute de mii de refugiaţi între 1988 şi 1994.

Este regretabil faptul că s-a ajuns din nou în stadiul ameninţărilor cu forţa pentru soluţionarea acestui conflict îngheţat. Dialogul fără nici o finalitate de la Kazan dintre preşedinţii Aliev şi Sargsyan demonstrează lipsa de voinţă a autoritarilor armene şi azere de a găsi o alta ieşire decât conflictul şi incapacitatea Rusiei de a fi un mediator eficient.

Cred că preluarea rolului de mediator de către UE este singura soluţie pentru evitarea unui nou război, care, în actualul context, ar destabiliza grav o regiune strategică majoră, în care se intersectează interesele Rusiei, Turciei şi Iranului.

Primul pas trebuie sa fie un avertisment sever că viitorul statut al Nagorno-Karabah nu poate fi rezultatul recurgerii la forţă, ci al negocierilor parţilor implicate. Redefinirea formatului pe baza căruia a încercat să funcţioneze Grupul de la Minsk al mediatorilor din cadrul OSCE poate contribui la deblocarea dialogului.

 
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