Political scientist: Russia interested in stability in South Caucasus region (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.23 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /
Russia wants stability in the South Caucasus, North South Political Centre General Director and member of the Trend Expert Council Alexei Vlasov told reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
"Azerbaijan has entered into a great political cycle, which should end with presidential elections in 2013, and in this situation, Russia is interested in the preservation of stability in the country, and in the region as a whole," Vlasov said.
He stressed that there are no issues or problems between Russia and Azerbaijan that cannot be resolved at the negotiating table.
According to Vlasov, it is considering extending the Gabala radar station's lease and energy cooperation between the two countries.
Russia seeks stability in the South Caucasus to preserve stability in the neighbouring North Caucasus, he said.
In terms of Georgia, Vlasov said, it is early to speak about time for restoring a Tbilisi-Moscow dialogue.
"Of course, after the new government came to power, the probability of a recurrence of the August 2008 conflict is almost naught, but it is too early to speak about a full restoration of relations," he said.
Vlasov said in the absence of a confrontational rhetoric by Georgia and reciprocal steps by Russia, the process can move forward, but the issue of South Ossetia and Abkhazia cannot be the subject of preconditions in the negotiation process.
"As for implementing the Abkhaz railway project through Georgia, it is too early to talk about this issue," the expert said.
On the other hand, he said, if the relations will be restored, it will have a positive impact on the region.
Vlasov said the situation in Armenia is also rather predictable.
"Most likely, Serzh Sargsyan will win the presidential elections in 2013, as today there is few persons in Armenia that can be his rival in presidential elections," he said.
In terms of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the expert said, it is necessary to return to the previous dynamics in 2013 and to sit down for talks with a concrete roadmap for peace in Nagorno Karabakh.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.