Russia Begins Using Its Opportunities for Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Settlement

Russia Begins Using Its Opportunities for Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Settlement

Azerbaijan, Baku, 29 October /corr. Trend E.Tariverdiyeva, R.Hafizoglu / Russia only now began to really use its opportunities to use the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, taking more neutral position than earlier.

"The possibilities of Russia are limited, but even Moscow did not use generally or used badly these limited possibilities," said Russian political scientist Victor Pribylovskiy.

The meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement will take place in Moscow on 2 November, the press service of the Kremlin reported.

The agreement to hold the meeting was reached during the visit of Dmitry Medvedev to Azerbaijan. The President of Russia considers that the solution of Karabakh conflict must be found within the framework of agreement-legal basis on the basis of the interests of all sides.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries appeared in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenia has occupied 20% of the Azerbaijani lands including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Since 1992 to the present time, these territories have been under Armenian occupation. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a cease-fire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, France and USA) are holding peaceful negotiations.

After August events in Tskhinvali, when during the military confrontation between Russia and Georgia hundreds of people died, and Moscow's recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement acquired fundamental importance for the Kremlin.
Observers consider that Russia, fearing weakening of its influence in the region, will do all possible to avoid next conflict here, in particular, using those possibilities, which were not used earlier.

Russia really began to use all possibilities for solving this conflict, Svante Cornell, Research Director for the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, told Trend by telephone.

He said that this is testified by the active participation of Russia in the Turkish initiative of Caucasus security platform and President Medvedev's initiative to organize trilateral meeting of the Presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In mid September Russia and Turkey commenced realization of plan on establishment of Caucasus security platform. The purpose of platform's establishment was the aspiration of Turkey and Russia for prompt solution of territorial conflicts in Caucasus between Armenia and Turkey, and between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

August events served as main catalyst for the desire of Russia to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, said Azerbaijani political scientist Rashad Rzaguliyev.

He said that in any case, this is a question of Russia's survival in the region, and if Russia does not find the solutions of the problems of its allies - Armenia and Azerbaijan, it will lose vitally important outlets to the South seas.

"Russia needs Azerbaijan and Armenia in one bunch with all entailed consequences. Russia will be pushed out from the region if the bunch is not provided," Rashad Rzaguliyev, President of the Social Research Fund of Azerbaijan, told Trend .

When two potential allies quarrel between themselves, when there is no stability in the region, this firstly is not profitable for Russia, said Pribylovskiy. The interest of Russia is to reconcile the countries.

According to the observers, without the August events, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process would remain at dead center, since Russia never used possibility for its solution.

Up to now Russia did not use its tools for resolving this conflict, said Pribylovskiy. "Russia is the natural mediator in this question, although in the nearest history it was on the side of Armenia, and, probably the position of Russia was insufficiently objective," President of Information Research Center "Panorama", Pribylovskiy, told Trend by telephone.   

The expert considers that the main reason for the special relations of Russia with Armenia is that Yeltsin and his surrounding people had more contacts with the Armenian politicians, and the same was also during Putin's term of presidency. The expert said that Medvedev, however, does not hang the load of past relations, and this will help him take more neutral position.

The large loyalty of Russia to Armenia is explained in its own way in recent years, Rzaguliyev said.

The friendship of Russia and Armenia is a historically created format, he said. According to the expert, for a period of many years, the Armenian elite have been integrated into the Russian political elite, and also large role is played by the strong diasporas of Armenia in Russia. "They played their role in 1990, when People Front came to power in Azerbaijan, which began the foolish demonstration against Russia, which cooled the relations between Moscow and Baku," said Rzaguliyev.

Recognizing positive dynamic in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, the observers do not express large wishes for prompt solution of the conflict.  

Pribylovskiy considers that time will treat such conflicts, but the main fact is not to give way to armed confrontations, to think of the problem of refugees and if war does not take place, the problem will be settled promptly.  

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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