Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 7 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /
Peace and stability in the Caucasus are vitally important for Russia, Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Vladimir Dorokhin said.
"Russia does not play in the Caucasus. We realize our interests here, as do other countries. These interests do not threaten anyone, otherwise Russia would not have partner bilateral relations with Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia," Dorokhin said in an exclusive interview with Trend .
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 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 the peace negotiations.
He said Russia tries to use its relations positively to resolve regional problems, especially Nagorno-Karabakh.
"We do it not to put someone in checkmate on the geopolitical chessboard but rather for peace and stability in the Caucasus. They are vitally important for Russia," Dorokhin said.
The so-called Georgian war has changed not only the South Caucasus, but the whole world, the ambassador said.
"Everyone seems to have waken up and realized that if one political charlatan can provoke almost a universal confrontation, then there is something is wrong in the world," he said.
He said this understanding, in particular, lies at the base of the "reset" in Russian-U.S relations.
Military action was launched in the territory of the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia on Aug. 8, 2008. Georgian troops entered the capital Tskhinvali. Afterwards, Russian troops occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. On Aug. 26 Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In response Tbilisi broke diplomatic relations with Moscow.