Medvedev's visit to Azerbaijan as symbol of partnership with Moscow: Trend News commentator
Elmira Tariverdiyeva, commentator at Trend European Desk
The result of the working visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Azerbaijan was not only the signature of the main terms of the contract on sale of Azerbaijani natural gas, but also discussions over ways to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Russia has pledged to Azerbaijan to make every effort to resolve the conflict. "Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved in a fairly close historical perspective, and Russia will do everything for this," head of the Russian Federation said at a press conference in Baku.
What was the main outcome of the visit of Russian President for his counterpart President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev?
Despite the small volumes of gas promised Russia, document signed in Baku yesterday is important for Baku from both economic and political viewpoint.
Given the geopolitical situation in the Caucasus, the main point is not quantity, but quality. The signing of the contract is a symbolic step as well. The political message, contrary to the established view, is that Moscow has a strong partner in the Caucasus, that is, Azerbaijan, apart from traditional ally as Armenia.
Strengthening relations with Russia is much more significant as Moscow has become an active mediator in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in recent years.
Over the past year Russia has become one of the most important party to the negotiations, not only as a country of the OSCE Minsk Group, but also as a strong regional player with interests in the Caucasus.
The last meeting between Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan held in St. Petersburg was the second for the year round attended by Dmitry Medvedev. Declaration of Intent, first joint paper for 14 years, was signed between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the parties to the conflict, through the mediation of Moscow.
The next meeting of the presidents is scheduled for early July in Moscow.
Against the backdrop of intensified negotiations on a settlement of the protracted territorial conflict, Russia's assistance could be crucial for resolving the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan because of historical and geographical proximity.
Russia, for fear of weakening of influence in the region, will do everything possible to avoid further conflict here. When two potential allies fight among themselves, when there is no stability in the region, it is primarily will not benefit Russia itself. Therefore it is in the interest of Moscow to reconcile the countries and make every effort to resolve the territorial dispute.
But the economic benefits of cooperation with Russia will be a lot.
Announcing gas an agreement the two countries an important point of development of relations.
By signing an agreement with Russia on the procurement of the fuel, Baku guarantees a sale of gas and diversification of energy supply regardless of the fate of European gas pipelines.
Even if Nabucco, TAP, and Poseidon can be successfully implemented by Western investors in the short term, the benefits of Baku from the contract with Gazprom are evident: thanks to the long-term arrangements Azerbaijan will be able to reasonably negotiate with the EU on the most favorable conditions for a gas supply via route independent of Russia.
Thus, any co-operation between Moscow and Baku is in favor of Azerbaijan. The warm relations between Russia and the strongest in the Caucasus country should yield many benefits to both parties.
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