U.S. Congressman supports principles proposed by OSCE Minsk Group

Politics Materials 6 August 2009 13:01 (UTC +04:00)

USA, Washington, August 6 / Trend N. Bogdanova /

U.S. Congressman Michael McMahon spoke in an interview with Trend .

Trend : Russia and the USA have recently launched "reboot" of bilateral relations. But at the same time, there is still threat to Georgia from Russia. How will renewed relations between the USA and Russia affect other post-Soviet countries, including Georgia and Azerbaijan?

Michael McMahon: Recent trip of U.S Vice-President Biden to Ukraine and Georgia followed after successful visit of U.S President Obama to Moscow to discuss the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty. I think that pluralism is important at all levels, especially for such countries as Russia, having influence in non-proliferation of (weapons of mass destruction), and energy security.

However, it is important that during "reboot" of relations with Russia, the USA will not lose sight of their old partners in the region, such as Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan. I am firmly convinced that "reboot" and dialogue with Russian people is held hand in hand with support for connections with old friends in Eastern Europe.

Q.: Negotiation process on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has become more active recently. Just today, OSCE Chairman Dora Bakoyannis spoke with the sides of conflict about development of events. How do you appreciate the process of defrosting frozen conflicts in the Caucasus region, particularly the Nagorno Karabakh conflict?

A.: I think that the defrosting of any protracted negotiations is not easy, but some revival concerning Nagorno-Karabakh was noticed recently. I think that Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and the USA, are open for new policy, adhered by the international community.

Though this process will be difficult for both Azerbaijan and Armenia, settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict is in the interests of both sides. I fully support fundamental principles proposed by Minsk Group.

Q.: The U.S. Congress thinks that settlement of conflict will promote development of regional energy cooperation. But another obstacle for development of energy cooperation are disputes over resources of the Caspian Sea. Turkmenistan has made the second statement of resources of the Caspian Sea, and wants to bring Azerbaijan to trial. Do you see way out of this situation?

A.: I think that the trial on this case in court is a negative factor for development of relations in the region and recently signed Nabucco pipeline project. This long-expected pipeline is very important for diversification of energy resources in the region.

The international legal dispute between two countries can cause irreparable damage to prospects of this project. I think that disputes over oil and gas resources must be solved out of court through mediation of EU representatives, since this issue has great importance for EU.