Baku, Azerbaijan, July 23
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
The level of relations between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin testifies to the effectiveness of the bilateral relations between the two countries, Nikita Isayev, political analyst, leader of the New Russia public and political movement, told Trend.
Isayev was commenting on the recent meeting between President Aliyev and President Putin in Sochi.
"The personal communication level allows both presidents to meet in Putin’s country house in Sochi on Friday evening and effectively discuss the agenda of the bilateral relations and the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Isayev said.
The Russian expert is sure that this fact mainly determines the level and quality of relations between the two countries, which are currently at the highest level.
Speaking about the role of Russia in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he stressed that Russia has been the main mediator in this negotiation process since the escalation of the conflict in late 1980s.
"But, in my opinion, Russia today is losing this initiative of the main mediator because during more than 25 years it was impossible not only to de-escalate the conflict, but in principle, to relieve tension in the entire region,” he said. “In my opinion, Azerbaijan wants to understand Russia's current status in this negotiation process."
He said that the leaders of France and the US will move to the active phase of mediation in this conflict very soon, and, most likely, this position will not be pro-Russian.
"I think that it is very important for Russia to act as an effective mediator, otherwise, in this conflict settlement Russia may have less significance in the changed format of negotiations that may be required by the presidents of France and the US,” he said. “It is extremely dangerous for Russia itself as the conflict is a big problem not only for Azerbaijan and Armenia, but also for Russia, for which this is a principled geopolitical point."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.