Russia, Moscow / corr. Trend R.Agayev / The Head of the International Relations Department of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Politician Sergey Markednov, stated that the Azerbaijani-Russian relations are at their best.
He stressed that at present there are a number of disputes between Azerbaijan and Russia not only with regards to the issue of gas, but also bilateral relations, including Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. According to him, the strategic partnership between Russia and Armenia creates some dissatisfaction in Azerbaijan and Baku expects more of a pro-Azerbaijani position from Russia. The politician feels that on the other hand there is also the dissatisfaction with the strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and the USA. "Last year the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, was on a visit to the USA, and Azerbaijan is the second country after Turkey, which is called Islamic ally of Washington. This has also created annoyance in Moscow. Therefore the gas situation is not the only problem that aggravates bilateral relations," Markednov said.
Markednov stated that during the former Soviet period, relations between Azerbaijan and Russia was strained and this improved only at the end of 1990s and beginning of 2000. He believes that the Russian President Vladimir Putin considered the improvement of relations as one of his achievements. "Putin is the first President of Russia who was in Baku and visited Martyrs' Avenue, which was considered a very important step for every Azerbaijan.
However, relations took a turn for the worse which is linked with several aspects. Russia reassessed certain domestic political peculiarities in the life of Azerbaijan, considering that if there was no "orange revolution" in Azerbaijan, it means that Azerbaijan is ready to donate some interests for the sake of the Russian interests in South Caucasus i.e. position on Georgia. "In my opinion the recent deterioration of relations began due to Georgia. It is understood that Azerbaijan is unable to be a pro-Russian country, or even a pro-American country. Azerbaijan cannot be pro-American due to Iran because the USA draws Azerbaijan into its policy. And Azerbaijan cannot be a pro-Russian country because there is the Nagorno-Karabakh and other problems with Armenia," Markednov said.
" Russia needs to maintain relations with Azerbaijan and Armenia. Armenia is our strategic ally, there are Russian military bases in Armenia, and the political influence is very serious. In this case it needs to be an ally with Azerbaijan because it is a temporal country belonging to the Islamic country and a country that is bordered with us. At present it needs to establish relations with Baku and Yerevan on the basis of pragmatism and to exactly understand in which spheres we can co-operate," the politician said.
According to Markednov, Russia does not need to completely change its position in the regulation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. "I consider that there should be a reserved and weighted position on the basis of the issue that the two sides should themselves look for confidence. We cannotresolve the problem," Markednov said.