Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 29
By Rashid Shirinov - Trend:
Diplomatic work of the interested countries and guarantor states in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is conducted in a full scale, said Evgeny Mikhailov, Russian political analyst and expert on international issues.
He made the remarks in his interview with Azernews on December 28, while commenting on the outcomes of 2017 in the settlement of the prolonged Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“We witness more frequent meetings of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents. There is a regular exchange of views on the protracted conflict and, accordingly, ways to solve it are being suggested,” said the expert. He added that Russia wants to bring the parties to reconciliation as soon as possible due to the difficult situation in the Middle East.
Mikhailov further noted that soon, Armenia will have to return the occupied lands of Azerbaijan.
“In my opinion, Azerbaijan has a more favorable position regardless of the political situation, and the security guarantor countries will gradually convince Armenia to return the territories it had occupied in the near future,” he said.
The expert reminded that Armenia is a small republic with a poor economy, squeezed between countries with which it does not want to compromise.
“The completely dependent on Russia country, which in the hope of receiving support from the West, signed a treaty with the European Union. This, by the way, was very negatively perceived by Russia,” said Mikhailov.
On the other hand the expert noted that the economically developed Azerbaijan, which has a powerful army and Turkey as an ally, adding that Moscow and Ankara have recently established a full-scale alliance in many areas.
Mikhailov also shared his expectations from the upcoming meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers in connection with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“As for the January meeting, I dare to assume that it will not bring any results. Obviously, the conflict will be resolved only with the direct mediation of the guarantor countries,” the expert noted.
He also said that if Russia and Turkey had let the situation slide, the conflict would have been resolved a decade ago.
Yerevan and Baku have differentpotential, Karabakh would have already been liberated [by Azerbaijan] in case of military operations rather than diplomatic actions, Mikhailov stressed.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Until now, Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.