Russian expert comments on geopolitical situation in South Caucasus, Ukraine and Iran

Russian expert comments on geopolitical situation in South Caucasus, Ukraine and Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 5

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva- Trend:

The format OSCE Minsk Group does not work and can not work, and maybe the group does not want to break the deadlock into the peace process over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Director of the Russian Center for Public Policy Research Vladimir Yevseyev told Trend on March 4.

"Understanding it, Russia is disappointed in Minsk Group format. Two Minsk Group co-chairs - France and the U.S. have a very influential Armenian diaspora, which exert a powerful pressure on these countries, which is not good for the work of the structure," he said.

It is important today to create a new format of security in the region among Russia, Turkey and Iran, according to the expert. These states may agree, and furthermore, each of these countries can influence the allies and partners from the countries of the region, he said.

These states are interested on the one hand that there be no war in the region, and on the other in the weakening of the United States and strengthening the role of regional players, according to Yevseyev.

"I think that it is necessary to rise above the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and to take the necessary steps in the beginning, such as withdrawal of snipers from the frontline. It would be logical to liberate occupied territories around Nagorno-Karabakh, but I have no idea how to achieve it," he said.

It is necessary to work out common rules of the game in the region, according to Yevseyev . "It is not an easy way, but perhaps there is simply no other way."

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

The situation in Ukraine

The expert believes it is possible today to exactly predict that there will not be a war in Ukraine.

"Today, the most effective way to influence Russia and Ukraine is to extend the 'Magnitsky List', so it may include officials from both countries and, which according to West, will have a surgical impact on certain individuals," he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to create an international group of experts to investigate the situation in Crimea. Furthermore the chancellor advocated establishment of a contact group, probably led by the OSCE, which will have the purpose of starting a political dialogue. Putin agreed with Merkel's proposal.

Yevseyev said if the group, agreed upon by Moscow and Berlin, starts operating, this can keep Europe from the actions regarding sanctions against Russia.

Yevseyev said Russia will send troops to Ukraine in case of complete hopelessness.

"But there is no civil war in Ukraine, the flow of refugees is small, so there is no need in sending troops there," the expert said.

And the Crimea is moving towards a full independence, according to the expert.

"At the same time Russia will not interfere in this process, however this will be a severe irritant in relations between Moscow and the West," Yevseyev said.

Armenia's joining the Customs Union

Touching upon Armenia's accession to the Customs Union, the expert expressed doubts about the successful work of this cooperation format in Armenia. There are bigger problems inside Armenia, for example, a horrendously corrupt system that will not allow the Customs Union to operate in the country, Yevseyev said.

The expert believes that the events in Ukraine will hinder any integration process, as Russia simply will not be up to the Eurasian space, and integration processes will require resources.

Artificial economic problems will be created for Russia by the West, and it is not clear what the situation will be in a year. And in these conditions Armenia will be able to get out of the disabled Customs Union format, according to Yevseyev.

"We will hope that the Customs Union will remain in the format of three countries, namely, Russia , Kazakhstan and Belarus," he added. "Armenia's participation in it will be nominal."

Relations between Russia and Azerbaijan

"A huge infrastructure project is required to prevent the emerging differences between Russia and Azerbaijan," Yevseyev said. "It would be useful to start a transportation project like the North-South highway through Iran for convergence of the countries. The cargo would pass through it and this would positively affect the economic situation in all three countries."

"It would be one of those commissures that strengthen the relations between the two countries," he added. "However, the sanctions against Iran hinder the realization of the project."

Iran's nuclear program and relations with the West

"Lifting of sanctions against Iran was very ephemeral," he said. "The West made minor concessions, unfroze Iran's small assets. It did not lift the banking sanctions and even sanctions on sea freight shipping insurance."

"It is impossible to come to a final agreement during the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program," he said. "However, both sides can take minor actions by making minor temporary concessions that might work. Iran could observe an IAEA additional protocol within six months. It entitles the inspectors to inspect any facility in the country in case of the development of Iran's nuclear program.

"In case of a temporary action, an additional protocol will tie up Iran if it wants to build a nuclear weapon," he added. "Moreover, it is necessary to extend such measures in the future as the West would be confident that Iran does not develop nuclear potential within the additional protocol."

"This postponement relieves tension on the Iranian issue as on the one hand, the pressure on Iran is slackened, and on the other side, restrains Israel's from the blow," he said.

"The West could lift the sanctions on marine cargo insurance and soften the bank sanctions," he said.

"Germany could be one of the initiators of the rapprochement process between the West and Iran," he said. "Germany could benefit from its business restoration in Iran. But Iran was less independent than was required for such a step."

Together with other permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, the U.S. continue the negotiations with Iran aimed at working out the final agreement on nuclear program of this country which must be signed by summer.

Relations between Iran and Russia

Russia and Iran have complex relations, a so-called 'cautious partnership'. The countries still have not reached the normal cooperation level, the expert said.

"The relations between Russia and Iran mainly depend on who is in power in both of the countries," Yevseyev said.

Today, Russia and Iran can cooperate by implementing the oil contract, that's to say the agreement in accordance to which Iran and Russia will carry out the barter of the Iranian oil for Russian products, according to the expert.

Nevertheless, this contract has purport only under the conditions of existence of sanctions against Iran, according to Yevseyev.

"In this case, Russia would be better not to go for it now, but in August, when the talks on Iran start slipping, as it will be clear to everybody that probably it is impossible to reach a final agreement," Yevseyev said.

Additionally, after the elections in Ukraine in May, under the circumstances of the heightened confrontation with the West, Russia will be able to begin the implementation of this contract which will take Iran out of the sanctions," the expert said.

In this case we are talking about a lot of oil from Iran that Russia will not be able to refine and use in the country due to the technical characteristics of Iranian hydrocarbons and problems in transporting such volumes of oil, the expert said.

Yevseyev thinks that one can start with smaller volumes, but the sides are technically not ready for this yet.

The non-delivery of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran is also a stumbling block between the two countries, the expert said, adding that Iran persists in this issue, keeping a lever of pressure on Russia.

Nevertheless, Yevseyev believes that there can't be talks about establishing normal relations unless the two countries eliminate this problem.

Translated by S.I, E.A., N.H., L.Z.

Edited by C.N.

Museums like War Trophy Park in Baku, open in many countries - Russian historian
Museums like War Trophy Park in Baku, open in many countries - Russian historian
Soldiers were unprepared for war with Azerbaijan - ex-secretary of Armenian Security Council
Soldiers were unprepared for war with Azerbaijan - ex-secretary of Armenian Security Council
Relatives of missing Armenian soldiers continue to hold building of MoD in blockade
Relatives of missing Armenian soldiers continue to hold building of MoD in blockade
Loading Bars
Latest
Uzbekistan to invest in viticulture dev't
Kazakhstan’s national postal service operator to buy consumables via tender
Uzbekistan continues ramping up flour, cereal exports
Mine explosion in Azerbaijan takes life of one more serviceman
Uzbekistan, Russia implementing numerous joint projects
Georgia reports 1,077 new cases of coronavirus for April 16
New Delhi a natural partner in shaping Indo-Pacific region: Australian PM Scott Morrison
Economist Intelligence Unit calculates 13 per cent growth for India, more than IMF prediction
Kazakhstan boosts exports to Russia over 2M2021
French Bouygues carries out construction of two new facilities in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan's ADIF shares data on compensations paid to depositors of closed banks'
No point in discussing Nagorno-Karabakh problem in previous context - Russian expert
2021 to see over 3% increase in global gas demand
Georgia sees increase in hotel price index for March 2021
Kazakhstan unveils timeframe for large-scale crops sowing
Kazakhstan shares vehicle production data
Prices for precious metals up in Azerbaijan
Turkmenistan signs number of documents with international organizations
EBRD to invest in another project in Azerbaijan
National Bank of Georgia sells funds to stabilize lari exchange rate
Azerbaijan sees growth in retail turnover of ICT products from early 2021
IMF eyeing support to Kazakhstan's cybersecurity and risk management sectors
Iran - P5+1 on right track in Vienna talks - Deputy FM
Italian Senate delegation visits Azerbaijan's liberated Aghdam (PHOTO)
Islamic Solidarity Games-2021 may be postponed - Federation's Executive Committee
Azerbaijan’s pipeline gas deliveries set to increase by over 15%
1Q2021 volume of sold food products in Azerbaijan's trade network up
Denmark speeds up reopening as epidemic stabilises
Azerbaijan IT company monitoring performance of financial structures
Kazakhstan carrying out several projects to boost local cars manufacturing
Turkmen-Chinese partnership has potential in number of areas
European new car sales jump 87% year-on-year in March
Kazakh-German oil extracting JV opens tender for design documentation dev't
Azerbaijani oil prices disclosed
Azerbaijani gas among drivers of Eurasian output growth in Q1 2021
None of Armenian PM's statements worth meaningful comment - Azerbaijani MFA
Axpo plans to produce green hydrogen
Oil climbs to four-week high on strong China data, demand revival
Azerbaijani insurer reports profit growth year-on-year
Kazakhstan's trade structure with EAEU countries for 2M2021 unveiled
Azerbaijani currency rates for Apr.16
Azerbaijan shares footage from Aghdam's Baghbanlar village (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan records high demand for underwriting services in local capital market
Coca-Cola Amatil votes in favour of European bottler's $7.68 bln takeover deal
Share of Azerbaijani gas in Greece’s imports reach 18%
Armenia violating int'l legal principles by refusing to give up minefield maps - Chair of Azerbaijani Parliament
SOCAR announces time of starting gas injection into storages
Rostselmash talks plans on supply of agricultural machinery to Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan enhancing support to SMEs (PHOTO)
Co-op between Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan progresses in all areas - Chair of Azerbaijani Parliament (PHOTO)
Thailand reports record daily number of 1,582 coronavirus cases
Mine clearing operations continue in Azerbaijan's liberated Aghdam
COVID-19 negatively affects mobile segment in Georgia
Georgian mobile operator Silknet’s revenue to increase in 2021 - Galt & Taggart
Major Bulgarian imports from Georgia include copper ores and crude petroleum oils
Azerbaijan developing plan for sustainable business
Georgia implements significant reforms within IMF's Extended Fund Facility program
Japan's March exports grew at fastest pace in more than 3 years
Amazon needs to do better for employees - Bezos
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan have potential for co-op in maritime transportation
Turkey's central bank holds key policy rate steady at 19%
2,656 new daily COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Iran buys 60 million doses Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine
Eurowings kicks off Dusseldorf-Tbilisi-Dusseldorf flights
Apple announces 200 mln USD fund in forestry projects to reduce carbon from atmosphere
U.S. replaces Britain to be largest source of Ireland's imported goods
Azerbaijan's AzerGold to fund creating test laboratory in Dashkasan
Daimler AG unveiled the electric Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury sedan (PHOTO)
Canadian lawmakers call for action from U.S., Canadian leaders in pipeline dispute
Economic outlook is brightening - Fed's Mester
Antibiotics in development not enough to tackle 'superbugs' - WHO
China’s Geely targets slice of premium electric car market with ‘startup’ brand Zeekr
Kazakhstan to create concept for development of creative industries
Italy hikes 2021 budget deficit to 11.8% of GDP: source
Turkey registers more than 61 000 new coronavirus cases
IMF corrects estimate on Iran's foreign exchange bank reserves
Kazakhs Association founded in Japan
Turkey provided invaluable support to Azerbaijan in information war with Armenia - MP
Georgian Co-Investment Fund eyes to implements another energy project
Baku Metro opens tender to buy metal structures
Volume of lending to construction sector greatly increases in Azerbaijan
Net profit of Azerbaijani ASB Bank in 1Q2021 decreases
Azerbaijan eyes starting fish caviar export to Hong Kong in 2021
Aggregate capital of Azerbaijani ASB Bank grows
Georgia's Silknet maintains strong cash balance in 2020
Armenia confuses history with mythology again - Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry
Azerbaijani president congratulates president of Djibouti
Turkey leads among countries investing in Azerbaijan's non-oil sector (PHOTO)
Museums like War Trophy Park in Baku, open in many countries - Russian historian
Russia ready to assist in normalization of relations between Azerbaijan, Armenia
Azerbaijan has great opportunities for wind energy dev't - expert
Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry responds to statement of OSCE MG co-chairs
National Bank of Georgia sees decrease in international reserves
Various types of fabrics exported to Turkmenistan from EAEU countries
Kazakhstan's KMG Engineering to buy pump-compressors via tender
1Q2021 assets of Azerbaijan Industry Bank slightly down
Turkmenistan Railways opens tender for installation of surveillance cameras
Kazakhstan’s telecommunications operator to pay dividends for 2020
Kazakhstan’s Kazatomprom sells its solar energy subsidiary
Azerbaijan, Belarus discuss military-technical cooperation prospects
All news