Superpowers 'won’t let Iran get involved' in Karabakh resolution


Superpowers 'won’t let Iran get involved' in Karabakh resolution

Эксперты МГИМО: Муханов Вадим Михайлович, к.ист.н.

What are the main threats to security in the Caspian region?

The Caspian region is quite explosive and has several serious threats. First, it is the Karabakh conflict; second, it is the related arms race involving the opposing parties; third, it is the outstanding issues on the division of the Caspian (the unsettled relations of some coastline states may result in a serious conflict, especially if we remember several situations that threaten security); fourth, the campaign by a number of leading world players to transform Iran into a rogue state is also dangerous and has a negative impact on the situation in the region.

The Iranian and Russian leaders said at the Caspian summit that states outside the region should not interfere in the affairs of the littoral states. How likely is such interference, in particular, by the US?

I think this remark is quite fair. The summits of the Caspian states and most bilateral meetings just prove it, since they demonstrate great mutual understanding and trust between the senior officials. There is no need for any mediator or arbiter in the Caspian region; the interference of superpowers is not always useful in the resolution of disputed regional issues, as the lobbying of interests often damages the region.

How do you explain Russia’s current activeness on a Karabakh resolution, compared to the passivity of the other two Minsk Group mediators — the United States and France?

Russia was initially leading this process. It is deeply interested in peace and tranquility in the Caucasus, since it is nearby and is also a Caucasus state, unlike the other countries you mentioned. The latter are engaged in the resolution of their own painful problems. For example, France is hit by a serious internal political crisis, the economic situation is quite unstable and there are great difficulties inside the EU. Today the priority for the United States is the resolution of the Afghan and Iraqi issues, as well as the domestic economic situation. For the current administration the Caucasus is not priority number one or two.

Russia differs from all possible mediators and represents the best possible option. It has rich experience in the region and deep knowledge of it. It has close ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan and is interested in deepening and strengthening them, for which it is necessary to raise the security level. Large Azerbaijani and Armenian diasporas (whose number amounts to seven-digit figures) live in Russia and most of them are citizens of Russia. Undoubtedly, Russia, which is a leading world players and is historically situated nearby, on the other side of the mountains, should use its influence, experience and potential to influence the resolution and lead this process. This can be seen in recent events.

Iran recently expressed the wish to mediate a Karabakh settlement. How do you explain this interest and can this participation be productive?

Iran’s interest is extremely pragmatic and lies in distracting the attention of the world community from the resolution of the Iranian problem. The Karabakh conflict is the best way to do this. Iran is hardly likely to take part in the resolution. Its proposal is unrealistic, as none of the leading world players will allow it there, though Iran is interested in the resolution of the conflict and unblocking Armenia, which can become a new transit corridor for it.

Do you think the problems of the Caspian region, including conflicts, should be settled by regional countries without external interference?

This is fair. As for the Karabakh conflict, the recent meetings with participation of the presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia prove that such a trilateral format without mediators from outside the region can bring the desired result.

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Источник: News.Az
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