«Only incompetent people can demand breakthroughs from such meetings»

16.03.11

«Only incompetent people can demand breakthroughs from such meetings»

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

News. Az interviews Vadim Mukhanov, senior researcher at the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations' (MGIMO’s) Caucasus Studies Centre.

How can you comment on the results of the Sochi meeting on Karabakh?

I think every trilateral meeting which end in achievement of definite agreement though not of global concern can be assessed as effective and positive. The conflict we discussed in the past decade taught us to be happy even with the small step of the parties towards each other. Such a step was made during the Sochi meeting.

There are people who believe that the agreement on exchange of war prisoners cannot be considered a breakthrough for the resolution of the conflict and Russia will try to create a visibility of progress in the negotiation process. What do you think about it?

I cannot agree on this opinion, which little resembles an expert opinion. Any person, familiar with the situation around this conflict and the positions of the parties, must realize the difficulty to promote a breakthrough in the conflict settlement. It is unwise and naïve if someone thought that an agreement on one of the key issues will be achieved in Sochi at once… They thought the presidents will meet and sign a peace treaty or a document, satisfying all. Comprehensive agreements are being prepared for a long time, during long consultations of the parties, which are not observed. What can be said in this case? I would like to repeat that only incompetent people can demand some breakthroughs from such meetings.

I would like to remind that after a similar meeting, agreements to exchange war prisoners and dead bodies were achieved in Astrakhan in autumn last year. However, everything ended on that. Militaristic statements from both parties blocked this result, along with the OSCE summit in Astana. Making no headway, the parties decided to return to at least any possible compromise, which Russia helped them to reach in Sochi.

Can the improvement of the US-Russian relations improve the interaction between these two countries that are main mediators on Karabakh, in the resolution of the problem?

Unfortunately, no serious changes are observed in the Russian-US relations so car, this year can make most things clear, so let’s wait… Nonetheless, Moscow and Washington pursue the only goal, they do much to preserve peace and avert new war in the conflict area.

Is it possible to say that the current sole activeness of Moscow in Karabakh settlement may be more useful for the settlement of the conflict than the joint activity of all the three mediators of the Minsk Group?

I would like to specify that Russia is obliged to carry this burden due to the changes in international situation, it is obliged to take up mediatory mission, since the countries far from the region are busy with other serious problems today. The Middle Eastern direction is a priority for Washington.

The French government is concerned over this not less than its ally. In case of humanitarian disaster in Libya or neighbor countries and, consequently, the flow of refugees to France, Paris will have to settle more urgent problems than the Caucasian. Though, undoubtedly, the consolidated position of leading world actors could become a stimulating factor in the settlement process. However, today mediating initiatives are proposed only by Russia.

And at the end what can you say about the opinion that Moscow holds the key to Karabakh settlement?

It is a popular tale, often used by different representatives of conflict parties to justify their own inability for compromise and constructive communication and sometimes merely helplessness. The conflict parties have no much opportunity to press on Russia and unless they do not wish to make compromises, nothing will change cardinally.

If we speak about the ‘keys to Karabakh solution’, they are in Karabakh with duplicates in Baku and Yerevan.

Leyla TAGIYEVA

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Источник: News. Az
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