Karabakh solution requires «consolidated pressure»


Karabakh solution requires «consolidated pressure»

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.

Baku has given Moscow its response to President Medvedev’s new proposals on Karabakh, while Armenia is dragging out its reply. Is there any hope of an imminent breakthrough on a Karabakh settlement, even though the basic principles for a conflict settlement were not agreed at the summit in Kazan?

There are almost no hopes of a breakthrough on this issue in the medium-term and recent meetings, including the one in Kazan, are a good illustration of this. Sharp bellicose statements, regular exchanges of fire and provocations on the contact line and military parades cannot bring a conflict solution even an inch closer. The sides still have different positions and there is no serious progress.

May these proposals be seen as a response to the conjecture that the Russian president was so upset at the failure of the Kazan meeting that he might give up mediation in the negotiating process?

No, this conjecture is a long way from a real understanding of the situation. The events of recent weeks show the contrary — senior Russian officials are involved in the negotiating process between the conflict parties. The international mediators praised Russian diplomatic activity in recent weeks. This seems quite fair in the light of the visits of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Yerevan and Baku, as well as the trip of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to Baku, Yerevan and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Do you think Russia has enough potential to make a breakthrough in the conflict settlement alone, rather than as part of the Russia-USA-France troika?

No, I don’t think so since Russia’s capacities are limited. Consolidated pressure from world leaders, primarily Russia and the United States, seems more effective to me in the current situation. It can work only based on the mutual interest of the conflict parties, a trend that we cannot see at the moment. Their demands and proposals cannot be described as concessional and this does not allow optimistic forecasts for the near future.

Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov told Ekho Moskvy radio that Russia would benefit from replacing tanks with tankers, implying the replacement of its military presence in Armenia with an economic presence, considering the growing Russian-Turkish interaction and their own economic interests in the South Caucasus. What can you say about this?

I think Azerbaijan would benefit more if its diplomats engaged in promotion and implementation of their own foreign policy rather than telling their neighbours what to do. I don’t like this statement, since it poses questions to Mr Azimov.

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Источник: News.Az
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