What’s more important for Artsakh – recognition of its independence or security guarantees?
Security is most important here. Nobody can provide real guarantees of such security at themoment. Azerbaijan is an aggressive state, with its leadership preparing for hostilities over the pastfew years. Lack of common sense and simple logic of the ruling elite shows that the authoritieswill never consider the victims of the potential armed conflict. At the same time, we see Armenia’spatriotic circles perceive Artsakh’s independence as the major goal of Yerevan. This approach isbased on the sense of justice and deep solidarity with their own people. However, we now face thesituation of a mad neighbour swinging his knife and threatening with homicide. There is urgentneed for a shrink and security guards. Recognition of Artsakh by Armenia will yield no victims andbloodshed only in case serious guarantees of security are provided. Only Russia, with Iran, to someextent, may become real guarantor of security, not only for Stepanakert but all states of the SouthCaucasus as well.
The international community still discusses Ramil Safarov's extradition. How long will it last, andcan the issue cause “much trouble” for Ilham Aliyev?
First of all, I believe that the Azerbaijani pervert murderer is keeping an eye on the links relatedto his name on the internet. In order to make him less happy, I suggest calling this gangster by thenickname the Hungarian media have labeled him with – “the axe murderer”.Lack of intellectual faculties of the Azerbaijani government has indeed drawn Baku into a deadlock.First, they should have thought how the West would perceive liberation of the “axe murderer”.Second, they should have known that the Armenian Diaspora is capable of organizing a veryefficient PR campaign abroad, thus further deteriorating Azerbaijan’s image. Actually, this issuehas already appeared troublesome for president Aliyev, but it seems that Baku leadership doesn’tcare much about it. The situation might have been somewhat different if they were expected to holdfair elections in future; now, the winner candidate for the next year’s presidential vote is alreadyapparent anyway. The confidence in one’s own rectitude has transformed into impudence long ago.
Do you think this gave the U.S. good leverage with regard to Azerbaijan?
Washington still needs Aliyev. One cannot say that the Hungarian government (U.S.-controlledprime minister Orbán) and Azerbaijani authorities implemented the “axe murderer” operationwithout Washington’s silent consent. The U.S. Department of State responded to the incident toopromptly for us to believe it was unaware of Aliyev’s decision. Azerbaijani leader’s disgrace provesthat the U.S. is already considering the option of the “Azerbaijani spring”, namely dethronementof Aliyev and appointment of new leadership. Ilham Aliyev appeared in a trap; he might not evenhave thought of a similar trap Hosni Mubarak found himself in last year, and the outcome was notpositive for him. The U.S. may test the efficiency of using Aliyev in their game against Iran. Ifhe fails, he can be easily replaced with another representative of Washington, and a poor-imageuncomfortable ally can be dismissed. The Azerbaijani leader will then suddenly transform from arespectable friend into a dictator...
How do you see the future of the OSCE Minsk Group?
The OSCE Minsk Group will further carry on its ineffective activities, though its mere existenceserves as an example of a discussion platform and a contact forum, with no opportunity of realconflict resolution. While experienced diplomat Andrzej Kasprzyk knows the issue perfectly well,and the OSCE Minsk Group regularly discusses interesting ideas, it does not represent the interestsof all interested parties of the conflict. Why the U.S. should be more involved in the issue than Stepanakert? Absence of Artsakh's representatives in the negotiation process demonstrates that evenconstructive dialogue is impossible at the moment, let alone the resolution of this conflict.