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South Caucasus politics resembles a poker game

Alexei Vlasov:

South Caucasus politics resembles a poker game

PanARMENIAN.Net - The latest developments in the South Caucasus, specifically in Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone gave rise to various forecasts and comments. With Azerbaijan's frequent threats of war and blackmail as well as failure of Armenian-Turkish rapprochement process, the situation gets more and more tensed. Deputy dean of history chair of Moscow State University, Dr. Alexei Vlasov commented on the situation to PanARMENIAN.Net.
How can online media influence the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement process?
Under the circumstances, some common ground can be found through web communications, thus allowing for some rapprochement and trust between the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies. Each side will certainly get its own way but the main task is not to incite new disputes. PanARMENIAN.Net and Azerbaijani Trend News Agency are portals which observe this rule. Such unbiased platforms can help the sides reach a compromise.

How can public dialogue be developed, with ongoing anti-Armenian and anti-Azerbaijani attitudes persisting?
Nationalism is developing not only in Armenia or Azerbaijan but also in Eastern Europe. To be more precise, it’s a global process. People should learn to assert their interests without picturing neighbor as enemies. Public diplomacy can help heal hatred between Armenians and Azerbaijanis. Steps towards reconciliation can be taken by internet community. When Armenian and Azerbaijani youth can hold an online forum avoiding mutual accusations, a real breakthrough will be registered in Karabakh process.

Meetings between representatives of Armenia and Azerbaijan are held in third countries. How effective these may be?
Such meetings seem fruitless. I think that Azerbaijanis should come to Armenia and Armenians should visit Azerbaijan. Currently, we are working at a project envisaging mutual visits.

How would you comment on the recent presidential meeting in Saint Petersburg?
In my opinion, Ilham Aliyev’s statements were addressed not to Armenia but to the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, who often lack cooperation. 15-year activity produced no result. The sides should assume a stand on Madrid Principles, with the help of mediators. Meanwhile, Washington is having a hard time after the failure of the Armenian-Turkish process, so it has taken a break.

Azeri media is full of warlike statements continuously made by high-ranking officials…
There is a proverb “A lean compromise is better than a fat lawsuit”. Politicians often make abrupt statements but it doesn’t mean that they are ready for extreme measures. Politics is the South Caucasus resembles a game of poker. Players press, testing each other’s strength.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan / PanARMENIAN News
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