Does Russia want Karabakh conflict resolved and on what terms?

Most likely, in Sochi on March 5 the parties “will record a desire for dialogue and for resolution on peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”.

In a week there will be another meeting between the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan with participation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. And for the umpteenth time, on the eve of the meeting there begin various kinds of speculations. Let us note at once that these speculations have nothing to do with the reality; in fact, they are intended to mislead the Armenian and Azerbaijani people.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Rather a big role is played also by another portion of “reliable data” from WikiLeaks on alleged supply of armaments to Armenia by Russia and some new “details” about the life of the Aliyev clan. Most realistic seems another attempt of sabotage to be committed by Azerbaijan in relation to Nagorno-Karabakh, at least because it has already been tested, back in 2010. The world community must acknowledge that admonitions have no effect on Ilham Aliyev; he stubbornly considers himself right in the issue of ownership of Nagorno-Karabakh. One gets the impression that he is so obsessed with delusions about his being in demand that he fails to notice anything around him. But it is his own business and it’s not for us to judge the actions and deeds of the Azerbaijani President. We’ll only note that even the U.S. has given him to understand that there is always a replacement to anyone. Let's say, President of the International Republican Institute (IRI), Lorne Craner ranked Azerbaijan among the countries that will be influenced by the events in the Middle East. Craner said all the countries should draw conclusions from events in the Middle East. “What happened in Tunisia – where economic modernization that mainly benefited metropolitan areas was accompanied by political repression and worsening corruption – may hold clues to the future of nations with similar situations in other regions, such as Kazakhstan or China, and less well run autocracies, such as Azerbaijan and Venezuela”.

President of IRI hinted that Washington is working with “alternatives”, recalling that in due time in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, for example, the Bush Administration assiduously cultivated and aided the next generation of leaders, resulting in democratic figures replacing authoritarians. “Therefore, it is important, when we necessarily have relations with authoritarian governments, to plan for the day when they may no longer be in power, and to cultivate and assist those who may replace them,” Craner said.

So, Ilham Aliyev had better care about his future, rather than lay down ephemeral conditions on Karabakh or offer the Azerbaijani oil instead of Libyan. Baku fails to understand that if the Azeri oil were actually of interest to Europe, the latter would not shut her eyes to the excesses of Gaddafi.

Most likely, on March 5 the parties in Sochi “will record a desire for dialogue and for resolution on peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict”, which, in fact, means nothing. Of course, the presidents will agree on something there, but nobody knows what it’ll be. And guesswork, in this case, is a vain effort.

As for well-wishers from European structures, they once again began to speak of “new opportunities”. Thus, Peter Semneby, former Special Representative of EU for the South Caucasus, said the EU expects progress from the Presidents’ meeting on March 5. Probably, the only thing to expect is for Ilham Aliyev to finally listen to reason and stop talking about war. Hardly are there any hopes for it, but who knows?

There is one more nuance. All non-regional players almost agree that only Russia will be able to solve this conflict. They may be right. This is what Semneby said, and probably this is what the State Department and the Foreign Ministry of France think. But the question is whether Russia wants the conflict resolved and, if yes, on what terms.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
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