By Rashid Shirinov
Unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia has no desire to conduct productive negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Russian political analyst and expert on international issues Evgeny Mikhailov told Azernews on July 18.
“Readiness of the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for negotiations is the first requirement to intensify the negotiation process on the conflict,” he said.
The expert also believes that it is necessary to change the guarantor countries of the negotiation process.
“The involvement of third countries has always been considered a positive thing for achieving peace, but in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict it is necessary to remove the U.S. and France since they are absolutely useless countries on this issue,” Mikhailov said.
He added that the real guarantors of peace in the region are, first of all, Russia as well as Turkey and Iran. These countries should help to find a diplomatic consensus between Baku and Yerevan, the expert mentioned.
Mikhailov further touched upon the foreign policy of Armenia after the new authorities’ coming to power.
“I am concerned about the current policy of Armenia. It is aimed at the termination of relations with Moscow, which may affect the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem and regional security as a whole,” he noted.
The expert mentioned that in case of full orientation of Yerevan towards the West, Moscow will not be able to guarantee Armenia’s security interests. And if Armenia insists on the withdrawal of the Russian military base from Gyumri, then Moscow is likely to take drastic political decisions.
“I mean a complete change of Russia’s policy on the South Caucasus. This is primarily a possible convergence within military-political alliances with those countries that Armenia calls enemies,” Mikhailov said.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign state with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Until now, Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz