Russian expert: International community not in a hurry to solve Karabakh conflict [EXCLUSIVE]

9 July 2019 10:33 (UTC+04:00)

By Abdul Kerimkhanov

The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a hot point appeared in the South Caucasus after the collapse of the Soviet Union, remains unresolved, but the world community does not pay due attention to it.

“The international community must say a weighty word regarding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, but it is in no hurry to solve the problem, preferring to delay the conflict resolution until the parties are completely exhausted,” Denis Korkodinov, Editor of the Investigative Service of the Interstate socio-political television and radio magazine World Community, said in an interview with Azernews.

He said that since the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the attempts of the negotiation process undertaken by Baku and Yerevan have been repeatedly supplemented with a series of ambiguous formulations that, in fact, have no effect on the warring parties. He added that these formulations did not contribute to the parties’ relationship.

"Azerbaijan and Armenia adhere to diametrically opposed positions in the negotiations. Baku is trying to adhere to the real military-political picture that has developed in the Nagorno-Karabakh zone, calling for the restoration of its territorial integrity, while Yerevan argues its position with completely abstract notions about “Armenian rights”," he stressed.

The expert mentioned that the criterion of reasonable expectations formulated by international norms about the immediate withdrawal of the Armenian Armed Forces from Nagorno-Karabakh is non-binding for the Armenian side, which often leads to escalation of the conflict.

He recalled that one of the key principles of the negotiation process which Baku adheres to is the restoration of its territorial integrity, whilst Yerevan is not ready to follow this principle, based on its own conviction that the regime established in Nagorno-Karabakh was created to repel potential "Azerbaijani aggression".

Korkodinov criticized this argument of the Armenian side since in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, only Armenia was the source of aggression, while Azerbaijan still exercises its grounded right to defense.

The experience of the negotiation process vividly demonstrated that for almost 25 years Azerbaijan and Armenia have no any progress in resolving the conflict, because Yerevan is still not ready for negotiations. All diplomatic measures to induce Armenia to accept the conditions of Azerbaijan have exhausted, he noted.

He mentioned that the parties to the conflict turned out to be extremely close to the “point of no return” in the negotiations when the language of diplomacy can change into the language of the weapon. Korkodinov stressed that this extremely dangerous phenomenon can be prevented if Yerevan fulfills all the conditions of Baku without preliminary circumstances.

"Armenia is trying to give the leadership of the self-proclaimed “Nagorno-Karabakh republic” the status of a participant in the negotiation process. However, this position is erroneous, since the conflict between Baku and Yerevan is exclusively bilateral when the participation of no third party can be foreseen in principle," the expert said.

Commenting on the recent Armenian provocations on the frontline, the expert noted that non-observance of the ceasefire regime in Nagorno-Karabakh is extremely dangerous since it creates the basis for a new wave of regional tensions.

Speaking about agreements reached in Dushanbe in September 2018 between Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders, Korkodinov mentioned that Baku still tries to adhere to the norms of international agreements, including those reached in Dushanbe, unlike Yerevan.

"Thus, the previously adopted armistice agreements lose their relevance until Armenia is forced to peace," he stressed.

The Russian expert considers that Tehran is not interested in the escalation of regional conflicts, including in Nagorno-Karabakh, under current conditions. He added that in this regard, Iran will not participate in armed actions against Azerbaijan.

As for Armenia’s intentions to conduct military exercises with Iran near the borders of Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan, the expert said that this idea is dictated by the need to divert their own army from solving internal problems.

Korkodinov said due to the complication of relations with the "Karabakh clan" and Robert Kocharyan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan began to fear his own army, where his opponents' positions are quite strong.

"For this reason, Pashinyan instructs the Armenian Armed Forces to participate in various military events so that the army does not fix its angry eyes towards the Armenian PM’s residence. Therefore, it is unlikely that possible Armenian participation in maneuvers near the border with Nakhchivan pursues the goal of a probable attack.

Answering the question, what will be the impact on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement of the dispute between the Karabakh and Yerevan Armenians, in the person of Bako Sahakyan and Nikol Pashinyan, due to the arrest of former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, he noted that this aggravation in the relations has a positive effect on Azerbaijan’s policy in the region.

"Azerbaijan does not need to do anything. Baku just needs to monitor the situation. As a result of the struggle, the Armenian clans themselves will do everything that will be beneficial to Azerbaijan," the expert concluded.

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Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94 

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