Russia not determined to leave South Caucasus

Russia not determined to leave South Caucasus

Baku fails to realize that Moscow will not force Armenia to give Azerbaijan the territories that belong to Russia itself by the peace treaty of Gulistan, which has been neither canceled nor denounced.

The visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Armenia and Azerbaijan on the formal occasion of the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the two republics of Transcaucasia was actually called to remind those who forgot: Russia is not going to voluntarily leave the South Caucasus.

PanARMENIAN.Net - This visit has acquired great importance lately, when given the Iranian nuclear program and the frequent threats of Israel, the South Caucasus countries may be driven into a meaningless and doomed war with a totally vague end. And Lavrov’s goal is to just warn Armenia and especially Azerbaijan against getting involved in issues that do not concern them. At a press conference in Yerevan, the RA and RF Foreign Ministers confirmed the identity of their views on the Iranian issue, which, actually, does not exist.

Armenia has repeatedly spoken on Iran's nuclear program, said Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandyan at a joint meeting with Russian FM Sergey Lavrov. In his words, Yerevan supports peaceful resolution of issues relating to Iran and its nuclear program through joint efforts of Iran and the international community. “Iran is our neighboring country, and we are interested in that the ways to address issues relating to Iran pass through dialogue and negotiations rather than force,” Nalbandyan said.

Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, in his turn, noted that in case of development of the worst possible scenario i.e. military intervention, it would affect Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, the whole South Caucasus region, the Middle East and the Arab world. He believes that exclusively legal means of peaceful resolution of the problem should be applied against Iran, ruling out military intervention.

As for the Karabakh issue, here too Sergey Lavrov made it clear that OSCE is the unique and indispensable negotiator in the settlement process. Nevertheless, for some reason, Baku is waiting for the visit of Russian Foreign Minister with the secret hope that Lavrov will force Yerevan to sign an agreement and hand over to Azerbaijan the liberated territories that make up the security zone of Karabakh. Head of Department on Social Political Issues of the Presidential Administration, Ali Hasanov said: “We expect much from Russia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. There is no other country in the world, which would have stronger influence to resolve this conflict. We make this statement, considering the approach to regional issues, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, and existing pressure on Armenia. Russia's influence on Armenia has no analogues in the world. It can send this country in the desired direction and direct it to constructivism in any issue.”

Right, Russia and Armenia are allies, but that’s about it. And to demand anything from Yerevan in the form they want to hear in Baku, Moscow cannot. First of all, Moscow itself does not need it. Besides, the co-chairs are three in number and it’s them that can offer - but not demand - settlement options. One just wonders whether Baku would go for it if the U.S. required that she terminate the military contract for $1.6 billion with Israel. The only thing Baku is capable of is the sudden increase of the lease price for the Gabala radar station. Although, somehow they stopped writing about it... According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, during his upcoming visit to Azerbaijan Sergey Lavrov is to discuss issues of bilateral trade-economic, inter-regional and cross-border cooperation, as well as humanitarian aspects of the relationship, settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the status of the Caspian Sea.

Reverting to the Armenian-Russian relations, let us say that Baku fails to realize that Yerevan and Moscow cannot clash by definition for the historical, friendly, and religious ties they share. And even more so, Moscow will not force Armenia to give Azerbaijan the territories that belong to Russia itself by the peace treaty of Gulistan, which has been neither canceled nor denounced.

Karine Ter-Sahakyan
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