November 3, 2008 - 13:37 AMT
Moscow declaration to remain on paper without Karabakh participation
A 5-item declaration was signed by the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on November 2.

"It's not accidental that the declaration was sealed on the threshold of presidential election in the U.S., whose interest to the Caucasus has waned recently," Andrey Areshev, head of Moscow-based Strategic Culture Fund, commented to a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

The declaration is rather vague, what is quite natural in case of complicated conflicts, according to him "The norms of the international law will be interpreted by the sides in compliance with their diametrically opposite approaches to the problem, as it was before. But actually, the agreement to continue peaceful talks is worthy of praise," Areshev said.

"Mention of the OSCE Minsk Group role in the process is, to all appearance, a sedative measure for the U.S. and EU, which always suspect Russia of "imperial ambitions" and whose activity in the Caucasus is conditioned by the wish to secure their economic and strategic interests in the region," he added.

At that, the expert made special mention of item 3 of the declaration, which says that "the sides (including Russia) agree that peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be achieved through international guarantees."

"Neither the degree of these guarantees nor their parameters have been outlined yet. With the status of Karabakh undetermined, deployment of peacekeeping force in the security zone might 'unfreeze' the conflict. Resolution is impossible without engaging Stepanakert as a full-fledged party in talks, in compliance with the 1994 Budapest summit agreement and other fundamental documents. The Declaration will remain on paper without NKR's participation in the process," he said.

"Declaration is an interim step meant to assert Russia's positions in resolution of Caucasus conflicts. However, attempts to neglect the future status of Karabakh and guarantees of its security are doomed to failure," Andrey Areshev concluded.