RUSSIA NOT DETERMINED TO LEAVE SOUTH CAUCASUS
Karine Ter-Sahakyan

PanARMENIAN.Net
April 3, 2012

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.



From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress