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Russia Does Everything To Prevent Karabakh Settlement - Stratfor

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  • Russia Does Everything To Prevent Karabakh Settlement - Stratfor


    Russia has taken the driver's seat over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    and does everything to prevent its settlement, Eugene Chausovsky,
    a Stratfor analyst writes in an article.

    "A cease-fire was broken between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday
    after an exchange of gunfire occurred between the two countries on
    the line of contact. These skirmishes occurred after the latest round
    of negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh, which is a disputed region
    between the two countries, failed to produce a settlement on Friday,"
    reads the article.

    Further, it says that while negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh have
    been going on for several years, there are significant geopolitical
    realities that serve as obstacles to any sort of agreement over
    this issue.

    "The primary actor when considering the prospects for a
    Nagorno-Karabakh settlement is not Azerbaijan or Armenia but, rather,
    Russia. Russia's primary goal in the former Soviet Union is to advance
    its interests in these countries while blocking the interests of
    foreign powers and particularly the West," writes Chausovsky.

    "This is especially the case in the Caucasus region, which is made up
    of Armenia, Azerbaijan as well as Georgia, and these three countries
    are heavily pursued by the West. Within these pursuits, Azerbaijan
    is the key as it has the largest population in the region, it borders
    both Russia and Iran in strategic points, and perhaps most importantly,
    it has significant quantities of oil and natural gas".

    The author goes on to mention that these "energy resources allow
    Azerbaijan to be a significant exporter of energy to the West and
    therefore serve as a threat to Russia's energy relationship and
    political relationship with Europe.

    "This then explains Russia's relationship with Armenia, which Russia
    supports politically, economically and has a troop presence within
    Armenia. This also explains Russia's position on Nagorno-Karabakh,
    which is to appear that Russia is trying to do everything it can as
    a negotiator to reach a settlement while in reality do everything it
    can to prevent such a settlement".

    The article further says that as long as the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
    remains an issue, then Azerbaijan's access to the west via Turkey is
    blocked through this corridor. And while Azerbaijan has been increasing
    its military expenditures on the back of its growing energy exports,
    the fact remains that Russia's military presence in Armenia will
    serve as a significant blocking force to Azerbaijan.

    "In addition, Russia also has a military presence in two breakaway
    territories of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, giving Russia even
    more leverage over Azerbaijan. Therefore, it ultimately boils down
    to Russia's position when assessing the prospects for any meaningful
    change to the status of Nagorno-Karabakh".

    From: Baghdasarian