Today.Az, Azerbaijan
Nov 1 2008

Alexander Dugin: "Russia must improve relations with Azerbaijan,
because Aliyev acted correctly and competently during the conflict in
South Ossetia"

01 November 2008 [11:55] - Today.Az

The Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia will meet in
Moscow in the nearest future and this will be followed by their
meeting with the OSCE Minsk Group on the Karabakh conflict
resolution. After it the Presidents of the three countries will meet
on November 2. The Karabakh problem has been deadlocked since 1994
when the agreement on reconciliation came to power, while the
conflict has been lasting for already 20 years. In the light of
events in the Caucasus, it is possible to say that Russia's interests
are more directed on Azerbaijan, while earlier Russia has been
inclined towards Armenia.

Alexander Dugin, famous political scientist, head of the Center of
geopolitical expertise and leader of the international Eurasian
movement, spoke of what Medvedev can offer on Nagorno Karabakh and the
nature of the upcoming meetings in his interview to Nakanune.RU.

- The trilateral meeting of the Presidents will be held on November 2
for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Which steps are
expected to be done during it and from which country are they

- It is now necessary to raise an issue of the exclusion of the US
side from the format of the Minsk Group on the resolution of the
Karabakh conflict as the United States take a nonconstructive
position on the post-Soviet area and just worsen the problems.

Now a new model of relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan is being
formed. They seem to be more perspective than ever. Nagorno Karabakh
conflict settlement can not satisfy only the Azerbaijani side, for
Russia had strategically supported Armenia before a definite
moment. Armenians concluded a strategic partnership with us while
Azerbaijan was inclined towards GUAM. After the crisis in Georgia the
situation has changed significantly. Aliyev took a constructive
position regarding Russia and did not support Georgia, which puts a
positive shade on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

Now everyone has his own position, Russia supported the quo status,
spoke of the peaceful resolution and legally substantiated settlement
of the problem, though accents were laid on Armenia.

- Is the issue of the Karabakh recognition urgent for Moscow?

- No, it is not. it is more important to establish strategic
partnership with Turkey and Azerbaijan. Speaking in the sense of
definite geopolitical interests, Russia needs at least the strategic
neutrality of Turkey and alliance with Azerbaijan more than anything
else in the regional scale in order to resist the Atlantic
strategy. We have taken everything possible from the strategic
alliance with Armenia and it can not give more to Russia, while most
depends now on Turkey and Azerbaijan. Thus recognition of Karabakh is
a maximally unfavorable situation, though, certainly, Russia is
interested in the quo status and preservation of our bases in this
territory. At the same time, we should take into account that Russia,
as far as I know, has another project of deployment of Russian forces
to Karabakh, withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from there and
initiation of a new stage of settlement. During these projects the
most important chain is a growing confrontation with the United
States and NATO bloc and Russia's intention to settle regional
problems without participation of the Americans, as they only create
conditions for new interethnic clashes that we have witnessed from
the example of the South Ossetia.

- In this case, can Armenia become a "token coin" in this issue, as
some experts say, for in fact the strategic interests of Russia are
more connected with Azerbaijan?

- I think Armenia will not become a token coin in the Russian game as
we have much in common with Armenians. Armenia is the CSTO member,
we have a large Armenian diaspora and we have friendly and partner
relations with this country. No exchange is spoken of here. On the
other hand, Russia starts to think more not over the abstract
principles in the international policy but of its own strategic
interests. In this sense most depends on Azerbaijan. The symbolic
gesture towards Turkey, which is in fact not interested in the
resolution of the Karabakh problem, is more important.

There is a myth that Azerbaijan and Turkey are the same, but these are
completely different countries, despite the historical closeness of
these peoples and it should be taken into account. Turks do not care
about the Azerbaijani conflict. Once active in the Caucasus policy,
they need to preserve their statehood, which is on the verge of
collapse due to the US intervention with Iraq. Turkey obviously does
not have time for Karabakh. But in the symbolical sense, Karabakh is
an issue, which has a definite nominal weight in Turkey. Therefore,
today Russia needs to improve relations with Azerbaijan, especially
because Aliyev acted correctly and competently during the South
Ossetian conflict. Many interesting geopolitical perspectives are
opening for Russia.

- You have already spoken of the Russian project on the problem
settlement. What can Medvedev offer to the parties?

- Yes, there is a plan, I have been speaking of and it envisions the
deployment of the Russian peacekeepers and the initiation of the
process of the return of civilians to Karabakh after the ethnic

On the other hand, the self-legitimacy of borders can be challenged,
as within the framework of a single state of the USSR, borders were
not of state importance, they played a role of division into regions,
like division of Moscow into districts. But it was difficult to
imagine Southern or Central districts to declare its independence. It
is important to realize that the borders that we are speaking of are
certain conditions, which were recognized as dogmas of international
law without any historical ground and without consideration of ethnic
factors. Naturally, this caused numerous differences, including the
Karabakh conflict. I am confident that any annexation of this
territory to Azerbaijan is unreal. Yes, it was administratively under
Azerbaijan's control, but Armenians lived there since ancient.

Armenians have definite negotiation positions in the resolution of
this status, but the most important thing will be to expel the United
States from this negotiation process as an absolutely destructive,
backward and immoral power, which worsens the situation, wherever it
comes and creates conditions for new conflicts.

We can not take any side, there are no "good or bad guys, these are
Americans that turn these or those countries into such "guys". As we
will remove them from this process, the situation will change, while
the European Union is a way reasonable. Europeans should be allowed to
this process. Medvedev has a plan and definite ideas, but the most
important idea is to weaken US influence in this area.

- Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan offered to recognize the right of
the Karabakh people for self-determination. What can you say about

- Now Karabakh is inhabited only by Armenians, while Azerbaijanis also
lived there for long. The territory is mixed. We can not say that the
conflict was initiated by any of the parties, there are no right or
wrong sides in the ethnic conflicts. In fact, Azerbaijanis were
deported from there, they feel bad, it can be said that, perhaps,
this is their fault, but it is really unfair. Therefore, the problem
settlement can be arranged in a form of any substantiated
compromise. But, in other words, "people of Karabakh" now live both
in Karabakh and out of its bounds. Tens and hundreds thousands of
refugees from Karabakh are also the people of Karabakh. Therefore,
the recognition of Karabakh can hardly be expected. As for the
expression of will by the Karabakh people, I think most people know
that international policy has such a concept as "double standard". It
can not be used independently. We also have our preferences. If
something meets our interests and values, we will adopt a definite

In such cases all depends on the factor of power, on the political
system, functioning in the potentially separatist regions, adjustment
of their model with the federal center, whether they have external
supporters and many other things. It means that the very factor of
will expression by people works in some cases and does not work in

- Do you think the conflict in South Ossetia had an impact on the
Karabakh problem?

- It did not have a direct influence, merely everything has become
clear now. The United States recognized Kosovo but do not recognize
South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as it is not profitable for them. Russia
was hesitating for long to occupy this asymmetric position, but it
could be taken without thousands of civilians of Tskhinkhali who
fell victims. It is only left to learn who would profit from the
recognition of Nagorno Karabakh.

It can be said that today the Katabakh issue is strategically neutral
for us. Some time ago the advantage was on the Armenian side, while
Azerbaijan was inclined towards GUAM, rusophobian frond with
Yushchenko and Saakashvili, while after August the situation has
changed dramatically and the advantage directed to Baku. Certain small
progress is recorded and the problem understanding has
expanded. Meanwhile, Armenian sides starts to "flirt" more with the
United States, in some cases strict Atlantic positions are recorded
under Sargsyan, which was not observed during Kocharyan's term. The
United States work and try to "take" Armenia away from Russia. Though
strange it is profitable for us as thus they create conditions for us
to significantly improve relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey.