ArmInfo. German political expert Alexander Rahr, the Research Director of German-Russian Forum and the Board member at Union of Russian Economy in Germany, in his interview to ArmInfo speaks about new threats and challenges of South Caucasus Security, comments on the probability of Karabakh conflict defrosting and on Russian policies in respect to Caucasus.
In Your opinion, which dimensions from do the main challenges and threats come for the security of South Caucasus?
On the one hand, the main challenges and threats to the security of the South Caucasus, of
course, come from unresolved territorial issues. On the other hand, from the conflicts over Iran's nuclear program. Another threat is the transfer of the problems of the Near and Middle East, the ideology of Islamization, military and geopolitical aspects to the South Caucasus region. The South Caucasus, unfortunately, is a very explosive region, while in the short and medium term there is an even more dangerous region - the Middle East
What’s the position of Karabakh Conflict in all these threats, is it of a first priority or accents have been somewhat replaced?
Тhese three regional calls are very difficult to prioritize, given that all three have the prospect
of becoming the main, and at any moment. Nagorno-Karabakh is a problem for Armenia and Azerbaijan,I recall the existence of South Ossetia, while in Abkhazia everything will be all right. At that, it is necessary to remember that the intensification of military actions in Syria, the collapse of Iraq at any time can lead to serious consequences in Turkey or the South Caucasus region. How it will look exactly, to say today is difficult, but noting the need to understand that in a region in which for years a war is going on, radical ideologies are faced, warring not for life,
but to death, there are very big challenges and problems. All these challenges and problems could not be unfelt by neighboring countries, spreading instability on them. Rahr assesses
the process as a circling earthquake. In this light, the current US administration has taken a very tough line on Iran. And if Donald Trump manages to disarm or achieve sufficient success in North Korea's containment policy, he will inevitably take up Iran. This will immediately lead to an even more militarization of the already militarized South Caucasus." It is very difficult in this
situation, of course, for Armenia to have with Iran, and with Russia, too, the best relations among all the countries of the South Caucasus. Such a potential is preserved, its echoes will continue to overflow into the South Caucasus for a long time.
Do you see any prospective of Izraeli – Azerrbaijani alliance capsulation in the case of implementation of military scenario in respect to Azerbaijan? How could that impact, for instance, the Karabakh conflict ?
In Europe and Germany are very interested in maintaining the Karabakh conflict in a calm state,
so that no explosions like the explosion in April last year did not happen. In this direction, including German diplomats, a very serious work is underway. We do not need another war in the post-Soviet space, a war in which the nuclear power will be drawn-Russia, which already
has enough problems with Ukraine and Europe, all efforts should be made to preserve it, at least in the frozen state. The Karabakh conflict will be resolved only by the next generations of Armenian and Azerbaijani politicians, considering this generation is unable to solve it. ccording to him, the current leadership of Armenia lives in the spirit of the Karabakh idea. The leadership of Azerbaijan is mainly represented by the children of the participants of the Karabakh war. Therefore, even without being a great specialist in Karabakh, I see that it does not solve this generation, and I am not saying this because I am going to put oil in the fire, on the contrary, in the example of Germany I can say that the post-war and even the next generation could not solve the issue of reunification of our country. The West German position in this sense always looked like Taiwan and Hong Kong - to wait for reunification exclusively by peaceful means. By solving the problem by the generation sufficiently remote from the hot, bloody events of the
past and therefore able to solve it cold-bloodedly, deliberately, by searching and finding compromise solutions.
From the pint of hybrid wars area expanding from the territories of Ukraine and Iraq, the unsettled Karabakh conflict appears as a great deal of temptation. Could be an attempt made to defrost it in the context mentioned?
I very much hope that attempts to warm up the Karabakh conflict in the above-mentioned context will not be undertaken, although such a threat is certainly visible. Of course, there exists the possibility of building the most diverse geopolitical strategies based on the most varied, often unjustified ambitions, but I am convinced that in the situation in which the world is today, against the background of the danger of the resumption of the conflict over Iran, this would be wrong and unproductive. I live in the western information space, where Nagorno Karabakh does
not play the role it plays in your space, we look with horror at what can happen on the Korean peninsula, the collapse of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the migration flows to Europe and the problems that await us in this regard, therefore, for Europe the most important thing is to search for any opportunities that allow to avoid conflicts.
Recently a new shipment of combat attack armament, i.e. BTR 82A armored vehiclse, has been exported to Azerbaijan from Russia. Could You please estimate the reasons and goals of Moscow’s armament polices?
Russia's position on this issue is not simple enough. It should be remembered that Moscow cannot and should not be an arbitrator between Azerbaijan and Armenia and is hampered by strategic allied relations with Armenia, while at the same time in the energy issues Russia is quite dependent on relations and cooperation with Azerbaijan And the preservation of relations established with the Azerbaijani elite comes from economic and even large strategic interests of Russia. Therefore, Russian diplomacy in this and related issues should act with an eye on everything that may happen in the future. At the same time, Russian diplomacy, according to his estimates, is quite understandable. It cannot, despite its alliance with Armenia: a bilateral one and within the framework of the CSTO and the EEU, to act against Azerbaijan. That is why Moscow's arms policy is clearly not only business, but also geopolitical interests. Of course, Azerbaijan is not a direct ally of Russia, but is its important strategic partner in a very complex global game that we are all observing today.