ArmInfo. The danger of the transfer of contradictions from other regions to the Caucasus will persist, and as a result, require special attention, and in 2018. A similar opinion was expressed by ArmInfo famous Russian analyst Sergei Markedonov. "The Karabakh settlement is the most dangerous point of the South Caucasus in 2018, which is currently the only platform on which the West and Russia interact, the unwillingness of the opposing sides to compromise, the unwillingness of the mediating countries to view Karabakh as a problem for which they could neglect their own contradictions , leaves geopolitical uncertainty for the South Caucasus relevant, "the analyst believes. The forthcoming presidential elections and internal political changes in Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2018 are considered by Markedonov in the context of lowering the already low chances for the way of political elites of the conflicting countries towards mutual concessions and compromises. That is why the analyst explains the intensification of the negotiation process in the last months of 2017. According to him, accompanied by imprudent statements and promises, the election campaign is dangerous with the ability to provoke violations on the contact line in Karabakh and, most riskily, along the actual Armenian-Azerbaijani state border. "Given the lack of effective prescriptions to prevent this scenario, it remains to hope only for the refusal of the elites to rock the geopolitical pendulum because of their unwillingness to aggravate the internal political situation in the election year." There are hopes for the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, "he said. Markedonov is convinced that there is no guarantee that Washington will not use Caucasian plots as an additional resource of pressure on Moscow. According to him, any buildup of military cooperation between the US and Georgia is quite capable of changing the existing status quo around Georgia, which is relatively stable, especially in comparison with Karabakh. "In this light, it seems that many of the risks and surprises for the Caucasus in 2018 are hidden not so much in intra-regional dynamics as in external factors, especially in the light of the complete unpredictability of US relations with Russia and Iran," Markedonov concluded.