ArmInfo. Three main problematic issues are discussed today at the negotiating table on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. This is the status of Karabakh, the security of the areas around the former NKAR, as well as the problem of refugees. Sergey Markedonov, a leading researcher at the MGIMO Insitute for International Studies, expressed this opinion during the online conference "Events in Armenia, a View from Moscow" at the Sputnik Armenia Press Center.
"At the same time, I don't see anything sensational in the statement made by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on a phased resolution of the conflict. This terminology was used a couple of years ago in the Madrid principles. Thus, the settlement still takes place on the basis of the updated Madrid principles ", the analyst emphasized.
At the same time, Markedonov emphasized the priority need for interconnection and synchronism between the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the regions and the resolution of the status of Karabakh. First of all, given the obvious security risks and the risk of escalation of the conflict as a result of the withdrawal of Armenian units from the areas around the former NKAR.
Another stumbling block, according to the analyst, is the legally binding referendum contained in the updated Madrid Principles. This already contains risks for Baku, given the high probability that Karabakh people would vote for a status independent from Azerbaijan at the referendum. There is still no certainty about the geography of the "security corridor" of Karabakh-Armenia - will it pass only through the territory of Lachin or will it involve Kelbajar.
Given such great discrepancies, Markedonov assessed the current process around Karabakh as conflict management rather than direct negotiations. According to his forecasts, given the lack of prerequisites for a quick solution, this process can continue for another 10 years. In his opinion, Moscow's position is quite consonant with existing realities, and accelerated resolution of the conflict is not in its interests.
"The status quo around the conflict is unacceptable for our Western partners. We, evaluating the status quo as clearly not the best solution, consider it necessary and possible to reach the final compromise of its parties in the negotiations. It seems that this is better than haste that can destroy the whole fragile and unstable process. We don't need haste on the Karabakh issue, "the Russian analyst concluded.
Currently, the settlement process is nominally proceeding on the basis of the Madrid principles put forward by the co-chairs in 2007 and updated in 2009, which, among other things, provide for the deployment of a peacekeeping contingent in the conflict zone. Baku, at the same time, periodically cites the notorious as an argument in the negotiation process. The Armenian side of the negotiations mainly continues to appeal to the right of peoples to self-determination. It should be noted that according to the UN, Azerbaijan occupies the homes of 360 thousand Armenian refugees, and Armenia - 250 thousand Azerbaijani ones.