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 Wednesday, April 27 2022 13:56
David Stepanyan

U.S. official`s statement evidence of USA, EU`s combined efforts to  force Russia out of South Caucasus - David Stepanyan

U.S. official`s statement evidence of USA, EU`s combined efforts to  force Russia out of South Caucasus - David Stepanyan

ArmInfo. The statement by U.S. Secretary of State  Antony Blinken is evidence of the combined efforts of the United  States and European Union to force Russia out of Artsakh first and  later of the entire South Caucasus, David Stepanyan, associate  member, Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs  (AIISA), said in an interview with ArmInfo. 

"This statement by Mr Blinken, as well as his telephone talks with  Armenia's Premier Nikol Pashinyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham  Aliyev before the Brussels meeting, are evidence of not only indirect  - through the EU - but also direct involvement of the United States  in, let us say, the post-Minsk process of settlement of the Artsakh  problem. And we can be sure of the USA's presence, albeit invisible,  at the Michel-Pashinyan-Aliyev meeting in Brussels on April 6, 2022,"  he said. 

In his remarks at the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee session,  Secretary Blinken said the United States supports a long-term  political settlement with regard to Nagorno Karabakh.

"I have been very actively in directly engaged with leadership in  both Armenia and Azerbaijan including just as recently as a week ago  phone calls with Prime Minister Pashinyan and with President Aliyev,  as well as their foreign ministers, trying to help advance prospects  for a long-term political settlement with regard to Nagorno  Karabakh", Blinken said. "We have been developing and promoting  various confidence- building measures. We have been trying to push  back on any unilateral actions particularly by Azerbaijan that would  only inflame the situation and we have a number of programs in place  that are part of the budget to try to help advance more peaceful  prospects".

After the geopolitical confrontation over Ukraine entered an active  phase, the trilateral OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship has  transformed into two separate, even rivaling, processes. And intense  rivalry of the United States and France with Russia is an  accomplished fact. However, neither the USA nor France or Russia is  not going to officially dissolve the OSCE Minsk Group in the  foreseeable future, primarily due to the fact that it is as OSCE  Minsk Group co-chairs that they are internationally mandated to  mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan.   

"I would like to emphasize the part of Mr Blinken's statement saying  that the USA has 'been trying to push back on any unilateral actions  particularly by Azerbaijan.' I think that part of the statement is  addressed to Moscow rather than to Baku. And it is not without  reasons that the United States believes that Russia, along with  Turkey, is actually provoking Azerbaijan's excessive bellicosity as a  means of keeping a tight rein on Armenia and preventing it from  making any steps toward the West," Mr Stepanyan said.

In other words, the USA's statements are a means of curbing the  present and preventing further militant tendencies by President Ilham  Aliyev thereby stripping its principal rival, Russia, of one of the  means of influencing Armenia and, therefore, the settlement process. 

"Of course, it is being done primarily in the national interests of  the United States, which is seeking to project the current situation  in Ukraine to the South Caucasus and force Russia to leave the other  side of the Caucasian Range," Mr Stepanyan said.    

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