ArmInfo. Russia has leverage on Azerbaijan and Armenia on the implementation of the Sochi agreements of the leaders of the three countries of October 31.
A similar opinion was expressed by Feodor Voitolovsky, Director of the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences, Member of the Presidium Council for Science and Education under the President of the Russian Federation, referring to the Sochi meeting of the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. At the same time, as the key achievements of the Sochi meeting, the doctor of political sciences mentioned the obligations of the parties to refrain from the use of force or the threat of force, as well as the further activities of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, he believes that there is no point in expecting breakthroughs from the Sochi declaration - its very value lies in the fact that the parties agreed to meet and continue negotiations on acute and painful issues.
The political scientist considers the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as various political and diplomatic instruments, economic and other instruments of influence, as instruments of influence on all parties to the conflict for the implementation of these agreements.
To the remark that if Russia has leverage, then how did Azerbaijan violate the ceasefire, the political scientist admitted that indeed, such violations took place. Voitolovsky stated that throughout the entire post-war period, Azerbaijan took a rather tough position, which was based on the support of Turkey and the tacit support of the United States. "Yes, yes, precisely on the support of the United States, because if the United States had actually sanctioned Turkey's actions during the 44-day war of 2020, then Ankara could not afford the freedom of action and the support that Baku provided," he said in an interview with Public Television of Armenia.
When asked whether Azerbaijan could start a war without Russia's consent, Voitolovsky expressed his conviction that Baku started the war without Moscow's consent. According to the expert, Russia received the information, in fact, only on the eve of the start of hostilities.
He once again stressed that Russia has leverage that works. In this vein, the expert stated that if these levers did not work, Ilham Aliyev would not have come to Sochi to talk with Vladimir Putin and Nikol Pashinyan. Otherwise, Azerbaijan would not have stopped the war where it stopped and would have received not only 7 regions surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh unrecognized republic, but would have received the entire territory of the unrecognized NKR and Stepanakert, and possibly would have gone further. After all, as we know, Azerbaijan is promoting a very firm position that it can move further, because the borders are not delimited and not demarcated," the political scientist said, recalling that now it is Russia that is actively proposing to the parties to conduct this process.
At the same time, Voitolovsky drew attention to the fact that, unlike other draft peace treaties proposed by the EU and the US, the Russian Federation clearly states its position on the need to recognize the interests of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh, residents of the unrecognized NKR. "And Russia has not changed its position in this case," he remarked. And to the question, what is Russia's position on Nagorno- Karabakh, Voitolovsky asked a counter question about Armenia's position on Artsakh. "And what is Armenia's position on Nagorno-Karabakh? Armenia does not have a clear position. Armenia has not recognized the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh," he said. And in response to the journalist's comment that this does not mean that Armenia does not have a clear position, the Russian expert noted that Russia does too.
"Russia cannot recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. But, in my opinion, without Russia and Armenia, there would be no Nagorno-Karabakh Republic at all," the political scientist said.
At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that the US position on this issue is unequivocal since they recognize Azerbaijan's sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh. The Russian Federation has a more flexible position on this issue. "Russian peacekeepers at the moment ensure the vital activity, the very existence of the unrecognized NKR," he said.
The expert did not agree with the statement that the United States and Russia have a similar position on the issue of Artsakh, namely that it is Azerbaijani land. He assured that Russia's position is more complicated, and it says that the issue of the status of the NKR should be resolved through negotiations and a referendum, which should be held on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, when a peaceful settlement is reached. "And this is a very serious difference from the position of the US and the EU," the international expert added.
He once again drew attention to the fact that official Yerevan does not have a clear position on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. "Armenia did not recognize the independence of the NKR, did not recognize it as part of its territory. Look, during the 44-day war, Armenian volunteers, who arrived, including from Russia, participated as part of the Armenian army, but unofficially. It was not possible to fully declare the mobilization, and the Armenian leadership did not want to be drawn into the conflict, because this would no longer mean a conflict between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan, but would mean a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan," Voitolovsky noted.
To the remark that Russia did not express a clear position in connection with the Azerbaijani aggression against Armenia, the expert assured that Moscow will be the only one to show assistance to Yerevan in that cas Responding to the thesis that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces did not go further during the September escalation, because they were stopped by America's position, which Washington officially announced, Voitolovsky retorted: "What do you think, if America once supported Turkey and allowed Azerbaijan to act completely definitely in Nagorno-Karabakh, why is the US suddenly changing its position now? After all, Turkey is a loyal member of the North Atlantic Alliance. Azerbaijan is an ally of Turkey. Being an ally of Turkey, Azerbaijan is de facto becoming NATO's entry point to the South Caucasus."
At the same time, he stressed that alliance is a two-way road. "If before the developments of 2020 and the current developments, Armenia had taken a clearer position on Crimea, then I believe that the position of the Russian leadership on Nagorno-Karabakh was much firmer both in 2020 and now. But, Armenia did not do this. If Armenia at one time had agreed to cooperation in the field of air and missile defense, which the Russian side had repeatedly proposed, but it did not do so. Yes, there is a framework agreement between the parties. But, it could be filled with real content in terms of arms supplies and military equipment, and in terms of joint systems," he said. To the clarifying question of the presenter about < was the Armenian side against it?>, the expert answered in the affirmative. " The Armenian side, both during the previous and current administrations, but above all, during the previous administration (under Serzh Sargsyan - ed. note), refused Russian proposals. Therefore, alliance is a two-way road," the political scientist noted. He once again assured that " Russia cares about what happens to Armenia ", and that is why, it proposes a long, difficult process, where solutions will be worked out that suit both Yerevan and Baku, while taking into account the interests and security of the population of Nagorny Karabakh.
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