Moscow again tries to become dominant party in Artsakh talks

On July 17 Izvestia newspaper referred to the process of Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. In particular, the newspaper informs that Russia tries to organize a meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents by the end of the year. Moscow has become a major mediator in this issue, as the attempts of other co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group to bring the conflicting sides to negotiation table have failed. A senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation told Izvestia about it.

«Only we participate in it. France tried to bring Yerevan and Baku to negotiation table but it proved to be of no help. At the same time it is essential to preserve the dialogue. As a result of it no large-scale hostilities erupt», said Russian MFA representative.

In the same article Leonid Kalashnikov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on CIS, Eurasian Integration and Contacts with Compatriots, notes that a high-level meeting is now topical. «It is not just needed but very essential. There is no need to run for various formats and platforms, consult with countries that are 10 thousand kilometers away from the region. Neighbors must agree. In this sense coordination with Moscow should be strengthened», mentioned Kalashnikov.

Only Moscow

It is noteworthy that Izvestia is one of the newspapers which at the right moment publish information necessary for Kremlin referring to «anonymous» sources. Therefore, the article by Izvestia presenting Moscow as the only organizer of talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan suggests that Kremlin again tries to become the only mediator in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This opinion is further evidenced by the fact that «anonymous» representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry mentions the French party as a member of the OSCE Minsk Group which made unsuccessful attempt to organize a meeting. France is one of the most effective members of the OSCE Minsk Group; it repeatedly has made efforts to achieve progress in the peaceful settlement of the conflict. A question arises, why do they point at France or why, for example, the Kremlin does not condemn the behavior of the Turkish side within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group (Turkey is a member of the group).

Kalashnikov in his turn mentions that neighbors must agree and there is no need to consult with countries that are 10 thousand kilometers away. Apparently, Kalashnikov means the USA. If these statements have specific political basis, Moscow has definitely decided to move the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process to a regional platform. A question still remains to be answered, whether Turkey is also included in the list of neighbors or not.

Negotiations table

Such statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry representative is noteworthy, if we take into account that sitting at negotiations table is no longer useful for the settlement of the conflict. Today implementation of the agreements reached as a result of the dialogue is more important than the dialogue itself.

The increase in number of meetings between Nalbandian and Mamedyarov does not lead to a change in the situation. In order to reach positive results the parties of confict first of all should fulfil their ceasefire commitments, as well as translate confidence-building measures into actions that were agreed upon last year in Vienna, and later in Saint Petersburg. Otherwise the dialogue with frequent or rare meetings only plays for time, while parties (especially Azerbaijan) acquire new weapons.

Anna Pambukhchyan
«Union of Informed Citizens»

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