After the Jun. 24 meeting among the presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in Kazan, inevitably there will be disappointment because we can hardly expect that Yerevan or Baku will suddenly do something incredible, which will greatly differ from their former positions, said chair of the Trialogue Club International (a community of diplomats, experts and businesses in Moscow), Moscow-based political analyst Dr. Dmitry Polikanov (pictured, below) in an interview with Vesti.az.
Moreover, according to Dr. Polikanov, Armenia is connected also to the position of Karabakh’s Armenian leaders, which it simply cannot ignore: “Also not excluded is the possibility that even if an agreement is reached, Karabakh can block the process and reject it.”
He noted that Armenia is actively discussing the topic of Nagorno-Karabakh. “The opposition will not hesitate to demand a reckoning from the authorities for any concessions. Actually this is one of the reasons why talk of an impending agreement causes skepticism. In Azerbaijan, where the main principal is considered to be territorial integrity rather than self-determination of peoples, concessions will likewise be perceived as a weakness — for so long they were preparing for war and while eventually [they get] some agreement, some sort of compromise. To ‘sell’ all that to the public as the will of Azerbaijani soldiers, which is a result of overcoming resistance from the Armenian side, will be difficult. Therefore, the parties have to do some serious work at home, for which there is practically no time left.”
Speaking about the possibility of a military solution to the conflict, Dr. Polikanov said that everything will depend on Azerbaijan’s position. “Baku, one way or another, grows frustrated with the negotiation process. Azerbaijan, indeed, has the desire to cut this Gordian Knot. But to do it immediately after the summit, as a response to the lack of agreement, would’ve been politically incorrect. This would seriously damage Azerbaijan’s international positions; it would be seen as a manifestation of aggressive policy while giving Armenia victim status, which would be imbued with sympathy. In this sense, no matter how cynical it sounds, it would be more logical for Baku to wait for the next provocation or organize it — for any war that wants to appear fair, you need a casus belli.”
Commenting on mediation efforts by Moscow, Paris and Washington, the analyst said they still don’t have any significant leverage in Baku and Yerevan.