Interviews 18:14 26/08/2014

Cory Welt: Azerbaijan’s military success is unlikely, which prevents escalation to full-scale war

On Azerbaijani recent military aggression against the Nagorno Karabakh Republic and the RA, the security issue of the people of Nagorno Karabakh as well as the prospects of the Customs Union Panorama.am has spoken to Associate Director and Associate Research Professor of International Affairs at the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, George Washington University Dr. Cory Welt.

- Dr. Welt, recently there has been a marked escalation of hostilities in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone while Azerbaijan’s president has openly threatened Armenia with war. What do you think this is preconditioned by? 

- It is always difficult to say exactly why a new outbreak of hostilities occurs along the line of contact. With each summer’s violence worse than the last, the risk of escalation spinning out of control is very high. Unfortunately, as hostilities die down each year, we tend to forget this risk.

It is also hard to understand exactly what the intentions of President Aliyev are, but his speech about war did not seem to be a direct threat. It sounded more like a warning that Azerbaijan has not given up on its lost territories and does not intend to, while serving as a rhetorical way for Aliyev to end this latest round of hostilities.

At the same time, Aliyev saw this summer how much the West supported Ukraine in its efforts to fight externally-supported separatism in the Donbas, as well as Israel’s use of force in Gaza. He is surely convinced that Azerbaijan, too, has the legitimate right to use force; it is only a question of whether he can succeed. For now, Azerbaijan’s military success remains a very big question mark, which fortunately helps put a brake on escalation to full-scale war.

- Can we say that Europe would be more interested to stop Azerbaijan from waging a war now than it was in 1991 (when no one stopped the Azeri aggression), given the fact that Azerbaijan is now an exporter of gas and oil to Europe, with BP having big shares in the Caspian, which will be endangered in case of the resumption of military hostilities? To what extent can this factor actually constitute a deterrent against possible Azerbaijani aggression?

- I would like to think that Europeans worry more about the human cost of a full-scale war in the Caucasus than they do about the potential risk to the pipelines, which for now supply relatively little energy to Europe and would, in the worst case, only be down temporarily. I also don’t think the potential European reaction to an attack on the pipeline is a deterrent to Azerbaijan, if it was truly determined to wage war. Those concerned about the fate of the pipeline would likely blame whichever side directly attacked the pipeline, not who started the conflict.

- The recent Azerbaijani attacks on Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia, growing anti-Armenianism in Azerbaijan (most vividly demonstrated by the Safarov case), complete refusal to accept NKR as a reality as well as official statements to use of force to retake the NK constitute direct existential threats to the population of Nagorno Karabakh. Under these circumstances, how should the security of the population of NK be guaranteed even if a peace agreement is signed between the sides? What confidence building measures should Azerbaijan undertake to reassure that it poses no threat to Armenians?

- Regrettably, we’re not at a moment in time when Azerbaijan is able to credibly offer security guarantees to the population of Nagorno-Karabakh. This is one of the major obstacles to a resolution of the conflict, together with the unwillingness of Nagorno-Karabakh to relinquish occupied territories around the former NKAO. If there were a peace agreement, it would have to include an international peacekeeping contingent in Nagorno-Karabakh that Azerbaijan would not have the right to evict, as well as at least unarmed observers in neighbouring territories that would themselves have to constitute a demilitarized zone. We are far away from such a solution, however. In the meantime, confidence-building measures that could be implemented are simple, on both sides, if there were only political will – a lessening of war rhetoric, a drawdown of snipers, safe treatment and return of detainees, and at least partial demining.

- Dr. Welt, what future do you see for the Russia-led Customs Union and the Eurasian Union? How can the current confrontation between Russia and the West over Ukraine impact this project and its members?

- I suspect that these integration projects will ultimately be successful only to the extent that they reflect the genuine interests of their members and prospective members. We have already seen significant signs of pushback from Kazakhstan and Belarus against the most ambitious forms of these projects, which their leaders do not view to be in their national interests.

The current confrontation in Ukraine is not between Russia and the West. It is between Moscow and Kyiv. I do not think this confrontation itself is key to the success of failure of Moscow-led integration projects. You’ll notice that it really hasn’t changed any country’s position, even Ukraine’s – those opposed to membership continue to oppose, those who supported membership continue to support (even if they are unhappy about it). Unless Moscow genuinely has the power to force integration on its neighbours, Soviet-style (which I doubt), the fate of these projects depends on their economic attractiveness as compared to the attractiveness of alternative models such as those the EU offers. The greatest opportunity for the Customs Union/Eurasian Union is if greater integration with the EU fails to provide the anticipated economic benefits. Disillusionment in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine would be the greatest stimulus for the success of these Russia-led projects. 



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

20:56
Charges pressed for using violence against policemen performing their official duties
Armenia’s Investigative Committee reports that preliminary investigation of the criminal case initiated on violence used against police...
20:29
Investigative Committee: Charge pressed against 6 persons for being involved in mass disorders
Armenia’s Investigative Committee reports that preliminary investigation of the criminal case initiated on mass disorders implemented on...
20:19
The gunmen have continuously rejected Healthcare Ministry’s recommendation to hospitalize the injured member
Armenian Ministry of Healthcare and the whole healthcare system has always expressed readiness and today is ready to provide medical aid to any...
19:05
Turkish Airlines sacks 211 employees after failed coup attempt
Turkey's state-run Turkish Airlines said on Monday it had fired 211 employees, citing their links to a religious movement President Tayyip...
18:05
Iranian official: Iran may increase gas supply to Armenia
“Iran may expand the volumes of gas supply to Armenia,” Azizollah Ramezani, Director for the National Iranian Gas Company told...
16:49
“Microelectronics” and “Basics of Telecommunication” will be included in the curricula of five more high schools of Armenia
Having already proved its successfulness the unprecedented pilot project implemented last year by the member-organizations to the Union of ICT...
16:24
The National Museum of Aleppo under heavy shelling
The State Museum of Syria’s Aleppo has come under heavy shelling by terrorist groups over the past days. As the local Kandzasar newspaper...
16:06
FIDE World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad: Armenia is leading the table after 3 rounds
Yesterday the matches of round 2 and round 3 were played at FIDE World Youth U16 Chess Olympiad, Chess federation of Armenia reports....
15:47
Der Standard: Austrian swimmer paralyzed during European Games in Baku has not received compensation from organizers so far
Austrian swimmer Vanessa Sahinovic, who was injured during an accident before the start of the European Games in Baku, currently is paraplegic...
15:37
Armenia is an open door to the Christian world for Iran, expert says
Iranian expert, Vali Kuzegar Kaleji said that Armenia is an open door to the Christian world for Iran, IRNA news agency reports. According...
15:00
Wrestler Shant Khachatryan becomes European Cadet Championship winner
The European Cadet Championship came to an end at the Swedish capital Stockholm. On the last competition day wrestlers of 46kg, 54kg, 63kg,...
14:53
Turkish Foreign Ministry thanks Russia for “unconditional support” during the coup
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed gratitude on Monday to the President of Russia for the “unconditional support”...
14:50
First group of Armenian athletes leaves for Rio
The first group of the Armenian athletes participating in the Olympic Games has left for the Olympic capital, ANOC press service reports....
13:58
Yerevan standoff: NSS call to those at Erebuni Police HQ
«Today a call with the following content was made available to those in the [Erebuni] police station», - Ashot Aharonyan, the Head...
12:55
Ansbach explosion: Syrian asylum seeker blows himself up in Germany
A failed Syrian asylum seeker has blown himself up and injured 12 other people with a backpack bomb near a festival in the south German town of...
12:53
Construction of hydropower stations in Kashatagh region
On 24 July Artsakh Republic President Bako Sahakyan visited the Kashatagh region. The Head of the State got acquainted with the construction of...
11:53
Turkey issues detention warrant for 42 journalists
The Turkish government has issued detention warrants for 42 journalists suspected of having links to the failed military coup on July 15, NTV...
11:45
NKR DA: Adversary fired towards Martuni and Matrakert positions
The adversary violated the ceasefire on different directions of the Line of Contact between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan 28 times by firing...
11:43
World oil prices begin to fall
As a result of e-commerce in London and New York stock exchanges, the oil prices are falling, Gazeta.ru reports. According to the source,...
11:41
Car bomb north of Baghdad kills at least 14
A suicide car bomb killed at least 14 people and wounded more than 30 at the entrance to a town northeast of Baghdad on Monday morning, police...
11:39
Yerevan Standoff: Alek Yenikomshian on expectations of negotiator
Member of “New Armenia” movement, Alek Yenikomshian told the reporters that it’s been over 30 hours that members of...
10:44
Excavations in Tigranakert resume
Tigranaket, Artsakh excavations financed by the NKR Government have launched since July 1, head of the expedition, Hamlet Petrosyan told...
10:13
No incidents recorded at night at Erebuni Police HQ
It’s been over a week, that members of “Daredevils of Sassoun” group have taken over the Police HQ at Khorenatsi Str. Every...
20:02
Vitaly Balasanyan: President Sargsyan held no discussion about giving up the lands
Everyone should realize the no issue may be resolved through arms, Artsakh Hero, member of the NKR Parliament Vitaly Balasanyan told reporters...
18:53
Painting Day-2016 held in Yerevan Zoo
Upon the initiative of the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) and VivaCell-MTS, the annual Painting Day took...
18:42
Members of the armed group rejected reports about their surrender
“Daredevils of Sasuon”, who have seized the patrol police regiment in Yerevan’s Erebouni district, rejected the reports about...
17:42
Karabakh Army serviceman awarded posthumously
President Bako Sahakyan signed a decree on 23 July according to which the medal "For Service in Battle" was posthumously awarded to...
17:23
Hayk Gasparyan triumphed over Azerbaijani athlete, conquered gold medal
The World 5th Kung Fu championship is underway in Moscow. The representative of the Armenian team Hayk Gasparyan (55kg) became a champion in the...
17:18
Business challenge by VivaCell-MTS
At the 24-th annual summer camp organized by the Junior Achievement of Armenia over 150 schoolchildren from Yerevan and other regions of Armenia...
16:37
Henrikh Mkhitaryan hopes Man United will get stronger
Armenian National and Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has commented on the defeat of his team suffered from Borussia Dortmund....

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}