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

20:13
Newly appointed governor in Van removes Armenian texts from the road signs
The newly-appointed governor of Van’s Edremit (Artamet) district of Turkey Atıf Çiçekli has instructed to remove the road...
20:10
Three female MPs sent to hospital after violent altercation in Turkish parliament
Three lawmakers were hospitalized late on January 19 following a brawl between women lawmakers that erupted after independent lawmaker Aylin...
19:43
Feeble snow expected in the territory of Armenia
Feeble snow is expected in most of the territory of Armenia on January 22 afternoon and at night, while no precipitation is expected on January...
19:19
Aronian, Carlsen played draw at Tata Steel Chess Tournament
Round 6 of the Tata Steel chess tournament took place on Netherlands, where Armenian GM Levon Aronian played draw with World Champion Magnus...
18:49
Armenian freestyle wrestling team came second at Takhti Cup
The 37th edition of Takhti Cup was held on Friday in Iran. In the two-day competition, participated by 16 teams from 11 countries, Armenian...
18:21
Political scientist suggests transferring Lapshin’s case to Kremlin through relevant structures of CSTO and EAEU
Belarus is an authoritarian state, and it seems quite unlikely to expect things happening there without the country’s president’s...
17:37
Italy school bus crash and fire leaves 16 dead
A bus carrying schoolchildren has crashed and caught fire in northern Italy, killing at least 16 people, BBC reported referring to emergency...
17:13
Hovhannes Gabuzyan named Armenian Chess Champion 2017
The final round of the Armenian Men Championship 2017 was held on Saturday, Chess Federation of Armenia reports. Before the final round, the...
16:24
Artsakh President: Any aggression against Artsakh is perceived by the Armenian people as a patriotic war
April developments showed our Defense Army's high combat readiness, determination of our people and the entire Armenian nation to defend the...
16:06
Fitch affirms Armenia at 'B+'; outlook stable
Fitch Ratings has affirmed Armenia's Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'B+' with stable outlook....
15:52
NKR Ombudsman on Lapshin's extradition: It is an attempt to silence free speech on Artsakh
NKR Human Rights Defender Ruben Melikyan considers Belarus’ decision to extradite blogger Alexander Lapshin to Azerbaijan as a serious...
15:41
Clear ice observed on certain areas of Vardenyats pass
Armenia’s Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies reports that as of 14:30 January 21, Vardenyats pass is partly...
15:26
Moscow, Damascus sign an agreement to keep 49-year presence at Syrian naval and air bases
Russia and Syria have signed an agreement on expanding the territory of the Russian Navy’s logistics facility in Tartus for 49 years. The...
14:35
Advocacy groups launch campaign to impeach Donald Trump
The effort to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump is already underway in the United States, the Washington Post reports. The source notes...
14:06
Addictions are based on psychological problems, psychologist Lilit Baghdasaryan says
“The number of people suffering addictions has recently increased among our society,” psychologist Lilit Baghdasaryan expressed such...
13:14
Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates his 28th birthday
Armenian National Squad captain and Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan celebrates his 28th birthday today. Within the English...
12:22
Trump issues executive order to start rolling back Obamacare
Within hours of taking the oath of office, President Donald Trump on Friday night signed an executive order aimed at trying to fulfil one of his...
11:47
Turkey’s parliament passes polemic bill to boost Erdogan powers
Turkey’s parliament on Saturday approved a contentious constitutional reform package, paving the way for a referendum on a presidential...
11:17
South Korea's culture minister arrested over corruption scandal
South Korean prosecutors arrested the culture minister on Saturday, on suspicion of abuse of power for drawing up a blacklist of artists,...
10:57
UNESCO Director-General considers destruction of Palmyra’s ancient theatre as a war crime
UNESCO received several reports and satellite imagery released today by UNITAR-UNOSAT confirming the destruction of Palmyra’s tetrapylon...
10:32
Snowfalls reported across several highways in Armenia
Armenia’s Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies informed Panorama.am that as of 9:30 January 21, snowfall is...
10:23
Azerbaijani forces fire 60mm mortar at NK line of contact
Overnight January 20-21, the Azerbaijani forces violated the ceasefire along the Line of Contact between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan more...
23:57
Armenia’s President meets with recently demobilized servicemen
Today, at the Мountainous Armenia recreation center of the Ministry of Defense in Dilijan President Serzh Sargsyan met with the recently...
20:25
Maria Gevorgyan becomes Armenia’s chess champion
Armenian Women Championship 2017 is over. In the final round Maria Gevorgyan defeated Nare Arakelyan and the leader of the tournament Siranush...
20:04
Seyran Ohanyan set to join Oskanian-Dallakyan-Sargsyan bloc
Former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan will join the new alliance formed by Consolidation, (Hamakhmbum), the Third Republic Party and the...
19:20
Eight survivors found two days after Italian avalanche
Eight people have been found alive in Italy's Rigopiano hotel, two days after it was buried in an avalanche, BBC reports. Rescuers said...
18:57
Armenia-Uzbekistan football match cancelled due to security concerns
The Football Federation of Armenia reached an agreement with Uzbekistan Football Federation on organizing a friendly match between the national...
18:42
First round of Women’s World Championship to be held on 11 February
FIDE announces the first round pairings for the forthcoming Women’s World Championship to be held in Tehran, Iran. In the first round...
18:18
“An Ordinary Genocide” project manager: Many Armenians of Baku were thrown into the Caspian Sea: the death toll remains unknown
The project “An Ordinary Genocide” is making videos entitled “I accuse Azerbaijan” where the eyewitnesses are telling...
16:00
Iran reduces car warranty cost for vehicles from Armenia by over $400
Iran has reduced the car warranty cost for the vehicles that enter from Armenia into Iran by over 400 USD, Panorama.am reports referring to...

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?"}