Politics 12:00 04/03/2017

Stratfor: NK conflict is likely to become more volatile in the coming months

“Russia holds the key to unlocking the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, although its motives are driven as much by its desire to retain its dominant regional status as to resolve the issue,” the report released by Stratfor American analytical center reads.

According to the report, no progress has been made in Russian-mediated talks over the NKr conflct between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and as this year progresses, chances of a resumption of hostilities between the two countries will remain high.

“Azerbaijan intends at the very least challenge the political and security status quo of the breakaway territory. Armenia's goal for the territory is the inverse: to maintain the current situation. The unbending positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan have created deadlock in negotiations, but there is a crucial third player to take into account: Russia. Though the positions of Armenia and Azerbaijan are clear, the motivation for Russia in the conflict is much more complex,” the report noted.

According to the author of the report, in a broader sense, Russia's primary interest in Armenia and Azerbaijan - and along the entire former Soviet periphery - is to keep foreign influence out and entrench its own. The author states that, by and large, Russia has accomplished this in Armenia. However, Moscow would like to move Baku closer into its sphere of influence, especially while Turkey is consumed with its priorities in the Middle East. 

The report does on underscoring that during the 2016 violence, Russia adopted a neutral stance rather than supporting its Armenian ally militarily or politically, shifting the dynamic.

“Realistically, the escalation by Azerbaijan could not have proceeded without at least a quiet understanding with Russia. Although Moscow stepped in to prevent the fighting from turning into a full-scale conflict, the message was sent that Baku had more leeway in the region and that Yerevan couldn't fully rely on Moscow to guarantee its security,” the author of the report adds.

The article goes on stating that there have been rumors and indications that Russia would like to push for a negotiated settlement, known as the Lavrov plan. Under it, Armenia would cede five of its seven regions surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan in exchange for a peacekeeping force led by Russia (or perhaps the Collective Security Treaty Organization) in those territories. However, the author adds that the Armenian government would be strongly opposed to it. If Russia indeed is pushing the plan, it could explore options to overcome Yerevan's opposition. It could allow another military escalation by Azerbaijan to pressure Armenia to make concessions. Alternatively, Moscow could use its substantial political links in the Armenian government to influence a shift in Yerevan's thinking.

The report states that Russia has developed close ties to several government figures (including in the foreign and defense ministries) and leaders in the political opposition who could be more amenable to seeing things Russia's way when it comes to the Karabakh issue.

Both options, however, come with significant risks. Even if Russia were able to persuade the Armenian political elite to compromise on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh or its surrounding territories, the Armenian public might not tolerate such a deal.

“In the meantime, orchestrating or allowing another military escalation by Azerbaijan could be a more effective option for Russia, but it comes with the risk of spiraling out of control.

It may even be the case that Russia wants to give Azerbaijan the impression that it is pushing Armenia for political concessions even if it is not. In that case, the Lavrov plan would represent an avenue for Moscow, which is already pursuing closer military cooperation and weapons deals with Azerbaijan, to develop closer ties with Baku without undermining the position of the Armenian government. This, too, has its risks: Maintaining the political status quo indefinitely is an untenable position for Azerbaijan, so Russia cannot continue to prolong the issue without concrete results. This is especially true since other regional powers such as Turkey and Iran — though currently distracted in the Middle East — may become more active in the Caucasus and be in a position to challenge Russia's dominance in the area down the line,” reads the report.

In conclusion, the author of the report notes that Russia's position on Nagorno-Karabakh is subject to fluctuations as it relates to its longer-term interest of maintaining influence in the Caucasus. Moscow's ultimate objective is to be the dominant influence over both Armenia and Azerbaijan, and it can use the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh as a means to shape its position in both countries. This will be a key factor in driving the political and security evolution of the conflict there, which is likely to become more volatile in the coming months.
 



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

Newsfeed

20:10
Artsakh people has no less right to master its destiny on its own than the people of Scotland - Armen Ashotyan
The Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) people has no less right to master its destiny on its own than the people of Scotland, the Chair of...
19:10
Russia’s president appoints the representative for talks about establishing joint forces with Armenia
Russian Deputy Defense Minister, General of the Army Nikolai Pankov was appointed as the official representative of the Russian President at...
17:52
Ranger Campus opened in Armenia to serve as an environmental science and education hub
VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian, The Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) founder Ruben...
17:41
Golden Apricot Festival announces official selection
The official selection of Golden Apricot 14th International Film Festival (GAIFF) was announced on Monday. GAIFF Programme Director Michael...
16:43
Three Armenian weightlifters set to participate at Summer Universiade
Three Armenian weightlifters are about to participate at Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade which will officially begin on 19 August. Head Coach...
16:35
Parliamentary delegation lead Eduard Sharmazanov leaves for Czech Republic
Delegation led by the Armenia’s National Assembly (NA) Vice President, Head of Armenia-Czech Friendship Group Eduard Sharmazanov left for...
16:29
Turkey building a new wall across Armenia border
Turkey is installing an “Integrated Border Security System” on the Iran and Armenia borders. The system is comprised of...
15:37
Kremlin disagrees with Macron’s remarks on Ukraine
The Kremlin strongly disagrees with the statement made by French President Emmanuel Macron who called Russia an aggressor in the Donbass region...
15:16
PACE adopts resolution allowing impeachment of the Assembly President
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted on Tuesday the resolution on recognising and enforcing the principle of...
14:21
Armenian businessman reportedly shoots self dead in Moscow
Russian-based Armenian businessman Vachik Abgaryan, who was the director of Capstroy construction company in Moscow, Russia, reportedly...
13:54
Armenia plans to attract 3 million tourists annually – deputy minister
185 million 700 thousand AMD was allocated to support tourism development programs in Armenia under the 2016 state budget , Emil Tarasyan,...
13:07
President Sargsyan signs laws adopted by Parliament
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan on Tuesday signed a number of laws adopted by the Armenian Parliament, which include the laws on making...
12:26
Russia sees no obstacles to arms deliveries to Turkey - Deputy PM
There are no obstacles for signing a deal between Turkey and Russia on deliveries of Russian arms and other military equipment, Russian Deputy...
12:15
Syria’s Armenians are fleeing to their ancestral homeland
Before Syria’s six-year-old civil war 90,000 ethnic Armenians lived in the country, two-thirds of them in Aleppo. No more than 30,000...
11:54
Share of tax revenues up in Armenia in 2016, deputy minister says
In 2016, the revenue system has undergone certain changes in Armenia. The share of the tax revenues increased in the country, totalling to 92%,...
11:15
Armenian ballet dancer earns diploma at Moscow int'l competition
Razmik Marukyan, a ballet dancer of the Armenian National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after A. Spendiaryan, has been awarded with a...
10:42
Time magazine names Trump, 8-year-old Syrian girl most influential people on the internet
US President Donald Trump and an eight-year-old refugee from Syria, Bana Alabed, have been named by the Time Magazine among the most influential...
20:34
Virtuoso pianist Dmitry Iskhanov to perform with State Youth Orchestra of Armenia
On July 1, young pianist Dmitry Iskhanov (Malta) will perform with the State Youth Orchestra of Armenia at Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. He is...
20:22
Armenia’s justice minister meets with UK Ambassador to Armenia
Minister of Justice of Armenia Davit Harutyunyan on Monday received UK Ambassador to Armenia Judith Margaret Farnworth, the press service of the...
19:49
Tourist flows into Artsakh on the rise
42% increase in tourist flows into Artsakh has been recorded in April 2017, to compare with the same period of the previous year, while a 222%...
19:22
Armenia’s Parliament Speaker meets with head of Russian State Duma
“Armenia attaches importance to the events aimed at the formation of the atmosphere of mutual trust,” Ara Babloyan, Speaker of...
19:03
France's Macron calls Russia ‘aggressor’
Russia is acting as an aggressor in eastern Ukraine, and this is a commonly known fact, French President Emmanuel Macron said, as reported by...
18:51
EU should first of all clarify how it defines the ‘status quo’
On 22 June 2016, the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia released the statement of the EU Spokesperson on fatalities in the...
18:06
Armenian Air Force marks 25th anniversary of establishment
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Air Force of Armenia’s Armed Forces, a festive event was held on...
17:16
2016 economic growth mainly driven by significant growth of exports – Chairman of Armenia’s Central Bank
The slowdown of Armenia’s economic activity in 2016 mainly stemmed from the decline of real volumes of agriculture and construction...
16:17
Armenia’s Parliament Speaker: ‘I expect the balanced stance of the Kazakh side on Karabakh conflict’
“I expect the balanced and reserved stance of the Kazakh side on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict consonant with the position of the OSCE...
15:57
Armenian Armed Forces capable of preventing war, senior military official says
“The Armenian Air Force was established in parallel to the Armenian Armed Forces. And the results of our pilots that we registered and...
15:28
“Voices of Artsakh” music ensemble conquers new stages
“"Voices of Artsakh" music ensemble conquers new stages worldwide day by day,” Paruyr Hovhannisyan, Permanent...
14:40
Arpine Hovhannisyan elected in office of PACE Vice President
Deputy Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament Arpine Hovhannisyan was elected today in the office of the Vice-President of the Parliamentary...
14:33
Alexander Iskandaryan says quite difficult to expect breakthrough in Karabakh conflict
It remains quite infeasible to expect new developments in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict - both in the settlement process and at the Line of...

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?"}