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

10:54
Aurora Humanitarian Initiative partners with Club de Madrid to raise awareness for global humanitarian causes
The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, a non-profit charitable organization established on behalf of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and in...
10:31
Artsakh forces take countermeasures to suppress Azerbaijani activeness
Azerbaijani forces violated the ceasefire across the Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh/NKR) and Azerbaijan more than...
20:28
21 road traffic accidents registered in Armenia in three days
According to the operations reports of Police of the Republic of Armenia, 26 out of 29 cases of infliction of bodily injuries registered in the...
20:17
2016 Aurora Prize Laureate Marguerite Barankitse visits Artsakh
Marguerite Barankitse, 2016 Aurora Prize Laureate, visited Artsakh on May 22. As Artsakhpress told Panorama.am, accompanied by the Minister of...
19:41
Turkey summons U.S ambassador over Washington brawl
Turkey summoned John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Ankara, to its Ministry of Foreign Affairs to protest what it called "aggressive and...
19:24
Donald Trump listens to performance of Armenian choir in Holy Sepulchre Church, Jerusalem
U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and went to the Armenian, Catholic and Greek...
18:59
‘BSEC is not the format to discuss the NK conflict’ – Armenian Deputy FM replies to Azerbaijani official
“We are convinced that this summit is not the place and the BSEC is not the format to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,”...
18:01
Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem welcomes U.S. President Trump in Israel
Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem Archbishop Nourhan Manougian attended the welcoming ceremony of U.S. President Donald Trump in Israel’s...
17:38
Armenian athletes win 8 medals at European Sambo Championships
The 2017 European Sambo Championships (M&W) is over in Minsk, Belarus. The Armenian athletes have gained medals during the championship....
17:10
VivaCell-MTS employees join international “Bike to Work” day
The growing number of bicyclists on the Yerevan streets is not only a new trend but also an important step for building sustainable and healthy...
17:00
Charles Aznavour to attend concert in his honor in Yerevan, Armenia
The Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra is set to hold a concert entitled “Pour Toi, Aznavour” at National Academic Opera and...
16:24
Iran to be in far stronger positions, Armenian expert says
“The domestic political agenda of Iran will undergo certain changes following Iran’s presidential elections,” Vardan...
15:21
Yemen war: Major cholera epidemic feared, says charity
A major epidemic of cholera is feared in Yemen, according to charity Save the Children. Almost 250 people have died of the disease this...
14:52
Levon Aronian to participate at Norway Chess tournament
Armenia’s strongest GM Levon Aronian is set to participate at Norway Chess 2017. The fifth edition of the tournament will be held on June...
14:31
Impossible for Poland to host refugees for fear of 'social disaster' - Jaroslaw Kaczynski
Poland "cannot get involved" in hosting refugees as it would create a sort of "a social disaster," with Warsaw restricted in...
13:52
Azerbaijan joins ‘US-Saudi campaign’ to isolate Iran
U.S. President Donald Trump delivered address at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on May 21 and called for a "coalition of...
13:04
Rains, thunderstorms forecast forYerevan
On May 22, on May 25-26 predominantly in northern regions in the evening hours as well as on May 23-24 in the majority of Armenia’s...
12:41
U.S Secretary of State says Turkish violence 'simply unacceptable'
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday denounced a violent clash in Washington last week involving Turkish security personnel and...
12:01
Open air concert dedicated to 93rd anniversary of Charles Aznavour
An open air concert dedicated to the 93rd anniversary of prominent French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour will take place in Yerevan at...
11:31
CEC calculated distribution of mandates in Yerevan City Council
Central Election Commission of Armenia (CEC) has convened an extraordinary session, summing up the final results of the Yerevan City Council...
10:49
Syria's Homs completely liberated as last militants leave al-Waer district
The withdrawal of militants from al-Waer district of the Syrian Homs was completed on Sunday after their last convoy left the city toward...
10:25
Artsakh Defense Army: More than 750 shots fired toward the Armenian positions
Azerbaijani forces broke the ceasefire across the Line of Contact between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan around 80 times overnight to May...
20:00
Defense Army serviceman Karen Danielyan posthumously awarded with the "For Service in Battle" medal
Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan signed today a decree according to which serviceman of the NKR Defense Army's N division Karen Danielyan was...
19:46
Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia in first foreign trip
US President Donald Trump has arrived in Saudi Arabia on the first leg of his first foreign trip since taking office, Al Jazeera reported....
19:18
“Get involved to end HIV epidemic” - public event to be held in Yerevan
May 21 is the World Remembrance Day of AIDS Victims, which is celebrated on every third Sunday of May. The National Center for AIDS...
18:34
Tobacco production reduces in Armenia
According to the data released by the National Statistical Service (NSS) of Armenia, in January-March 2017 the tobacco production volumes...
17:51
New infrastructure to be developed around Garni Temple – Deputy PM
Number of investment projects aimed at linking tourism with community development programs are planned to be implemented in Garni and Goght...
16:43
At least 170 people have died due to heat stroke in India
At least 170 people have died in Telangana, India due to heat stroke since April of this year. India Today reports, the weather department has...
15:55
Armenia’s President congratulates Rouhani on ‘decisive victory' in Iranian presidential elections
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan sent a congratulatory message to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani on his decisive...
15:21
Armenia’s Tigran Kirakosyan wins gold at European Sambo Championships
The 2017 European Sambo Championships have launched today in Minsk, Belarus, with some 300 samboists from 26 countries taking part in the...

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?"}