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"It starts a new geopolitical competition with the demand for the right of return." Gantaharyan

Politics

17 November 2023, 20:00

Radar Armenia's interlocutor is international scholar Shahan Gantaharyan.

- The US Senate approved the "Armenia Defense Act - 2023" draft law, under which the US President cannot bypass Resolution 907 and allocate military aid to Azerbaijan. What is the significance of this project?

- The resolution should be perceived against the wild fluctuations in Washington-Baku relations. Aliyev is not attending the Washington talks, and Pashinyan is not following the CSTO meeting. These vectors must be noticed when discussing the circumstances of adopting a resolution. Alternatively, Washington had many reasons not to bypass 907 long ago and adopt sanctions. The deeper the spheres of cooperation between Moscow and Baku, the more similar resolutions will multiply.

- The American side announces that it is following the movement of Baku on the Armenian-Azerbaijani borders. With this statement, what is the United States trying to understand about Baku?

- The USA follows the Baku-Moscow cooperation volume process. Parallel to that, there will be strong statements in the direction of Baku, which means there will be manifestations of readiness to assist in the direction of Armenia.

- Against this background, Azerbaijan states that it will not participate in the meeting at the level of foreign ministers on November 20. What is the reason that Azerbaijan opposes the USA quite harshly?

- Politics is just the same content. On the Yerevan-Baku line, there are now diplomatic proxy clashes between Washington and Moscow. Not going to Washington is also an impulse toward Moscow. Baku is gradually taking a position against the West, and Brussels and Washington are coordinating their actions in the South Caucasus.

- Why does Baku avoid Western platforms in general? Earlier, they refused the Brussels and the Granada meetings.

- You are correct that Baku avoids Western platforms. To counterbalance Moscow, he understood that the West was actively involved in the region and intended to assume the role of guarantor or mediator for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, which is not in Azerbaijan's interests.

- Shortly, if the Russian Federation takes the initiative to organize a meeting, will Azerbaijan participate, and, in this regard, are Azerbaijan's steps at the behest of Russia or not?

- I think Baku prefers to solve the problems in a 3+3 format, where Ankara will also be negated. The Turkish-Azerbaijani tandem aims to involve Turkey as a guarantor, mediator, or regulator.

- Zakharova stated that Russia will contribute in every possible way to the return process of Armenians to Nagorno-Karabakh, including through Russian peacekeepers, which is of fundamental importance for the reconciliation of Baku and Yerevan. Do you consider it realistic that Russia can be helpful in that process when it did not even protect the Artsakh Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh?

- Moscow is now working to rethink the mission of Russian peacekeepers. The right of return is heard not only from Moscow. A new process of involvement characterized by the demand for the right of return will begin, combined with the emphasis on security guarantees and the demand for new tools. The game shouldn't be played only according to Russian rules.

- They also report from Moscow that Yerevan, acting on the advice of the USA and the EU, is threatening to cut itself off from future regional configurations. If this scenario goes ahead and Armenia is separated from that configuration, what situation will it be in?

- Yes, Moscow is trying in every possible way to suppress the fact that the collective West is not involved in unblocking the region. With the 9th point of the November trilateral, Moscow had a monopoly to control the strategic lifeways. With the recent events in Karabakh, the tripartite has essentially been canceled, and Moscow has lost the circumstantial singularity in containing the de-blockade nodes. It is working both to rethink the mission of Russian peacekeepers and to have control over newly opened channels.

Hayk Magoyan

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