Analysis: Karabakh likely to be part of Putin-Erdogan talks in Moscow

Analysis: Karabakh likely to be part of Putin-Erdogan talks in Moscow

Photo: www.kremlin.ru

Archive Photo

The presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are expected to meet in Moscow on Wednesday, and many Armenian experts expect from this meeting agreements that may be a challenge for Armenia.

Erdogan, along with a number of Middle East leaders, will attend the opening of the reconstructed mosque in Moscow. This will happen on the day when U.S. President Barack Obama will host Pope Francis in Washington. Experts see this as a kind of message of Putin that Russia is on the side of the Sunni countries, while the United States is trying to improve relations with the Shi’a, including Iran.

However, Armenian experts will rather watch whether Erdogan and Putin manage to agree on a number of issues, among which may be those related to Nagorno-Karabakh. There is information that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev may also visit Moscow and the three presidents will talk about the terms of settlement of the Karabakh issue with the introduction of Russian peacekeepers.

Western and Azerbaijani media actively write about the existence of such a plan. Pentagon spokesman Evelyn Farkas, according to Russian news agency Interfax, visiting Baku recently, said that Russia is part of the Minsk process on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and cannot introduce troops without the consent of the United States and France. At this stage Armenian officials also deny the probability of the entry of peacekeepers into the conflict zone.

However, as former head of the National Security Service of Armenia David Shahnazaryan said in an interview with 1in.am, formally and legally Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, and the issue of the entry of peacekeepers, if it emerges, will be discussed with Azerbaijan rather than Armenia. And Armenia will be offered only to withdraw from the territories, where peacemakers may be introduced.

It is not clear whether these issues will eventually be discussed during the Moscow meetings, but many experts agree that the Karabakh issue has always been a subject of bargaining between Russia and Turkey, and the bargaining between these two nations has now intensified. The matter primarily concerns Russia’s controversial actions in Syria, which, despite their being controversial, coincide with the interests of Turkey. As Turkish Foreign Minister Firidun Sirinlioglu, who recently visited Moscow, said, Ankara’s and Moscow’s positions coincide on the inadmissibility of the collapse of Syria.

The disintegration of Syria and the redistribution of boundaries in the Middle East will lead to a denunciation of international treaties, according to which 100 years ago the Ottoman Empire was divided. Part of the Empire, in particular, the Armenian lands were divided under the Russian-Turkish agreements. The Karabakh issue is certain to be in the context of the current post-Ottoman territorial integrity. Both Russia and Turkey are interested in preventing changes of this integrity.