Aliyev-Pashinyan meeting kicks off in Vienna
The meeting between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has started in Vienna, Austria, head of the Department of Foreign Policy Affairs of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Hikmat Hajiyev wrote on Twitter.
This is the first round of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement talks at the highest level in a year and a half.
Earlier, editor-in-chief of 'National Defense' magazine Igor Korotchenko, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, Yerevan, despite the change of power, will once again take a non-constructive position and try to dead-lock the whole process. "An ideal option would be Pashinyan’s decision to return the five Azerbaijani regions occupied by Armenian troops under Baku’s control. But unfortunately, it will not happen, and we will see Yerevan’s desire to delay the negotiations once again. In particular, Pashinyan will express a desire to put some 'NKR representative' at the negotiating table along with the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia, which is absolutely unacceptable both in terms of international law, in terms of international mediators and in terms of common sense and justice. Of course, Baku will categorically oppose such an option," he said.
Director of the Political Studies Institute Sergey Markov said that Pashinyan will try to get any possible economic benefits at the upcoming meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Vienna, since it's necessary for internal political course of the new Yerevan. "There can be very serious expectations, since they have an opportunity to achieve serious breakthrough. Nikol Pashinyan is full of energy and hopes for economic breakthrough in the development of Armenia, he stated that there's a need for economic revolution in the country. However, under existing blockade, they can only achieve some kind of transformation, rather than effective growth. Now Armenian economy is cornered, and it can't escape without the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement. That's why Pashinyan set such an ambitious goal - escape from blockade and get access to global economy," the expert said.
The associate professor of the Department of International Security of the Faculty of World Politics of Moscow State University, Alexey Fenenko, said one can expect the most provocative behavior from Nikol Pashinyan. "I think that the only thing can be expected now - clarifying the situation with the St. Petersburg plan of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, worked out in June 2016. After the talks, it will be clear if it can be reanimated or the parties will look for some other scenario. In the second case, it will be a blow to Russian diplomacy, since Moscow acted as the guarantor of a constructive peace process after the April clashes in 2016," he said, adding that Armenia will try to sabotage St. Petersburg plan.