Fyodor Lukyanov: Azerbaijan’s role is objectively increasing
‘‘Azerbaijan's role in the region is increasing,’’ scientific director of the International Discussion Club Valdai, editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs Fyodor Lukyanov said in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza during the 12th session of Valdai that is taking place in Sochi now.
"It is clear that relations between Russia and Azerbaijan are being activated. Certainly, this irritates Armenia, despite the fact that Moscow consistently stresses that it has completely different types of contacts with Baku, rather than with Yerevan. Nevertheless, the role of Azerbaijan is objectively increasing due to the current situation that we can see today, including in the Middle East. The very fact that cruise missiles against targets in Syria were launched from the Caspian Sea means that South Caucasus is rapidly returning into the orbit of big politics," Lukyanov said.
According to him, it is difficult for Russia to maintain cooperation with Armenia today.’’ "Relations with Armenia became more difficult after the republic joined the EAEC. The relations aren’t easy, because any alliance is not a current state, but a process. Measures are carried out all the time in order to maintain a balance of interests,’’ the scientific director of the International Discussion club Valdai said.
Lukyanov stressed that it is important for Russia to maintain a dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh. ‘‘Frankly speaking, I don’t see a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict now, I see only visible ways directed at maintaining the balance of power in order to preserve the understanding that the problem cannot be solved through military means. It is the only thing that can be done now, as there are no political preconditions for the solution of the conflict.
"The thing is that the degradation and termination of the dialogue entails an inevitable worsening of the situation on the contact line. We can observe it all the time. Therefore, Russia’s efforts to arrange for the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to meet and discuss the problem are very important," the chief editor of Russia in Global Affairs stated.
Fyodor Lukyanov added that the Caucasus is not the theme of Valdai, but we often mention it when we discuss world conflicts. "First of all, people say how the South Caucasus is related to the main area of today's conflicts: the Near East and the Middle East. The terrorist organization Islamic State absorbs all sympathizers with extremist views like a sponge from all parts of the world, including the territory of the former Soviet Union. I do not rule out that President Vladimir Putin will speak about it, as he has already mentioned about it several times. The main factor that encourages all countries is to share experiences and information at least,’’ the scientific director of the International Discussion Club Valdai said.