Rovshan Ibragimov: Moscow-Baku-Tehran format can give impetus to Karabakh settlement
Political scientist Rovshan Ibragimov, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the trilateral meeting of the presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran, which was held yesterday in Baku, will allow to review the region's format, due to which the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may gain new impetus.
According to him, the format of the Caucasus as a region will change substantially, "as Russia and Iran, being the Caucasus countries, are increasingly being involved in the region." "Of course, this will affect the processes taking place in the region, perhaps it will also give impetus to the resolution of regional conflicts, especially in Nagorno-Karabakh," the expert pointed out.
Commenting on the results of the trilateral meeting, Ibragimov explained that it pursued both economic and political goals. "The geo-economic basis topped the agenda of the meeting, in this case it is the launching of the North-South project via Azerbaijan, namely the completion of the railway from Rasht to the border with Iran and further to Azerbaijan's Astara. It is expected to contribute to the development of trade relations between the three countries, also including regions from India up to the border with Europe," he noted.
"This component will also have important geopolitical implications, since it is the first tripartite format meeting of Russian, Azerbaijani and Iranian presidents," the expert said.
He noted that there is a political and economic potential between the countries. "In addition, the president said that they will meet regularly in this format, and not only in a summit format, but also at the level of different ministries," Ibragimov added.
The expert also referred to the expansion of gas cooperation between the parties, which can turn into a gas cartel format in the future. "Russia has the world's largest natural gas reserves and Iran is the second. Azerbaijan also has significant gas deposits. Therefore, some kind of cooperation is quite possible," he noted.
However, here we are talking about some kind of cooperation in the gas sphere between the countries, for example, swap deliveries between Russia and Iran. "The methods of re-export of Russian gas to northern Iran are being considered, while natural gas is mainly produced in the south of Iran, the Persian Gulf. It is expected that the transportation of Russian gas to northern Iran is possible through the infrastructure existing on the territory of Azerbaijan, while in the south Iranian gas will be sold to world markets as Russian gas, in addition, it can be exported as liquefied natural gas," the expert said.
At the same time, the expert drew attention to the fact that in general, the trilateral Russia-Azerbaijan-Iran format should be considered in a broader sense. In addition, emerging forms of cooperation should not be taken as threats or as a kind of alternative to existing formats, he stressed.