Will NATO enter Karabakh mediators’ race?

Will NATO enter Karabakh mediators’ race?

At the Warsaw NATO summit, the alliance will adopt a communiqué that will call on all parties of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to reduce tensions and to refrain from violence, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg informed.

"I expect that we will also mention the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in our communiqué. Our message is that we urge both sides to reduce tensions and refrain from violence, as well as continue to try to find peaceful solution through negotiations. We support all efforts aimed at finding a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," he said.

And today Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who is currently on an official visit to Warsaw, also held talks with co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - James Warlick, Igor Popov, Pierre Andrieu and a special representative of the OSCE current chairman Andrzej Kasprzyk.

In an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza, professor of the Western University Fikret Sadykhov noted that the very fact of such statement by NATO is a positive factor in the conflict resolution, since it implies that all countries of the alliance are interested in stability in the Caucasus.

"I think that President Ilham Aliyev, who is currently in Warsaw, drew attention of the alliance to the problems of the settlement and occupation of Azerbaijani lands. But the problem is that there were a lot of similar statements made in the past. So I think that it is time to move from statements to actions, specific steps, which will be based on the principles and norms of the international law. By the way, this was discussed during the talks between Ilham Aliyev and Serzh Sargsyan in St. Petersburg, which were held under Vladimir Putin's mediation. In my opinion, this matter should definitely break the deadlock," the expert said.

The director of the Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan also believes that no one is interested in an escalation of war in the South Caucasus, so almost all foreign powers, including the US, the EU, CSTO, OSCE, and NATO support a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

However, he also noted that despite the importance the Karabakh issue present on the Warsaw Summit agenda, NATO meetings cannot be a platform for holding any negotiations on this matter.

"The NATO summit tries to affect the stabilization of the situation. But OSCE is the one and only platform for negotiations on Karabakh, or rather the OSCE Minsk Group with its three co-chairs," he concluded.

The leading expert of the North-South Political Science Center Alexander Karavaev thinks that NATO cannot be actively involved in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, since there are already certain mechanisms that prevent NATO and the CSTO military alliances from interfering in the settlement process.

He also stressed that the only moderator, mediator and party that can truly influence both Yerevan and Baku is Moscow and Russian President Vladimir Putin personally.

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