EurasiaNet: "Solution of the Sarsang problem can help to resolve the Karabakh conflict"
The British publication The Guardian writes that terrorism not Russia is a major threat to the world. Numerous articles have been published in the Western press in recent times that a resurgent Russia poses a threat to Europe and the world as a whole. However, no publication wrote that terrorism is as relevant as ever and remains one of the key problems of the modern world.
The arrest last week in Brussels of Abdeslam Salah, a key figure who stood behind the terrorist attacks in Paris, was greeted triumphantly by the Belgian authorities. This mood was clear then, but now it seems to be completely inappropriate. At the same time, Russia and Assad’s progress in the fight against international terrorism was presented only as an attempt to destabilize Europe. In particular, the US General Philip Bridle, one of the key figures in NATO, stated that the motivation of the Russian leadership is "an attempt to reduce the influence of the European leaders, such as Angela Merkel, as well as the promotion of right-wing parties across the continent." The think-tank Chatham House, in turn, issued a document, which says that to build a successful relationship with Russia it should be recognized that the values of the West and Russia's strategic interests are fundamentally incompatible. However, is it really so?
In fact, by assuming Russia to be the biggest threat, the West has overlooked the real danger, which primarily comes from international terrorism, ISIS. The US officials, who used to accuse Russia of supporting the Assad regime, now admit that it is Moscow's efforts that have kept the region from further crisis, and the preservation of Assad as the president of Syria allows the Arab country to preserve its statehood against the background of the fight against terrorism.
There is a clear alternative to the new cold war: opposition to a common enemy manifested by international terrorism, which does not cease to strike all around the world. It is necessary to develop more efficient, reliable measures to strengthen the military potential for a successful response to the real enemy. To do this, the Western political community must recognize the fact that Russia is not an enemy, but a very powerful partner, thanks to which there is a chance to stabilize the existing state of affairs in the world.
The international publication EurasiaNet writes about whether the situation with a reservoir can help to resolve the Karabakh conflict. One of the most acute problems of Nagorno-Karabakh remains the question of the Sarsang reservoir, access to which Azerbaijan lost after an agreement on the cessation of hostilities reached in 1994.
Built in 1976 on the Tartar River, the reservoir is located in Karabakh and is used for drinking and irrigation not only in the mountainous areas, but also in the six adjacent territories currently occupied by the Armenian forces and the separatists. The Tartar population is about 102 thousand people, these are mainly IDPs from Karabakh and the occupied regions, who do not have any other source with a large volume of water.
In December last year the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly said that those responsible for the reservoir have deliberately deprived the adjacent Azerbaijani territory of the water, and the lack of regular maintenance of the Sarsang dam means that the whole region faces a threat. PACE’s Resolution on January 26th calls on the Armenian government to stop the use of water resources as a political tool. It calls for the immediate withdrawal of Armenian forces from the reservoir to the surrounding area in order to provide engineers and hydrologists with access to the reservoir to study its condition. Armenia, in turn, condemns the resolution as a propaganda ploy and insists that the reservoir meets international standards.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry describes Armenia's position on this issue as a lack of respect for international law. Baku continues its efforts to inform the international community about the requirements of the PACE resolution. A solution to the Sarsang problem could play a positive role in resolving the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. This can be a good basis for negotiations, as this is a humanitarian problem, and both sides can agree on it. However, the solution must lie on the level of peace negotiations in order to avoid even greater losses and deaths, the number of which is already great at the moment.