Is compromise on Karabakh possible?
To this day, the sides of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have completely opposite positions, so it is still very hard to find a real compromise, which would satisfy both Azerbaijan and Armenia, representatives of the expert communities of conflicting republics said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
Russian experts, in turn, pointed out the need to work with societies of the two countries in order for complete settlement of the conflict to become possible.
Milli Mejlis deputy, political scientist Rasim Musabekov, who participated in the negotiation process on Karabakh, primarily drew attention to the difficulty of imminent settlement of the conflict based on compromise. "Those who believe that it is possible to resolve the problem in a short time and remove it from the agenda are wrong - this is impossible. The sides have completely opposite positions. The real question right now is will we be able to advance settlement of the conflict to a stage where there won't be a threat of full-scale war," he said.
The expert noted that the resumption of large-scale war over Karabakh will have serious consequences not only for Armenia and Azerbaijan. "It can also harm Russia and Turkey," he noted.
Director general of the Caucasus Institute, Alexander Iskandaryan, believes that there are no chances to achieve compromise on Karabakh even in the medium term. "The positions of sides are so different that the compromise is basically impossible. Azerbaijan says that Karabakh should be a part of Azerbaijan, without specifying what is meant by an autonomy that will be granted to it. Armenia and Karabakh don't want to hear anything about Karabakh being controlled by Baku," the expert stated.
Director of the Institute of Political Studies, Sergey Markov, speaking about the obstacles to compromise on Karabakh, mentioned patriotic sentiments in both countries and the instability of Armenian authorities among others. "Today, one of the main obstacles is the rise of patriotic sentiments within the republics, which makes it difficult to achieve a compromise using 'Kazan formula'. The situation is especially difficult in Armenia. Azerbaijan has strong authorities, Ilham Aliyev is very popular, so Azerbaijani leadership can achieve a compromise, but Armenian President is much less popular and the government is currently 'floating'," he thinks.
Political scientist Andrei Yepifantsev agreed with his colleague. "Armenia and Azerbaijan are not ready to make a compromise. The problem is that the societies of two countries are not prepared for any compromises: the intensity of anti-Armenian and anti-Azerbaijani sentiments is so great that all the decisions will be perceived by societies as a betrayal of national interests," he stressed.