Leonid Reshetnikov: West sees Caucasus only in terms of the fight against Russia
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not only a regional conflict of interests of Azerbaijan and Armenia, but also the center of confrontation of foreign players, some of which are pursuing short-term benefits, while others are trying to build long-term relations with the parties of the conflict, Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Lieutenant General of the Russian Federation Foreign Intelligence Service, Leonid Reshetnikov, told Vestnik Kavkaza, speaking about the role of the United States and Russia in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.
Vestnik Kavkaza publishes a series of interviews with Russian and foreign experts, dedicated to the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Our guest today is Leonid Reshetnikov.
First of all, he stressed that the conflict has only political solution. "It is necessary to continue the negotiations, try to negotiate and find the compromises, because it is better to have a bad peace, than a good war. The resumption of hostilities may cause a war, when not only Azerbaijan and Armenia will fight, but also external forces. It is likely that both Turkey, Russia and Georgia will be involved in this," Leonid Reshetnikov explained.
Realizing this, Russia seeks to resolve the conflict here and now. "Nations of the Caucasus must understand the position of Russia: we are always looking two or three steps ahead. I worked as the head of analytical department of our intelligence for many years, and I often met Western analysts, including American analysts, and I can say with all responsibility that they do not look ahead: they always have a task that must be resolved right now, and it does not matter what will happen next. The confirmation of my words can be seen in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt. When we tell them: "And what will happen next?", They reply: "Nothing. We will bring democracy, peace, and everything will be fine," This must be understood," he noted.
According to his estimation, the external factor was also present in April clashes in Karabakh. "In my opinion, it was a certain test of what will happen next. And here, I'm once again surprised by misunderstanding of Russia's role, which prevented further development of hostilities: there is a certain dissatisfaction with its behavior, including in Yerevan and Baku. But we must be vigilant, because for those forces, which are now trying to establish control over Syria, while we are trying to stop them, the Caucasus will be the next point in the plans - explosive, pulsating point, which can ignite and bring extremely negative results for us. We understand that especially the United States, as well as the forces that are behind the United States, consider the Caucasus only in terms of fighting against Russia and its return to the world arena as a major power - and the Caucasian peoples and the countries will simply become victims of this policy," he drew attention.
A partial exception can be made for Azerbaijan, due to its economic resources, "but other countries, including our territory - the North Caucasus - are considered by the West only as a base for subversive activities against Russia." The West has no other plans for the Caucasus.