Sergey Markov: Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be resolved through "Kazan" formula
A withdrawal from Azerbaijan’s territories in exchange for opening of the Armenian border is the most likely first step towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, a member of the Russian Public Chamber Sergey Markov said, speaking about the prospects of resolving this problem of the Caucasus region.
Vestnik Kavkaza continues the series of interviews dedicated to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, our guest today is the famous political analyst, Sergey Markov.
According to the expert, the "Kazan" formula means: Armenia returns the occupied area around Nagorno-Karabakh back to Azerbaijan, and in return, Azerbaijan lifts the economic blockade of Armenia. "They should fully resume the economic and humanitarian cooperation, as well as the movement of people. In addition to that the liberated districts should be demilitarized, which also benefits Armenia. They also need to sign a non-use of force agreement, and peacekeepers should be deployed along the borders. The 'Kazan' formula most likely will be implemented," he said, adding that the French and the US co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are trying to modify it to include in the implementation process other countries besides Russia.
The only thing that remains to be done is to coordinate several specific parameters. "First of all - how many districts should be handed over? Armenia offers to withdraw from five areas, keeping, above all, Lachin district, which connects the republic with Nagorno Karabakh. Azerbaijan suggests that Armenia withdraws from six districts and a part of the Lachin area. In that case Armenia will control only the Lachin corridor ‘just two sniper rifle shots wide’," Sergey Markov mentioned one of the practical problems.
"In addition, both sides agree that they should start negotiations on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh; of course, there will be discussions over the details regarding the referendum, which should be the preamble to the document. Azerbaijan insists on including in the agreement the Madrid principles which imply the territorial integrity of the country, where Karabakh is a part of Azerbaijan. Armenia argues that there is “no point to have the referendum, if it is already implied that Karabakh will be a part of Azerbaijan”. That is why Yerevan wants to hold the referendum as soon as possible, while the region is still predominantly populated by Armenians and the war is still going on in the minds the minds of the people. Baku would like first to see the return of the refugees, so the Azerbaijanis and the Armenians could both participate in the referendum," said Markov.
If the negotiations are successful, the tension in the region will decrease, and it will provide ground for economic development. "It will also create conditions for a more intensive cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EEU, and allow the freedom of movement for the people. Under such circumstances the Russian influence in the region is also expected to grow,” the expert believes.