Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by David Stepanyan
A change in the status quo over Nagorno Karabakh maybe caused exclusively by foreign upheavals and not domestic impulses, says Manvel Sargsyan, Director of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS), in an interview with ArmInfo.
"In this light, neither the ongoing presidential election in Azerbaijan nor another 'victory' of Ilham Aliyev will bring any tangible changes in the Karabakh process. The domestic political processes in Armenia will not change anything either. The status quo of 1994 maybe changed only in the wake of foreign policy upheavals involving super powers and big players in the region, for instance, Iran," he says.
In late September the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs said they plan to visit the region in November to meet the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents to discuss their meeting scheduled for the end of the year. Presidential election has kicked off in Azerbaijan today, on 9 October. The incumbent president Ilham Aliyev is more than 100% likely to retain his position.
Manvel Sargsyan is sure that the unprecedented growth of arms supply to Azerbaijan by Russia may have a new, special role in the Karabakh peace process. It is the first factor. The second factor is Russia's new role in the relations with the post-Soviet countries and Moscow's efforts to reunite these countries under the flag of the Customs Union and future Eurasian Union. The analyst believes that new relations of Armenia and Azerbaijan with Russia may determine the quality and essence of changes around the Karabakh peace process.
"The third factor is the Moscow-Washington-Brussels relations and their stances on the Iranian nuclear problem," he said. All this is happening near the borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan and NKR and touches our countries and the Karabakh peace process. These factors may sharply change the status quo over Karabakh and result in either its recognition or in a new aggression by Azerbaijan, he said.