Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
The British research center Oxford Analitica predicts that at the upcoming meeting between the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan on June 18, the OSCE Minsk Group will put pressure on the parties to reduce tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"The Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers meet in Paris on June 18. French, Russian and US mediators from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group are widely expected to exert pressure on both sides to de-escalate tensions. Generally viewed as a 'frozen' conflict, Nagorno-Karabakh has been quite 'hot', with a steady cycle of clashes leaving dead on both sides. Against the backdrop of an already fragile balance of power and an escalating 'arms race', recent Azerbaijani attacks threaten to trigger a new outbreak of hostilities or outright war," the Oxform Analitica expert say.
The British experts believe that Azerbaijan has recently adhered to a new strategy: increasing the volume of purchases of arms, preparing to achieve operational readiness in 2014, and threatening to go to war on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the ceasefire, if no progress is made through negotiations by then.
Encouraged by the steady growth of the military budget, the General Staff of Azerbaijani Armed Forces has recently issued a statement that "it will take 10 days to liberate the occupied territory and reach the Armenian-Iranian border." In fact, the Azerbaijani army is not ready for a new war, and the Armenian side does not intend to attack, say experts from the research center.
The report also says that organization of military clashes on the border between Azerbaijan and Armenia and in the Karabakh conflict zone on 4-8 June coincided with the visit of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the region.
"In terms of maintaining the current format of OSCE Minsk Group, it will be very difficult to achieve real success in the negotiations. One of the reasons is Russia's position, because Russia is more interested in preserving the status quo or increasing the tensions," the report of Oxford Analitica says.
To recall, Edward Nalbandian, Elmar Mammadyarov and OSCE MG co-chairs will meet in Paris on June 18.