by David Stepanyan
"Unfrozen" Nagorno Karabakh conflict (NK) will affect the 'political pipeline' Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and Azerbaijan's contacts with Europe and U.S. in the energy field, leaving aside the big expenses for dragging Turkey or Iran into the NK conflict. In other words, NK conflict affects also the interests of others, not only Russia. The remarks came from Sergey Markedonov, Associate Professor at the Russian State Humanitarian University, well-known political analyst, in an interview with ArmInfo.
"I think in such situation any successful peacekeepers is better, even despite the personal animosity many feel against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The escalation of tensions around NK and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border made Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting urgent as never before. In this light, the Russian president's diplomatic efforts in Sochi brought Moscow to the forefront in the NK peace process," the analyst said.
Initiating the trilateral meeting in Sochi, Putin demonstrated Moscow's desire to keep control of the NK peace process. However, the U.S. and European experts immediately revealed the Kremlin's desire to strengthen its influence in the South Caucasus. In this light, the analyst emphasized also the strong and constructive relations of Sargsyan and Aliyev with the Kremlin top officials and the high level of personal trust between the two leaders and Putin.
To recall, the trilateral meeting Sargsyan-Aliyev-Putin in Sochi on 10 August was the initiative of the Russian leader. The sides agreed to continue the peace talks and defuse tensions in the conflict zone.