Meeting of Russian, Armenian leaders in Moscow likely to focus on Karabakh

Meeting of Russian, Armenian leaders in Moscow likely to focus on Karabakh – 


Armenianow – Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will pay a working visit to Moscow on March 10. This became known from an interview Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian gave to the Russian newspaper Kommersant. 

The newspaper writes that Moscow is concerned about the situation around Karabakh and the rise in tensions in the conflict zone. According to it, this issue will be discussed in Moscow during the meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Russia. 

Apparently, the two will also discuss the results of last week’s visit to Yerevan of the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini. The newspaper thinks that Moscow is concerned by the renewed political dialogue between the EU and Armenia.

As of early Wednesday Sargsyan’s upcoming visit was not yet officially announced on his website, which shows that to all appearances this is an unscheduled trip. One can only make assumptions as to what else it is connected with, given the changing role of the South Caucasus region for the new Russian strategy.

Only recently Russian President Vladimir Putin twice called his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev who recently visited Tehran.

The presidents talked about Syria and about economic cooperation. Then Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is in charge of the military-industrial complex, paid a visit to Azerbaijan. Rogozin later expressed his satisfaction with the existing military-technical cooperation with Baku.

In what then that Moscow published a list of weapons that it is ready to supply Armenia as part of its $200 million loan for military purchases. In response, Azerbaijan, which has bought weapons from Russia worth up to $5 billion, sent a note of protest to the Russian Foreign Ministry. Russia replied that it was selling weapons exclusively with a view to preserving the military balance between the parties.

Besides, Russia failed to persuade Georgia to agree to changed conditions of transit of its natural gas to Armenia and supplies of its gas to Georgia proper. But Georgia has managed to agree with Azerbaijan.

All these issues are included in the general context of Russian strategy, which, according to international experts, is strengthening its military base in Armenia and can use its potential in the event of a military conflict with Turkey. Azerbaijan demands guarantees that Russia will not use its base against it. And Georgia is also concerned about the increasing Russian presence on its borders.

Experts say that in the Greater Middle East, which also includes the South Caucasus, the international security system is changing, and the era of a Russian-Turkish alliance, which kept the region for about a century, is coming to an end. Now the powers are seeking allies and Russia is trying to win over both Azerbaijan and Armenia.

It is not clear yet what Sargsyan and Putin will be discussing in the context of the Karabakh conflict in which Russia, along with the United States and France, is the main peace broker.

Interestingly, James Warlick, the American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group that advances international mediatory efforts for Karabakh, wrote on his Twitter account that he had arrived in Tbilisi to discuss the Karabakh problem.

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