By Nana Gegelashvili

Held on August 13, 2013 visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin in one of the key countries of the South Caucasus - Azerbaijan and accompanied the President respectable Russian delegation, which included representatives of the first echelon of the government and big business, has once again demonstrated what a tremendous value that this the region continues to be for Moscow. And it is directly related to the extremely favorable geopolitical location of the South Caucasus, especially in periods of high volatility around its perimeter.


After all, a ring encircling the Greater Middle East, the core of which is the Southern Caucasus, consists of several "links". This is Iran's problem, and the countries of the "Arab Spring", and Afghanistan, and, finally, the Russian North Caucasus, is directly related to the problem of security of the Russian Federation. Given the extremely difficult Russian-Georgian relations, as well as a spat between Russia and Armenia, Yerevan caused by the desire for rapprochement with the EU, the Russian vector Caucasian policy was again directed towards Azerbaijan, which, in the apt words of the famous American political scientist Zbigniew Brzezinski's "vital important stopper, which controls access to the bottle with the riches of the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. "


The main objective of Moscow in the Caucasus seems to become the next round of its rapprochement with Baku, relations with which the last two years have seen some cooling. That was the main purpose of the visit of the Russian president. Among the causes of this cooling, was, first, to Moscow's inability to conclude in 2012 for her lucrative deal with Baku on the operation of the Gabala radar station (RLS). This has contributed to the output of Russia after a year, in 2013., Of an agreement on transportation of Azerbaijani oil via the "Baku-Novorossiysk pipeline." Other factors that influenced the nature of the relationship between the two countries is the lack of mechanisms for settlement of the Karabakh conflict, dictated by Moscow's desire to maintain the existing conflict zone in the status quo as the best option in this situation to continue to play the role of "arbiter" in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. For today Moscow is not ready to speak in support of any of the warring parties.


However, one should not discount the existing Russian leverage over the issue of the Karabakh conflict, which is quite aware not only in Baku and Yerevan, but also in the West. Moscow believes that measured more than 20 years of confrontation can be corrected only by political means. This suggests that military intervention from the "outside" is not supposed to be since the main purpose of Moscow on this issue is to maintain an unsteady balance between Yerevan and Baku.


On the other hand, given the factor mnovektornosti politics of post-Soviet countries, and, above all, the countries of the South Caucasus, determined by the realities of today, Moscow is fully aware of the need for an extremely balanced and constructive policy based solely on considerations of pragmatic sense. And today it is not only and not so much economic relations, but also the total land border from Dagestan, as well as the total membership of both countries to the Caspian Sea. In addition, on the eve of the presidential elections in both countries of the South Caucasus - Georgia and Azerbaijan in October 2013 visit of the Russian President in Azerbaijan has become a kind of "litmus test" to determine the relationship between Moscow for the third term of President Ilham Aliyev, which can be characterized as an approving .


During the visit of the Russian President in Baku was signed several documents on a wide range of problems. They include an agreement on cooperation between the Russian state oil company "Rosneft" and SOCAR to build a road bridge on the interstate border agreement in the field of humanitarian cooperation, etc.


What did the Russian president's visit to Baku? First of all, the inviolability of Russian interests in the Caucasus, which must be understood not only all the three countries of the South Caucasus and the West, represented by the U.S. and the EU.