Brzezinski: the USA and Russia Aren’t Capable Settle the Karabakh Conflict


For the first time within an electoral period international intermediaries – co-chairs of the Minsk OSCE Group on Nagorno-Karabakh settlement (Russia, the USA, France) have gained the opportunity to proceed consulting the parties in and outside the region, as stated in the review. During the meetings held the international intermediaries intended to extend direct contacts of the Parties to reach an agreement on the basic principles of the conflict settlement. Armenian-Azerbaijani meetings at the summit level were held twice (on June 6th in Saint-Petersburg and on November 2nd in Moscow).

Repeated summits of the Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev with his Azerbaijani and Armenian colleagues Ilham Aliyev and Serge Sarkisian included detailed discussions of Nagorno-Karabakh problem and promoted the leading role of Russia in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, as underlined in the document.

The meeting of the confronting states in Moscow, held under the invitation and with participation of the Russian President, concluded with the adoption of three-party declaration directed on peaceful Nagorno-Karabakh conflict regulation by political means, - states the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. This is first document referring to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that was signed by the Heads of Azerbaijan and Armenia, noted in the document.

According to APA, the review also underlines, that 2008 was marked by a stable development of relations and intensive political dialogue between Azerbaijan and Russia. It’s specified that the re-election of Ilham Aliyev as the President of Azerbaijan promoted more extended cooperation between the two countries.

The President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev officially visited Baku in July of 2008, where the Presidents signed the Declaration of friendship and strategic partnership. Russian-Azerbaijani trade-economic relations have also developed intensively. The goods turnover between Azerbaijan and Russia has reached almost 2 billion dollars for the first time in 10 months.

However, one of the leading American political analyst Zbigniew Brzezinski is not that optimistic over the possibilities of the USA and Russia to regulate Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The settlement of territorial conflicts in South Caucuses depends greatly on the willingness of the Parties to conflict to compromise, rather then on the wishes even of the kind of world-powers as the USA and Russia, considers the leading American political analyst Zbigniew Brzezinski.

“I’m convinced that neither the USA nor Russia can solve these problems on their own”, - stated the former Counselor to National Security issues of the President Jimmy Carter Administration to Trend News.

There are two unsettled conflicts in South Caucuses – between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territorial claims for Nagorny Karabakh; recent conflict of Georgia over the separated territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In addition, in 1993 Armenia and Turkey broke diplomatic relations because of the anti-Turkish campaign of Yerevan, connected with the so-called “genocide of Armenians” and occupation of 20% of Azerbaijani territory by Armenia.

Brzezinski considers that the countries, directly involved into the conflict, have a choice either to reach a compromise or to insist on status-quo for one reason or another. He considers that this means, that they are able to settle the conflict without anybody’s assistance, but the attitude of the Parties involved into the conflict towards the process of conflicts regulation is still important.

“Their willingness to compromise – is an extremely important element in this complicated process, - he said. – That’s why one shouldn’t underestimate how constructive settlement of “frozen” conflicts depends on the USA or Russia”.

Despite that Moscow directly participates in Georgian processes, it doesn’t give it a potential to settle the so-called frozen conflicts, assumes Brzezinski. He thinks that Russia can contribute into this conflicts regulation, by demonstrating diplomatic initiative and supporting existing international principles, which include territorial integrity and respect of national sovereignty.

“The same benefits can present the United States of America”, - considers Brzezinski. However, the productivity of the leading co-chairs of the Minsk OSCE Group presented by Russia and the USA seems to be miserable. The thing is that they can’t still choose the approaches to the conflict settlement, corresponding with the principles mentioned above by Mr. Brzezinski. But this is only a half of problem. They even have no courage to point in public the violator of the regime of cease-fire during international monitoring.

The head of the USA mission at OSCE Kyle Scott made an announcement on behalf of the co-chairs of Minsk OSCE Group, that stated: “We call for the Parties to the conflict to follow the principle of cease-fire rigorously and we are sincerely sorry about the death of 30 people and about injuring of 50 people in 2008 as a consequences of the cease-fire violation”.

We are strongly condemn the cease-fire violation during the OSCE mission monitoring, especially considering that local commanders have provided written guarantees of OSCE monitoring security not long before the beginning of monitoring on February 26th.

We demand for the Parties to explain how could this outrageous violation of cease-fire possibly happen.

We regret that not all the Parties agreed on recommendations, that were sounded by the co-chairs of the Minsk OSCE Group during the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Helsinki in December 2008 on withdrawal of sniper shooters from the line of contact.

We express absolute support and admiration by the work of personal representative of the current OSCE chairman Andrzej Kasprzyk and his team. We also emphasize the importance of monitoring within the line of contact as a measure of confidence enhancement between the Parties”, - states the declaration.

And some experts specify the possible influence of Turkish-Armenian dialogue on the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict around Nagorny Karabakh. Peace negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan through mediation of the Minsk OSCE Group and meetings on different levels on Armenian-Turkish relations – these are two processes, that are able influence each other, thinks the project manager of the program on Eurasia International Alert Desislava Rusanova (Trend News).

“The improvement of one of these processes can positively affect each other, and finally, influence peaceful regulation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”, - said Rusanova. “Each of these processes has individual aspects. These are parallel, but separate processes. But their success will influence positively the dynamics in general”, - considers Rusanova.

According to the expert, the peaceful settlement can be achieved only if the dialogue proceeds.

“There is no definite prescription of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict regulation. The decision should be approved by all the Parties. The achievement of this decision is a complicated process and demands responsible moves and liabilities of all Parties, their Leaders and peoples.” – said Rusanova.

As she stated, the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia expressed their firm commitment to proceed negotiating on political way of the conflict settlement. “The Presidents admit that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict regulation is a complicated objective and anticipates the establishment of conditions to enhance confidence between the Parties”, - assumes the expert.

Translated from “Zerkalo