Political analyst: Future of South Caucasus depends on resolution of Karabakh conflict
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 10
By Matanat Nasibova – Trend:
An important condition for ensuring stability and security in the South Caucasus is the settlement of the longstanding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the head of the Expert Council of the Baku Network, Ph.D. Elkhan Alasgarov said at the round table meeting on the topic “Security Problems of the South Caucasus and the Caspian region countries” held in the press center of Trend News Agency.
He noted that the South Caucasus has always been the scene of wars between Russia, Iran and Turkey, and with the collapse of the USSR, a favorable situation was ensured to create a belt that could unite all these countries and become a kind of Schengen zone of Eurasia.
“By the Schengen zone, I mean the creation of conditions for the prosperity of all countries in the region. Unfortunately, this did not happen: the presence of large reserves of energy resources played a negative role, since in the end this led to the emergence of the interests of extraregional countries here, and, ultimately, a conflict situation was created by various ways, in which terrorist groups were also involved. The Karabakh conflict in this regard is a good example,” Alasgarov said.
The political analyst noted that in the South Caucasus there are two blocs that influence the situation in the region: CSTO and NATO.
“NATO’s presence in the South Caucasus is gradually expanding, and this became apparent after the decline of CSTO’s authority over Secretary General Khachaturov’s resignation. As for the situation in Armenia, with the coming to power of a new government in this country, the pro-Western element clearly intensified. However, today a favorable situation is emerging for resolving the conflict, since the level of external threats and risks has been reduced. For example, the spread of terrorism in Syria has been suspended, the level of risks and threats against Iran has been reduced, and in such a situation, I believe, the settlement of the Karabakh conflict should become a priority in the South Caucasus. In my opinion, the future of the South Caucasus without solving this problem seems vague,” he said.
The event participants discussed Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation in the context of new challenges for the Caspian region, the development of North-South, East-West transport corridor systems as a condition for ensuring security of the Caspian region.
They also discussed signing of the “Constitution of the Caspian Sea” in the context of ensuring regional security in the South Caucasus, regional conflicts and security in the South Caucasus, the fight against terrorism in Azerbaijan, the deepening of economic ties between Azerbaijan and Russia in the light of the formation of a new technology structure in the global economy and economic security, as well as intensification of regional integration and the coordination of the actions of the Eurasian countries in removing tensions and preventing new challenges, the problem of mutual understanding of the North and South Caucasus as a common security system for border states.
From the Azerbaijani side, Azerbaijani MP Rasim Musabayov, head of the Expert Council of the Baku Network, Ph.D. Elkhan Alasgarov, moderator and expert Gulnara Mammadzade, editor-in-chief of the Sputnik-Azerbaijan news agency Ilgar Valizade, professor of Azerbaijan University of Economics Elshad Mammadov, senior adviser of the Baku International Multiculturalism Center Tofiq Abbasov, national security expert, doctor of law Professor Kamil Salimov took part in the meeting.
Stanislav Chernyavsky, director of the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Konstantin Kurylev, director of the Center for Studies of Post-Soviet Countries and Leonid Gusev, senior researcher at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Russian Foreign Ministry participated from the Russian side.