There is no future for Armenia, Azerbaijan should be afraid of Iran, Russia cannot affect the situation in the South Caucasus - Modest Kolerov

"Pashinyan came to power as an unequivocally anti-Russian politician, however, the reality forced him to agree with Russia's leading role in ensuring Russia's security. But there is no doubt that Pashinyan has ceased being anti-Russian.

Pashinyan's new victory even despite just 25% of voters supported him is illustrative of the fact that  he has a mandate to continue this policy, " the expert said, commenting on a question: is it true that anti-Russian forces have won in Armenia?

At the same time, he is convinced that the Armenian state has no future without Russia.

Kolerov refutes  that Russia really wanted Robert Kocharyan' return to power but failed to. "Russia has no opportunities to affect the elections. Irrespective of Russia wanted or did not want to but it can't and has never could," he said.

When asked of any prospects in Karabakh, Kolerov replied that much depends on whether the mandate of the Russian peacekeepers will be extended. "It's not obvious to me. Moreover, at any rate it depends solely on Ilham Aliyev," he said.

"There are various views on why Ilham Aliyev stopped the war. To be honest, I do not know why but I can assume that he decided to balance the growing Turkish influence with the help of peacekeepers. But the fact is that Russia cannot affect the continuation of this mandate in any way," he believes.

Commenting on Yerevan's statements that the Karabakh conflict is not over and that Armenia will demand independence, Kolerov cited Pashinyan who stated that Yerevan stands for "cutting off" Karabakh and giving to anyone else. "However, Armenia has no means to influence the future of Karabakh. Armenia has historically lost, "Kolerov noted as saying that he regards calls in Armenia to take revenge as "psycho-therapeutic".

Why is there such a stir around the Zangezur corridor? In reply, Kolerov noted that the excitement was due to the fact that the issue of communications is "replaced" by the concept of a corridor.

"The corridor is an ex-territorial concept while communications are respect for borders. I think that Armenia will never agree to the corridor."

For Russia, an overland road to Iran is not very important. "As for the supply of military bases in Armenia, there are no guarantees that the Russian bases will remain there because of Pashinyan who is still in power," Kolerov said.

"Pashinyan is hopeful that someone would be able to replace Russia and come out as external guarantor of its security, and his other utopian ideas. That's why the withdrawal of Russian bases from Gyumri and Erebuni might occur in the foreseeable future," the expert said as adding that at present there is no need for these bases any longer. "They are not required after the appearance of Russian bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,"Kolerov said to add that "the collective West will not be able and unwilling to ensure the security of Armenia."

"Armenia has embarked upon the path of consistently killing its statehood and this is not only the result of the last war even despite the fact that the Karabakh factor accounted for 99% of Armenia's foreign policy. There is no Karabakh now," Kolerov stressed.

He believes that the Armenian authorities were minded to "give up Karabakh" during the war, so today they have received a new mandate.

Kolerov believes that Baku should think about possible developments in the region  after the “loss of Armenia's statehood”.

It should be noted that Turkey's essential involvement in the war, in the parade and the treaty significantly increased Erdogan's influence, and the presence of peacekeepers has not created a balance. The presence of peacekeepers does not resolve the safety of the Karabakh Armenians who are not minded to plan their future as a part of Azerbaijan. Besides, there is a threat of the formation of an Azerbaijani-Turkish confederation. However, this already threatens Baku to lose a part of its sovereignty and "share power" with the ally. As for Russia, there is no consensus over a policy in the South Caucasus.

Under the circumstances, Armenia and Azerbaijan are facing the issue of preserving their sovereignty. "Even despite the powerful Turkish factor, Azerbaijan is alone for its sovereignty," Kolerov believes as saying that the factor of 35 million southern Azerbaijanis is working against Baku.

It is natural that Iran is seeking to strengthen its influence on Azerbaijan, so it will try to take the place of Russia in the event of its withdrawal from Armenia to thus restrain the "Azerbaijani-Turkish expansion," Kolerov holds.

"As for relations with Iran, Azerbaijan is alone, so even 80 million-strong Turkey will not be able to help Azerbaijan in the confrontation with 80 million-strong Iran," the expert said and add  that such a scenario will become relevant in terms of "the self-abolition of the Armenian factor."

To his thinking, Iran will not calmly observe how the territory of Armenia will be "mastered" by Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Further on Kolerov excludes the possibility of reconciliation and economic integration between Armenia and Azerbaijan with due regard for "profound ethnic hostility". In his view, Baku's readiness to conclude a peace agreement with Armenia is insincere and devious.

He insists that Baku did not done enough to convince Armenians of the possibility of living together, especially as the rhetoric both of the Armenian and Azerbaijani authorities excludes prospects of reconciliation. "Therefore, it is easier for those living in Karabakh to leave than to take risks." Iran will take advantage of the situation, which, at the invitation of the Armenians, will come to Armenia to protect them, Kolerov believes.

He disbelieves in the Russian-Turkish alliance even in spite of the fact that Turkey is a "great regional power".

"Russia is defending itself, and will not interfere in internal processes in Transcaucasia," the expert believes, and when asked about Abkhazia and South Ossetia, he answers that there were security issues along Russia's borders.

As for Azerbaijan, Kolerov admitted that the results of the war greatly surprised many in Russia. "We realized that we didn't know something important about Azerbaijan. This is not the merit of Ilham Aliyev only but the country as a whole, and the topic requires a serious analysis," he said.

At the same time, he believes that for Moscow relations with Azerbaijan are based on the security issues. Moscow has no long-term interests other than security. The main point is not the Caspian Sea but Southern Dagestan. Russia is suspicious of Azerbaijan's interest in Dagestan, particularly, relations of Dagestani Azerbaijanis with Baku.

"Azerbaijan is an ethnic factor that any Russian ruler has to take into account in the issue of Dagestan. That'll affect the interests of Russia," he stressed. At the same time, he failed to reveal what exactly this threat is.

"If you want Russia to be closer, at least as a neutral party, then you need to explain Russia your national problems," Modest Kolerov summed up. - 02B-


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