Russian Expert Does Not Believe in Success of Meeting of Presidents in St. Petersburg

The hopes for serious progress in the Karabakh conflict after St. Petersburg were originally not very substantiated. This opinion was expressed in an interview with ArmInfo by the Russian analyst Sergei Markedonov, commenting on the results of the St. Petersburg meeting of the Presidents of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan.

At the talks, Ilham Aliyev, noting the need to overcome the status quo, expressed confidence that this can be done only through the "de-occupation of Azerbaijani territories." Serzh Sargsyan was limited to Yerevan's usual commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, complaining that "unfortunately, at the request of one party, such conflicts cannot be solved." The Presidents once again expressed willingness to hold meetings in this format on a regular basis, and also agreed to increase the number of OSCE observers on the frontline.

"The four-day war" in Karabakh took place just two months ago. Although the fighting did not escalate into a full-scale war, it became the most extensive one in the 22 years since the entry into force of the permanent ceasefire agreement. Yerevan and Baku have never demonstrated commitment to make compromises and concessions in the diplomatic format either," he said.

Markedonov said the April war is considered as a success in Baku, and taking small sections of the Karabakh territory is presented by the authorities as a reserve for the future in case of continuation of the status quo. In this light, the analyst estimates the military exercises in Azerbaijan that are taking place from 19 to 24 June, including the Azerbaijani areas adjacent to the conflict zone, as far from random.

He believes that Baku’s refusal of talks and its choosing the military option would be risky, because it could hardly count on the support by the major players. "Yes, there are no breakthroughs in the settlement. The conflict is being frozen instead of being solved. But it is also true that there is absence of a proposed formula, which could be the basis for peace in the troubled region. Unfortunately, there is nothing but “Madrid principles” supported both by the Russian Federation and the West," the analyst concluded. -02D--

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