Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

Baku/06.05.23/Turan: Experts are actively discussing the results of the meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers in Washington and forecasting the prospects of signing a framework document by the leaders of the two countries on June 1 in Kishinev.

However, when making these assessments, one should not forget that besides the interests of Baku and Yerevan, there are also the interests of Russia and the West, represented by the United States and the European Union. The way the situation develops is dependent on these external players, not less, but maybe more.

During April, the US stepped up its mediation efforts through shuttle visits to Baku and Yerevan, preparing a meeting in Washington, amid Moscow's tacit dissatisfaction.

Nikol Pashinyan has not abandoned his desire to resolve the problem with the West, openly making it clear that Moscow is unable or unwilling to support Armenians. Moscow's poorly concealed irritation at these actions by official Yerevan coincided with the establishment of the Azerbaijani border post in Lachin, which Russian peacekeepers did not interfere with. But Yerevan seems to have ignored this warning as well.

It seems that the Armenian authorities are maintaining their strategic course towards integration with the West, despite the risk of losing Karabakh altogether. There may be several reasons for this. One is that Karabakh has become a heavy stone for Armenia that it cannot lift, and it deprives the country of the prospect of becoming independent from Russia and from all external players. Evidence of this can be seen in the numerous statements by the Armenian leadership that Karabakh itself should negotiate with Baku and that Armenia recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

However, Pashinyan is inconsistent here. Thus, by saying that Yerevan has no territorial claims towards Baku and Azerbaijan should recognize Armenia's sovereignty on its territory of 29,800 square kilometres, he does not say that Armenia too should recognize the sovereignty of Azerbaijan on its 86,600 square kilometer territory. That is, Karabakh is Azerbaijan.

If on this issue Pashinyan is being disingenuous in his desire to move away from Russia to the West, he is more unambiguous. In this issue, his opponent is not only Moscow, but also the Karabakh Armenians. The latter's refusal to get closer to Baku and regular accusations against Yerevan of betraying the interests of the Karabakh Armenians coincide with criticism of Armenia from Moscow.

This is hardly a coincidence.

Pashinyan's forthcoming visit to Moscow and meeting with Putin will be important. There is no doubt that Pashinyan will once again be asked to refuse contacting with his Western partners. There is no reason to think that the Armenian Prime Minister will agree, despite the prospect of another defeat in Karabakh or territorial losses on the border with Azerbaijan.

While we should not assume that Pashinyan is a masochist, he demonstrates a determination to go all the way, no matter the sacrifice.

May and June are expected to be hot in our region, literally and figuratively. -02B-

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