Putin-Aliyev meeting in Sochi. 2022

Putin-Aliyev meeting in Sochi. 2022

The working visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Moscow on April 22 marks a turning point in the development of geopolitical dynamics in the South Caucasus. Against the background of ongoing regional tensions and global changes, this visit highlights the deepening of ties between Azerbaijan and Russia, as evidenced by the discussions on strategic partnership and allied relations enshrined in the 2022 declaration signed by Aliyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It is reported that the main agenda of the talks includes a comprehensive review of bilateral relations and key regional issues. This meeting is taking place at a crucial moment, especially in connection with the early withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Karabakh, a step that raises questions about future stability in this historically unstable region. The presence of peacekeepers in Karabakh, which was originally planned to be extended until next year, has become a point of contention and a buffer against potential escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Arzu Nagiyev, a member of the Azerbaijani Milli Majlis Committee on Defense, Security and Anti-Corruption, stressed the broader regional implications of the talks, suggesting that the discussions would go beyond bilateral issues and focus on the consequences of conflicts in the Middle East and potential disruptions in regional logistics, especially with regard to the Zangezur corridor in Armenia.

Director of the Institute of Political Management Azer Gasimli hinted at possible surprises from the meeting, including Azerbaijan's potential consideration of joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Such a step would mean serious changes in the regional economy and politics, given the composition of the EAEU and its consequences for Azerbaijan's relations with the West.

The rapprochement between Azerbaijan and Russia, strengthening ties with a powerful neighbor, complicates Azerbaijan's relations with Western countries. Recent tensions are evident, for example, the recall of the French ambassador to Azerbaijan for consultations and cool relations with the United States. These events reflect a broader reassessment of Azerbaijan's strategic orientation and its implications for Western interests in the region.

Nagiyev's comments also highlighted the ongoing discussions on regional stability, the return of territories around Gazakh and the broader consequences of the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border. These discussions reflect the complex interweaving of local territorial issues and broader geopolitical strategies in which Azerbaijan seeks to consolidate its benefits from the recent conflict with Armenia while regulating its international relations.

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