The first reason is that Baku has a great international reputation. Azerbaijan is the most stable country in the region and the country’s leader has a great reputation in the international arena. The second reason is that Azerbaijan has good relations with both Russian and the United States. The third reason is that Azerbaijan’s relations with Russia are based on mutual trust. Russia is trying to get its strategic partner Azerbaijan involved in the international negotiation process," Director of the Institute for Political Studies Sergey Markov said in a statement to APA.
He said that the chiefs of general staff will discuss a number of issues in Baku.
“These are mainly relations in the field of military communication which deteriorated during Obama's administration, the Syria crisis, and carrying out military operations against the ISIL terrorist organization. If the talks go normal, we can predict that Russian and US pilots are going to carry out joint airstrikes on ISIL in Syria in March and April. Another key issue to be discussed is that both countries’ military aircraft and ships are having dangerous encounters. It is highly likely that this issue will be discussed by the chiefs of general staff,” he said.
Lt Gen Evgeny Buzhinsky, a former head of the Russian ministry of defence’s international treaties department, said he is not surprising by the meeting taking place in Baku because Azerbaijan has good relations with both countries and is a militarily powerful country in the region.
“Azerbaijan has all the potential, including the military potential, in order for it to defend its national interests,” he said.
Asked what issues will be discussed at the Gerasimov-Dunford meeting, Buzhinsky gave the following answer: “Currently, there is absolutely no cooperation between the two countries in the military sphere. Therefore, these issues must be resolved. There are many issues to be discussed. These include the fight against international terrorism, the tension between the two countries, although in the military rhetoric, and the Syria crisis. The first step has to be taken because practically Russia and the US do not even have any mutual activity in the military sphere, let alone cooperation,” he said.
Another Russian military expert Alexander Perenjiyev also said the meeting is no coincidence.
“Baku had hosted a meeting of the brain centers of the armies of Russia and NATO member Turkey. So Baku has experience in hosting this type of meetings. Also, Azerbaijan has equal partnership and good relations with both Russia and the United States. These factors resulted in Baku being preferred as the location for the meeting of the chiefs of general staff of the two big countries,” he said.