The West is striving to drive Russia out of the region by Turkey's hands, Sergey Mikheev

Mon 19 October 2009 10:09 GMT | 15:09 Local Time

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Sergey Mikheev

Interview News.Az with Sergey Mikheev, vice president of the Russian Center of political technologies.

Is the soonest normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations likely to take place, considering the recent efforts in this direction?

It depends on what is implied by saying "normalization". The opening of borders and establishment of trade relations and some economic projects, are quite possible. As for political problems, no rapid changes are envisaged there. The issue of genocide, as well as claims for lands beyond the territory of the present-day Armenia, which Yerevan considers to be the ancient historical lands of Armenia (including Nagorno Karabakh) is still crucial for Armenia. Similar issues but of the opposite nature are critical for Turkey as well.

Is Russia concerned over the growing role of Turkey in the South Caucasus, which is a traditional area of Russian influence?

There is really such a concern, Moscow is aware that the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations might be a part of a plan on Armenia's geopolitical reorientation and Russia's extrusion from the South Caucasus.

Do you think Turkey is normalizing relations with Armenia on its own initiative or under some pressure?

I am confident that Turks are backed by both Americans and a part of European elite. They use Turkish ambitions to execute a plan to drive Russia out of this region, establish a closer and an unambiguous control in the South Caucasus and also strengthen their positions in this part of the continent in the context of the Iraqi and Iranian problems.

For Americans and Europeans the problem of Armenia, which has previously been oriented mostly on Russia and the problem of Nagorno Karabakh is an obstacle on the way to seizing the full control over the region, through which they are tending to establish an alternative, safe and stable transit of oil and gas from Middle Asia.

Therefore, they are seeking ways out of this situation, notwithstanding the nuances in positions of these or those countries. In other words, I think they are ready to "force to stability" as for the South Caucasus, being aware that the countries of the region are unable to settle the existing problems.

Might Turkey be included into the OSCE Minsk Group as its co-chair or just be attracted to active participation in the Karabakh settlement in case it normalizes relations with Yerevan?

It is now too early to speak of this once it is unclear what the declared aspiration for improving relations might result in.

Do you think some improvement in mutual understanding between Russia and the United States is facilitating the prospects of Nagorno Karabakh settlement where both countries are the main mediators?

The Nagorno Karabakh problem settlement did not depend on any contradicitons between the United States and Russia, while improvement of mutual understanding is now observed in quite different issues not related to the Karabakh problem in any way. Thus, the role of this factor should not be exaggerated.

Leyla Tagiyeva
News.Az




 

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