Eugeni Volk: The normalizing of the Armenian-Turkish relations will hardly have a significant impact on negotiations over Karabakh

Tue 20 October 2009 12:01 GMT | 17:01 Local Time

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Eugeni Volk

Interview News.Az with Eugeni Volk, leader of the US Heritage Foundation in Russia.

Do you consider it possible to attain an accord between Washington and Moscow on the joint use of the Gabala radar station in conditions when president Obama reviews his policy on missile defense?

There is a long distance between the reconsideration of the US position in the issue of missile defense and the cooperation between Moscow and Washington in this sphere. Closing in positions and understanding of each other's interests will take a long time. Now, in the prevailing situation, the joint use of the Gabala radar station seems purely hypotetical and, in the best case, a remote opportunity.

Meanwhile, the parties admit that the United States and Russia still have contradictions on a number of matters. Is the position of these countries on the Nagorno Karabakh problem seem consolidated to you?

We should admit that the Nagorno Karabakh problem is not among the priorities of bilateral relations between the United States and Russia. The impact of developments in other spheres on the positions of the sides is inevitable.

On the whole, both Moscow and Washington are aware that they cannot do too much for the settlement of this problem and they seem reluctant to search a consolidated approach. The rivalry of these two superpowers in the South Caucasus will inevitably hamper reconciliation of their positions.

Is the soonest breakthrough in the Karabakh issue possible considering that the sides are reluctant to make concessions?

The soonest and radical breakthrough in the Karabakh settlement is highly unlikely for the approaches of the sides are too different and the emotional component of the conflict is too high. Both sides seem to lack strong powerful external stimulus to make principal concessions, while the internal political situation is not too favorable for compromises.

Do you think the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations might affect the negotiations over Karabakh?

The normalizing of the Armenian-Turkish relations will hardly have a significant impact on negotiations over Karabakh. Certainly, it may induce both Baku and Yerevan to use Ankara in their own interests - to put pressure on a partner. But for some objective reasons Turkey may not become a mediator in this issue that could have ensured the mutually appropriate settlement of the conflict for a long term perspective.

Leyla Tagiyeva




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