BAKU HOPED TO BENEFIT FROM ARMENIAN ELECTION RESULTS: RUSSIAN EXPERT
Azerbaijan pinned certain hopes on Armenian presidential elections
for a possible Karabakh settlement on its own terms.
Head of the Caucasus Department of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent
States) Institute Mikhail Alexandrov expressed such an opinion.
Former prime minister Serge Sargsyan won in the mid-February elections
this year. His contender Levon Ter-Petrossyan, the first President
of Armenia, refuses to recognize the vote results.
"When Ter-Petrosyan failed, Ilham Aliyev got obviously nervous.
Azerbaijan renewed its threats of war, some border shooting cases
were reported," Alexandrov said at the Novosti International Press
Centre in Yerevan.
The Russian expert said Azerbaijan most possibly had been made to
believe that in case Ter-Petrosyan’s victory the conflict would be
settled on Azeri terms.
Alexandrov guesses the Karabakh issue will be the focus of the
presidential elections due next fall in Azerbaijan.
"However the authoritarian political system in Azerbaijan leaves little
doubting the fact that Aliyev will win in the elections," he added.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict started in 1988 when Nagorno-Karabakh
with dominantly Armenian population declared its withdrawal from
Large-scale military operations followed in which Azerbaijan lost
control over Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent20regions.
On May 12, 1994, a ceasefire agreement was signed putting an end to
the military operations in which 25,000-30,000 people were killed
and about one million people were forced to leave their homes.
Since 1992, peaceful settlement talks have been held under the auspices
of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chaired by the USA, Russia and France.