Azeri Papers Comment On Russia-Georgia Conflict’s Impact On Karabakh


BBC Monitoring International Reports
August 21, 2008 Thursday

An Azerbaijani independent daily has expressed its concern about the
consequences of "the US-Russian fight to put the South Caucasus in
the sphere of their influence".

On 20 August, in a comment on the latest developments in the South
Caucasus region after the Russian-Georgian conflict, Ekspress said: "It
is obscure where the US-Russian standoff is leading the region. One of
them want to take control over our wealth, the other wants to control
our territories as well. Europe comes up as another geopolitical actor
in the region in the person of the third co-chairing country – France."

The paper added that "the resolution of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict
by means of such mediating countries conflicting is impossible as
each of them promises us only nasty surprises".

"When Georgia entered South Ossetia, it saw the US support at least
although it was late. If we want to enter Karabakh, all the three
co-chairing countries will stand by Armenia," Ekspress said.

The opposition daily Azadliq quoted independent expert Rasim Musabayov
as saying that everything can be expected from Russia now.

Asked about the possibility of Russia’s military incursion into
Azerbaijan, Musabayov said that there was still no reason and need
for that.

"First, we have an opportunity to head off this provocation. Second,
it is impossible to create this artificially," Musabayov said.

The political analyst thinks that as Russia has faced a threat of
losing several partners, it prefers cooperation with Azerbaijan,
the paper said.

In an interview with another opposition daily Yeni Musavat, Musabayov
said that "the reality is that Russia is seeking for a pretext to
destroy Georgia. The world, including the USA, understands that Russia
does not enjoy great power. From this standpoint, the West considers
achieving success as a result of diplomatic pressure. Russia does
not have much room for manoeuvres".

He added that the Russian president and premier did not want to be
isolated from the world and wanted to be represented in G8.

The analyst said that Russia would be expelled from Georgia by force
and added that "the blow of any serious step that the USA takes in
any case will hit Turkey".

However, he added that Turkey is trying to regulate ties with Moscow
so that to avoid risks against itself and Azerbaijan.

Asked if Azerbaijan is Russia’s next target in the South Caucasus,
political expert Vafa Quluzada told Azadliq that "if Russia wants
to really take control over the South Caucasus, then the capture
of Azerbaijan will be put on agenda whether you like it or not. But
nobody can say precisely if Russia will attack Azerbaijan or not".

In a comment on the latest developments, the Yeni Azarbaycan newspaper
of the ruling New Azerbaijan Party said that "although it is logical
to think that the Georgian developments will speed up its NATO
membership, one should take into account that a political decision
is also of great importance here… In any case, the resolution of
the conflict or Georgia’s NATO membership demands political will. If
this will is not displayed [by the West], Tbilisi will suffer from
its pro-Western policy".

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