Alexander Sotnichenko: There Will No Breakthrough In Armenia-Turkey

ALEXANDER SOTNICHENKO: THERE WILL NO BREAKTHROUGH IN ARMENIA-TURKEY RELATIONS

PanARMENIAN.Net
12.11.2008 12:30 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ A meeting between Armenian, Turkish and Azerbaijani
Presidents, if there is such, will not secure a breakthrough, according
to a Russian expert.

"The declaration signed by the Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani
Presidents in Moscow on November 2, 2008 is the first-ever [since the
agreement on ceasefire in 1994] document containing exact proposals,"
senior lecturer at Saint-Petersburg State University, expert at the
Center of Oriental Studies, Ph.D. in historyAlexander Sotnichenko said.

In his opinion, such conflicts are usually resolved by a third party
and mostly by use of force.

"Many in Russia and abroad think that Russia always supports Armenia
but it’s not so. Russia is interested in peace and stability in the
South Caucasus because each regional conflict brings Russia flows of
refugees, drug and weapon traffic, terrorism. South Ossetia has been
the supplier of illegal alcohol to Russia until recently. Chechnya
was a center for drug traffic. The war in Abkhazia resulted in huge
refugee flows. Besides, any conflict in the South Caucasus blocks
overland trade routes to Iran and Turkey, our allies, which also
prefer a peaceful region," he said.

"While the Armenian cargo goes through Georgia, Armenia remains the
third important trade partner for Turkey, which is interested in
using Armenia as a transit for oil and gas from Azerbaijan and the
entire Caspian region. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan is the most expensive oil
pipeline. Exporting oil through Armenia would be much cheaper. It’s
extremely profitable for Turkey and Europe but it damages Russia’s
interests because competition will increase in this case," Sotnichenko
said.

Touching on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the expert said that
Turkey and Russia, being ‘engaged mediators’ might find a solution
but it would arouse discontent both in Armenia and Azerbaijan. "It
will be more efficient if the sides in the Karabakh conflict take a
habit of meeting on a neutral ground, in Iran, for example. At that
Russia and Turkey should also participate in the talks," he concluded,
Russkaya Liniya reports.

Some Turkish media reported last week that President Adbullah Gul is
planning a meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani and Turkish leaders in
Istanbul. The information was however later refuted by the Turkish
Foreign Ministry.

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