BAKU: Armenia’s status not allows it to have its own opinion on deep


Aug 3 2009

Well-known diplomat and political expert Fikrat Sadigov spoke in an
interview with Day.Az.

Day.Az: How would you comment on one-day working visit to Azerbaijan
by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdukov and its outcome?

Fikrat Sadigov: The visit by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serduukov
should be considered in two ways. First of all, this visit is linked
with strengthening of military and technical relations between
Azerbaijan and Russia. Secondly, of course, this visit is related
to the overall situation in the South Caucasus region, in particular
with the Russian-Georgian relations, as well as the situation in Iran.

Q: Do not you think that Russian Defense Minister’s visit not announced
anywhere before was somewhat sudden?

A: Visits by defense leaders are not always announced. So, now it is
not an official, but working visit by Russian Defense Minister to
Azerbaijan which focused on operational issues related to security
in the South Caucasus region and Russia’s military presence in the
region, the expansion of Russian-Azerbaijani military and technical
cooperation on mutually beneficial terms.

Q: What, in your opinion, will be Armenia’s reaction to enhancing
Russia-Azerbaijan military and technical cooperation?

A: Armenia is Russia’s "outpost" in the Caucasus and its status will
not be changed. in the foreseeable future. But the current leadership
of Russia is well aware that their country can not forever indefinitely
to provide loans to Armenia and to employ ex-presidents of Armenia,
which has long bee turned into a mononational and economically backward
state. Moreover, Azerbaijan both economically and geopolitically is
a very attractive partner engaged in a very sensible and balanced
foreign policy. Moreover, hundreds thousands of Russians still live
in Azerbaijan unlike Armenia and the number of Russian-speaking
population of is greater.

All of this creates a good basis for a comprehensive deepening of
Russian-Azerbaijani relations. Neither Russia nor Azerbaijan should
be interested in what Armenia thinks in this regard. Armenia’s status
does not allow it to have its own opinion about the deepening of
Russia-Azerbaijan relations.

Q: Is Russia defense minister’s working visit to Azerbaijan is linked
with Russian Prime Putin’s visit to Turkey scheduled for August 6
which will focus also on Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

A: I would not say these visits are directly linked. But at
the same time discussing Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict in meetings between top leaders of Russia and Turkey is
inevitable. Moreover, there is now momentum in the settlement of the
conflict. In these circumstances, there is a need to make a final
clarification of a number of challenging and just as important issues
in Russia-Turkey relations with regard to the forthcoming visit to
Turkey by Vladimir Putin and with regard to Russian defense minister’s
visit to Azerbaijan.