YEREVAN. – The decision of Azerbaijani leadership to replace part of troops on the border with Armenia by border guards is a step forward for the development of relations with Armenia, Alexander Skakov, political scientist, Senior research fellow of the Center for Central Asian, Caucasian and Volga-Urals Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Science, told Armenian News-NEWS.am.
According to the expert, this is related to the change of leadership in Armenia and attempts to develop certain ties.
“The change of the negotiator [change of leadership] in Armenia prompted Azerbaijan to make a certain step forward. This is the reason for such a dramatic change in approaches, given the fact that for many years Azerbaijan refused from making concessions, including in the matter of withdrawing snipers and heavy equipment from the borders with Armenia. Now Baku will wait for adequate measures from Yerevan,” Skakov said.
The expert stressed that it is necessary to take into account the fact that the decision was made regarding the areas bordering with Armenia.
“The aggravation on the border with Armenia may also involve Russia, given the agreement on security signed between Yerevan and Moscow,” he added.
Asked how this decision could be related to the last visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Azerbaijan, the expert said: “Even if this decision was made as a result of consultations with the Russian Foreign Minister, it was obviously agreed with partner countries, primarily with the OSCE Minsk Group member countries.”