August 11
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The West and Russia, especially the United States and Russia, see the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict differently. The director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute, political scientist Alexander Iskandaryan told about this to Armenian

"It is difficult to imagine a well-coordinated work of the US and the Russian Federation today. It has nothing to do with the South Caucasus; it has to do with the conflict over Ukraine and the level of tension between Russia and the West," he added.

The European Union cannot be a serious competitor to Russia in what the latter is doing in the region, the political scientist assured.

"Russia is not just a moderator or a neutral party that can help the parties in the negotiations; it is a regional power that sells arms to both sides of the conflict. Its peacekeepers ensure the physical security of the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The EU cannot play that role in the security sphere. The EU has no security, it gets its security from NATO, it is a consumer of security, not a supplier.

Therefore, the European Union cannot be a threat to everything that Russia is doing in the region. Accordingly, the EU-Armenia-Azerbaijan and Russia-Armenia-Azerbaijan formats are different; so, it is unlikely that Russia will be able to completely oust the EU—and vice versa. And if so, those projects can work at the same time. The problem is not where the meeting will take place, but the fact that the [Armenian and Azerbaijani] parties are so different that it is not possible to move from the deadlock through the mediation of either one or the other.

"Azerbaijan says it is not ready to talk about the Karabakh issue at all; it says that there is no Karabakh," Iskandaryan said.

According to the analyst, in this situation it is difficult to work in the paradigm that has been developed until 2020; and therefore, attempts are being made to develop a new paradigm, including by the European Union.

"I do not see any supernatural activity by the European Union. And the reason why the European Union is trying to do something is the vacuum existing in the negotiation process, and I connect it not with February 24, but with November 9. The situation in which the Minsk Group was working and trying to solve the problem in the paradigm in which it was to be solved has been eliminated by the second Karabakh war," Iskandaryan said.

"The OSCE Minsk Group does not really work, but formally it exists, they have not separated once and for all, its revival in the future is not ruled out. If there will be an opportunity for the US and Russia to work together, it is possible. The OSCE Minsk Group has ‘died’ and been ‘reborn’ many times—and this is not the first time at all.

The region should not be overestimated, but it should not be underestimated either. The South Caucasus is located between Iran and Russia, in the neighborhood of Turkey, and not far from the Middle East, between the Black and Caspian Seas, on the way of various communications. In addition, this is one of the largest regions in the world in terms of being equipped with conventional weapons. Therefore, the attention of global players to it is quite natural. But this does not increase, but decreases—focusing on China and Ukraine and what is happening around it,” Alexander Iskandaryan said.

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