March 26
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The reports on the meetings between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Sochi, on the one hand, and in Brussels and Prague, on the other hand, show that the issues are about the same: the communication breakdown, the signing of a peace treaty and compromises, Sergey Markedonov, a leading researcher at the Center for Euro-Atlantic Security at the Institute of International Research at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said in an interview with on the Power Factor program.

But there are some details and nuances. The West would like the framework agreement to be sooner, because then it will be possible to raise the question about the legitimacy of deployment of peacekeepers, the necessity and urgency of the 102nd base in Armenia, he said.

Moscow is saying that let us first carry out some work on the ground - the unblocking of communications, delimitation and demarcation - and to postpone the Karabakh issue until it loses the urgency it has now, Markedonov stressed.

Moscow proposes to hurry slowly, and the West proposes to accelerate these things, Markedonov added.

Since last year, according to his expert assessment, there is a new reality in the process of settling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Until 2022, the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan was not a point of serious confrontation between Russia and the West. Ukraine Transnistria, Abkhazia were, but Karabakh was not. Now we see a growing competition of these negotiation formats and peacemaking initiatives.

The French president accuses Putin of destabilizing the Caucasus, saying that Russia is using its influence to dictate the will of the countries of the Caucasus. This has not happened before. In 2021, after the first round of trilateral talks, with the participation of the head of the European Council, Michel called Putin. But now the expert can hardly imagine the internationalization of the peace settlement. How will Macron and Putin send peacekeepers together if according to Macron all Russia does in Caucasus is destabilization, added Markedonov.

He noted that somewhere Russia's position is not clearly articulated, somewhere Moscow's dependence on Turkey and Azerbaijan in the conditions of sanctions and confrontation with the West is noticeable, the Armenian society is worried and the search of alternative security mechanisms is underway.

The two chambers of the French parliament adopt a resolution condemning Baku, but then the speaker of one of the chambers in Yerevan says that we will not recognize Artsakh, and it is not Paris's task to spoil relations with Azerbaijan.

The same European Parliament resolution is only recommendatory in nature. Instead, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called Azerbaijan in Baku an important partner on all agendas, Markedonov emphasized.

He believes that Russia and the West have become hostages of the Ukrainian conflict, it is very much in the way.

Maybe the Western countries are not so blatantly saying that Russia should be squeezed out tomorrow, but if we carefully read all the press releases from the meetings in the West, the impression is that there are no Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh at all. If we talk about the delimitation and demarcation of the borders, the Russians know about them better. The West is not ready to see that, concluded the political analyst.

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