Armenian and Azerbaijani 2018 presidential elections will renew contradictions over Karabakh, report of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) reads.

Experts of RIAC noted that Armenia will hold presidential elections in March, 2018 and,for the first time, the president will be elected by National Assembly. Serzh Sargsyanhas not right to run for the second term. 

The year will be important for adapting to the agreement with the EU and membership of Armenia in EAEU. It is very likely that Yerevan will be able to find the optimal combination of interaction with the two blocs. This will be promoted by active cooperation with Moscow in the sphere of security on a bilateral basis and within the framework of the CSTO.

As for Azerbaijan, the Russian experts believe that the relations with Russia will hardly be the central theme of elections, and their outcome won't change an interaction paradigm with Moscow. The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, will most likely keep his post. The summit of heads of Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan in Moscow will become an important event of year.

"The election campaign in both Transcaucasian countries actualizes the contradictions over Karabakh. Episodic aggravations are possible here. Defense spending will grow on both sides.”