"Restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity will also have positive impact on Armenia"
Caliber.Az interview with Ukrainian expert
INTERVIEWS 05 September 2022 - 17:13
More than six months have passed since the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war. At the beginning of the hostilities two main predictions were made regarding its outcome. Some political experts believed that Ukraine would quickly surrender and a pro-Russian regime would be established in Kyiv. Others argued that Moscow had made a strategic mistake and fallen into the US trap of getting bogged down in Ukraine, which meant that the West's policy of economically isolating Russia would break the Kremlin's will as soon as possible.
As we can see, both options have failed. This shows that today it is difficult to make realistic forecasts in view of the constantly changing nature of this and other geopolitical conflicts. We can only state that Ukrainians do not give up, believe in their victory, and even make plans for the future. This is what Yevhen Magda, director of the Institute of World Politics (Kyiv), told Caliber.Az in an interview.
- Will Ukraine's political position in the post-Soviet space change in case of its victory over Russia?
- I think that after defeating Russia, Ukraine may become not only a more powerful state in the post-Soviet space but also an active participant in the European security system. The thing is that it has proven with arms in its hands that it is able to defend its independence against a state with nuclear weapons and it has been doing this effectively for six months, inflicting the aggressor significant damage in manpower and equipment. Ukraine has managed to refute all negative predictions about its army and demonstrated the unity of millions of citizens. Therefore, for the post-Soviet space, on the one hand, it will signal greater independence, and on the other hand, it will calm down the situation in Moldova, where local politicians are noticeably nervous about Russian activity in southern Ukraine. This will of course also have an impact on the situation in the South Caucasus.
- Many states have an interest in seeing Russia defeated. This will create a qualitatively different security picture in a region that has been a center of contradictions since 1991. I think that Russia's defeat will politically force it to withdraw from the South Caucasus and reduce its military presence there, which has already been diminishing recently. The countries in the region that are currently in conflict with each other, Azerbaijan and Armenia, will be able to reach some kind of resumption of their relations.
- How might Kyiv's victory affect Ukrainian-Azerbaijani cooperation?
- Today Ukrainian-Azerbaijani cooperation remains predominantly at the humanitarian level. However, we should not forget the deaths of dozens of ethnic Azeri citizens of Ukraine in the fight against the Russian invaders. It seems to me that the victory of Ukraine will help restore the active work of GUAM. Not to mention the fact that our success in this war will allow using the territory of Ukraine as a transit corridor for Azerbaijani oil. The Odessa-Brody oil pipeline, which never fully functioned as planned, can be extended to the territory of Poland, which will give an opportunity to actively develop our partnership relations and do it on a mutually beneficial basis. Now the whole civilized world is helping us in one way or another to fight Russia.
- What do you think about official Baku regaining control over the Azerbaijani city of Lachin?
- The return of Azerbaijan's control over Lachin will lead to the fact that Baku will soon be able to fully establish its sovereignty over the previously lost territories, that is, to restore its territory within internationally recognized borders. I believe that this scenario will have a positive impact not only on Azerbaijan but also on Armenia, no matter how paradoxical this may sound. Ending this confrontation, which consumes significant funds from the budgets of both states, will benefit both Baku and Yerevan.
- How do you see the future of the Zangazur corridor?
- The Zangazur corridor could become part of global transit routes, and in general, the restoration of normal relations in the South Caucasus would have an extremely positive impact on the situation in the region. The confrontation that has been going on for dozens of years is not good for anyone. It is clear that various compromises are needed, difficult and politically tough decisions, but I think that Russia's defeat in the war with Ukraine will contribute to this and the South Caucasus can become a booming region, it has everything for that - oil, the potential for rapid development of economic relations and the obvious interest of international investors who will come to the region once peace and stability are established there.
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