Belarusian expert: Armenia has no potential for active combat operations
    Blitz-interview with Andrei Kazakevich

    INTERVIEWS  28 February 2023 - 18:25

    Huseyn Safarov

    Caliber.Az had a blitz-interview with Andrei Kazakevich, Belarusian political scientist, doctor of political sciences, and director of the Institute of Political Researches "Political Sphere".

    - Can the USA and Europe put pressure on Azerbaijan due to the civil eco-action on Lachin road?

    - It is hardly possible to speak of pressure in the current situation. The US and EU have limited opportunities to directly influence the situation in the South Caucasus. The reason, in this case, is both Ukraine, which distracts the main attention of the West and the increasing importance of Azerbaijan's energy resources for the EU. Rather, it can be expected to be moderately active. Unless, of course, there is a new escalation. But the US and EU position will not be a deterrent for Azerbaijan.

    - Are new clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia possible?

    - The risk of clashes remains, but the main issue here is the scale. The conditions for significant clashes do not seem to exist yet. On the one hand, there is a restraining factor in the form of a Russian peacekeeping contingent temporarily deployed on Karabakh territory; on the other hand, there is increased attention to the problem by the world powers.

    Azerbaijan's negotiating position is already strong, but Armenia does not have the capacity to engage in active hostilities. It, therefore, makes sense for Azerbaijan to continue unarmed pressure on the Armenian side, as there is no need to fear an armed response from Armenia.

    - The Azerbaijani president called 2023 "the last chance" for Armenia to finally delimit the border. As the Azerbaijani head of state noted, the year 2024 will follow, and Russia's peacekeeping mission will end in 2025. What will happen next, Aliyev wondered. Do you think the delimitation will take place in 2023? If not, what will happen next?

    - I would consider President Ilham Aliyev's words more as pressure on Armenia in the negotiation process for additional concessions. Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Türkiye's position in the South Caucasus has strengthened and Russia's position has weakened, while at the same time, Azerbaijan's importance to the EU has increased. Baku's fortunate outcome of the military clashes with Armenia last September has also played its part. In other words, Azerbaijan's position is stronger than ever. Against this background, it is natural for Baku to seek a solution on its own terms. It is more advantageous for Armenia to take its time and hope that the international situation becomes more favourable for it.

    Nevertheless, the delimitation of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2023 is, in my view, unrealistic. And tensions over this issue will persist for a long time to come.


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