Resumption of Russian arms supplies to Armenia to disrupt peace talks
    Russian expert tells Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  21 May 2023 - 17:42

    Matanat Nasibova

    Caliber.Az presents an interview with Russian international expert Dmitry Verkhoturov.

    -How would you assess the outcome of the trilateral meeting in Moscow between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia, in particular the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that the sides have managed to get closer to a common vision of a peace agreement?

    - Judging by the title of the document under discussion, I think something has clearly happened at this trilateral meeting and perhaps even a serious shift was achieved. I assume that the sides have agreed on a preliminary version of a full-fledged peace treaty between Baku and Yerevan.

    - So, the preliminary version of the peace document will already be discussed at the May 25 meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders there in Moscow?

    - I think so. I would assume that the version of the peace agreement was already considered at the May 19 trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers and will probably be considered in detail at the forthcoming meeting of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia at the end of the month. It is therefore likely that a peace agreement could be signed as a result of the forthcoming meeting unless of course, the sides have any objections to the document. Given the need for a peace agreement to be concluded in the near term, the agreement may only be postponed for a short time.

    - Do you think the assistance from Brussels and Washington to resolve Armenian-Azerbaijani relations is effective?

    - Regarding the European and American platforms envisaged for the resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, I think that Western diplomacy cannot resolve this issue and therefore its effectiveness is very low.

    - How soon can a CSTO mission be deployed on the notional Armenian-Azerbaijani border?

    - I think a CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] mission could appear on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border immediately after the signing of a peace agreement between Baku and Yerevan.

    - How likely is it that Russian military supplies to Armenia will be resumed?

    - I believe that the resolution of all military issues, including arms supplies, is possible only after the signing of a peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is possible that the document may include clauses defining the military side of things, and thus all issues may be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved. This makes the most sense to me, since resuming the supply of weapons to Armenia before a peace treaty is signed could anger Azerbaijan and therefore derail the negotiation process. But I think Russian diplomacy will not make such elementary mistakes.

    - Do you foresee any new military clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia?

    - Some small skirmishes and exchanges of fire may take place, but a large-scale war and redistribution of borders is unlikely. All the more so because this is disadvantageous for Russia and the other regional countries.


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