"No one can guarantee that terrorists like Melkonyan will not be planted into the region"
    Grigory Trofimchuk talks to Caliber.Az

    INTERVIEWS  03 October 2023 - 14:58

    Vadim Mansurov
    Caliber.Az

    In a conversation with Caliber.Az, Russian international expert Grigory Trofimchuk elaborates his thoughts on the future of the South Caucasus region and forces trying to prevent peaceful initiatives. 

    - How did you perceive the undoubtedly significant events in our region, I mean the liquidation of illegal armed formations, self-dissolution of the illegal entity in Garabagh, and detention of its leaders? How, in your opinion, will this affect the geopolitics of the region?

    - Those who headed these "structures" in Garabagh quite quickly, even according to their "laws", retired from any responsibility before their own people, as it is too hard to take care of a huge "crowd" in the current conditions. It is strange, however, that the Garabagh Armenians themselves did not hand over their leaders to Azerbaijan, because life on the territory of Armenia is not prepared for them.

    For Baku, it is important to realise that it bears almost all the responsibility for the region. At least it is the South Caucasus, and at most - all the links, including the Caspian, etc. The US is also closely watching whether Baku is ready for a new format for itself or whether it should be disturbed, having in mind the emergence of new Western leverage. After all, no one can guarantee that new terrorists like Monte Melkonyan will not be planted into the region (as it is very difficult to encourage Armenians themselves to such feats).

    - How do you assess the tools that Azerbaijan is currently using to launch the reintegration process, and restore and modernise infrastructure? Baku is acting absolutely transparently, but can we expect new provocations, and accusations against Azerbaijan, which will be undertaken by Yerevan and the Armenian lobby, and other countries i.e. supporters of the Armenian identity?

    - Provocations should always be expected, and of the most serious level. The too-rapid development (end) of the conflict may hide a lot of things. Baku itself acts responsibly and cautiously, and at this difficult stage, it is extremely hard to accuse it of anything, even if someone wants to. The Armenian lobby is already active inside the US and at the most serious level. One of its tasks is to launch anti-Azerbaijani sanctions. But so far it is perplexing to do this, as such steps require a reason. But there is no reason yet. It seemed that it could be connected with the explosion of a tanker with fuel in Garabagh for the departing Garabagh Armenians, but somehow no one has caught on to this explosion. Therefore, the reintegration process on the part of Baku is proceeding according to plan - it has no time to wait now, it needs to strengthen itself immediately and in all senses.

    As for the Armenians who left Garabagh, they could have been given such an unspoken command with a long-range aim. Hence such an "off the scale" number. I can say that there are apparently no real politicians in Armenia, otherwise Yerevan, on the contrary, could have given a command to all Garabagh Armenians to stay in their places and demand the best preferences. Thus trying to create a new problem for Azerbaijan, as in this case the human core of "Artsakh" would remain in place and its well-being would be watched by the whole world like an aquarium. But this topic has already passed away, although this option was theoretically quite possible as a strategic plan.

    At the same time, another aspect is clear: Azerbaijan's authority has grown rapidly not only in the region but also in the world. Azerbaijan has become a key country in the South Caucasus. The actions of many other states, including Iran, now depend on it.

    - There is a view that Russia did not intervene because of Yerevan's anti-Russian policy. Is this true or is it more complicated? How will Russian-Armenian relations develop further?

    - It could have been at the initial stage when Pashinyan broke into power from the street. By the way, why have Armenians forgotten such a "proud" phrase as "velvet revolution"? Somehow it does not catch our eyes now. At that time, someone in the Russian Federation might well have had a desire to put it in its place. But not now, in 2023, when the sharply developing process with Garabagh is already affecting the strategic position of Moscow itself. After all, many are beginning to say that Russia will be forced to withdraw from the South Caucasus, and the issue here is not only about peacekeepers. Since there are no borders clearly established by the Armenian-Azerbaijani peace treaty, there is no end to the process. Moreover, the issue of corridors passing through the territory of Armenia, which was approved by the Trilateral Statement of 2020, has not been resolved yet. Therefore, Armenian-Azerbaijani relations are "developing" further, and there is no end to it yet, especially since, as with Garabagh, this "development" has a legal basis. Baku, physically entering Garabagh, in no way tore up that document.

    Russian-Armenian relations depend on how deep Yerevan will allow the US to infiltrate Armenia. But all sides realise that today it is not the non-military 2020, but 2023 in full swing, so many regional problems in the post-Soviet space are solved differently. I am putting it so mildly, but I think everyone understands what I am talking about.

    At the same time, Pashinyan himself is continuously strengthening his ties with the West. I would like to remind you (or many may have forgotten) that this started immediately with the composition of the Pashinyan government, which included all the Western-bred politicians. At that time, they were listed indicating the "nests" from which they came. And closer to the present day, Pashinyan's men, such as, for example, Deputy Chairman of the Constitutional Court Grigoryan, are going to London to meet with Western representatives in order, first, to agree on placing their capitals there, and second, to find levers for a new destabilisation of the Garabagh region. At the same time, the Pashinyan group will already have to pay with Armenian money for the implementation of these plans. It is worth reminding once again that the same Grigoryan studied in the same places, and as recently as in the summer went there on holiday with his family, hiding under the guise of relaxation to solve such issues. In general, the Armenian government "named after 2018" is still actively working, and this time with the same "velvet" methods.

    - Will the global project of the Zangezur corridor through Armenia be realised in the near future? Who actually backs it, who is against it, and how will the process go?

    - It depends on Azerbaijan itself. If it does not lose the speed, which was set by Garabagh as such, the foreign policy situation may turn out to be quite favourable for Baku. But it will have to act against the background of the well-known Armenian game, where Pashinyan will continue to follow his favourite habit: agreeing to everything, ready to negotiate, ready to sign everything, but not right now, etc. Armenia, as is well known, disputes the very notion of the "Zangezur corridor", pointing out that there were no such specifics in the 2020 statement. At the same time, Moscow has never slowed down this phrase or disputed it. Türkiye, meanwhile, is not accelerating the process, keeping a close eye on what is happening and only noting that other communications can be laid in the meantime. However, Ankara is unlikely to give up the idea of the Zangezur corridor, as all the alternatives associated with the border version of the corridor do not give the desired effect. So, in my opinion, Baku has a real chance.

    In general, with the corridor, as with Garabagh, everything will be decided in one second for a precise step. If this conditional second is chosen inaccurately, Azerbaijan's opponents can use it, as they call it, to the full. Armenia itself will not go to war against Azerbaijan because of the corridor, as it realises that in such a case it will give it a direct chance to "Irevan". Tehran, of course, may make some statement, but here, as they say, you can't go against the statement of 2020 - it "consecrated" the corridor. Moscow probably had nowhere to go in the force majeure conditions of November 2020, but it doesn't matter now.

    - A number of political analysts, including Russian ones, express the view that the successful and generally supported by external players finale of the separatist formation in Garabagh is only a prologue to the unleashing of a new large-scale war in the Middle East and the South Caucasus, the epicentre of which will be Iran, which has opposed the US-Israeli-Arab coalition, which Azerbaijan may be asked to join...

    - Azerbaijan, as it has already been mentioned, has reached a new level, not even regional but geopolitical, and now it has to choose whether to participate or not in this or that group, structure, or coalition, taking into account, of course, its basic principle of non-alignment. It is roughly clear where Azerbaijan will look. If the West will pressurise Baku, then the preferential course will be towards the East (China, etc.). But in this case, Azerbaijan will be the western outpost of Greater Asia. I think that with all pros and cons Baku will strengthen integration with Central Asian countries, creating a large common region linking also the Caspian Sea and the South Caucasus. In any case, this is logical. But the new system will have to be fought for one way or another. Türkiye and Israel are very important partners for Baku, which were chosen in advance, long before all the events.

    As for the whole post-Soviet, Eurasian space, it should be said that Azerbaijan is one of the main contenders to preserve itself as a successful state even after the final, "second collapse of the USSR", as I once called it. Since there will be very few undestroyed, intact and sovereign ones left here.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Papikyan's Paris visit unlikely to shift power balance between Baku, Yerevan Expert opinions

18 June 2024 - 13:57

“Pashinyan dances to the tune of the West and follows its instructions” Expert insight

19 June 2024 - 14:42

US diplomacy, the Zangazur corridor Balancing interests in the Caucasus

20 June 2024 - 15:14

"West demands total obedience from Tbilisi" Georgian experts on Caliber.Az

19 June 2024 - 11:02

Armenian Constitution, Belfast agreement, Middle Corridor and COP29 Amashov converses with Ambassador James Sharp

15 June 2024 - 17:16

Armenia's Pashinyan criticizes CSTO, draws Moscow's ire Expert insights

17 June 2024 - 10:54
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Iran approves law on free trade with EAEU

    20 June 2024 - 16:05

    Escalating tensions & prospect of war in the South Caucasus

    Can French arms supply reignite new regional war?

    20 June 2024 - 15:53

    Turkish troops continue to eliminate PKK terrorists in Iraq

    VIDEO

    20 June 2024 - 15:40

    Türkiye seeks explanation from organisers of Swiss conference on Ukraine

    20 June 2024 - 15:26

    US diplomacy, the Zangazur corridor

    Balancing interests in the Caucasus

    20 June 2024 - 15:14

    Guadeloupe seeks international support against French colonialism

    20 June 2024 - 15:11

    Tactical & special exercises held with radiation, chemical, and biological defense units

    VIDEO

    20 June 2024 - 14:58

    EU unhappy with Macron's overspending

    Paris is facing a fine

    20 June 2024 - 14:47

    Azerbaijan continues intensive construction of Horadiz-Agband railway line

    20 June 2024 - 14:43

    Russia – North Korea deal: a new geopolitical axis?

    New level ties

    20 June 2024 - 14:28

    Israeli forces eliminate Hamas special forces commander

    VIDEO

    20 June 2024 - 14:25

    Iran puts Rasht-Caspian railway line into operation

    20 June 2024 - 14:13

    Azerbaijani border troops thwart attempted drug smuggling from Iran

    PHOTO

    20 June 2024 - 14:00

    Pros and cons of CAESAR SAU purchase

    Examining Armenia's new arsenal

    20 June 2024 - 13:55

    Yerevan, Paris discuss developments in South Caucasus

    20 June 2024 - 13:46

    Senior diplomat: Russia plans to open consulate general in Armenia's Kapan

    20 June 2024 - 13:33

    Azerbaijan, Russia enhance legal cooperation with seminar, bilateral meeting

    PHOTO

    20 June 2024 - 13:20

    Institute for Study of War: Russian leader creating alternative to NATO

    20 June 2024 - 13:07

    Russian oil depot catches fire after suspected drone attack

    20 June 2024 - 13:01

    Swiss Re Europe forecast: Average temperature in Azerbaijan to rise by about 5%

    20 June 2024 - 12:57

    France's military moves in Armenia stir regional unease

    Fueling conflict in South Caucasus

    20 June 2024 - 12:55

    Minister: Azerbaijan to use experience of NAM to successfully host COP29

    20 June 2024 - 12:43

    French Thales signs agreements with Ukraine to strengthen front-line support

    20 June 2024 - 12:31

    Secretary General: NATO must be strengthened due to North Korea-Russia developing relations

    20 June 2024 - 12:18

    US expresses concern over Russia-North Korea growing cooperation

    20 June 2024 - 12:06

    Central Bank: Insurance premiums in Azerbaijan grow significantly

    20 June 2024 - 11:53

    Türkiye eyes to model earthquake risks in Azerbaijan

    20 June 2024 - 11:40

    UN Human Rights Council’s session participants condemn religious hatred in Europe

    20 June 2024 - 11:27

    Media: Armenia buys 36 CAESAR artillery units from France amid supply challenges

    20 June 2024 - 11:16

    Armenian PM wants to strengthen ruling party with new regional structures

    20 June 2024 - 11:15

    UNICEF: Nearly 2,000 children die daily from air pollution-related health issues

    20 June 2024 - 11:02

    US Central Command: Senior Daesh figure killed in airstrike in Syria

    20 June 2024 - 10:49

    Azerbaijan lambasts France for renewing fresh cycle of arming Armenia

    France fuels Armenia's militarization

    20 June 2024 - 10:37

    Ukraine, Georgia to restore ferry service

    20 June 2024 - 10:24

    European Commissioner for Climate Action to visit Azerbaijan due to preparation for COP29

    20 June 2024 - 10:12

    Russian deputy FM: Western agenda in South Caucasus contradicts regional interests

    20 June 2024 - 10:00

    Armenian FM to attend Collective Security Treaty Organisation’s event

    20 June 2024 - 09:47

    Baku Initiative Group to hold anti-colonialism conference at UN headquarters

    PHOTO

    20 June 2024 - 09:25

    Azerbaijan joins critical NATO interoperability evaluation with Qatar

    20 June 2024 - 09:12

    Politico: Final blow to Chinese "neutrality" on Ukraine war

    20 June 2024 - 09:00

All news