"Armenia wants to push us against Russia" - Azerbaijani former Foreign Minister
Zulfugarov about the situation around Karabakh
Political forces in Armenia are eager to push Azerbaijan against Russia in Karabakh, said the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Tofik Zulfugarov. But, according to him, everything will be decided based on the results of the war in Ukraine. Zulfugarov is confident that if Azerbaijan decides to clash with Russian troops, it will do so together with Turkey.
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“Armenia actually refuses to negotiate”
Arguing about the current state of the negotiation process between Baku and Yerevan, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Tofik Zulfugarov, noted that at the moment Armenia is actually refusing to negotiate.
“Literally – today, the topics of the peace treaty, delimitation and demarcation of borders are irrelevant. Armenia has already made its choice, and the authorities are not worried about these negotiations at the moment. The old policy remains in force. Why?
Because territorial claims remain in force. In Armenia, they believe that now Azerbaijan is not able to change anything in the region. In their opinion, the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Karabakh gives them the opportunity to continue their old policy without problems in the current conditions. To be more precise, we are talking about the continuation of the policy of annexation.
Based on this situation, the main goal of Azerbaijan should be to pressure the peacekeepers and conduct negotiations with them. From their leadership, it is necessary to demand the fulfillment of the conditions of the three-party application from November 10, 2020″, Zulfugarov said.
“The sheep are safe, and the wolves are full”
While Russia is busy with the war in Ukraine, and it has no time for problems around Karabakh, the ex-Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan believes:
“If Russia takes up the problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia literally now, then it will have to choose one of the two sides. And this will ultimately lead to the fact that Azerbaijan or Armenia will strengthen contacts with the West. It is for this reason that Russia is playing for time, as if adhering to the policy of “the wolves are fed and the sheep are safe.”
As for the position of Azerbaijan specifically in this situation, I think that Baku is preparing to take new steps in order to solve pressing problems.”
“There may be posts in the Lachin direction”
“A lot depends on the outcome of the war in Ukraine. It is important what policy Russia will follow in the South Caucasus”, Zulfugarov stressed.
In his opinion, Azerbaijan today does not want to go into confrontation with Russia:
“But this does not mean that Azerbaijan will not continue its policy on this issue. On the contrary, Baku will use the force factor. This can be expressed in two directions: diplomatic-political and direct force.
For example, we can witness the establishment of some posts in the Lachin direction, border control along this corridor, and so on. In this question, it is possible to use both of the pressure factors I have mentioned.
In fact, now there are opportunities for this. Because the West and Russia are currently in search of partners, trying to get closer to the countries of the region. It creates new opportunities”.
“Moscow prefers an alliance with Turkey”
The former foreign minister of Azerbaijan noted that the general geopolitical trend in the region is changing in favor of Azerbaijan:
“Today the tandem between Azerbaijan and Turkey is too strong. Moscow, in turn, prefers allied relations with Ankara. In addition, Russia’s position in the South Caucasus is weakening. Therefore, the general trend of processes is changing in favor of Baku.
Everyone understands that sooner or later Russia will leave this region. The question arises: who will take its place? Armenia wants the West to take this place. The West is also not opposed to such changes. But it is more than clear to everyone that Turkey is the real power in this region.
After what happened in Afghanistan, the US and French authorities are hardly ready for a military presence in the region. Yes, and France itself has enough problems in Ukraine, in Europe itself, and in northern Africa.
To be honest, if Russia leaves this region, it will want to surrender its positions to Turkey, and not to the West. This is also one of the possible scenarios”.
“Azerbaijan will oppose Russia together with Turkey”
Answering the question about the possibility of Azerbaijan conducting a counter-terrorist operation in that part of Karabakh where Russian peacekeepers are stationed, Tofig Zulfugarov noted that if it comes to this, then Azerbaijan will not be alone.
“Now the main task of Armenia is the clash between Azerbaijan and Russian peacekeepers, i.e. with Russia. They are well aware that in the event of a violation of the ceasefire by one side or another, the responsibility lies with the peacekeeping contingent. Naturally, the provocations are aimed at clashing the Azerbaijani army with the peacekeepers.
According to the Armenians, in this case, the strategic advantage will go over to their side. Azerbaijan understands this too.
We sometimes hear questions about why Baku does not take decisive steps, the time has come, and so on. etc. It turns out that we should go for a clash with Russia, but here questions arise.
Of course, we will not go against Russia alone, but together with Turkey. But is Turkey ready for this now? And do Baku and Ankara need this at the moment? So far, the general opinion is that this is not the time for such steps.
This means that the most correct tactic is subtle political and diplomatic maneuvers along with pressure. At least at this stage. Let’s see how the situation changes. But I am sure of one thing, geopolitical changes will be in favor of Azerbaijan. But for now, we have to wait”, Zulfugarov summed up his words.