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Will Karabakh be bargained off?

Thursday, September 18
Azeri political analyst Mubariz Akhmedoglu has suggested that Russia and Azerbaijan are working on an interesting idea which is worth considering.

Akhmedoglu says that Russia is ready to return Karabakh to Azerbaijan. Its price for doing so will be the right to purchase the entire Azeri natural gas production at world market prices and transport it to Europe via Turkey. Moscow will also demand that Baku withdraws its NATO membership application.

Akhmedoglu has drawn this conclusion after observing recent top level contacts between Baku and Moscow. “Russia wants access to our resources and does not want to act against Azeri national interests” he thinks. He says that the Armenian leadership is not happy with this plan, and this is why it recently began establishing good relations with Turkey.

It is hard to say how realistic this supposed Russian-Azeri plan is. In its essence it ignores the Armenian position completely and only furthers Azeri national interests. Whether the Kremlin will change its orientation towards its devoted ally, Armenia, will be clear in the near future.