“Turkey and the Karabakh Conflict Settlement Process. New Challenges”
Russia is on the threshold of a deep economic crisis and political isolation, therefore it does its best to improve relations with Turkey, it is a breakthrough for it: Ara Papyan, chairman of “Modus Vivendi” centre and diplomat, said during the discussion at Media Center.

Vladimir Karapetyan, Foreign Relations coordinator at Armenian National Congress, and Manvel Sargsyan, Head of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies, participated in the discussion, entitled “Turkey and the Karabakh Conflict Settlement Process. New Challenges''.  

Referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s statement made on October 14 in Yerevan that "Turkey can play a positive role in terms of pulling out the Karabakh conflict settlement from the blocking", Ara Papyan said that Turkey is implementing the same policy as Soviet Russia did in the 1920s.

“This is a tactical rapprochement because Turkey is a dangerous country for Russia in a strategic sense. The improvement of relations between Turkey and Russia is made at the expense of Armenia, this move was a political appeasement. Turkey is a member of the Minsk Group, but it was always kept in a certain distance from the three co-chairs because Turkey has always been biased," he said.

He stressed that Armenia should have filed a formal complaint to the Minsk Group regarding Turkey's position as it is the only country that made a unilateral declaration and "took Azerbaijan under a wing". 

“For us, this is a dangerous trend, because this shows the strengthening of Turkey's influence on Russian foreign policy. We expect tough times, and we must display serious diplomatic skills to be able to counterbalance these negative trends in the politics,”  Papyan added.

Manvel Sargsyan said that a new phase was launched in the international relations.

“Having troublesome relations with Turkey for months, Russia is trying to create new relationships. Turkey has new problems with the Western countries and it is natural that it is impossible to establish these relationships, avoiding the Armenian issues. Russia is trying to harmonize its position with Turkey's position, thus forcing its stance in other issues,” Sargsyan said.

According to him, Russia has gone very deep, as for years the superpowers and the Minsk Group co-chairing countries have supported Armenia’s notion that the Armenian-Turkish relations should be settled without preconditions.

“Only Turkey and Azerbaijan link it with the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Now Lavrov accepted the position of Turkey in his latest statement. This is an agreement, which can strengthen the position of Turkey concerning the Karabakh issue, but we can also say that Turkey put a barrier on the development of the Armenian-Turkish relations, realizing that Armenia will never agree with it,” Sargsyan added.  

Vladimir Karapetyan shared his concerns with the other speakers and stressed that there is a challenge.

"First of all, I will relate Lavrov’s statement with the statement made by the Turkish Foreign Minister at the Council of Europe some days before, where he spoke about the agreement with Russia and the joint resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. More specifically, he said that Russia made a proposal. I would be pleased to hear the Russian Foreign Minister's denial that there was no proposal, but we see a confirmation," Karapetyan said and added that taking into account the attitudes in Armenia, Russia should have been more accurate in public speeches.   

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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