IS YEREVAN MISJUDGING AZERBAIJAN AND TURKEY?
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 70
Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian’s latest statement on the situation in the region seems to combine an overestimation of Russia’s ability to press for a “common-state” solution to the Karabakh conflict, an equally exaggerated view of Turkish hostility to Armenia and an expectation–hardly warranted by the political or military situation–that Azerbaijan plans to recapture Karabakh and “cleanse it” of its Armenian population. “In the back of their minds they are thinking about a military option…. War is certainly in their interest. Our concern is growing as the situation becomes increasingly protracted,” Oskanian told a Western interviewer. Describing Azerbaijani President Haidar Aliev’s internal political position as vulnerable because of last year’s controversial presidential election, Oskanian argued that such vulnerability prevents Aliev from accepting the “common state” solution and may even impel him toward a military scenario.
Oskanian, moreover, expressed concern lest Azerbaijan’s overtures to NATO and Turkey pave the way toward a military solution to the Karabakh conflict. “We feel a continuing threat from our neighbors. All of this makes us very nervous about our security. Russia is the only country which can guarantee that security now.” That is why Yerevan has turned over to Russia a part of Armenia’s entitlement of conventional weapons under the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, Oskanian said. Denying that Armenia was joining a Moscow-oriented, anti-Western “axis,” Oskanian expressed hope that cooperation with Russia “would not preclude” relations with the West and NATO (Reuters, April 10).
UZBEKISTAN TO COMPETE WITH RUSSIA IN TAJIKISTAN.