STEPANAKERT (ARMENPRESS)—Spokesperson for the president of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, David Babayan, has called a recent report referencing Artsakh by the American geopolitical intelligence firm, Stratfor, as having nothing to do with reality, and its outlined dangers “exaggerated.”
In an interview with Armenpress, Babayan said of the report, “The Logic and Risks Behind Russia’s Statelet Sponsorship,” that if relations between Russia and Azerbaijan improved and the countries began cooperating economically, it would reduce tensions in the conflict zone.
Babayan said that a peacekeeping presence in Nagorno-Karabakh can be discussed symbolically only if the conflict is settled and Azerbaijan recognizes Artsakh’s independence, adding that in such a scenario peacekeepers would not be needed because the armed forces of both countries would be able to protect their borders and enforce a ceasefire.
The main point of the Stratfor analysis was that from eastern Ukraine, to Alawite Syria, to Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia appears to be making a conscious effort to widen its footprint in strategic spaces, a pricey endeavor, but not without geopolitical logic. It is said in the analysis that Russia and Azerbaijan may be collaborating to shake up the status quo between Azerbaijan and Armenia, with Russia ready to send peacekeepers and stay for the long haul in a bid to tighten its grip in the region, after which Russia would give Karabakh to Azerbaijan to increase its influence in the country.