YEREVAN—A former Moscow correspondent for Wall Street Journal, David Satter, shared his comments on the situation surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh following the April escalations.
In his words, both Azerbaijan and Armenia have reason to believe that “they can achieve something militarily.”
“The Azeris seized territory in April and Armenia has received new arms from Russia, including Iskander missiles,” he said, attributing Azerbaijan’s refusal abides by the call for confidence building measures to the country’s non-acceptance of the status quo.
The expert said he believes that Azerbaijan’s non-acceptance of the status quo causes the country to refuse additional confidence building measures. “I assume they understand the risks of escalation but they may want also to put pressure on Armenia. One sign of their attitude were the November exercises which involved 60,000 troops,” he added.
Asked to comment on Russia’s dominant role in the process, Satter said he doesn’t think the country is committed in any way to ensure peace in the region. “It derives too much benefit from a situation in which both sides are dependent on Russian goodwill.”
“The world is aware that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was extremely violent and would like to see this conflict settled by negotiations. The US, in particular, would like to have the cooperation of both Armenia and Azerbaijan in facing the problems of the region.”
The expert said he doesn’t predict any policy change in the wake of the US presidential election. “The US elections are unlikely to change policy toward the Nagorno-Karabakh question. Both US parties favor a negotiated settlement and end to the violence.”
Blatter also hesitated to forecast future developments. “It is hard to predict what will happen. Tensions are escalating but this may also push the two sides to undertake negotiations,” he added.