Russian Expert Says Military Solution Risky for Azerbaijan

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–A military resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict would be risky for Azerbaijan and result in the break up of the republic, said the head of the Caucasus Department of the Moscow-based CIS Institute.
“For Baku, victory over Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is unrealist, despite continue increase in its military budget,” Mikhail Alexandrov said in assessing the current stage of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The issue is not merely financial capability, but rather the capacity and capability of the its army,” added the CIS Institute scholar.
“Armenia is allied with Russia through military agreemen’s, which supply the republic with the most modern military equipment at much lower prices. Azerbaijan cannot even buy certain weapons from foreign markets, since nobody will sell to Baku,” explained Alexandrov, adding that such posturing by Azerbaijan may result in that country permanently losing the territories that “serve as a security belt around the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.”
Alexandrov said that there was a chance for a “peace in exchange for territories” resolution to the conflict, if Azerbaijan were to recognize Karabakh’s independence. However, he said, currently the situation was not in favor of Azerbaijan.
The expert also said that the Kosovo precedent, which most likely will end by unilateral recognition of the province’s independence by the West, will only work in Karabakh’s favor.
In discussing last week’s presidential elections in Karabakh, Alexandrov said politicians in Nagorno Karabakh have reached a national consensus that the republic must be an independent state.
“That is why a win for this or that candidate in the presidential elections does not principally influence or alter the general position of its government,” explained Alexandrov.
“It’s a matter of nuances. Let’s suppose that Bako Sahakian is more moderate and advocates relations for Armenia and negotiations with Azerbaijan. Massis Mayilian might be against the return of territories and supports a more autonomous stance. Neither would change the underlying position of Karabakh, which is to attain a solution through negotiations,” added Alexandrov.

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