Putin Rules Out Russian Pressure On Armenia, Azerbaijan

MOSCOW (RFE/RL)–Russia will not put pressure on Armenia or Azerbaijan to hasten the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and expects other mediating powers to be just as cautious, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in Turkey on Tuesday.

“Only the two states, the two peoples can find mutually acceptable solutions and compromises in a practical dialogue with one another. Solving these kinds of problems always requires a compromise acceptable to both sides,” Putin told a news conference after talks with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held on the sidelines of a regional security summit in Istanbul.

“What is acceptable to Azerbaijan or Armenia?” he said. “Only they themselves can tell. All other participants of this [negotiating] process can only act as guarantors of the respect of elaborated agreements.”

“We don’t want anyone to think later on that we pressured one of the parties and achieved a solution to the problem that is unfair to somebody,” he added.

Visiting Turkey last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev likewise stressed that the onus is on Baku and Yerevan to work out a peaceful settlement based on mutual compromise.

Turkish officials had expressed hope ahead of Medvedev’s trip that Moscow will become more actively involved in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks. This raised fears in Armenia that the Russians may seek more Armenian concessions to Azerbaijan for the sake of their increasingly close relationship with Turkey.

The Turkish government regards a Karabakh settlement as a key precondition for implementing the Turkish-Armenian normalization agreements signed in October. Putin publicly rejected this linkage when he met Erdogan in Moscow earlier this year. President Serzh Sarkisian and other Armenian leaders hailed this stance.

The strained Turkish-Armenian relations were at the top of the agenda during Medvedev’s latest talks with Sarkisian held in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don last week. Sarkisian afterwards again blamed Ankara for the effective collapse of the normalization process and ruled out any Turkish mediation in the Karabakh peace process.

It was not clear if the Russian and Turkish premiers discussed the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute on Tuesday. Erdogan made no mention of the issue at the ensuing news conference. He spoke only of “strengthening relations between Turkey and Russia in the whole region and the Caucasus in particular.”

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19 Comments

  1. Nairian said:

    Armanen jan, can you please clarify for me why you said that they are wrong again now? Mind you I am glad that Putin and Medvedev together they are washing their hands to mediate at least for the now. I just wish that they put the pressure on the “azeris” looking into our history and how the bloody Stalin gave our Artsakh away to the shoonshanvorti “azeris”. Just clarify it for me about the Russophobes. Thanks. Nairian

  2. john papazian said:

    Gee what asuprise.The Russians have addopted a wait and see policy.

  3. hovo said:

    Russians have no interest to solve this conflict, it can be their black jack. Putin is proarmenia, nobody can tell armenians what to do, karabakh is ours forever, we just need to do some paperwork, that’s all. Khachatur Abovyan wrote: “orhnvi en shat£ erb russi votq£ hajoc lujs asxar£ mtav (god bless the moment when russians put their feet in armenia). Davaj russkix pamagite bednovo armjanox.

  4. Edward said:

    RRR, do you believe what politicians say?They usually mean the opposite,so its hard to believe them, even if they talk the truth- usually they talk turkey.HOVO how can you be so naive???Abovyan said that a century & a half ago, things have changed a bit since then-Khachadur was a naive romantic – you cant afford to be such today.And are we so poor today???No but we are just as naive waiting for the putins & the obamas of this world to `help `us.Help yourself first ,then ask God for help.Leave Putin to avedis &co and Obama to the americans.Its time to grow up.

  5. Armanen said:

    Nairian:

    Wrong because as I remember, many within the opposition some Russophobes some not, were claiming that closer ties between Russia and turkey would lead to Russia selling out Armenia, especially on the Artsakh issue. Those of use with a more firm understanding of IR and geopolitics realized that Russia wouldn’t do such a thing for a number of reasons that Avetis outlined in another article comment page.

    Ed:

    I agree, Armenians should learn to rely on themselves on an individual level and societial but when it comes to foreign policy we have very limited options due to our recent history, geography, and lack of natural resources. So we can’t just tell Putin or obama to piss off, not as easy as that, wish it were thou.

  6. Nairian said:

    Thanks Armanen, I know Avetis mentioned it somewhere else and recently. One of the reasons that I could think of is that other than Georgia, Armenia is the only country that is not islamic like Turkey and “azerbaijan” and also Armenia has been like their tiny little country next to them in the caucasus that are on friendly terms with them, unlike Georgia that went and did crazyness by going into war with huge Russia and expected US to fight with them and protect them against Russia. The Russians have always considered Armenia theirs from the Tsarist times. With the friendly and the submissive to Russia governments that we have had in the recent past, they even consider us more theirs than ever, I assume. Plus Armenia is a leverege between the bigger and the stronger islamic Turkey, “azerbaijan” and not so friendly Georgia. For years they had their army in Gyumri and now they want to use Armenia for the Nabuco pipelines to go through Armenia to Turkey to Europe. All these from memory now.

  7. Samvel Jeshmaridian said:

    Using Armenian Journalists’ Soccer Terminology, as referred to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia and USA
    Armenia — Turkey 1-3
    Armenia — Azerbaijan 3-3
    Armenia — USA 1-0
    Russia — Armenia — Horse race, no game
    USA — Azerbaijan 1-2
    Russia — Azerbaijan 0-0
    Russia — USA — Rain, no game
    Azerbaijan — Turkey will play in Cyprus
    Artzakh is out of championship

  8. Arman said:

    Armanen,

    “but when it comes to foreign policy we have very limited options due to our recent history, geography, and lack of natural resources. So we can’t just tell Putin or obama to piss off, not as easy as that, wish it were thou.”

    We listened what you have to say. Now, do you have any other opinions? If not than pushing the same line is tiring. You don’t see Armenia’s future many of us see it. You don’t have to do anything, just stay in the USA and enjoy your life. We see independent Armenian future; we are fighting for it already for 20 years; even against people like you in this forum. People like you are number one enemy of Armenia. We have listened to you very carefully and don’t like your ideas. In 1920’s people like you were in Armenian army propaganda not to fight against brother Bolshevik turks. People like you in 90’s where saying that we can’t get Artsakh. Open your eyes wide, CAN YOU SEE INDEPENDENT ARTSAKH???

  9. Grish Begian said:

    Russia will never give up on Armenia, due to Armenia’s geopolitical location….Russia will never let “New Ottomans” get into Southern Caucasus or even in Azerbaijan..Russian’s 2008 war with Georgia was a good lesson to Turkey and her allies…..

  10. hovo said:

    I respectfully disagree with Ed. Neither armenia is poor nor armenians. Most of us are either from middle class or upper middle class. Although you understand russian you don’t understand the expression. You attack my character rather than my argument itself, thereby making it easier to challenge. So be responsible with your mout toward a self respecting armenian. I took responsibility from day one. I help others all my life. So you don’t know me who I am, what kind of heart do I have, how hard I work, so let’s don’t son. For Armenia I advise complimentary policy: xeloq gar£ 2 moric e kat xmum (USA and Russia). Armenia is a strategic wall for Russia against extremist turkey and vise versa. The current history shows that even a small country like armenia can be a real challenge. Look at palestinians for Israel, afgans for USA. Although Russia promised armenians their whole country, but it didn’t rescue them during genocide, Russia also saved Turkey from collapse. Lenin and Stalin also bargained armenian’s territories. Stalin also wanted to attack Turkey, but he couldn’t since West didn’t wanted (USA was first to get nukes, and Stalin was afraid of that). After all this is the same Russia who saved small part of Armenia. So whether we like it or not russia is our ally. Although USA helped us a lot, but actions do speak louder during war as we saw in Georgia’s war. Even in this millennium we have to pay attention to our history, and learn from the mistakes, since history repeats itself.

  11. Hayk said:

    Arman!
    As I anderstood,when you say some thing it is just non sense.
    Politics its not your thing, just don’t coment any more please.

  12. Zareh said:

    Russia can say one thing and do another. I am always skeptical on public declarations. Most often these sort of declarations are used to camouflage more serious agreements behind the doors. Let Russia prove their support for a recognized independent Artsakh and truly free of AzerbaijanTurkey threat, then we’ll talk, until then, ALL parties involved must be regarded cautiously. Let nobody kid themselves, especially those who think Russian are our friends, there are no true friends of Armenia in this conflict.

  13. Arthur said:

    Putin can hold two states (Armenia and Azerbaijan) under his control because the Kharabakh problem. Russia is not a friend, but doing smart politics.

  14. Hayk said:

    My friends in politics there are no friends forever, there are profits forever.
    So you do not trust any one,and on the other hand you don’t pies off any one,
    specially Armenia, is not rich with resources, land locket and a lot of enemies.
    Politics is prostitution for god sake.
    You have to play and trick and say one thing do an other thing.
    You can not do any thing strait forward I repeat spatially if you ar Armania.

  15. Arsen said:

    Whether we want to admit it or not, we cannot survive as a strong nation without the backing of Russia. We need Russia more than they need us, or for anyone else for that matter. We cannot forget that they were the ones who helped arm us in our war for Artsakh. Although our brave men and women fought to reclaim our lands back, the Russians were the ones supporting us military. Although it would be a dream for us not to listen to Russia, Europe or the US, we cannot do so given our country’s situation, geographic, politics, etc.

  16. Armanen said:

    Arman:

    Yet again you show you don’t know shit about politics and international affairs.

    Here is an international relations axiom to always keep in mind: there are no friends nor enemies, only interests.

    You have no arguments for why Russia would ever consider let alone force Armenia to concede Artsakh. Nor can you explain why Russia would weaken its only strategic ally in the Caucasus and one of its most loyal allies in the world.
    Furthermore, you fail to explain how Armenia would have won the war in Artsakh if Russia had not given so much arms to the Armenians in the latter years of the conflict, for almost free, in some cases they were free.

    I see Armenia’s future too, but it is not as white and black as you and yours like to paint it! Armenia will be a great nation, but not if we allow oligrachs to run the show nor have mental midgets try to cause chaos by thinking Armenia can dicate terms to larger powers with no hedge. Take Hayk’s advice and don’t comment on political issues, you are way over your head. Read a few books on IR theory then return.
    cheers!

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