Karabakh Resolution Long Way Off, Says Ex-Russian Co-Chair


Retired Russian Ambassador Vladamir Kazimirov

MOSCOW (News.az)—Armenia and Azerbaijan are far from reaching a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the OSCE Minsk Group must prevent a new war from breaking out in the region, Vladimir Kazimirov, said Monday.

Kazimirov’s remarks come as the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan were meeting on the sidelines of an OSCE ministerial conference in Athens amid heightened tension following renewed threats of military action against Armenia and Karabakh by Azerbaijan’s president one day before sitting down with his Armenian counterpart in Munich on November 23.

The retired Russian ambassador described the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh as the main bone of contention between the two countries, polarizing the peace process and preventing any sort of near-term solution to the conflict.

“In each of the three sides to the conflict society is not ready for mutual concessions and no breakthrough is possible at the moment on the basic principles of an agreement and especially not on getting such an agreement signed,” argued Kazimov.

Among the reasons making compromise difficult, he explained is that both sides are “hampered” by complex “political” challenges. “Baku is hampered by a complex of failure in the 1991-1994 war; Yerevan is hampered by domestic political difficulties and the normalization of relations with Turkey; and Stepanakert is hampered by exclusion from the negotiations.”

“Since a settlement is still a long-way off, the use of force has to be ruled out,” Kazimirov said, adding that the US, France and Russia, as co-chairs of the Minsk Group, should ensure the prevention of any resumption of war.  

Such an approach, he said, “is not naive pacifism, but a logical necessity bearing in mind the history and geography of the region.” He said that even “if one of the sides does have the advantage, it can only move the front line and will not achieve a final resolution of the conflict.”

“A resumption of war would be a moral failure for the OSCE, as the latter has been the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict mediator since 1992”, Kazimirov said.

“It should not be forgotten that the war in Karabakh lasted two and a half years, claimed almost 30,000 lives, and turned a million Azerbaijanis and Armenians into refugees and displaced persons. War with the use of modern weaponry, major attacks and raids would be especially harsh,” the former diplomat said, ruling out the possibility of a quick war because of what he called an “approximate parity in forces.”


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  1. areg mansuryan said:

    Azeries and turks are barking on a wrong tree. Armenians are not going to give up even a centimeter of liberated Armenian lands. Adious amigos!

  2. Dave said:

    I have about as much trust in what a Russian politician says as I do in what an Armenian politician says. 

    Russia is trying to make a deal with Azerbaijan:  “Give us (Russia) your future production of oil and gas, and we will betray our stupid, corrupt ‘ally’ Armenia by giving you Azeris a good deal on Karabagh.  We (Russia) are not worried because Armenia is so dependent on us that we can do anything we want with that lousy little country and it has to just sit there and take it.”

  3. Rovshan Pashazadeh said:

    Uvajayemaya redaksiya AZBAREZ.COM,
    mi spetsisalniy vipusk posvyashenniy protokolu podpisanniy mejdu Amyansoy i Turetskoy v Tsurixe. U nas ymnenii Azerbaijanskoy i Turetskoy storoni. Xoteli bi uznat vashe mneniye.
    Posilayem voprosi dlya rukovoditelya AZBAREZ.COM dlya intervyu, jurnal poydet na pechat 7 dekbrya.

    Nadeyus chto nasha pismo ne ostanetsya bez vashego vnimaniye, tak kak  mnenii armyanskoy storoni ochen vajno dlya nas

    Jdem otveta.
    zaranye blagodaryu

    1. On 10 October, Turkey and Armenia signed protocols in Switzerland on normalization of relations. How important are these protocols fo r Armenia?
    2. There has been some change in the US policy in the South Caucasus and the Middle East under the new administration. How could this change influence the strategic partnership between the United States and Azerbaijan, and also the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
    3. Do you think that Armenia will give up its efforts to secure international recognition of the genocide if it normalizes relations with Turkey?
    4. Members of the OSCE Minsk Group are making a lot effort to get the Turkish-Armenian border reopened. What kind of impact would the reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border have on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?
    5. Turkish closed its border with Armenia after the occupation of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar District by Armenian forces in 1993. How would you assess reopening of the border before the resolution of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan?
    6. The Azerbaijani authorities are very concerned about the prospect of the Turkish-Armenian border being reopened. They think that this would toughen Armenia’s position on the Karabakh issue. Do you share this concern?