“If war erupts in Karabakh, Russia, Georgia and Turkey will be involved in it”

If a new war erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia, Georgia and Turkey will be involved in it, said Maksim Shevchenko, the editor-in-chief of the Russian internet portal “Caucasus Policy” and a member of the Public Chamber under the President of Russia.  


He made the remarks addressing a panel discussion held in Baku March 14 as part of the international conference entitled “The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, origins, peacemaking and the role of civil society," APA reported. 


He noted that Azerbaijan and Armenia posses a large arsenal of weapons, aviation and artillery.


Shevchenko said the OSCE Minsk Group member countries are selling weapons to Armenia and Azerbaijan claiming that they are trying to maintenance the balance.


“If a new war erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia, Georgia and Turkey will be involved in it. There will be people calling to Islamic solidarity, Jihad, Christian solidarity, and so on,” he said.  


Shevchenko said he thinks the conflict could have unpredicted consequence and a radical step or war will create conditions for terrorism.


“That’s exactly what we see happening in Syria and Iraq today,” said the Russian Public Chamber member.  


Shevchenko stressed that the Russia-Turkey-Iran format consisting of three countries with no interest in the West’s influence growing in the region is ideal or Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.


“Turkey, which considers Azerbaijan a brotherly country, is being despised in Europe. Similarly, Russia and Iran are introduced as ‘evil arrows.’ So who is good?! The situation is changing now. Anyone that wishes not to see to see the tragic consequences of war must understand this. We must shift from warfare rhetoric to peace rhetoric. The West is not interested to assist Karabakh settlement or peace in the Caucasus,” he added.


The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict entered its modern phase when the Armenian SRR made territorial claims against the Azerbaijani SSR in 1988.


A fierce war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. As a result of the war, Armenian armed forces occupied some 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory which includes Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts (Lachin, Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Zangilan), and over a million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced people.


The military operations finally came to an end when Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in Bishkek in 1994.


Dealing with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the OSCE Minsk Group, which was created after the meeting of the CSCE (OSCE after the Budapest summit held in Dec.1994) Ministerial Council in Helsinki on 24 March 1992. The Group’s members include Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Belarus, Finland and Sweden.


Besides, the OSCE Minsk Group has a co-chairmanship institution, comprised of Russian, the US and French co-chairs, which began operating in 1996.  


Resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of the UN Security Council, which were passed in short intervals in 1993, and other resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, PACE, OSCE, OIC, and other organizations require Armenia to unconditionally withdraw its troops from Nagorno-Karabakh.


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/ 23 April, 2018