Helsinki meeting: First obvious negative influence of West-Russia confrontation on Nagorno Karabakh conflict - ANALYSIS

Helsinki meeting: First obvious negative influence of West-Russia confrontation on Nagorno Karabakh conflict - <font color=red>ANALYSIS  </font>
# 10 December 2008 10:49 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Vugar Masimoglu – APA. Helsinki meeting of OSCE Ministerial Council made two important questions clear in terms of clarifying the international political relations and settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Continuation of the West-Russia confrontation on OSCE level, publicizing the essence of the talks on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict can be considered the most significant points of Helsinki meeting.

Helsinki meeting showed that tense relations between the West and Russia also damaged the activity of the international organizations. Russia, which was strictly criticized for its actions against Georgia, showed in response to it that the levers of its political influence had not expired. Russia accused OSCE leadership of organizing the August happenings in Georgia and set up a new precedent by laying down conditions for investigating the organization’s activity.
OSCE Ministerial Council adopted no serious document, since Russia demonstrated power and announced that it would show resistance to the West not only in military and economic sphere, but also in political arena.

Though the sides interested in the adoption of political declaration, regional declarations on Post-Soviet conflicts, first of all Georgia, accused official Moscow of destructive activity, there is one result – Helsinki meeting ended to the advantage of Russia, not in the interests of the West. This was at the same time the second nominal victory of Russia over the West after the August happenings in Georgia on the level of international organizations. The first such nominal victory was won in the UN Security Council, Russia used its right to veto and as a result of it a number of important resolutions meeting the interests of the United States were not adopted. Russia’s demonstrating its power in OSCE after the UN means that:

- effective activity of the international organizations will be impossible, as West-Russia tense relations continue. It also means that the crisis will deepen in the system of the international relations. Taking into account that a number of various (political, economic, security, global) problems are solved within the framework of the international organizations, the results of this political crisis will not be less harmless than the results of the world financial crisis.

OSCE Ministerial Council in Helsinki stuck in memory not only for the political crisis arisen from the West-Russia confrontation. One of the important moments of this meeting was once more clarifying of the positions of concerned parties on the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Verbal duel between Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian and OSCE Minsk Group US Co-chair Matthew Bryza once again confirmed that Yerevan is against the solution to the conflict within the principle of territorial integrity. On the other hand, official document spread by the Azerbaijani delegation on the principles of peaceful settlement of the conflict over the Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan made clear the principles Baku based on in the process of settlement of the conflict. Determination of legal basis and models of Nagorno Karabakh status within Azerbaijan as a last target in the negotiations showed the scale of concession Azerbaijan can make.

Another significant point of this document was to end the manipulations in the domestic policy regarding the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The document confirmed that the negotiations did not follow any political course contradicted to Azerbaijan’s interests. If we take into consideration that opinions that the country’s interests are yielded in the negotiation process are formed by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs (the co-chairs follow this goal every time while making statements in Yerevan), the document is also clarifying how corresponded positions of the co-chairs and Azerbaijan’s interests are. One of the important works to be done toward this, undoubtedly, is a use of the document spread at the OSCE Ministerial Council in the formation of public opinion inside the country.

The OSCE Ministerial Council’s Helsinki meeting created one question: “How will the increase of West-Russia tensions and existing political crisis in the international arena impact on the process of settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict?” Even thoughts about its positive impact will be irrelevant. The United States and Russia are equal mediators in the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict and on the other hand the conflict located in the region, which is in the focus of interests of both countries. Russia’s obstacle to the regional declaration on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in Helsinki already is the first negative impact on the process of settlement. Prevention of worse impact of the confrontation between the superpowers on the process of settlement will depend on the balancing of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy course.