“Armenia rejected profitable economic projects in Southern Caucasus for the sake of Nagorno Karabakh,” independent analyst Levon Melik-Shakhnazaryan stated during press conference in Yerevan. He is quoted by a REGNUM correspondent as stating that “a very interesting time” is now in negotiations on Nagorno Karabakh settlement. “The settlement process has got into a new stage, when the co-chairs stated that they have exhausted their imagination. Now, the settlement process has been laid on shoulders of three parties – Armenia, Karabakh, and Azerbaijan. At that, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is responsible for non-recommencement of war. He has to explain to his people, why the war does not recommence, why Azerbaijan does not try to return Karabakh,” he stressed.
According to the analyst, the war may not recommence in the near future. “Azeri economy is to such extent integrated into economies of Europe and the East that Azerbaijan has completely lost its own policy. It may not decide anything independently. War is not favorable for any big state, which has own aims in the region,” he stressed. In that context, responding to question on possible recommencement of hostilities in Nagorno Karabakh, the analyst stressed that ‘Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline is property of the British Petroleum Company till 2026.” “No war with Azerbaijan is to be expected in the period. It means; we should chose our allies, cooperating with which we will be ready for the war. If we are well prepared, the war does not begin,” Mr. Melik-Shakhsaryan stressed, adding that “time would work for those, who would use it in right way.”
The analyst is sure it is the right time for Armenia to look for allies in region. While doing so, the country should take into consideration allies’ civilization because only coincidence of civilization values may guarantee strategic union, he believes. Because the Armenians are eastern people, they have not integration, but ties, relations with Europe, the analyst stated, adding that Iran may become Armenian’s ally despite difference of religions. However, he does not exclude effectiveness of cooperation with Russia, Syria, Belarus, and Iraq.
As for a possible meeting of Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers in September, the analyst does not have any expectations. “They will speak, welcome each other, may be, and drink tea together. Then, they will come out and say; everything is before; there are foundations for future meetings,” he believes.