Is Putin to heal Erdogan-Aliyev’s Artsakh ‘bleeding wound’?

Their hope in overthrowing the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, in fact, is Putin

On November 13, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will arrive in Russia. He will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last time Erdogan and Putin met in Ankara on September 28. On November 15, two days after the November 13 meeting in Moscow, the Russian President will meet with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. Putin and Erdogan are going to discuss bilateral relations and prospects of their development, as well as the situation in Syria. A few days before leaving for Baku, where the official Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway opening took place, Erdogan decided to address the issue of Artsakh conflict as well. “We curse Armenia’s occupational policy and its recent provocations, which cannot contribute to peace in the region”, said Erdogan, once again stressing that Ankara supports Azerbaijan in that issue, and he labelled the Artsakh issue “bleeding wound” not only for Azerbaijan, but also for Turkey. Turkey and Azerbaijan once again do not miss the opportunity to present Artsakh issue as a regional problem in the negotiations with second countries. The latter opportunity was meetings with Russian and Iranian leaders.

Let us note that Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan stressed the importance of the soonest resolution of the conflicts in the region during a meeting at the presidential level. “Both sides recognize that unresolved conflicts in the region are a serious obstacle for regional cooperation, and, in this regard, underline the importance of the soonest peaceful settlement through negotiations based on the principles and norms of international law and the decisions and documents adopted in accordance with them”, was stated in a joint statement released after the talks. It turned out that the Artsakh issue was also discussed in Tehran by Presidents of Azerbaijan and Iran. As for the Russian-Azerbaijani relations, they are strategic, according to President Vladimir Putin. At the meeting with the Iran President in Tehran, Ilham Aliyev in his turn noted that Russia and Azerbaijan are closely cooperating in all spheres, developing a “relations of a good friend, neighbour and close partner”. Aliyev assured that there are no unsettled issues between Moscow and Baku today. And during the inter-Syrian negotiations in Astana, Iran, Russia and Turkey have reaffirmed the need for stability in the region. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a conversation with journalists after the meeting between the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan that at the Astana Summit three countries reaffirmed the need to combat terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crime. Moreover, the Iranian president added that Russia and Iran play an important role in ensuring peace and stability in the region.

Before Russian President Vladimir Putin would arrive in Tehran on Azerbaijan-Iran-Russia trilateral talks, before meeting with Russian President Iranian President noted: “It is a pleasure for us that besides our bilateral relations, our two countries play an important role in ensuring peace and stability in the region”. While Putin-Erdogan meeting is being prepared for November 13, the Turkish president “lavishes” statements about ” awakening of the hope” regarding the Artsakh issue. “If Putin really focuses on the Artsakh issue, it will be solved very easily”, Turkish President has recently noted. Putin’s position is very important in this regard, Erdogan told “Sabah” periodical. Let us note, that recently Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, said that he had discussed with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov the possibility to organize a trilateral meeting of the heads of foreign ministries of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia in Moscow, but it is still questionable. It is known that on November 16, at 11 in the morning, Mammadyarov will meet with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs in Moscow. Recently the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister noted that the Co-Chairs plan also to meet with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in mid-November, but the Armenian Foreign Ministry did not confirm this information.

After the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting in Geneva on October 16, Baku and Ankara were evidently launching a new impetus to attract the attention of the international community to the Artsakh issue. Aliyev’s and Erdogan’s hope is especially Vladimir Putin. The Turkish-Azerbaijani expectations of Putin in Artsakh issue are certainly not new. Obviously, the dialogue between Putin and Erdogan is regular, and it is quite possible that the Turkish leader, among other issues, will raise the issue of Artsakh. In any case, Erdogan openly said that he intends to discuss the issue of the Artsakh conflict with Putin. And depending on what Moscow’s interests are pointing to at this point, Russia, of course, can show some interest in the current Turkish-Azerbaijani expectations. The problem is that after the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting in Geneva on October 16, when the OSCE Minsk Group tries to restore Artsakh talks, today Ankara and Baku point out especially Moscow’s role in the Artsakh conflict settlement. This means that both Baku and Ankara are not satisfied with the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to ensure the continuation of peaceful negotiations. Their hope in overthrowing the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group, in fact, is again Putin.



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