Viewing the link between the Sargsyan-Putin meeting in Sochi and the former US Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Richard Hoagland’s statement, as a Washington-Moscow opposite processes is perhaps an exaggeration. It’s the question of in what atmosphere Serzh Sargsyan and Vladimir Putin met in Sochi.
For a few weeks now, there have been some “winds” coming from Russia on the NKR issue, and certainly, not accidentally. Once a publication with remarkable “nuances” was issued in the Russian “Regnum”, that “Moscow is to start a dialogue on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Russia-Azerbaijan-Nagorno-Karabakh format”. Shortly afterwards, Gennady Zyuganov, the Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Russia, decided to address the NKR issue, stressing that “without Russia there will be no peace in Caucasus”, and showed the solution: he offered the Soviet version of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement: “applying the Soviet experience of coexistence of different peoples”. Sergei Markov, the incredible “star” of Azerbaijani websites, continues to speak in line with hysteria of the country’s mass media in the last months. For a long time, the websites under the total control of the Azerbaijani authorities have been putting forward a single thesis: “Armenia betrays Russia”, “Anti-Russian moods in Armenia”, etc.
Here, Markov speaks in line with this about anti-Russian moods in Armenia, even “alarming” that “Armenia may become an enemy state for Russia, like Ukraine”. Various experts in Russia have been warning that “anti-Russian moods in Armenia are about reaching an extreme point”, that the Russian authorities do not carry out enough work with the societies of their ally countries, which, according to them, “the West does perfectly”, “Armenia has taken the same path as Ukraine”, “Armenia may withdraw from the EAEU and enhance its relations with NATO”, etc. Recently political analyst Sergei Markedonov also had suggested the Russian authorities to work with the Armenian society in his lengthy article “Декоммунизация: made in Armenia” at the Политком.ru news and analytical website.
This could be taken calmly, but apparently the topic becomes serious, especially connected to the NKR issue. Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukur Pashazade, chair of the Caucasian Muslims Board, will meet in Moscow in September, as “Armenpress” reports citing the head of the Information System of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin Ter-Vahram Melikyan. “According to preliminary information, the meeting will take place on September 8 in Moscow. They will discuss issues related to the Karabakh conflict and regional peace”, said Ter-Vahram. The meeting is organized by Patriarch Kirill of Russia. At the Sargsyan-Putin meeting in Sochi, there was no discussion of the Karabakh issue, which means, that perhaps, official Yerevan maintains its position on the agreements reached after the April war, and Putin did not need to hear anything new from the Armenian side. But, in fact, Moscow is carrying out some work on the NKR issue and the NKR conflict settlement. By the way, this work seems to be “inclusive” if we take the upcoming meeting in Moscow on September 8 into consideration.
A few days ago, one of the Azerbaijani websites citing a statement by the Liberal-Democratic Party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, member of the Supreme Council of the Party, vice-president of the Russian State Duma Education and Science Committee, Boris Chernishov, reported that the party intends to launch a congress of representatives of human rights organizations in unrecognized republics in Moscow in the near future. We can assume why Aliyev regime media liked the idea of “democratic diplomacy”. But that’s not the important. Of course, many do not take Zhirinovsky seriously, but it is undeniable that he is a supporter of Putin’s Russia and with his non-seriousness he represents the interests of today’s Russia, which is perceived similarly by more serious Russian politicians, who just present it differently. By the way, it’s worth reminding about Zhirinovsky’s position on Armenia he held a year ago: “Hell with Armenia! Who cares about Armenia? There will be regular demonstrations. A small country, enclosed with mountains, in between Turkey and Azerbaijan, no prospect, no economy. There are only a million of Armenians left there. And they are six million all over the world. Everyone has left for Lebanon, Iran, Russia, France, the US. There is no place to live there, just mountains”, he had told during an interview on TV. To the journalist’s remark, that “our ally is there, how can one not care about a military ally”, Zhirinovsky had answered, “If they ignore us, we will remove the military base. They will beg us to return the base. That base is their salvation. Otherwise, Turks and Azerbaijanis will annihilate them from both sides. So, we don’t need to be concerned about Armenia. They will not ignore us, because otherwise that will be their end”. If Zhirinovsky truly has put an idea of “democratic diplomacy” format creation within the framework of the NKR settlement process into circulation in Moscow, then we need to find out who the Armenian participants will be.