Caucasus Reality 18 june — 10:48

Vadim Dubnov: 'Big War between Armenia and Azerbaijan is impossible!' (Expert's word)

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BY AZERI DAILY MOSCOW BUREAU

The last aggravation on the contact line in the zone of the Karabakh conflict, during which several Armenian servicemen were killed, occurred against the backdrop of the intensification of the negotiation process on Karabakh, the visit of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs to the region. What's going on?

According to the well-known Russian journalist and analyst, Vadim Dubnov, the reality is that both sides understand: there cannot be any strategic breakthroughs at the moment, now they are even less likely than before.

'There is a certain fetish of the Madrid principles, which the parties interpret in their own way. Big projects like Key West, Gobble's plan, etc. are out of the question now. All negotiations and contacts are reduced to avoiding or minimising the risk of the repetition of a 'new April' (2016, when there was an escalation of hostilities in the conflict zone - Ed),' said Vadim Dubnov in a conversation with Azeri Daily.

At the same time, according to him, an 'April' is very likely, if it is a question of local, but sufficiently controlled combat operations, which can last several days. 'This can happen at any moment, and neither side is afraid of it,' notes our interlocutor. 'Azerbaijan and Armenia are already accustomed to the fact that, in the midst of a visit (during, before or after) of the mediators to the region, there are regularly aggravations in the conflict zone.'

'In this case, as a rule, there is no way to determine who started this or that escalation first,' notes Dubnov. The expert also stresses that the probability of a 'big war' between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the one that existed before the ceasefire in May 1994, is virtually eliminated.

As for the intensification of discussions on the issue of the recognition of 'NKR' (hereinafter our quotes - Ed) by Armenia after the last incidents on the frontline, according to Vadim Dubnov, this is pure domestic politics in Armenia.

'Recognition of 'Nagorno-Karabakh Republic' is impossible. The situation in Armenia and in the region is now such that hardly anyone will risk changing the status quo. You can talk about this only under some new scenario, new circumstances, the origin of which I do not undertake to predict. But with a high degree of probability, I admit that this issue will again be raised in the Armenian parliament, put to a vote. However, the executive branch of Armenia controls the situation reliably enough to prevent this,' the expert concluded.

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