STRATI's Interview With Paul Goble On His Views Of Karabakh Conflict, South Caucasus

Fuad Muxtarlı Interview 1 July 2020
STRATI's Interview With Paul Goble On His Views Of Karabakh Conflict, South Caucasus

Fuad Muxtarli, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Analysis (STRATI), interviewed Paul Goble, prominent American analyst and writer with expertise on Russia and Eurasia, to gain insight into processes evolving in the South Caucasus and beyond.

The renowned expert with an in-depth knowledge of the former Soviet nations of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia shed light on many issues of deep concern for the region amid raging pandemic.

Asked to comment on views that the world would undergo deep changes in the wake of the global pandemic, Paul Goble said that “some have said and I think wisely that the virus pandemic is not going to give a new direction to the developments in the world rather exacerbate the developments that were already going on in the world.

On the one hand, some countries will undoubtedly use it as an excuse to try to isolate themselves from the rest of the world, while others will see the need to have the greater cooperation because the isolation will simply open the way to new pandemic…”

On the Karabakh conflict that has remained unresolved for over 30 years and it has remained as the Sword of Damocles over Azerbaijan and Armenia throughout their independence period, Paul Goble said:

“There are three realities that needed to be kept in mind. First, both Azerbaijan and Armenia will benefit from a solution that if this conflict goes away both countries will be able to focus on domestic issues, both countries will have far better transit and therefore more trade. Both countries will be able to achieve a great deal more in the future.

"That is first principle. The second principle is that we are dealing with a situation as we often do when each side is attached to a different basic idea, basic principle. Azerbaijan takes the position that the territorial integrity must be restored that Karabakh is part of Azerbaijan, because it was part of Azerbaijan. Armenia takes the view that the principle of national self-determination is more important and therefore, since there are many Armenians in Karabakh and if they want to become an independent country or part of Armenia, this must take precedence.

"You have to admit that these are two points of view that are not easy to square the circles… The third, I think, the factor that needs to be remembered is that I believe this conflict can only be solved, will only be solved when the leadership of Azerbaijan and the leadership of Armenia speak to one another that waiting for some outsider factor or force, be it the West, or Russia to come in and impose a settlement simply won’t work.

"Any settlement that would be imposed from the outside by the use of economic measures or military force would simply lead the other side feeling that it had been betrayed and that you might get an armistice but you would not get peace.”

On the Kremlin role in the Karabakh conflict resolution for obvious historical, geographical and dozens of other reasons, the expert is of opinion that Moscow is not going to be a crucial actor and the best solution for the warring parties is to make attempts to sit at the negotiations table.

We advise our readers to listen to the video of the interview to get the full impression and find out what the renowned expert has spoken about in his contact with STRATI.