A few days ago, Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov made a statement that puzzled his country’s experts and disappointed many Azerbaijanis. After his last talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, he said: “I cannot be optimistic about the results of the Moscow talks.” He added that Russia sought to organize a meeting of the Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian foreign ministers and that Azerbaijan had agreed to take part in it.
According to political analyst Grigory Trofimchuk, the Azerbaijanis are no longer able to control their temper as they think that after the April war, they were put back into the format where negotiations are held for the sake of the process rather than the result. Trofimchuk says, Mammadyarov’s statement is a signal that Azerbaijan is ready for any steps – steps to find a real physical rather than formal solution.
“They in Baku see what is now going on in Donbass, where the sides are accusing each other of having started a new war. The same is true for Nagorno-Karabakh, where the external world is no longer willing to consider who shot the first and why. All this may cause diplomats like Mammadyarov to make such tough statements,” Trofimchuk says.
According to him, Russia has registered this statement. “But this is not enough. At any moment, the Azerbaijanis may say that they were deceived. I think today the negotiating process is at the same point it was in mid Apr 2016. The meetings in Vienna and St. Petersburg changed nothing – for even though there is no open war in Nagorno-Karabakh, there is a small but constant supply of dead soldiers from the contact line,” Trofimchuk says.