The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict may flare up with renewed vigor, assistant to Azerbaijan’s president for foreign policy issues Novruz Mammadov said in an interview with the Russian media. At the same time, he expressed hope that the international community will take concrete steps to resolve it.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been going on for more than 25 years, and 20% of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territories are under Armenia’s occupation. As a result, more than one million people became refugees and IDPs. However, for some reason, there are unabated attempts to present this issue as a 'frozen conflict'. It can be stated with certainty that the conflict is the result of geopolitical games,” Mammadov said, stressing it won’t change as long as these games continue.
"Though international mediators advocate the preservation of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, meanwhile, for some reason, they prefer not to take an unambiguous position. We expect concrete steps from the co-chair countries, as well as from the international community, for a fair resolution of the conflict,” Mammadov pointed out.
Assistant to the Azerbaijani president recalled that the OSCE Minsk Group, which includes precisely those countries that “can, if necessary, have their say on the international arena”, is engaged in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Speaking about Azerbaijan's foreign policy strategy, he stressed that Baku takes into account Russia's interests and wants to expand cooperation with it. "We have been linked to Russia for centuries, It is a country with which we have a high cooperation. Our plans include expanding and strengthening cooperation with Russia," the presidential aide for foreign policy issues said.
Mammadov noted that currently, it is very difficult to talk about success in international relations, because the world failed to maintain the principles of justice after the termination of the Warsaw Pact. "After the Warsaw Pact, the world failed to maintain the principles of justice. It makes no sense to talk about universal values, if there is no justice in international relations,” Novruz Mammadov told RIA Novosti.
Russian politicians and experts support the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and also talk about the importance of strengthening ties with Azerbaijan. Russia was one of the first to condemn the death of two-year-old Zakhra Guliyeva and her grandmother Sahiba Guliyeva as a result of another provocation by the Armenian Armed Forces in the Alkhanli village of Fizuli region: the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned it (Russian Foreign Ministry expresses condolences to relatives of killed Sahiba and Zahra Guliyeva), as well as the expert community (Russia condemns killing of Azerbaijani civilians by occupants in Karabakh), cultural and political figures called for peace in the South Caucasus (Yuri Viazemsky: when Azerbaijan and Armenia conclude peace, I will exclaim: ‘’How wise these peoples are!").
Russia and Azerbaijan have strong ties in many areas, including diplomacy (Yevgeny Bazhanov: Russian Diplomatic Academy has long-standing ties with Azerbaijan), higher education (Victor Sadovnichy: Baku branch of MSU is outstanding university), sports (Dmitry Kozak: Sochi and Baku cooperate on Formula 1), music (Olga Rostropovich to Vestnik Kavkaza: extraordinary meetings await guests of Baku festival) and many others.