In the future, the joint residence of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Karabakh economic region of Azerbaijan will definitely be implemented, but at the moment it is hampered by threats to the region's security, which come from Armenia and its militants in the zone of temporary deployment of Russian peacekeepers. Igor Korotchenko, Director General of the Caspian Institute for Strategic Studies (Russia), editor-in-chief of the National Defense magazine, and political analyst, spoke about this in an interview with a Vestnik Kavkaza correspondent.
What should be done to ensure security in Karabakh?
First of all, careful control over the transport crossing the border should be established at the entrance from Armenia to Azerbaijan along the Lachin corridor. "For the security of the region, the absence of armed Armenian militants in the form of paramilitary formations or personnel units of the Armenian army, which are located on the territory of Karabakh in the part where Russian peacekeepers are stationed, is critically important", Igor Korotchenko said.
"Therefore, the main condition for the region's security is control over the goods transported from Karabakh to Armenia and from Armenia to Karabakh at the present time. In connection with the eco-activists' protest action on the Lachin road, Yerevan cannot transport prohibited goods, but uses detours, as evidenced by recent incident on the Khankendi-Khalfali-Turshsu road",
What should be restored in Karabakh?
The withdrawal of militants will create a foundation for security in Karabakh, but the work will not end there. "The cohabitation of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities can be ensured when the Armenian illegal armed groups leave Karabakh, as stipulated in the Tripartite Statement of November 9-10, 2020. After the administration of the entire territory of Karabakh will be returned to Azerbaijan in terms of life processes, energy supply, operation of enterprises and mines in the Azerbaijani jurisdiction, in parallel with this, the issue of the Azerbaijani population's return to their homeland will be resolved", the political analyst said.
"During the three decades of occupation by Armenia, no large-scale housing projects have been implemented in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan. At the same time, the Azerbaijani authorities have started a revival of cities and villages just a couple of years after the liberation of the territories. New international airports, smart villages and smart cities are being built . A project for the restoration of Aghdam has already been prepared. It will become a city of the future on completely new principles, with environmentally friendly modern buildings that at the same time meet national traditions", Igor Korotchenko noted.
"The time will come for radical changes in Khankendi's appereance after the Azerbaijani administration returns to the city. Of course, the return of Azerbaijanis will be accompanied by the creation of new enterprises and the creation of new jobs. Of course, the issue of overcoming the difficult, bloody past will be addressed. It is fundamentally important that the leadership of Azerbaijan has declared Armenians living in Karabakh Azerbaijani citizens. It also establishes a dialogue with them, inviting them to Baku to resolve all issues of reintegration. A road map will be created, in accordance with which all issues of peaceful Karabakh will be clearly identified and planned", editor-in-chief of the National Defense said.
Separatist project in Karabakh must be closed
"However, this will require the termination of the activities of the separatist "administration". They must self-liquidate and depart to a new place of deployment. Moreover, the disarmament and withdrawal of Armenian illegal armed formations from Karabakh should also take place. When the administration of this part of the Karabakh economic region will be carried out by the Azerbaijani authorities, it will be possible to resolve not only the issues of the population that used to live in Karabakh return, but also the healthy economy's launch", Igor Korotchenko said.
"It is not enough to return people, it is necessary to provide them with normal living conditions, build residential complexes and social infrastructure. These are all rather complicated processes, but Azerbaijan has shown that it can organize them. I am sure that the revived Karabakh will be a masterpiece. For many countries of the world, it will become an example of construction policy and urbanism of the XXI century", he concluded.