Moscow Region, Castle Mayendorf
The Declaration of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Russian Federation
Presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Russian Federation, met on November 2nd, 2008 in Moscow at the invitation of President of the Russian Federation,
subject and content discussed in an atmosphere of constructive state and prospects of settling the Nagorny Karabakh conflict by political means, through the continuation of direct dialogue between Azerbaijan and Armenia through the mediation of Russia, the United States and France as Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group,
1. Declare that will help improve the situation in South Caucasus and the establishment of regional stability and security through a political settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict on the basis of the principles and norms of international law and adopted in the framework of decisions and documents, which will create favorable conditions for economic development and all-round cooperation in the region.
2. Reaffirm the importance of continuing the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group mediation efforts with regard to their meetings with the parties in Madrid on 29 November, 2007 and subsequent discussions with a view to further developing the basic principles of a political settlement.
3. Agree that a peaceful settlement must be accompanied by a legally binding international guarantees all its aspects and stages.
4. Note that the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia have agreed to continue the work, including through further contacts on the summit to agree a political settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict and instructed their Ministers of Foreign Affairs to intensify further steps in the negotiation process in conjunction with the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group.
5. I is important to encourage the creation of conditions for the implementation of confidence-building measures in the context of efforts to resolve.
Filed under armenia, world
The Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. The United States has been absorbed in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as potential conflict with Iran and a destabilizing situation in Pakistan. It has no strategic ground forces in reserve and is in no position to intervene on the Russian periphery. This, as we have argued, has opened a window of opportunity for the Russians to reassert their influence in the former Soviet sphere. Moscow did not have to concern itself with the potential response of the United States or Europe; hence, the invasion did not shift the balance of power. The balance of power had already shifted, and it was up to the Russians when to make this public. They did that Aug. 8.
If there were any doubt that the rules of the international game have changed for good, the events of the past few days should have dispelled it. On Monday, President Bush demanded that Russia’s leaders reject their parliament’s appeal to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Within 24 hours, Bush had his response: President Medvedev announced Russia’s recognition of the two contested Georgian enclaves.
The American people should be eternally grateful to Old Europe for having spiked the Bush-McCain plan to bring Georgia into NATO.
Had Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the Caucasus, where Moscow’s superiority is as great as U.S. superiority in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis.
The two regions at the heart of the Georgia-Russia war of August 2008 must be understood in their own terms if the problem of Georgia – and western illusions about the country – are to be seriously addressed, says Donald Rayfield.
It did not happen and perhaps could not have happened, given the nature of Russian ambitions and Georgian political leadership. Mikheil Saakashvili, to those who have got to know him closer, is – behind his multilingual fluency and American lawyer’s education – a dangerously unstable and sometimes ruthless politician. Even his role as an anti-Russian maverick is not quite what it seems: there is much evidence to suggest that his success in riding the wave of the rose revolution in 2003-04 was more tangled with Russian interests and personalities than either side might care to recall (which might too help explain the ferocity of the personal abuse exchanged between the two sides).
Part 1 is here.
The writing has been on the wall for months. Georgian President Saakashvili’s fawning over Western leaders at the “emergency” NATO meeting in April and his pre-election anti-Russian bluster in May made it clear to all that Georgia is the more-than-willing canary in the Eastern mine shaft. The Georgian attack on South Ossetia’s capital Tskhinvali — I repeat — just hours after Saakashvili declared a cease-fire, looks very much like an attempt to reincorporate the rebel province into Georgia unilaterally. But whoever is advising the brash young president ignores the postscript — no pasaran! South Ossetia has been independent for 16 years and is not likely to drape flowers on invading Georgia tanks. It also just happens to have Russia as patron.
Last week, Georgia launched a major military offensive against the rebel province South Ossetia, just hours after President Mikheil Saakashvili had announced a unilateral ceasefire. Close to 1,500 have been killed, Russian officials say. Thirty thousand refugees, mostly women and children, streamed across the border into the North Ossetian capital Vladikavkaz in Russia.
The timing — and subterfuge — suggest the unscrupulous Saakashvili was counting on surprise. “Most decision makers have gone for the holidays,” he said in an interview with CNN. “Brilliant moment to attack a small country.”
Filed under Georgia, world