What to expect from today’s talks between Ankara and Yerevan in Moscow?

The process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations is one of the key issues for achieving peace and stability in the Caucasus Region

What to expect from today's talks between Ankara and Yerevan in Moscow?

Initially, it is worth paying attention to a very important fact: this time, on the eve of the negotiations, Turkey practically does not voice its main requirements, which it has always put forward as preconditions before – Armenia’s refusal from the policy of recognizing the genocide and supporting Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as the official recognition of the Kars Treaty. This position of Turkey is already encouraging for reaching consensus during negotiations on individual items, and in general for building a constructive dialogue.

During the talks, Turkey today officially proposed the opening of the “Zangezur Corridor” for direct communication between Nakhchivan, Western and Eastern parts of Azerbaijan, as well as with Turkey and Iran.

The opening of the “Zangezur corridor” will contribute to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, the restoration of two-string relations between Yerevan and Baku, between Ankara and Yerevan. The corridor is also important for the development of EAEU infrastructure projects and further integration of the countries of the region into the Eurasian Space. For Armenia, the corridor is, first of all, economic activity, these are transit duties, these are great prospects. Armenia has a large transit and logistics potential, which remained closed due to the conflict, now the conflict is partly resolved.

It is very important that superpowers such as Russia and the United States expressed their support for the start of the negotiation process. This kind of support provides more opportunities to reach a consensus, unlike the three previous unsuccessful attempts to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations, two of which were initiated by the US and were held with the direct participation of Washington as a moderator.

This time, Armenia officially turned to Russia with a request to mediate in negotiations with Turkey and received a positive response. Russia, as a strategic partner of Armenia, unlike the United States, is more interested in resolving the confrontation between Ankara and Yerevan, and accordingly proposed a more productive format of negotiations. And for Ankara, the status of the Kremlin in this format is much more important than Washington.

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar welcomed the meeting between the representatives of Armenia and Turkey.

“Good news: Representatives of Armenia and Turkey are meeting in Moscow,” Klaar tweeted.

He noted that the normalization of relations and the opening of communications is an important goal that the EU fully supports.

In the negotiation process, the Armenian side is represented by Vice Speaker Ruben Rubinyan – he has little diplomatic experience compared to his Turkish partner Serdar Kilich. It was not by chance that the Turkish leadership chose Kılıç as a candidate – he grew up in a diplomatic family, has extensive political experience and is in the immediate circle of President Erdogan. On the Turkish side, the entire negotiation process is coordinated by Turkish Vice President Oktay, which means ensuring the highest level of the negotiation process.

Earlier, Ankara, having initiated the creation of the “3 + 3” platform, began to build constructive relations with Moscow in the context of a situational partner, although at the same time increasing its geopolitical influence in the Transcaucasian region.

Everything is very natural and there is nothing surprising in this process: each country, especially regional powers, defend their geopolitical interests and build their own geopolitical strategy. As for today’s talks specifically, despite the ideological and geopolitical differences between Moscow, Washington, Brussels and Ankara, all the centers of power I have listed above act as one flank to reach a compromise between Yerevan and Ankara. This position of the world community largely determines the fate of today’s talks in Moscow between Ankara and Yerevan, which will achieve a positive result.

Shota Apkhaidze, especially for News Front