Russian President Vladimir Putin is traveling to Azerbaijan on Wednesday, September 25 “with a prosaic purpose”: to remind that Moscow is still the leading player in the region, whose opinion should be considered, visiting scholar at the University of Oxford Leila Alieva says in an article published on the BBC’s Russian service.
According to the expert,Russia has economic levers to pressure Azerbaijan, and, “of course, the issue of Nagorno Karabakh is on the table too.”
“Russia could start to support Armenia more actively both to strengthen pressure on Azerbaijan and to establish closer relations with the new Armenian authorities,” the article says.
“Of course, this is a double-edged sword: so far, Russia has acted as a sort of arbiter in the Karabakh conflict. To lose this status is a blow to [Moscow’s] prestige, not to mention the fact that another conflict in the Caucasus is absolutely unnecessary for Russia.”
It was reported earlier Putin would pay an official visit to Armenia too. The exact date of the trip has yet to be determined.