MOSCOW, July 14. /TASS/. Current border clashes are not expected to result in full-fledged combat actions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club Fyodor Lukyanov told TASS.
"The events are very unpleasant but this is not the first case of such deterioration, and the entire experience of the past shows that there can be no big war there," Lukyanov said. "First, despite a very harsh and sometimes even aggressive rhetoric the sides understand that this war cannot yield any result. This means that those results, which the sides expect, are not going to be achieved."
Besides, the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia fully runs counter to the interests of external actors, the expert noted. None of co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group (Russia, the United States and France) are absolutely interested in an armed conflict between Baku and Yerevan, he explained.
"This deals a blow to the interests of all, including Russia, and others. If the risk of escalation of combat actions emerges like in 2016, serious diplomatic efforts will be made to extinguish this. First of all, this will be done by Russia," Lukyanov said. "I think the scenario will be the same: a loud rhetoric and incidents, which unfortunately already have casualties, but nothing more."
Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said on July 12 Armenian army units had tried to attack Azerbaijan’s positions at the Tovuz section of the border with use of artillery systems. According to the ministry, clashes continued through the night. Four Azerbaijani soldiers were killed and four others were wounded.
Armenia’s Defense Ministry said, in turn, that the border situation had aggravated after Azerbaijan’s attempted attack. The Armenian Defense Ministry said that two Armenian policemen and three soldiers had received minor wounds in shelling by the Azerbaijani side.
The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed serious concerns on Monday over the sharp deterioration on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and called on the sides to show restraint and fully abide by the ceasefire. Moscow voiced readiness to provide assistance in ironing out the crisis.
The conflict between neighboring Armenia and Azerbaijan over the highland region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory that had been part of Azerbaijan before the Soviet Union break-up but was mainly populated by Armenians, broke out in the early 1988 after the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijani Soviet Republic.
In 1991-1994, the confrontation spilled over into large-scale military action for control over Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent territories after Azerbaijan lost control of them.
Talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement have been held since 1992 in the format of the so-called OSCE Minsk Group led by three co-chairs - Russia, France and the United States.