Caucasus Stability & Cooperation Pact implies U.S. removal from South Caucasus

The Caucasus Stability & Cooperation Pact implies U.S. removal from the South Caucasus, what is favorable for Moscow, a Russian expert said.

"Ankara is interested in normalization of relations with Armenia. It's mostly conditioned by Armenia's being the shortest way to deliver Azeri gas and oil to Turkey and via Turkey. In addition, Turkey is a strong state, aspired to expand its influence. Turks do understand that they can't do anything in the Caucasus, without cooperating with Russia. Pro-Russian tendency has been dominating in Turley during the past several years. This can be proved by the rate of economic cooperation. It's time to develop political relations as well. Turks agree. Russia has not shaped its view yet," said Alexander Sotnichenko, senior lecturer at St. Petersburg State University.

He supposes that the Platform can hardly be realized at present. "The Armenian factor is one of the reasons, although Turks made an advance in this direction. At that, Russia hasn't made a final decision yet. Furthermore, the U.S. will protest the project, what will immediately tell on armament supply and investments," he said. "Armenia, which suffers from economic blockade, is also interested in relations with Turkey, its third major trade partner. For its part, Turkey is interested in Armenian electricity. It's quite another matter that Ankara doesn't build relations with Armenia for fear to lose Azerbaijan as an ally."

Sotnichenko noted that not all political forces in Armenia stand for development of relations with Turkey. "Nevertheless, I think these relations will develop gradually," he said, Nakanune.ru reports.

[Source: Panarmenian Network, Armenia, 16Sep08]

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