Following the Second Karabakh War (September 27, 2020 – November 10, 2020) which broke up between Azerbaijan and Armenia and resolved with the victory of Azerbaijan, the issue of the mutual return of prisoners of war between the two states and the transfer of minefield maps by Armenia to the Azerbaijani side rose to prominence.
Georgia, which remained neutral during the war, underlined that it was ready to act as a mediator between the two parties in the future. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated that the goal of the Tbilisi administration is to support peace and stability in the Caucasus, hence active negotiations with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan would continue.
Garibashvili noted that his country also made significant contributions to the extradition of fifteen Armenian detainees in exchange for a map that pinpointed the location of ninety-seven thousand mines in June 2021. In return, the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, expressed his gratitude to the Georgian government for the role it played in the development of these events.
Gela Vasadze is political scientist, presenter of the TV channel PIK-Espresso, editor-in-chief of the economic news agency Black Sea Press and currently working as an expert at the Georgian Strategic Analysis Center.
In 2004 he headed the information and analytical department of the public movement “United Opposition -” Our Adjara “”. Between 2004 to 2005 he served as the vice-mayor of the city of Batumi.
Gela Vasadze – an expert at the Georgian Centre for Strategic Analysis – when asked about his assessment of the intermediary activities stated that; “Moscow has intercepted this format, and will not allow a repetition of this without its participation. In the logic of the Kremlin, only they can decide when and for whom to change what. Therefore, in the near future, I do not see a real continuation of this format.” Vasadze believes that Moscow is not interested in establishing peace. He considers that the Russians are keener towards the continuation and aggravation of the conflict.
As for attempts by Yerevan to revive the conflict, the Vasadze noted that he did not believe that Armenia wants to restart the war, but added that the Russian Federation fully controls the Armenian leadership in this matter and the escalation was resumed for obvious reasons.
“It is unprofitable for Moscow to open communications in the South Caucasus”, the expert noted and questioned Russia’s desire to control the corridor between Azerbaijan and Turkey. Vasadze indicated that the Russians did not favour such a corridor.
Mr. Vasadze also claimed that the reason for Pashinyan’s delays in handling numerous matters about the war is practically not related to domestic politics but is primarily due to the interests of the Kremlin.
When asked about the Platform 6 Initiative, which was envisioned as a “historic decision in the Caucasus” Vasadze stated that; “Initially, it was clear that the 3 + 3 platform is only for show and decoration. There is simply no objective data of a common platform for competing countries, or even enemies.”
Vasadze concluded his remarks by expressing that Armenia can only take part in regional development programs proposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey with Russia’s consent.