What to expect from NATO and Russia meeting in Azerbaijan? - EXCLUSIVE | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

18 July, Wednesday


What to expect from NATO and Russia meeting in Azerbaijan? - EXCLUSIVE

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NATO and Russia are going to hold high-level meeting in Azerbaijan. The Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti will meet with the chief of general staff for Russia's Armed Forces Gen. Valery Gerasimov in Baku, Azerbaijan later in January, BuzzFeed News reported on Monday. 
 
Expert on international security and military affairs, political analyst and former Researcher at Italian Military Center for Strategic Studies Fabrizio Minniti told Eurasia Diary that Azerbaijan, for the second time, is the neutral ground, the geopolitical centre, of a renewed interest in dialogue between NATO and Russia. Political analyst stated that the country is seen as a close Alliance partner, has contributed to a wide range of NATO operations, from Kosovo to Afghanistan, cooperating in defence, security and peace building missions.
 
"It is evident that Azerbaijan's impartiality favours meetings of this kind, where Moscow does not feel threatened and where NATO sees Baku as a partner," he added. 
 
Fabrizio Minniti mentioned that from a geopolitical point of view, Baku assumes a role of impulse and strategic centrality in the dialogue with Russia and as a reliable NATO ally. 
 
According to him, the last Russian military exercise, the Zapad 2017, has increased the tension, considering that:
 
1) Russia has used military exercises to cover movements of troops that undermine regional stability (Georgia and Ukraine);
 
2) Moscow lied about the number of soldiers used in the Zapad by omitting notifications and international observers, according to the 2011 Vienna document
 
Expert said that there are few expectations from the summit, it is relevant because it keeps open the dialogue, and open channel between the parties, promoting a renewed transparency of military activities. Surely NATO-Russia relations are difficult since the Atlantic Alliance has, rightly, suspended civil and military cooperation with Moscow in 2014, this in response to the conflict with Ukraine and renewed Russian provocative military activities in the Baltic and Black Seas.
 
He concluded that there are many disagreements between Russia and NATO but it is important to try to maintain a channel for a political and military dialogue.
 
Farid Hasanov

 

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