"The war occurred with the Ankara-Moscow agreement. The same countries will not settle peace". Gantaharyan

Radar Armenia summed up the year 2023 with international expert Shahan Gantaharyan.

- What kind of year was 2023 from a geopolitical point of view?

- For us, a year full of wars. I mean the one-day conflict in Artsakh and the ongoing battle between Hamas and Israel. From the Armenian point of view, then, on the one hand, the fall of our second republic, on the other hand, the new upheavals in terms of the Middle Eastern Armenian diaspora.

- What developments will the ongoing processes in the region have in 2024?

- The new trends of global polarization will continue. China is already a powerful economic pole that affects the formation of the new world order. The military-political drawings of the new axes will cross each other. We will feel it both in the South Caucasus and in the Middle East. In parallel with them, the problems of the biosphere and the new rise of the migration wave will shake the world in different geographical environments.
Of course, the results of the war in Ukraine will have consequences. However, by and large, under these conditions, the de-isolation of Iran will continue in the face of the international blockade of Russia. This also includes the collective West-Russian struggle for influence in the South Caucasus. Ankara's game reveals the prerequisites for the conflict between the West and the Russian Federation.

- What effect did geopolitical processes have on the settlement of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations?

- It is not excluded that anti-Aliev sentiments will rise in Azerbaijan. The policy of pressure on Baku continues, and Aliyev will only be able to enjoy the winner's laurels for a short time. That's why he is going to emergency elections as a matter of urgency. In general, we can talk about a change in the situation when the Russia-Turkey tension deepens and the countries return to their classical positions—agreements between the leading players in the region condition the peace agreement. Today, Syunik has gained geopolitical importance in north-south and east-west directions. For this reason, there will be no radical solutions without international agreement. There will be new engagements and countermeasures until a regional deal is reached.

- To what extent were the players' approaches in the region aimed at establishing and strengthening peace, particularly in the case of Turkey and Iran?

- The interests of Iran and Turkey may coincide in the short term. Turkey is the second power of NATO, and Iran-Turkey relations should be perceived in the light of that reality. Remember that the Iranian president's visit to Ankara was canceled at the last moment. This is a very telling indicator when analyzing relationships.

- What developments should we expect in 2024, from the point of view of the signing of the peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the "Crossroads of Peace" project?

- It isn't easy to imagine a peace treaty without the withdrawal of Azerbaijani troops from the sovereign territories of Armenia. Until this happens, until the status of the Nakhichevan-Azerbaijan road is clarified, Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot independently decide to agree on a peace treaty under the current conditions. The West is present in the region and will not let the problems be solved only within the framework of the Russia-Turkey agreement. The war took place with the Ankara-Moscow agreement. Peace will not be settled in the same format.

Hayk Magoyan