Considering Azerbaijan’s international reputation, Baku is an advantageous platform for negotiations, and the presence of Azerbaijan’s powerful armed forces also plays a role here, Igor Korotchenko, well-known military expert, editor-in-chief of the magazine Russian National Defense, member of the Russian Defense Ministry's Public Council told APA’s Moscow correspondent.
He was commenting on a meeting to be held in Baku between Russian General Staff Chief General Valery Gerasimov and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe General Curtis Scaparrotti.
The expert noted that the main reason for the meeting of the top Russian and NATO generals in Baku is Azerbaijan’s high international reputation.
As for the topic of the negotiations, Korotchenko said: “I can say that the main topic to discuss is the current tension in Russia-NATO relations. The generals will discuss ways to ease the tension and prevent a possible military confrontation. The topic of the discussions will also be the continuation of the dialogue blocked by the Russia-NATO Council. Therefore, I believe that the meeting of Gerasimov and Scaparrotti is aimed at preventing the threat of a third world war.”
Korotchenko emphasized that the generals will not discuss the Syrian, Ukrainian and other conflicts.
“In my opinion, the sides will discuss Russia-NATO cooperation in order to achieve the establishment of a mechanism of real military-political consultations. Today, the activities of the Russia-NATO council are blocked because of Brussels’ fault. In Brussels, dialogue between Russia and NATO is impossible. In Baku, the Russian and NATO generals will discuss real problems one by one,” he said.
“It is possible that the generals will discuss the Ukraine and Syrian conflicts, however, this is not the main topic,” Korotchenko noted.
The military expert went on to say that the Russian and NATO generals will also touch upon security issues in the South Caucasus in the context of the importance of a peaceful solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Military analyst Viktor Litovkin of TASS agency said that the Russian and NATO generals will meet in Baku not for the first time.
"The main reason for holding the generals’ meeting in Baku is that Azerbaijan does not consider itself either NATO or the CSTO. This is the first reason. The second reason is the hospitality of Azerbaijan’s capital. Baku is fully available for such high level talks. In addition, it is also convenient for the Russian and NATO generals to work in Baku,” he said.
According to Litovkin, the topic of the negotiations is traditional.
“These are the Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts, the elimination of the risk of a military confrontation between NATO and Russia, and NATO approach to Russian borders. I think the talks have a broad agenda,” he added.
Litovkin said he thinks Gerasimov and Scaparrotti will not touch upon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the meeting in Baku.
"I do not think they’ll touch upon the Karabakh problem. In principle, neither NATO nor CSTO are dealing with this problem. However, they can certainly talk about a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict. In general, security issues in the South Caucasus are one of the topics for discussion,” the military analyst added.