The foreign ministers of Russia and the United States met in Manila during the ASEAN forum during which notes of “reconciliation” were heard. In particular, Rex Tillerson announced that Russia has demonstrated “readiness” for negotiations over the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict.
Lavrov said the sides considered the necessity for a pragmatic, apolitical dialogue on short and medium-range missiles. “I felt that we have come to an understanding with the secretary,” Lavrov said.
The U.S.-Russian relations are important for Armenia first of all because they are the United States and Russia are the main actors in the Karabakh settlement. “We, actually, scrutinize all the developments. The actors whose relations are tense, not just we have relations with both but both are Minsk Group co-chairs,” the deputy minister of foreign affairs of Armenia Shavarsh Kocharyan said
In fact, one of the Minsk Group co-chairs adopts tough sanctions against the other. It is hard to tell how they succeed maintaining the dialogue within the framework of Karabakh settlement.
So far Russia has promised to answer the U.S. sanctions and other forms of “punishment”. Moscow even gave an “disproportionate answer” which harmed the citizens of Russia. For example, there is a ban on adoption of Russian children by Americans.
This time Russia’s response was strangely quiet, in fact there was no response aside from the reduction of the number of American diplomats. Traditionally, Lavrov did not waive his sword and Shoygu did not declare use of Caliber rockets in Syria.
Is it possible that Russia is ready to reconcile with the United States? What are the conditions under which Putin and Lavrov recognize the U.S. leadership and agree to American plans on all regions?
Soon there will be elections in Russia, and a Buryat farmer has already asked Putin to consider running in the elections again and Putin has promised to think about it but first he needs to temporarily alleviate the confrontation with the United States to calm down the oligarchs supporting him.
Tillerson has announced that the United States should not ultimately spoil its relations with Russia but the opinion of the Congress where McCain’s influence is growing who thinks Russia and Putin must be punished is not known.
The OSCE Minsk Group dealing with the Karabakh settlement remains the only platform where the United States and Russia cooperate, at least balance each other. Experts have repetitively stated that the Minsk Group and the Karabakh conflict may become the platform for a change of the U.S.-Russian relations.
The aggravation of relations and the confrontation may lead to the collapse of the Minsk Group and “separate” steps by Russia and the United States in the area of the Karabakh conflict. The reconciliation may also affect the Karabakh settlement. There may be a temptation to try “new division of areas of influence” in the South Caucasus.