Pentagon: No country of the Caucasus should be privileged
As the director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasian Affairs of the U.S. Defense Department Jennifer Walsh believes, Russia will play a certain role in the South Caucasus region, however, no country should have the right of privileged influence in the region.
As reported by the "GHN", Walsh announced this opinion at a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the independence of the South Caucasus, which runs at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, USA.
"We disagree with this position of Russia" - said Walsh, adding that the U.S. Defense Department respects the policy choices made by each of the countries of South Caucasus. "We respect the choice of Azerbaijan to cooperate with NATO and welcome the willingness of Georgia to join NATO. This right is provided by the international law" - said the Pentagon official.
South Caucasus is important for the interests of the U.S. security in relation to its geographical proximity to Iran and countries which are potential suppliers of weapons of mass destruction, stressed the representative of the Ministry of Defense. South Caucasus plays a critical role in logistics to support the NATO operation in Afghanistan, she added: "The region is also an important producer and supplier of energy to Europe".
The United States believe that the promotion of stability and conflict resolution, in particular, in Nagorno-Karabakh is in the national interest of Washington, said Walsh.
South Caucasus also is a part of a wider Euro-Atlantic space and every country in the region is free to join the Euro-Atlantic institutions, the U.S. representative said during a speech at the conference.