Prospect Of Full Scale Armenia-Azerbaijan War Real If Russia, Turkey Intervene: Laurence Broers
Experts on how the conflict in the South Caucasus will affect the relationship between Moscow and Ankara?
Conflicting information is coming from Nagorno-Karabakh, where the military conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia flared up with renewed vigor. According to observers, the sides intentionally distort the figures of losses in the confrontation, and it is now impossible to verify the real territorial changes as a result of hostilities..
On the eve, the authorities of the unrecognized state formation in Karabakh announced that 28 more servicemen were killed in battles with Azerbaijani forces. Thus, the total number of victims from Armenia (according to official admissions) has reached 59. Baku speaks of more than half a thousand killed Armenian soldiers. Yerevan claims that the enemy’s losses are also great …
In Yerevan, according to the statement of the Armenian ambassador in Moscow, they do not rule out turning to Russia for military assistance if necessary, but so far they postpone this step..
Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have engaged in violent skirmishes since September 27, accusing each other of using heavy artillery, aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles.
On Monday, the Armenian parliament adopted a statement condemning Azerbaijan’s “full-scale military attack” on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, and warned that Turkey’s participation in the crisis could lead to the destabilization of the region..
On the eve of the United States expressed concern over the development of events in Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We express our condolences to the families of those killed and wounded,” the State Department said in a statement..
The US Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Washington condemns the escalation of violence in the strongest terms. It is reported that Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Bigan called Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zorab Mnatsakanyan and called on both sides to immediately cease hostilities and use existing communication channels between them to prevent further escalation..
Presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden issued a statement on the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. He expressed deep concern about the outbreak of hostilities there and called for an immediate de-escalation, restoration of the ceasefire and the resumption of negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Also, according to Biden, the United States should insist on increasing the number of observers along the ceasefire line, and Russia should stop “cynically supplying weapons to both sides.”.
In turn, Turkish President Recep Erdogan called for an immediate end to the “occupation of the territory of Azerbaijan by Armenia.” In his opinion, only this will open the way for the establishment of peace and stability in the region..
According to the statements of the Armenian authorities, Turkey is directly involved in hostilities in the zone of the Karabakh conflict and is sending foreign mercenaries from Syria to Azerbaijan..
Alexander Shumilin: “For Moscow, Turkish intervention in the Karabakh conflict is a sensitive issue”
The chief researcher of the Institute of Europe, orientalist Alexander Shumilin believes that Turkey’s activation in this direction was quite predictable. In his opinion, Ankara has always, especially under Erdogan, expressed solidarity with Baku and readiness to provide assistance at the request of the Azerbaijani government..
“This is Turkey’s principled position,” he added in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America. – Erdogan’s policy is aimed at strengthening Turkey’s influence in the region. This is noticeable along the entire perimeter of the Turkish borders and everyone. Ankara supports everyone it considers its strategic partners, in particular Azerbaijan “.
For Moscow, Turkish intervention in the Karabakh conflict is a sensitive issue, stated Alexander Shumilin. According to him, the Kremlin has relied on Erdogan primarily through interaction with Ankara on Syria: “This is the desire to get closer to Turkey in order to tear it away from NATO as much as possible. Here it is appropriate to recall the deals with the S-400 and so on. But this approach does not always justify itself. For example, in Libya, Russia is opposing Turkey, albeit not openly, but in fact “.
At the same time, we see that Moscow is ready to endure any harm that is relatively acceptable to itself, just not to enter into a direct conflict with Ankara, the political scientist says: “We saw this in Libya, too. In the context of the events in Nagorno-Karabakh, I think the same will happen. However, all statements required in such cases will be made. Everything will be limited to them. Moscow cannot afford to take a position in favor of one of the parties “.
In a sense, this, along with Ankara’s actions, weakens Moscow’s opportunities as a mediator in potential negotiations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, thinks Alexander Shumilin. However, he does not foresee the aggravation of relations between Russia and Turkey in connection with the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Kerim Has: “A new round of tension in Turkish-Russian relations can be expected”
The latest events in Nagorno-Karabakh clearly demonstrate that the root cause of the current conflict between Yerevan and Baku is not only and not so much in bilateral contradictions that have been going on for more than 30 years, Turkish political scientist Kerim Has said in a comment to the Russian service of the Voice of America. It seems to him that the Turkish leadership is in many ways pushing Azerbaijan to more active actions “in the territories occupied by Armenia”.
“Nationalist sentiments in both Azerbaijan and Turkey play into the hands of the ruling elites, who use any opportunity to foment a war,” he said. – On the other hand, the internal crisis of the very political existence of Mr. Erdogan is clearly visible. In other words, in recent years, Turkey has no foreign policy, but there is an internal crisis of Erdogan “.
Since October 2019, Ankara has established tense relations, developing into an open diplomatic and military crisis, with almost all neighboring countries, including those with which there have been no obvious contradictions for a long time, Kerim Khas continued: “Confrontation with the United States in Syria in the fall last year, direct intervention in the war in Libya in November, then almost an open clash with the Russian Federation, problems with Egypt, Germany, France, Iraq, Greece. The geography of those countries with which Ankara has unfriendly relations is rapidly expanding. In this context, we can safely say that Ankara needs the current conflict more than Baku. “.
On the other hand, it is highly likely that the Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation could reach the level of trust and the establishment of a peaceful dialogue, if Turkey continued the path that it demonstrated in 2009, the political scientist believes. “Then the Zurich protocols were signed between Ankara and Yerevan,” he recalled. – At that time, the Turkish leadership followed the path of democratic transformations, understood the need to establish a peaceful dialogue between the two countries, and also tried to find solutions to other old crises. Today it is Ankara that plays the role of instigator of confrontation and constantly adds fuel to the fire “.
Against the background of rumors that Turkey is sending jihadist forces to the region, a new round of tension in Turkish-Russian relations can certainly be expected, Kerim Has said. From his point of view, the fact that Ankara wants to play such a large role in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot but worry Moscow: “The Kremlin is more satisfied with the status quo that has been observed in the region in recent decades. Moscow will never want to “share” its influence with Turkey here. Moreover, after disagreements over Crimea and over NATO’s role in the Black Sea region, in Syria and Libya, an approach to solving the “Kurdish issue”, a new potential direct Turkish-Russian confrontation in the South Caucasus may become one of the last drops in Moscow’s glass of patience. the attitude of Erdogan himself “.
As for support for Aliyev, of course, Erdogan will continue to provide it as long as it is beneficial to him, the political scientist is sure. According to him, as soon as the goal of consolidating Turkish society within the framework of supporting Erdogan is achieved, then the tension in Nagorno-Karabakh will subside. Recep Erdogan openly uses such a difficult historical confrontation for both states in his own interests, which complicates the already deadlock situation both for himself and for the political future of Turkey, concluded Kerim Has.