Moscow, Russia – An Azerbaijan that liberated Nagorno-Karabakh from occupation will become a powerful actor in the region. For Russia, the fact that Nagorno-Karabakh does not fall into the hands of Azerbaijan is a policy at a strategic level that exceeds intergovernmental relations. For this reason, it is impossible to think that Russia would agree to the end of the Armenian occupation of Nagorno – Karabakh and the whole region into the hands of Azerbaijan.
It is a very strategic place located between the Nakhchivan region of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and Azerbaijan.
The territorial integrity that will connect Turkey to the Central Asian Turkish Republics and Azerbaijan to Anatolia is interrupted by the Armenian corridor between them, and the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenia has made this connection even more difficult.
The Armenian corridor between them and the occupied territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, on the one hand, serves to break Turkey from the East and Azerbaijan from the West, while on the other hand, it serves to establish a vertical line between Russia-Armenia and Iran. Of course, the biggest obstacle to the completion of this vertical line is Georgia, but the Russian intervention in Georgia’s territory of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has also eroded this obstacle.
Armenia is trying to take the issue back hundreds of years and invent historical and cultural rights to claim Nagorno-Karabakh, but this region is legally Azerbaijani territory before the United Nations, and this is seen in world atlases.
The current problem in the region arose in the 1988-94 War, when Azerbaijan was not yet able to fully establish its own army, as a result of Armenia’s occupation of the region with international support behind it.
A ceasefire in 1994 ensured that the occupation of Armenia continued, maintaining the status quo for 30 years. Although there were period-by-period harassing fires, mutual attacks, and ground-by-ground clashes during this time, a war at the current level was not seen during the armistice period. However, the ceasefire signed on the initiative of Russia in 1994 could neither fully extinguish the fire nor find a permanent and legal outcome to the problem. The ceasefire signed last weekend also does not present a different image than the 1994 ceasefire. As a matter of fact, before the signatures were dry, the clashes began again, and Armenia carried out missile attacks on civilian targets outside the conflict zone. A permanent ceasefire in the region will only be possible in a situation where the actual reality coincides with legal boundaries, which means the end of the occupation of Armenia. However, it seems that ending this occupation will be possible by fighting, not by ceasefires or a new ceasefire, in which international actors will be the deciders. Because the attitude of the Armenian side shows that this country will not withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh without force.
Armenia was the party that escalated the last Nagorno – Karabakh war
In the intervening 30 years, Azerbaijan has tried to strengthen its economy on the one hand and increase its military capacity on the other.
In this context, how the Siha received from Turkey changed the balance in the field in favor of Azerbaijan became clear in this last war. But it was not enough for Azerbaijan to develop its military capacity, since the ceasefire had to be clearly broken by Armenia in order to launch an operation to save its occupied territory. Because in a possible violation of Azerbaijan, global and regional powers such as the United States, France, Russia and Iran would form a serious bloc by offering almost unconditional support to Armenia. Armenia was the one who escalated this last war. Perhaps the real question should not be why Azerbaijan started the operation now, but why Armenia provoked Azerbaijan at such a wrong time and drew it to war.
Russia and Iran support Armenia are two countries that traditionally this is understandable because the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan was saved from their own perspective and their own land would be a stronger actor in the region and with close allies have relationships with more than Nakhichevan and Turkey, where it will be physically closer to.
Turkey has not been directly involved in Nagorno – Karabakh war
However, Turkey is not directly involved in this war, while Armenia is trying to attract different global and regional forces to its side in order to create the opposite perception and balance Turkey. However, let’s say that Armenia’s artillery attack on the Tovuz province of Azerbaijan, where the TANAP, Baku-Tbilisi-Cayhan pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway pass last July, is in some ways an attack on Turkey. In addition to the cultural proximity between the two countries, such strategic reasons position Turkey next to Azerbaijan. However, claims such as that Turkish F-16 jets shot down Armenian planes or that Turkey was transporting Syrian militias to the Karabakh region are unconfirmed Armenian claims.
Armenia’s patron is Russia
Although the current Armenian administration, led by Pashinyan, gives a close image to the West, for Russia, the absence of Nagorno-Karabakh in the hands of Azerbaijan is a policy at a strategic level that exceeds intergovernmental relations. For this reason, it is impossible to think that Russia would agree to the end of the Armenian occupation of Karabakh and the whole region into the hands of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan needs to liberate its territory with as much speed as possible without Russia directly participating in the war or adopting a new cover for the invasion with diplomatic ties. Since a possible Russian intervention could lead Turkey to intervene, Russia (and even Iran) could try to stop the Azerbaijani advance by providing intelligence and weapons to Armenia, with missions such as peacekeepers, if this is not enough, or by putting pressure on the Azerbaijani government.