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Monday, February 12, 2018

Russia will force Azerbaijan to peace

The war over Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan does not meet the national interests of Russia. The conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, which have expanded in the last years of the Soviet Union and became one of the reasons for its collapse, has turned into a full-fledged war after the death of the Union. A new war in Transcaucasia, Russia will not allow – it does not need neither her nor either of the warring republics.

The fighting between the Azerbaijani and Armenian parts go for several days – and it is clear that this is the most dangerous deterioration of the situation since the end of the war 1992-1994.

“If the decision of issues of war and peace depended on Yerevan and Baku, the war would long ago have destroyed both of the Republic”

The war was won by the Armenia – Azerbaijan not only lost Nagorno-Karabakh, a rebellious some years before, but seven regions, in total occupying an even larger area than his ex-Armenian autonomy. Total losses were then estimated at twenty thousand killed, nearly one million people became refugees. Formed as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is not recognized by the international community – that does not prevent it to live in unity with the actual half-Armenia.

All these years all attempts to resolve the Karabakh conflict have been fruitless – Azerbaijan insists on the restoration of its territorial integrity, the Armenians speak of the right of Nations to self-determination and that they had won the war. It is clear that Karabakh will not return to Azerbaijan, which broke even within a single state, the USSR, cannot be repaired in two independent and hostile to each other States.

But there are scarabosio part of the territory of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenians – at least about her, it would seem, can agree. However, and then nothing happens – the Armenians do not want to cede all occupied territory acarbose, because in this case, Karabakh will be cut off from Armenia. Attempts to agree on the option of exchange of territories – that is, the formation of a small corridor between Armenia and Karabakh, and the allocation in response to Azerbaijan the same corridor to cut off from Armenia, the Nakhichevan region – also came to nothing resulted. Here we encounter the case of military security: these corridors will be easy to cut in case of war.

In the end, the situation is frozen – but as a temporary state of Affairs, because everyone understands that it is impossible to live. Azerbaijan will never reconcile with the loss of territory, Armenia can not always live in expectation of war. Given that human (population) and financial (government revenue) resources clearly on the side of Azerbaijan in the medium term, the chance of Baku for revenge increased.

What’s more – if the decision of issues of war and peace depended on Yerevan and Baku, the war would long ago have destroyed both of these republics. But, thank God, both countries are not left to themselves – they are in a geopolitical zone of attraction of Russia. All these years Russia is the main guarantor for the preservation of peace in Karabakh – as with Baku and Yerevan, and one presence of Russian military base in Armenia.

Russia is allied relations with Armenia – the country enters the Eurasian Union and CSTO and good relations with neighboring Azerbaijan. Both warring republics are in the CIS – which, however, is already enough formal organization.

Russia is not a question of choosing sides in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, because both countries are historically linked with Russia and are in the zone of our national interests, called post-Soviet space. In Russia lives a few million Armenians and Azerbaijanis – citizens of these countries and displaced persons, the flow of which, of course, grew up after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the war. If the current threat, the clash escalates into a full-fledged war, it is a direct hit on Russian national interests – war near our borders between two close peoples, whose diasporas live in Russia.

Moreover, the conflict zone is in the vicinity of the already ongoing war in Syria and Iraq – and in case the Armenian-Azerbaijani war will be the third taking place in the region of the greater Middle East (and Yemen), besides passing directly near the borders of Russia, Iran and Turkey. But what are the chances of the current escalation of fighting in a war? They are extremely small. And here’s why.

Who is the party interested in the beginning of the Karabakh war? Yerevan or Baku? No, both sides want to demonstrate their fighting spirit: Azerbaijan to show its determination sooner or later to return the territories that Armenia should prove that it can resist any attempts to change the status quo. A full-fledged war is not needed for any of the parties: Armenia – because she already has what she wanted, and in Baku understand that Russia will not allow to do some fighting in full force.

Of course, of inciting the situation on the Russian southern borders of the Atlantic are interested our opponents to build an anti-Russian barrier from the Baltic to the Caspian sea of the Russian sphere of influence not only Ukraine, but also Azerbaijan. But in Baku ruled independent Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, who is not inclined to play someone else’s game, especially as played out. In order to unleash the Azerbaijani-Armenian war, you need to put in power in Baku anti-Russian President that are not able Atlanticist.

In addition, the construction of the barrier shaft against Russia’s strategic, long – and in the spring of 2016 there is a concrete tangle of the middle East from the Syrian-Iraqi-halifata-Kurdish-Turkish problems, to confuse even more hot by the Karabakh war is not the current administrator of the United States. No Obama and Biden don’t need now is another war, even if it will go at the Russian border. The war in Karabakh will automatically complicate U.S. relations with Iran, Turkey and Russia – that will affect the whole global agenda.

Can Turkey be interested in provoking the war for Karabakh? Erdogan, of course, is trying to attract the attention of Putin – but not the same price. He already made a fatal mistake, on 24 November, intending to raise its geopolitical weight in the eyes of Moscow. There is no reason to think that Erdogan can hope for any benefit from a possible war – on the contrary, if Turkey really played the role of provocateur, it would lead to the final collapse and so weak chance of recovery of Turkish-Russian relations.

Erdogan you how to give verbal support to Baku, saying that sooner or later Karabakh will become Azerbaijani, but it doesn’t mean anything. The Turkish President is trying to play against Russia Azeri – but that it is not equal to the rate on the war of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Russia’s position is clear – we need no war in the Caucasus. Similarly invalid is the attempt to use the threat of such a war to blackmail Russia, which rely on external players, whether Anglo-Saxon or Turkish – say, if Russia will support Armenia, it will push Azerbaijan toward the United States and Turkey, as if standing above the fray, it would weaken Russian influence on Armenia and will strengthen the Atlanticist forces in this Republic.

These primitive calculations of the long-understood and completely useless – Russian policy comes from the need not to allow to play the Armenian and Azeri forces third. Now Armenia and Azerbaijan should be strongly coerced to a ceasefire and peace – and this is what the Kremlin. Russian influence on Armenia and Azerbaijan, Armenians and Azerbaijanis, more than enough for this. And for the solution of the Karabakh problem takes time and Russian participation.

Time will heal at least some wounds, and reintegration of post-Soviet space, both economic and military, coupled with the confidence of both the republics to Moscow sooner or later will allow to start negotiations on a compromise. About the exchange of territories, return of refugees under Russian control, and Russian security guarantees. No other method of peaceful settlement of the Karabakh problem does not exist – as military Russia will not allow. Unlike the early 90-ies, it has important geopolitical will.

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