Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

Açiq mənbələrdən foto.

The telephone showdown between Ilham Aliyev and Vladimir Putin on 12 August can be considered a sensation that destroys the rosy picture of Russian-Azerbaijani relations.

It once again showed that there is no sincerity and honesty in politics, but there is calculation, expediency and personal interest.

To understand how we got to this point, let's try to analyze the events and processes of the last period.

Carried away by the list of victories after the July battles, Armenia and Azerbaijan did not notice how the international atmosphere around the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict was changing.

The tendency of the transition of the military conflict into the sphere of ideology and propaganda was visible before, but now it has become almost the main one.

Clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in third countries are a completely new phenomenon and it seems that it worries the mediating countries more than the conflict in Karabakh itself.

One of the expressions of the "imperial" approach can be called the opinion of the American diplomat, former US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Richard Hoagland. In an interview with Voice of America, he spoke in favor of transferring Nagorno-Karabakh to the UN protectorate.

It is noteworthy that such a cardinal proposal was made only after local clashes on the border, and not a large-scale war. Why did all this provoke such a serious reaction from international experts and leaders of countries? The answer lies in the understanding by the mediating countries that there is no option for a peaceful solution to the conflict. The mediators also understand that it is impossible to create a monitoring system to record violations, and therefore control the parties.

“Personally, I believe that the issue should become a UN problem, and the only way is to leave Nagorno-Karabakh under UN protectorate for an indefinite period. And in the future, years later, when emotions may have cooled down, both sides will be able to express their desires for the future under the leadership of the UN,” said Hoagland.

According to the Russian expert, the editor of the Regnum agency Stanislav Tarasov, "the idea of ​​a protectorate future for Nagorno-Karabakh has been discussed for several years on the sidelines of the OSCE, as well as among the Western and Russian expert community." According to him, after the April 2016 war, a possible scenario of the OSCE Minsk Group's actions was drawn up if one of the conflicting parties leaves the negotiation process.

According to Tarasov (the initiator of the creation of the Russian-Armenian Lazarev Club), if Azerbaijan refuses the services of the Minsk Group, then the co-chair countries, "being members of the UN Security Council, will initiate the adoption of a resolution on the introduction of protectorate control in Nagorno-Karabakh."

In fact, Hoagland and Tarasov (the United States and Russia) are on the same page. But if the Americans are trying to "remove the headache" and resolve the conflict, as they did in the Middle East, then Russia is seeking to strengthen and ensure its return to the South Caucasus.

 In this sense, the interests of Moscow and Washington do not coincide, and the task of Baku is to do everything so that their positions do not converge.

 Baku should understand that demonstrative and unfounded accusations against the West about financing the opposition to destabilize the situation in Azerbaijan can only accelerate the implementation of Hoagland's idea.

As for the mood in Moscow, not everything is clear here either. Many independent and pro-Kremlin experts do not hide their irritation with Turkey's activation. Even an independent expert like Pavel Felgenhauer stated that Moscow could use nuclear weapons to prevent Armenia from being defeated.

This and other similar comments appeared after the start of joint Azerbaijani-Turkish military exercises and statements by the Turkish leadership about their readiness to provide military assistance to Azerbaijan to eliminate the Armenian aggression.

At the same time, Turkey's reaction was absolutely predictable. If it came as a surprise to someone in Yerevan, it is a miscalculation of the Armenian authorities, Russian expert Vyacheslav Mikhailov believes. At the same time, he admits that Armenia was able to use this situation to strengthen its "foreign policy" positions. In particular, Yerevan's complaints about Turkey's destructive role met with "understanding" in the West.

Moscow acted covertly, and a sudden check of the combat readiness of troops and exercises in the Southern Military District became support for Yerevan. At the same time, the statements of the Russian Foreign Ministry that Moscow is ready to work together with Ankara to stabilize the situation in the Transcaucasia do not mean that Moscow has come to terms with Ankara's role in the Karabakh settlement, Mikhailov said. He believes that after the April 2016 war in Karabakh, the interests and opinions of the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff became more important for the Kremlin than the interests of Russian energy corporations.

In this sense, observers in Moscow believe that the military activation of Turkey in Nakhchivan indicates that the next escalation will take place here. In this case, a clash of the Turkish-Azerbaijani grouping with the united Armenian-Russian group of forces will occur.

What does Moscow want?

In light of the above, the fact of the transfer of significant amounts of weapons to Armenia from Russia during the days of the fighting in Tovuz acquires special significance. In particular, there was a message about the delivery of electronic warfare (Krasukha and Avtobaza) by military aircraft from Russia through the Caspian and Iran to Armenia. These systems were used to neutralize Azerbaijani drones during hostilities.

This was indirectly confirmed by publications in the Armenian media, which proudly reported on the successful fight against drones with the help of "new weapons", which significantly strengthened the Armenian air defense.

It is noteworthy that the Russian side did not come forward with a denial of these publications, and the Russian Embassy in Baku declined to comment this in response to a request from Turan.

Even the Kremlin press service did not release information about Aliyev's discontent and claims in a conversation with Putin about these supplies.

Such a prompt reaction of Moscow to the hostilities and the supply of air defense systems to Armenia could not be accidental.

Putin's conversation with Erdogan at the end of July that it is necessary to refrain from further exacerbation and intervention in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict testifies to Moscow's unwillingness to involve Turkey in the "showdown" in the South Caucasus.

While providing military support to Yerevan, Moscow continues to criticize the pro-Western policies of the Pashinyan government and Yerevan's disregard for Russian interests in the region. There is reason to believe that Russian military support for Yerevan is in fact aimed at strengthening the influence of the army in Armenia, which will be the stake in the event of Pashinyan's removal.

The current Minister of Defense David Tonoyan is a graduate of the Military-Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation (informal personnel department of the Main Intelligence Directorate - GRU).

He is characterized as an emotional person who does not hide his pro-Russian orientation. Tonoyan also initiated a new military doctrine of the Armenian Armed Forces, announcing the abandonment of the defense strategy and the use of attack and combat tactics in the interior of Azerbaijan. It was under him that the Armenian army received a significant amount of new weapons from Russia (Pantsir, Tor, SU-30 aircraft, etc.).

The second person the Kremlin is betting on is former Armenian Security Minister Artur Vanetsyan. A graduate of the Russian FSB Academy, he openly accuses Pashinyan of deteriorating relations with Russia, which is "disastrous" for Armenia. He also made an open statement that he intends to seek the removal of Pashinyan from power and the restoration of relations with Russia.

What should Azerbaijan do?

Russia and, less openly, the United States do not want Turkey's participation in resolving the conflict. But if Washington puts forward the idea of ​​a UN protectorate over Karabakh, then Moscow does not want to so clearly alienate Azerbaijan, but receive adequate compensation from it in exchange for the liberation of the regions around Karabakh and the proper status for Karabakh itself.

The option of a Russian military base appearing somewhere in the Horadiz region on the Iranian border and Azerbaijan's entry into the CSTO, and then into the Eurasian Economic Community, is a maximum program for the Kremlin.

This prospect does not suit Washington, let alone Ankara.

 Lavrov's "plan" on a phased settlement, which inspired hopes in Baku, has been forgotten or postponed. However, its implementation will require a change of government in Armenia, which today still enjoys the support of the population. Therefore, the imposition of a phased plan will lead to the loss of Moscow's positions in Armenia. However, the implementation of the plan through the defeat of the Armenian forces in Karabakh will look like the salvation of Armenia, allowing Moscow to keep Yerevan in its sphere of influence.

There is no doubt that in such a complex geopolitical situation, Baku needs to act, calculating actions for many steps forward. To keep their finger on the pulse, the authorities need not tanks and guns, or gallant statements from generals, but a team of analysts and experts, strong diplomacy and intelligence, agents of influence and authoritative media.

A separate problem is the renewal of the military leadership. Improving the general situation in the military department is indispensable.

All this requires competent decisions at the very top, otherwise any even advantageous geopolitical situation may turn into a disaster. There are many such examples in the history of the region and our country. Suffice it to recall the events of 1991-1993, when the situation changed by 180 degrees every six months, ending with the loss of 20% of the territory of Azerbaijan.

However, the main thing that needs to be done is to take real steps to form civil accord and reconciliation in the country. Without providing the rear, it is dangerous to rush into the attack. Attempts to look for the intrigues of enemies in everything and to explain all the problems by the actions of traitors is a path to nowhere, a step towards another geopolitical mistake that led to the catastrophe of 93-94, with the loss of Karabakh and seven regions.   -0-


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