Transcaucasian Trap for Russia: How Not to Fall Into It

NEW – September 15, 2022

The aggravation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict looks, to put it mildly, strange

The current escalation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict looks, to put it mildly, strange. First and foremost, because it did not have and still does not have any significant objective reasons or even subjective reasons. And what is put forward by Baku and Yerevan as such does not stand up to the slightest critical analysis — at most these are just pretexts. The situation on both sides of the line of demarcation – socio-economic, military-political, and whatever else – did not encourage such a development of events at all.

The second oddity is the current actions of Azerbaijan and Armenia: both sides claim that they have become victims of aggression and demand international support, alternating periods of “cease-fire” with new outbreaks of local hostilities. Yerevan generally raises the question of the need for direct intervention of the CSTO “according to the Kazakh scenario” in January 2022. Despite the fact that such intervention in this case is impossible without the consent of the authorities of Azerbaijan, which is not a member of the CSTO.

Such behavior clearly does not correspond to full-scale military operations as such, or preparations for them. But then what is it? Perhaps it is worth paying attention to the fact that the escalation of the conflict “on certain sections of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border” began immediately after the end of the VII Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, where for some reason Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan personally arrived and where, immediately after the EEF 2022 plenary session, he had a personal meeting with the President of Russia.

Even according to official information about this meeting, it is clear that the topic of Nagorno-Karabakh (officially part of the Azerbaijani territory) and the actions of Russian peacekeeping forces there were not ignored by the interlocutors. It is characteristic that Putin recommended Pashinyan to solve problems with security and stability not bilaterally, but multilaterally, at the SCO summit on September 15-16, but it became ablaze earlier. And this, apparently, is not coincidental.

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After all, it is clear that now, when Russia is conducting a special military operation to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, any “parallel” conflict that our country will be drawn into will play into the hands of not only Zelensky & Co., but also his Western curators, who are already involved up to their ears in supporting the Kiev regime: not only financial and economic assistance and the supply of an increasing number of weapons, but also the participation of their military structures in combat operations (“mercenaries”, intelligence, management, etc.).

It is no secret that Shiite Azerbaijan has long been supported and directed by Sunni Turkey within the framework of the Pan-Turkic (Pan-Turan) concept of Ankara – so far under the slogan “One people – two countries”, with the explicit goal of uniting one people in one country and further access to Sunni Central Asia, which is fraught with conflicts with Russia, with Iran, with China, and with the “Turkic” countries.

Similarly, it is no secret that these plans of Ankara, in turn, are supported and directed primarily by the United Kingdom, but the current Turkish leadership does not really get along with the United States, since Erdogan will never forgive Washington for the attempted military coup in July 2016, and even more so for the American Democrats. Although close cooperation with the United States, especially through NATO, inevitably continues. In addition, Turkey, together with Russia and Iran, is one of the guarantors of resolving the situation in Syria.

Similarly, it is no secret that Yerevan has special relations with Paris, including due to the presence of a powerful Armenian diaspora in France, but not only. And in the more than strained relations between France and Turkey – by the way, two NATO member countries – Armenia is no less an irritant than oil-rich Libya, where more than once it came to threats of direct military confrontation.

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But, of course, threats and political combinations are one thing, and blood flows, people die and suffer hardships far away not only from Ankara, Paris, London and Washington, but even from Yerevan and Baku. The local “elites” in terms of their structure and mode of action are fundamentally not much different from the Kiev “elites”, including on terms favourable for themselves, they are always ready to “make war” at the expense of their own population. Especially if the ultimate risks of such “wars” do not seem too big compared to the possible profits.

And this circumstance is undoubtedly taken into account in the United States and in other countries of the alliance of democracies, whose interests in fomenting a new series of Transcaucasian conflicts (with an eye to Central Asia) do not cause any doubts. After all, “it’s so hard to live when no one is at war with Russia” — the author of this phrase, the British politician Henry Palmerston (the same one who formulated the thesis that England has neither eternal friends nor eternal enemies, but there are eternal interests that need to be followed), undoubtedly knew about than says.

It is enough to look at the intensification of the schedule of visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia recently by officials from these countries to imagine what work is being carried out in parallel “here and now” through closed channels – even if in Georgia, “pacified” after the South Ossetian conflict, they started talking about a referendum on opening a “second front” against Russia (how the votes will be counted and the results of such a popular expression of will are summed up is a question, but now it’s possible to “sell” this topic, the auction is open).

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Moreover, Western scenarios of drawing our country into a crater-trap that arises in the Transcaucasus between Azerbaijan and Armenia have long been known and painted. In all, the key point is the attack on Russian peacekeepers, including the contingent of the military base in Gyumri (Armenia). And the question is not only and not even so much about how to avoid these traps (Transcaucasian and Central Asian), but about how those who set these traps fall into them: first and foremost, we are talking about the USA, Great Britain and France.

It is clear that in any case, it is much easier to conduct combat operations on one front than on two at once, and even more so on three at once. Perhaps some clarity will appear here after the above-mentioned SCO summit in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) and the planned talks between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping there.

Aleksandr Maslov

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