Escalation at the Border: What Is Moscow's and Baku's Plan?

  • Comments - 08 October 2016, 00:15
The summaries of the situation at the Karabakh-Azerbaijani border have lately been more and more tense. Azerbaijan has intensified firing, the types and diameters of weapons used are becoming more diverse. The 7 October 2016 NKR MoD message stated for the first time since long that the Armenian side has answered the firing. The photos of the Armenian army truck damaged by the Azerbaijani firing were published.

A few days ago the U.S. Secretary Kerry announced that currently there are no conditions for the solution of the Karabakh issue. He was followed by a nervous reaction of the Russian ministry of foreign affairs. “I think the conflict settlement benefits not from statements but practical work which we are doing,” the spokesperson for the MFA Zakharova said.

Today Azerbaijan has officially criticized John Kerry’s statement. The deputy head of staff of the Azerbaijani president and the head of the department of international relations of Azerbaijan Novrus Mammedyarov said: “The U.S. Secretary John Kerry’s statements that the leaders are not ready for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict surprise and upset us.”

The harmonized reaction of Armenia and Russia is not something new, especially in the recent years. And this is natural. The United States actually proposes “recognition” of the status quo, including through introduction of a mechanism of investigations which would end the police of Russia and Azerbaijan on Karabakh. The policy and interest of Russia and Azerbaijan are identical.

Russia has appeared in a complicated situation in Syria. Putin even went for “nuclear blackmail” to force the United States to step back in Syria, namely accept Moscow to the club of decision makers. However, Russia is not allowed that and the United States answered the Russian blackmail with tough steps, “closing” the Syrian sky for Russian airplanes.

Now Russia seems to be trying to join the “club” with Karabakh, like in April. There is no doubt that Azerbaijan is causing escalation at the border with Moscow’s consent, trying thus to force the United States to “negotiate”. This is the reason for Moscow’s and Baku’s nervous reaction to Kerry’s statement.

At the same time, different publications by Russian experts on returning Karabakh to Azerbaijan have become frequent in the Azerbaijani press.

In this situation, the Armenian armed forces must move on to a new regimen to prevent the new provocations. The style and methods of the Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation are known very well, there is such experience.