Does the accumulation of ammunition by Azerbaijan mean inevitability of war? The conversations and discussions on supply of arms to Baku always go with this question. These conversations intensified after Putin’s statement that supply of arms to the conflict area does not foster peace. If Putin knows this, why does the country he leads sell arms worth billions to Azerbaijan?
On the other hand, perhaps we all know that geopolitics is a hookup of actions and relations built on interests, and Putin’s statement is part of this context, not morality. Whether this is good or bad, double standard or not, moral or immoral, Putin is not the first person in geopolitics whose words and actions differ.
What Armenia needs to do is to be aware of and serve its own interests. Here is a simple truth.
Now let’s go back to the problem of war. Does the race of weapons make it inevitable? Logic says yes. After all, what else is weapons bought for? On the other hand, countries in different parts of the world buy weapons but not everywhere has this led to a war.
From this point of view, it is worthwhile remembering the statement of NATO Secretary General’s statement in Armenia which is definitely political.
He announced that not always the race of weapons leads to a war. Sometimes, it contains the war. Here the problem is Armenia’s capability to keep up with Azerbaijan and be resistant, not to be left behind and not to give Azerbaijan an expectation to succeed through aggression, like ahead of the April war.
In this setting, not only the arms race but also economic development matters, as well as the political capacity, i.e. sovereignty, the ability to make sovereign decisions. Only the arms race is not a premise or grounds for a war. A war is a phenomenon under the influence of political factors, and the factors surrounding the setting is much more important.
The April war was first of all the consequence of the loss of Armenia in these factors when after September 3 a serious crisis and misunderstanding occurred between the West and Armenia. Armenia was “introduced” as an annex to Russian politics and interests, unreliable and incapable. Azerbaijan attacked not when it had accumulated enough weapons but when it believed it had enough geopolitical legitimacy for the weapons, primarily with Russia’s help.
Baku’s strategic failure in the April war has led to a new situation, including for Russia. At the same time, there were new developments. A reshuffle of global centers of influence, a change in the correlation of forces is obvious.
All this reduces Russia’s potential, as well as its “quota” in the Caucasus. Armenia has been able to avoid a confrontation with Russia but use the post-April setting to put forth some conditions. In this context, the support of the West is obvious. At the end of the day, Russia’s attitude to this is not equivocal. One can notice a struggle in the Russian ruling elite, between the supporters of escalating the controversy with the West into a clash and the supports of overcoming the controversy and avoiding it through some compromise and practically a collapse. Which group will gain advantage ahead of the Russian presidential election in 2018, and the president of which group will Putin become? The issue of war depends on this more than on the quantity of ammunition in Azerbaijan. The political situation may turn scrap metal to a deadly and explosive weapon in a few days and similarly turn a deadly and explosive weapon to scrap metal.