Consultations on a Russian military intervention in Karabakh are forthcoming
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – This week [October 16 – November 1 – ed.] It became clear that Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan asked in a telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for a meeting-consultation in Moscow, learned BulgarianMilitary.com quoting a statement by the Armenian Ambassador to Russia Vardan Toganyan.
The information about the consultations comes at a time when fierce fighting has been going on for more than a month in the unrecognized territory of Nagorno-Karabakh between the forces of Nagorno-Karabakh supported by Armenia and Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, although not directly. Consultations between the Russian and Armenian presidents could lead to a decision for Russia to intervene in the conflict. The Armenian ambassador to Moscow did not hide or deny such a possibility, as he was forced to say it when asked by a journalist.
The Armenian president hopes Russia will honor its commitments under the August 29, 1997 treaty of friendship, co-operation and mutual assistance, which was hinted at earlier this month by some Russian officials, including the Russian Defense Ministry. Nevertheless, Russia continues to insist on a ceasefire, and so far, at Moscow’s initiative, a similar meeting has been organized at least twice between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which has never achieved the desired effect. Armenia will hope that Moscow will give a clear answer to the forthcoming consultations on how Russia will help the Armenian people in the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Against the background of all this artificial rhetoric at the diplomatic level over the last two or three weeks, Moscow’s behavior towards the conflict is more than strange. On the one hand, Russia wants a peaceful resolution and a ceasefire, but on the other hand it does not agree to send peacekeepers to help the process. At the same time, he agreed to a high-level meeting at which he did not deny the possibility of supporting Yerevan with military equipment or direct Russian military participation.
German television ARD broadcast an interview with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who expressed outrage at the consultations and reaffirmed Baku’s position that the Azeris have no intention or desire of third parties to intervene. This statement is also quite strange, after it became clear that Turkey is paying Syrian rebels to take part in the conflict by supporting Baku.
Even more strange is the behavior of Azerbaijani President Aliyev on the issue of Turkish F-16 fighters, presenting in the interview a third version of their presence on Azerbaijani territory, which seriously raises suspicions that this man either has dementia or is a weak politician. He now said Turkish fighter jets had been “deliberately transported” to Azerbaijan as a sign of solidarity from Ankara. We remind you that Aliyev first claimed that there were no Turkish fighters on the territory of Azerbaijan. After satellite images surfaced, Aliyev said they were forgotten Turkish fighters from the last exercise and stayed in Azerbaijan because of the coronavirus epidemic. He now claims that they arrived to provide moral support and did not plan their combat participation.
What happened at the Nagorno-Karabakh front today, October 31?
By default, hostilities continue, although the Minsk Troika (Russia, France and the United States) have agreed with Armenia’s foreign ministers and Azerbaijan does not shoot at civilians. The towns of Stepanakert and Shushi were bombed and there are civilians.
Officials from the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh have accused the Azerbaijani military of using white phosphorus, which is banned by the Geneva Convention.
The situation in Nagorno-Karabakh escalated on September 27, active clashes are taking place in the disputed territory. Martial law was introduced in Azerbaijan and Armenia, and mobilization was announced. Both sides reported killed and wounded, including civilians. In Baku, they announced the control of several Karabakh villages and strategic heights. Yerevan also reports about the shelling of the territory of Armenia.
Azerbaijan and Armenia have been in conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh since February 1988, when the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region announced its withdrawal from the Azerbaijan SSR.
During the armed conflict in 1992-1994, the Azerbaijani side lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh and the seven areas adjacent to it. Since 1992, negotiations have been conducted within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group on a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The group is led by co-chairs – Russia, USA and France.
In 1994, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, through the mediation of Russia, signed the Bishkek Armistice Protocol. At the same time, military operations did not stop there, which periodically renewed. The most significant exacerbation of the conflict was the four-day war of 2016. Then hundreds of soldiers on both sides became victims.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, during a meeting with the President of Azerbaijan last year, called for a rhetoric that would go against the fundamental principles endorsed by both sides and enshrined in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act when resolving the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted that much more needs to be done to achieve a long-term political settlement.
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