Appearance of Turkish peacekeepers in Karabakh could turn into a war
PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – As we wrote earlier [November 10 – ed.], A ceasefire between Armenia, the forces of the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan was reached through an agreement with Moscow. Russia immediately announced the deployment of Russian peacekeepers in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and deployed troops and military equipment along the conflict in less than 48 hours. In reality, this action by the Russians forced Armenia to recognize the loss in the military conflict that began in late September, which led to protests in the country.
The Turkish news agency writes that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced Ankara’s intention to send peacekeepers, following Moscow’s example. According to Erdogan, there is no reason for Turkey to do the same as Russia, and negotiations are under way.
“The Turkish military will act in Karabakh to comply with and monitor the agreements on the same basis as the Russians,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Anatolia. According to the Turkish president, negotiations are already underway between Russia and Turkey at the level of foreign ministers, and a Russian delegation is expected to arrive in Turkey soon to continue the talks.
Military analysts and political scientists have identified Turkey’s possible participation in the peacekeeping mission as a very risky factor in ensuring much-desired stability in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. According to them, the tension will come along two main lines: the first is that Turkey is supposed to have started the conflict on September 27 this year, and the second is the historical enmity between Armenians and Turks. All this leads to the likelihood that stability in the region will be classified as low and a prerequisite for future military action.
An expert and a source with the Russian news agency Aviapro claims that the possible appearance of Turkish troops in Karabakh will lead to a new conflict, but this time Armenia will be more than directly involved. The expert also claims that it is still unclear how things will turn out, because an agreement on Turkish peacekeepers has not yet been reached between Russia and Turkey, but there is a high probability that Ankara will receive it from Moscow.
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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