The provocative actions of Armenia against Azerbaijan continue despite the ceasefire agreement signed on 10 November 2020. According to the statement made by the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan, Armenian soldiers opened fire on the Azerbaijani soldiers on the Azerbaijani positions in the Kelbajar region on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. On the other hand, it was stated that the Azerbaijan Army took various measures. As a matter of fact, 3 Armenian soldiers died and 2 Azerbaijan, soldiers were injured in the clashes on the border.
In this context, Ankara Centre for Crisis and Policy Studies (ANKASAM) brings to your attention on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border and the reflections of this tension on the region, in line with the opinions received from the leading experts and academics in the field.
Dr. Inst. Mem. Emre OZAN (ANKASAM Turkish Foreign Policy Advisor)
In his assessment on the subject, Dr. Inst. Mem. Emre Ozan said, “Azerbaijan has made very important gains in the last war in Nagorno-Karabakh. After the ceasefire, Azerbaijan turned to objectives such as ensuring border security, establishing control in the regained areas and rebuilding the infrastructure in order to protect these gains. Armenia, on the other hand, has turned to psychological warfare due to a major military defeat. It is necessary to evaluate the aforementioned attacks in this context.’’ made his comment.
Ozan said, “The Armenian Army has taken a big strike in the war. So, it is not easy to recover. However, it tries to maintain its claims with such limited and provocative attacks, to devalue Azerbaijan’s gains as much as possible, and to gain psychological superiority over Azerbaijan in the international arena by resorting to disinformation. It is not possible fort his effort to produce any meaningful results. But it is certain that he risked the ceasefire. No new conflict is on the horizon; however, a definite solution has not been reached in the Karabakh Question. Therefore, escalation of tension is a risky situation that can lead to conflict again.’’ he concluded his statement.
Dr. Inst. Mem. Ramin SADIGOV (Bayburt University-Faculty of Theology)
Commenting on the subject, Dr. Inst. Mem. Ramin Sadigov said, “With the ceasefire agreement signed on November 10, 2020, which ended the Second Karabakh War between Azerbaijan and Armenia, both countries have undertaken certain obligations. Azerbaijan has undertaken and fulfilled its obligation not to cause any problems regarding the resettlement of Armenians who left the Karabakh region during the war. However, since Armenia is the defeated party, it has taken a greater responsibility. For example, Armenia was asked to withdraw its army from Kelbajar, Lachin and Aghdam. Thus, a corridor would be opened from Zangezur.’’ said.
Sadigov, said, “Although Armenia withdrew its army from Kerbacer, Lachin and Aghdam, it is obvious that some articles of the ceasefire agreement were not implemented. After the 44-day war, the instability in Armenia started to Show itself more clearly. After Pashinyan’s resignation, early elections were held; However, after the developments, Pashinyan strengthened his hand even more and left the elections with victory. With Pashinyan’s victory, Armenia resumed its aggressive stance against Azerbaijan, especially with the support of France and the United States of America (USA). This is the biggest reason for the tensions at the border.’’ said.
Sadigoy said, “The real question is why Armenia behaved this way. Pashinyan is a name very close to the West. The West has been trying to take its place in the South Caucasus for a long time and it has succeeded in Georgia. It also tries to neutralize Russia through Armenia. Because Armenia is almost like a Russian land. Its borders are guarded by Russian troops, there are thousands of Russian soldiers in the country, and there are military bases on its territory. However, although Armenia seems to be in military cooperation with Russia, its face is more towards the West and it wants to attract the West to the region.’’ made a statement.
Reminding that the USA remained away from the region after the war, Sadygoy said, “The newly emerged geostrategic situation did not result in the way the West desired. Turkey’s signing of the Shusha Declaration together with Azerbaijan disturbed both the countries of the region and the West. Western Powers are looking for various ways to enter the region. This road also passes under Pashinyan administration. Pashinyan recently offered to place Western peacekeepers in the Azerbaijan-Armenia border. The presence of the West in the region is in the interests of both Pashinyan and the Western Powers, because the West does not want Turkey to be an effective power in the region. This situation causes provocations by Armenian soldiers.’’ said.
Sadigov said, “We should also say that; The Council of Europe (EC) has recently announced that they are planning to allocate 2.6 billion Euros to Armenia. It was stated that the money in the question would be used for the re-development of Armenia after the war. A grant of approximately 150 million Euros has been allocated to Azerbaijan. However, as can be seen, this grant is quite low compared to Armenia.’’ commented.
Stating that another remarkable point is that the conflicts between the two countries have taken place at two points in recent days, Sadigov said, “one of these points is Kelbacer, which has a large amount of gold mines; the other point is the Sederek region of Nakhchivan. Azerbaijan was directly targeted in the attack of Armenian soldiers on Kelbajar. The reason why this region was chosen as a target was to attract Western military units to the region and to gain profit by operating the gold mine there. Another reason is the transportation of Azerbaijan to Kelbajar via the Agadere road under the control of the Russian Peace Corps. The mentioned region is surrounded by high mountains. He thinks that Azerbaijan cannot deliver military technology and equipment here. That’s why the Yerevan administration chose the point in question for the attack. However, Baku can bring its military technology to the region as it wishes. It should also be noted that; Azerbaijan does not intervene against Armenia. It only responds to provocations.’’ said.
Finally, Sadigov said, “The ceasefire is often broken in the Sederek region as well. This show that the Armenia and the mind behind it wants to intimidate Turkey. Because Turkey is the guarantor of Nakhchivan. However, it is clear that this situation will not achieve any goal. With the Shusha Declaration, Turkey’s full support for Azerbaijan has disturbed Armenia and other countries. The Azerbaijani Army is taking careful steps in the face of all provocations. It should not be forgotten that; The events on the Azerbaijan-Armenia border distract from the agenda the issues of what is going on in the regions under Russian control in Karabakh. In other words, the entire agenda shifts to the border problems between the two countries. Pro-Russian individuals and groups within the Armenian Army also benefit from it.’’ he concluded his statement.
Coşkun BAŞBUĞ (Security and Terrorism Specialist-Retired Intelligence Colonel)
Retired Colonel Coskun Basbug, stating that Armenia’s provocative attitude towards Azerbaijan has gradually increased, said, “After Nikol Pashinyan’s re-election, these aggressive attitudes increased. Because a reality of Pashinyan has emerged that continues the traditional policy applied in the region in question. Pashinyan, who dragged Armenia into war with the support he received from the West before the election, caused a process in which tensions peaked in the region. The people and the army paid Pashinyan the price of the heavy defeat in the war. However, in the developing process, there were some political turmoils and then the Armenian people, who preferred pro-Western policies, choose Pashinyan as Prime Minister again. This led Armenia to follow a policy close to the West, as it was before.’’ said.
Basbug said, It is a known fact that the West has an important role in Armenia’s provocative attitude towards Azerbaijan. Because the imperialist structure has taken heavy strikes both in Cyprus, Iraq and Syria. Stunned globalists are now preoccupied with fending off these blows. The brutality of Pashinyan’s support from the West and the election he won shows us that; Armenia will continue its aggressive stance. However, this time there is something Pashinyan did not take into account: Russia, which sided with Armenia in the past, will not give the same support this time. In other words, when a new Azerbaijan-Armenian war takes place, Moscow will use its weight in favour of Azerbaijan.’’ he concluded his statement.
Cavid VELIYEV (International Relations Analysis Centre)
Stating that there are three reasons for Armenia’s provocations, Cavid Veliyev said, ‘’First, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev declared that after the Second Karabakh War that lasted for 44 days, the issue was closed for Azerbaijan and there was no problem. However, by committing such violations, Armenia tries to convey the message that the problem with Azerbaijan is not over.’’ commented.
Emphasizing that Armenia does not want to accept the ceasefire agreement dated 10 November 2020, which ended the 44-day war, Veliyev said, “Yerevan signals that it wants to change the agreement in question. Especially in recent days, it is thought that the situation in question can be eliminated with the support of the Armenian press. Some experts in Armenia; He states that they are surrounded by Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia and that they can resist this triple siege with the support of the West, especially France.’’ said.
Veliyev said, “The third and last reason is that Armenia wants to pose a threat to the restructuring of Azerbaijan’s liberated lands. A three-pronged process continues here: Liberated lands are restructured, efforts are made to return nearly 1 million immigrants who left their homes at the end of the First Karabakh War, and Azerbaijan constantly invites journalists, experts and diplomats from abroad to show the current situation here. Armenia, on the other hand, is trying to create the image that the region in question is not safe by provocations. In this way, he wants to prevent Azerbaijan’s policies.’’ he concluded his statement.
Hulusi KILIÇ (Retired Ambassador)
Retired Ambassador Hulusi Kılıc said, “Armenia’s continuation of its aggressive policy threatens the peace and stability in the region, which was established by the tripartite agreement of 10 December 2020. The terrorist attacks they carried out in the Kelbajar region are the last concrete indication that the Armenian political administration has not come to its senses.’’ said.
Kılıc said, “In fact, such terrorist acts send the message that Yerevan does not want to sign a peace agreement with Baku. While Azerbaijan demands the determination of common borders with Armenia; It is understood that Yerevan did not want this and tried to create a dissatisfaction in Baku on this issue. Because Armenia continued its existence as an occupier in the Karabakh region without border for about 30 years.’’ used the phrases.
Kılıc said, “In this context, it is seen that Armenia intends to continue its border violations until the desire to negotiate with Azerbaijan disappears. After ending the occupation, Baku wants to start the process of determining its borders with Armenia. However, it is clear that Yerevan is not ready for this. The mediation attempt of Moscow on this issue has not yielded any results yet. In this process, it is seen that Pashinyan is in an effort to position France as a mediator instead of Russia. Because Pashinyan sees that Russia is putting pressure on him and he knows that Azerbaijan will not accept this proposal because Paris defends the unfounded Armenian theses. As a result, we can say that the Yerevan administration still lives in the past, does not want to accept the new reality and is in favour of leaving the problem unresolved.’’ he concluded his statement.
Elnur ENVEROĞLU (Eurasia Diary)
Journalist Elnur Enveroglu, in his statements on the subject, said, ‘’First of all, I would like to point out that; Armenia has violated the ceasefire in both Nakhchivan and Kelbajar many times in recent days and continues to do so. In this context, Armenia is involved in various provocations. This is why the Azerbaijani Army is retaliating.’’ used the phrases.
Enveroglu said, “Armenia, which has failed both on the battlefield and at the table, is objecting to the status quo formed after the Second Karabakh War on various excuses. This situation can also be described as an effort to delay the demarcation of the border and to provoke the Azerbaijani side. Because Armenia does not have the ability to fight and the only place the current government trusts is Europe. More precisely, it is France that wants to intervene in the border problems between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Undoubtedly, France and other Western Powers are uncomfortable with Turkey’s political and military influence in the South Caucasus. The instability of the Pashinyan administration even led to the suspension of the trilateral transport and communication working group between Azerbaijan and Armenia.’’ said.
Stating that the same is true for Russia, Enveroglu said, “no matter how much Armenia trusts the West; No country other than Russia will be close to it. Today, Russia is the only arbiter in Armenia. I think that Russia played an important role in Karabakh and in the provocations on the border. Moscow is Ankara’s biggest rival in the region. The Kremlin knows that the Zangezur Corridor will extend Turkey’s influence to Central Asia. For this reason, Russia encourages Armenia to carry out such provocations at the border.’’ he concluded his assessment.