January 3, 2017

“The Conflict of December 29 between Azerbaijan and Armenia Was Artificially Engineered by Moscow”

Victor Hvozd

Lieutenant General, the President of the Independent Analytical Center for Geopolitical Studies “Borysfen Intel”, the former Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, exclusively for Azeri.Today


A characteristic feature of the second half of 2016 was sharpening of conflicts in the former Soviet territories, provoked by Moscow, and today supported by the Kremlin in order to preserve its influence in the former Soviet Union.

In particular, this applies to the intensification of the armed conflict in the East of Ukraine and in Nagornyi Karabakh — the main “hot spots” in the former Soviet territories. Examples of this were the Russian-terrorist forces' large-scale attack on the positions of the ATO Forces of Ukraine December 19, 2016 at the Svetlodarsk Arc (in the Donbas), as well as Armenia's armed provocations against Azerbaijan on December 29 this year.

All these events are links in one chain of V. Putin's regime's policy, which felt the possibility to “have a free hand” after the election of D. Trump the US President. In this connection, waiting for possible changes in the USA's policy, and in the policy of the European Union, Russia has moved to a new level of actions to achieve its goals.

With regard to Ukraine, such actions include Moscow's turning to direct threats of using armed force to implement Russia's policy goals on the Ukrainian direction. After some “period of flirtation” with Baku, to date, the Kremlin uses the same approach to Azerbaijan as to Ukraine.

Thus, December 29, 2016, CSTO Secretary General (Russia's anti-NATO project) N. Bordyuzha directly accused Azerbaijan of “an attack on Armenia”. Taking into consideration Russia's leading role in the CSTO, by this he directly outlined Moscow's position towards Azerbaijan.

In a broader aspect — Russia's actions to aggravate the situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia have some other (including geopolitical) goals: to undermine positions of Azerbaijan as one of the main sources of alternative energy supplies to Europe; to divert international community's attention from the events around Syria; to put pressure on Turkey (as Azerbaijan's main ally) over the issue of the Syrian conflict, etc.

Returning to the conflict of December 29, 2016, I must stress that it was artificially engineered by Moscow and is used today by Russia for its geopolitical purposes to preserve influence on Armenia and Azerbaijan, and in general — on the whole Southern Caucasus. It is the Karabakh conflict, that allows Russia to maintain its military presence in the region in the form of the 102nd Military Base of the RF Armed Forces on the territory of Armenia.

As I said earlier in my interview, the Karabakh conflict has no military solution, and it will stay “frozen”, because it is beneficial to Russia.

Taking into consideration the current state of affairs in Russia and in the region, the Nagornyi Karabakh conflict, in principle, will not be resolved until radical changes in the situation in Russia itself — namely, the emergence of a critical crisis in the Russian Federation on the basis of both the interstate and socio-economic problems.

In this regard, the most important for bringing nearer the date of settlement of the Karabakh conflict will be continuation/strengthening of the USA and the EU's political and economic sanctions against Russia, which were introduced after Russia's occupation and subsequent annexation of the Ukrainian Crimea, and the beginning of the military conflict in the Donbas and bringing Russian occupying forces into the Donbas.

The OSCE Minsk Group will never resolve this conflict either, as the OSCE, in fact, is powerless and totally helpless in dealing with such issues, especially with Russia's notable influence on it. Under these circumstances, it is expedient for Azerbaijan to seek meaningful support for a fair resolution of the Karabakh conflict in the United States, Turkey and the former Soviet countries with similar territorial problems — with Russia completely ignoring any proposals.

And one more thing. Azerbaijan, incidentally, as well as Ukraine, should (and it is extremely necessary to) go to the international and regional organizations (first of all the UN, the EU, NATO and the OSCE, GUAM, BSEC and possibly the “Visegrad Four”) with a fundamentally new initiative in the sphere of international security — namely, with the need for development and adoption of a separate international legal mechanism and tools for urgent resolving a conflict, where one of the parties to the conflict is the Russian Federation.

As you know, today a number of independent countries, mainly the CIS ones, are the witnesses and direct parties to the conflicts (in the vast majority — “frozen” conflicts), where one of the parties to the conflict is the Russian Federation, namely: in Azerbaijan — Nagornyi Karabakh; in Moldova — Trans-Dniester; in Georgia — Abkhazia and South Ossetia; in Ukraine — the Crimea and Donbas.

This will probably be enough for the international community to support this kind of initiative of Azerbaijan and Ukraine, especially in the light of Russia's recent threats and aggressive ambitions in respect of a number of European countries (in particular Finland, Poland and the Baltic countries).

As for Ukraine, as you know, takes a consistent position, which is based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders.

In conclusion. I fully agree with the assessment of the situation, given by the Ukrainian expert Colonel (retired) Serhiy Hrabskyi.

Finally I would like to wish all the best and peace to the people of Azerbaijan in the new 2017 and to express confidence that peace will surely come to your country!

Note: This material was prepared within the framework of the Azeri.Today's special project: “Foreign Experts' Tribune”.


Source: Azeri Today