Turkey is an aggressor state that is waging a war in Nagorno Karabakh through the hands of Azerbaijan. It is about time Russia should to show its military strength, otherwise the genocide of Armenians will start and Eurasian integration will tumble down, expert Vladimir Lepekhin believes.
On Monday, Azerbaijan and Armenia failed to implement the truce, which had been earlier agreed in the United States. Both sides accused each other of wrongdoings. Foreign ministers of the two countries, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Jeyhun Bayramov, negotiated throughout the weekend at the US State Department. Donald Trump called the escalating conflict "a light case."
"We will solve this problem. I consider it a "light case". It's easy to solve if you know what you're doing" he stated.
Trump's National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien noted that the United States was making efforts to ensure that Armenia and Azerbaijan reach the truce as part of the dispute over the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR). According to him, Armenia agreed to the ceasefire regime, but Azerbaijan did not yet, and Washington was "pushing" it to make this decision.
Vladimir Lepekhin, the director of the EAEU Institute, told Pravda.Ru that a truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan is not going to materialize at all, because Azerbaijan needs to secure its territorial acquisition and subsequently force the Armenian side to negotiations.
According to the expert, the current hostilities, although they have the historical base of the permanent Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, are part of the war, in which other, more serious players participate - Turkey and the UK. Turkey, while trying to become the main regional player, is a key instrument in the hands of the chief curator of the conflict - "British special services that receive support from US Democrats."
This process has escalated throughout post-Soviet space on the eve of the US elections, the expert noted.
"We can see this happening in Belarus, where Poland is the instrument. This is happening in the South Caucasus, where Turkey is the instrument. This is happening in the Donbass, where Ukraine is the instrument. British special services have been increasing their presence everywhere, and of course, they have been doing that with the support such figures as George Soros and other American Democrats," said Vladimir Lepekhin.
According to the expert, Russia has been hoping for things to get sorted out on their own. Russia also tried to activate standard mediator mechanisms, conducting all sorts of diplomatic talks. In other words, the expert believes, Russia has been working in the wrong direction.
Ankara, as Vladimir Lepekhin believes, wants to cut off Nagorno Karabakh, and in the future, possibly, Turkey will want to cut Armenia off from Iran, providing a connection between the main territory of Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan (Nakhichevan Autonomous Region) - with access to Turkey.
Vladimir Lepekhin wants to hope that the Russian executive authorities and the military, are beginning, apparently, to act in a way to prevent the army of Azerbaijan from occupying the Lachin corridor (Stepanakert-Goris-Yerevan motorway - ed.). A group of Russian military supposedly deployed field headquarters there, at least according to sources from Armenia.
"If this is the case, this is the right direction to make, because the Lachin corridor is the road of life for Nagorno Karabakh. Otherwise, Karabakh will end up in total blockade, and if this happens, the genocide of the population may start," Vladimir Lepekhin said.
Vladimir Lepekhin believes that Russia must firmly defend its national interests in the South Caucasus. According to the expert, Russia should curb the aggressor - Turkey - rather than simulate peacekeeping activities.
"This is a war. In fact, Turkey has declared war against Russia by the hands of Azerbaijan. Turkey is expanding into Eurasian space, where it is Russia that acts as the guarantor of Eurasian security. Yet, Russia is taking no countermeasures against Turkey. Are there Turkish lobbyists in the Russian Foreign Ministry? I don't understand," said the expert.
Vladimir Lepekhin is convinced that Russia should impose sanctions against Turkey and stop aviation and tourist services, introduce a visa regime, stop purchasing agricultural products, and so on.
Most importantly, Russia must clearly exercise its determination to defend its interests by military means.
"Terrorists come through Turkey. There may facts to prove that. If Turkey supports terrorists, and terrorists end up in the South Caucasus, that is, within the limits of Russia's Eurasian interests, then why are we waging a war with terrorists far away from Russia, in Syria, if we should do that near Russia's borders? The very fact of the emergence of terrorists is enough for Russia to stop talking and launch an active peacekeeping mission there," concluded Vladimir Lepekhin.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov called on Turkey to use all its influence for the purpose of ceasefire in order to be able to start meaningful negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis.
"We are convincing our Turkish partners of the expediency of using ерушк influence in the interests of supporting such a line," Lavrov said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
Moscow is confident that, with Turkey's participation, the conflict will be internationalized by militants arriving from Syria, which Turkey denies.
Reference. Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, had the status of an autonomous region (NKAO). According to the law adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on December 12, 1993 "On the procedure for resolving issues related to the secession of the union republic from the USSR", the NKAO had the right to independently decide its fate provided that the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic seceded from the USSR.
"In a union republic, which has autonomous republics, autonomous regions and autonomous districts, a referendum shall be held separately for each autonomy. The peoples of autonomous republics and autonomous formations retain the right to independently decide whether they want to stay as part of the USSR or the seceding union republic, as well as raise the question of their state and legal status," the law says.
Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh "began not just as an interstate conflict, as a struggle for territories - it started with ethnic confrontation," with crimes against the Armenian people.
NATO has no plans to deploy troops on the Ukrainian territory, Jens Stoltenberg said. French President Emmanuel Macron earlier did not rule out a possibility to send Western military forces there