Baku, October 29, AZERTAC
The Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has entered the history of the twentieth century as one of the most tragic conflicts, the consequences of which have seriously affected the fate of millions of people. In the twenty first century the conflict has been accentuated as one of the most protracted conflicts because of Armenia’s unconstructive policy. For the last 5-6 years the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been at the focus of attention with sporadic shootings. August 2014, April 2016, July 2020 have been more conspicuous months with regard to the confrontation between the parties. While Azerbaijan tried to respond to the provocations of Armenia, the international organizations simply observed the processes with making only formal statements. Armenian government’s violent actions have always been left with impunity. That is the primary reason why Armenia did not stop its aggression against Azerbaijan. The escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh in early morning on September 27, 2020, brought the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict once again to the focus of the international community. Azerbaijan’s resolute counter-offensive operations against Armenia reverberated around the globe. Thus, Azerbaijan Armed Forces smashed the first echelon of Armenian Army and broke down the so-called “impregnable defense line”. Armenian government did not expect it, therefore, Azerbaijan’s successful combat operations shattered their reputation among Armenian community. It is inevitable that, Armenia will not be able to withstand Azerbaijan’s further advance in the battlefield. Having lost the control of formerly occupied lands in the north and south, they desperately need time and resources, which in turn make them knock on the doors of other powers for brokering ceasefire. The humanitarian ceasefire agreement after 10 hours of talks in Moscow sponsored by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on October 10, prompted Armenia to conduct operations in order to restore their control over the lost positions. The deal, in fact, stipulates that, the ceasefire should pave the way for talks on settling the conflict. However, Armenian government with its dilettante behavior derailed the deal after the city of Ganja was brutally attacked by Armenian missiles on October 11. According to the US political scientist, Professor at the University of Marquette (Wisconsin) Peter Tase, the bombing of Ganja is equal to Hitler’s bombing of 1939 during the Siege of Warsaw. Warning the European Union countries, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, European Council and the US Department of State about direct ramifications and geopolitical consequences of Yerevan’s autocratic leadership and acts of terrorism, Professor Peter Tase states: “All of these cruel actions and provocations led by Armenia are an ever-stronger reason for the Republic of Azerbaijan to liberate every inch of its sovereign territory that has been under Armenian occupation for over three decades”. However, some leaders of Western countries, which need the support of Armenian lobby for their domestic reputation or are contingent upon them displayed unconstructive approaches and double standards, blaming Turkey for the situation on the ground. That is what Armenia wants: to persuade the world that, Turkey is involved in the conflict and this is the primary reason of their fiasco in the battlefield. The countries, which are at cross purposes with Turkey on different issues “believe” in this narration. However, the reality is a far cry from what Armenian government tries to convey to the world community. First of all, Azerbaijani Army conducts operations within its internationally recognized territories. Today, the principled and consistent position of the Azerbaijani political and military leadership on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is leading to a completely new situation in the region. Thus, a new reality has emerged in connection with the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. This time, it is Azerbaijan which lays down conditions and Armenia lost all its chances to stipulate anything in further negotiations. We may deduce it from President Ilham Aliyev’s interviews to different well-known TV programs. As President Ilham Aliyev stated unequivocally: “Nagorno-Karabakh is our ancient and historical land, and we will definitely return to these lands. We will restore all destroyed historical sites and houses. We will give the streets Azerbaijani names and return the renamed villages their real names. We will definitely do that because the truth is on our side. We do not lay claim to the lands of other countries, but we will not give our lands to anyone either”.
If Nikol Pashinyan had been conducting hawkish policy until the war broke out on September 27, now he is clutching at straws with the purpose of saving his authority. First, he implored Russian President to broker a ceasefire. Of course, this plea was made solely for winning some time. He was not sincere and needed time for recuperation. It did not work. Currently he exerts himself in order to attract Armenians living abroad to be physically present in Nagorno-Karabakh and fight against Azerbaijani Army. Why physically? Because, it is clear-cut that, Armenian lobby donates huge amount of money to Armenian armed forces. Today Armenian army is unimaginably devastated and even enormous donation cannot save them. Therefore, the physical presence of volunteers in the battlefield is of utmost importance for Armenia. Another reason of involving foreign volunteers to Nagorno-Karabakh is to draw the attention of ethnic Armenians abroad. Thus, Pashinyan wants to create an image of another “genocide” committed against “poor” Armenians. If he is not successful in creating this perception, it will be the end of his tenure as a prime minister. At the same time, Armenians at large will attribute the loss of Nagorno-Karabakh to Pashinyan’s impetuous policy. Now, there are two options available for Pashinyan: 1) to come to the negotiation table as a loser of the war; 2) to insist on fighting until Azerbaijani Army sweep aside remaining Armenian forces. Both options are not desirable for Armenian government. Anyway, Pashinyan would prefer the second option by involving volunteers, so-called “compatriots” from foreign countries, meanwhile soliciting for ceasefire. Therefore, all Armenians, who live abroad are strongly recommended not to fall into the trap of Pashinyan and be manipulated as the tools of another “genocide” Armenian government is orchestrating.
Major Khayal Isgandarov
Expert on national security
War College of the Armed Forces, Republic of Azerbaijan