In recent weeks on the background of events in Ukraine undeservedly remained unnoticed another escalation in the relations of the two Transcaucasian republics: Armenia and Azerbaijan in the frozen conflict zone in Nagorno-Karabakh. The first signs of deterioration can be attributed to several important developments: the military-tactical exercises first Armenia, and then Azerbaijan in the frontal zone and followed immediately behind them the visit of the OSCE mission at the invitation of Baku. According to tradition, both events are accompanied by harsh statements, but there is another index — this is against a background of growth in the number of incidents on the front line. "Ribbon.ru" understood, what is expected in the case of conflict.
War and myth
Most importantly, bring together supporters and opponents of the escalation of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh — war now neither one of the parties. The reasons, oddly enough, lie in the plane of the economy. Armenia, in particular, are ready to join the Customs Union and the common economic space negotiations are in the final stage, the parties agree on the most favoured nation treatment in the framework of education. Azerbaijan, in turn, literally in the beginning of the month expressed a desire to participate in the implementation of infrastructure projects jointly with the Russian Federation.
It is obvious that war or conflict that have fallen from the frozen state into the hot phase, will put an end to the plans of interstate interaction and the boomerang will hit economic indicators. But from a song words not throw. Only in the last trimester of side literally exchanged military-tactical exercises. Once the frontline has provided Armenia three times and, judging by messages of news agencies, Azerbaijan. And to stop the parties clearly did not intend.
Official Baku has announced holding of two major training operations: one to be held jointly with Turkey, the other — on the eve of the Day of the armed forces of the Republic. In this context, it is interesting that many observers note an important detail: Azerbaijan takes a lot of risks, approaching near the front, as if provoking the enemy to respond. From the Armenian side in response to sound tough statements in Yerevan understand that now the Azerbaijani army is well equipped and due to the economic performance of a country has at its disposal more resources. But even in these circumstances, the Armenian side by the mouth of the opposition leaves no space for diplomacy. For example, back in early June in the information field of both republics were widely distributed statement by the former President of Armenia Robert Kocharian, who "considers Nagorno-Karabakh as an indivisible part of Armenia". By the way, Kocharian enjoys considerable influence in Armenian politics and still has a pretty serious electoral support.
A wide agenda of regional conflict
In this context, it is important that the experts were generally supportive of surveillance "Tape.ru", proposing to consider the "frozen" post-Soviet conflict in the broader agenda of international relations. "The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict is a consequence of the collapse of the USSR and formation of the post-Soviet space, in which it had its own logic and grammar. It was a bilateral conflict that took place of the decay phase of exacerbation, often associated with changes in the region and the world," said "the Tape.ru" the Armenian expert in the field of military and national security, Hrachya Arzumanyan. In his view, "the post-Soviet period ended and with it ended and the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in the form in which it has got used to both people and the world." Arzumanyan noted important changes in the political processes of a planetary scale "To the geopolitical reality that is taking shape before our eyes, when the possibility or even the desirability of the "great war" they say in the open. The Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict will be part of a larger confrontation unfolding in the world."
"Assessing the situation, risks of escalation of conflict, the emergence of new, you should take into account at least the processes in the whole Caucasus. A more adequate approach would be the evaluation in the framework of the black sea-Caspian region. The most appropriate should recognize the assessment in the framework of the greater Middle East. A time when you could afford to zoom out and consider narrow problems are over," says Arzumanyan. Agrees with him expert on the Middle East Alexander Knyazev, in an interview with "the Ribbon.ru" also asked to evaluate the conflict zone in a broader sense. "There are signs not only of exacerbation of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan on Karabakh, it seems to me, — says the Prince, — what to expect and attempts to transfer tensions from the Caucasus to the Caspian region; it can be assumed the intention of creating a "second front" of tensions on Russia's borders, with the involvement of Kazakhstan, as well as parallel ongoing Ukrainian crisis".
Even more important is to understand that running processes are often not controlled. In any case, there is no reason to say that Armenia or Azerbaijan can retain control over the situation. In the press and social networks and then leaked information about new military operations on Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The Armenian press circulated on the eve of the results of operations, the results of which were taken from the edge of the height, dividing the territory of Armenia and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic within Azerbaijan. Thus, the basis for a new spiral of conflict is already there.
"Reflecting on approaching the hot phase of the conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh, it is necessary to speak both qualitative and quantitative traits, — agrees with such statement of the issue, Azeri political scientist Ilgar Velizade. — As a quality trait you must have in mind the nature of the military preparations of the parties, the tightening of political rhetoric on the lack of visible progress in the negotiation process." Analyzing quantitative factors, offers a specialist to have a closer look to the "militarization of the conflict parties, the growth in the number of incidents on the frontline, including growth in the number of dead and wounded among the peaceful civilian population". "It is written not just alarming, but also allows you to make unfavorable conclusions about the growing escalation of tensions, which are threatening to become a new hot conflict between the parties", — says the expert.
Similar opinion is shared by leading researcher, Russian Institute for strategic studies (RISS) Yana Amelina, which notes "a strange synchronicity of events that inevitably draws or could draw Russia into military confrontation in Ukraine and in the Caucasus at the same time". According to Ameline, the combination of many facts already "catches the eye and can not fail to surprise". "It seems that foreign players have a vested (literally) interest in, to force Russia to enter a new round of global confrontation, and this will use all possible force and means around the perimeter of the Russian borders", — said the expert.
But "do the Russians want war"? After all, it is easy to calculate the consequences to be faced by Russia in the case that the TRANS-Caucasian war would begin with renewed vigor. Pessimists, by the way, already talking about creating an "arc of instability" in a wide space, which includes the Caspian region, middle and near East, with access through Turkey to Eastern Europe on one side and through Kazakhstan in Central Asia on the other. "If a conflict breaks out with renewed vigor, we can assume that it will involve regional and international actors", — stressed in a conversation with "Tape.ru" Ilgar Velizade. His thesis, as if within a single study supports and Alexander Knyazev, involving the transition "of instability from Afghanistan" in the Caspian region, "directly to the borders of Kazakhstan." In his opinion, it is necessary to remember that the main goal of the development of the conflict lies in the doctrinal attitudes of the twentieth century, where the main idea is containment of Russia. According to him, all of the largest events of recent times is "the opposition of the Eurasian integration formats of the customs Union and the EAEC". This means that "following the direction of this resistance will come not only with the Caucasus, but also from the South of Russia," — says Knyazev.
Interestingly, in this context a smart way to fit several conflict models, which only have development on the space where experts. It is about the formulas of the development of conflicts along the line of separatism in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. And in both cases the basis is an important region that not only included into the Central Asia (in Western terminology), but is an integral part of the Caspian region.
"The time when it was possible to think in terms of the economy and of the relevant unions, has ended. — involves in this regard, Hrachya Arzumanyan. — There comes a time of military-political unions and alliances. Adequate assessment of the evolving context of the scale of the crisis, the main arena of confrontation (in this case, geopolitical) is critically important. In any case, already unfolding crises, such as the Ukrainian crisis will certainly have impact on the entire Eurasian space, and we are at the beginning of a long and painful process".
Tags: Russia , CSTO , crisis , Caucasus , Armenia