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Who is interested in the Nagorno -Karabakh conflict escalation?

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The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the South Caucasus has been contributes to a full-scale humanitarian crisis, forced displacement of people and the destruction of infrastructure. After a ceasefire agreement signed in 1994, the conflict still exists as Armenia continues to occupy the Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding districts of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Although Azerbaijan and Armenia are pursuing a diplomatic settlement through the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, all initiatives and diplomatic talks are fruitless because the current status quo is favorable to Armenia. One can ask why because Armenia supports illegal economic activities and settlement policy in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, which violates the core principles of the OSCE and the UN. The several Armenian banks such as “Artsakhbank”, Armbusinessbank, Armeconombank, Araratbank and others operate in the occupied territories. Additionally, Armenia’s mobile operators such as Armentel (a subsidiary of the Russian Vimpelcom under the “Beeline” brand), and Orange Armenia, a subsidiary of Orange Group France, provide roaming services with reduced rates to “Karabakh Telecom CJSC.

Official Yerevan also supports energy security of the occupied territories. Armenia’s natural gas supplier and distributor, Gazprom Armenia includes the occupied territories into its gas distribution network. The management of the two energy producing enterprises – “Artsakhgas” and “Artsakhenergo”, set up in the occupied territories, were placed under the control of Armenia registered AEG Company, which was tasked to integrate the energy supply system in those territories with that of Armenia.

There was hope for peace and prosperity in the region after the government change in Armenia in 2018. Despite several meetings between Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, full de-escalation from war to cooperation was not reached. On the contrary, tension between warrying parties raised again and led to a conflict escalation. The first serious military confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan since the four-day April 2016 war happened on July 12, 2020. Armenian military forces shelled the Tovuz region of Azerbaijan and in this border clash one civilian and several soldiers were martyred as a result of artillery fire. Of course, Armenia also had military causalities. The recent Tovuz clash threatened important energy projects such as pipelines Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan (BTC) and Baku–Supsa as well as the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP, also called the Baku–Tbilisi–Erzurum pipeline) located near the conflict zone.

On August 23 of the current year the commander of Armenia’s sabotage-reconnaissance group, a senior lieutenant Gurgin Alberyan was captured by Azerbaijani armed forces during an operation to repel an attack on Azerbaijani positions in the western Goranboy district. In the video interview the officer described the purpose of the planned sabotage and expressed his desire to stay in Azerbaijan rather than return to Armenia.

All the aforementioned armed clashes threatened regional stability and economic integration. Unfortunately, Armenian leadership’s rhetoric and actions only escalate situation. All developments clearly show that Armenia supports military solution instead of peace. To support the aforementioned facts, it is worth noting that after clashes on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border in the Tovuz direction, official Moscow has delivered immediately weapons to Armenia by Il-76 planes. The military cargo planes were forced to make a detour on their way to Armenia after Georgia did not allow Russia to use its airspace for the delivery. The Il-76 heavy cargo-carrying aircraft flew along a route stretching from the Russian cities of Rostov and Minvody to the cities of Aktau in Kazakhstan, Turkmenbashi in Turkmenistan and Nowsher in Iran. The final stretch of the flight was operated over Armenia’s southern town of Meghri near the border with Iran, finally arriving to Yerevan.  

According to Hikmet Hajiyev, a senior adviser to President Ilham Aliyev “Cargoes are being delivered from Russia in various directions, which causes concern for our public. We are not quite satisfied with the explanations of the Russian side that planes are supposedly carrying construction materials. Construction materials can be transported in other ways as well.”  This important issue was raised by President Ilham Aliyev before the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, as well as was discussed with the Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu during his recent visit to Baku. It is clear that those planes carried only armaments to Armenia, and there is no need to use different air routes to deliver construction materials. The fact is the “third party” supports Armenia and further contributes to the conflict escalation.

Another important issue which rises the tension is the illegal settlement in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.  As of August 2020, 15 houses were completed in Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan. It is important to ask a question if Armenia supports peaceful resolution of the conflict then why Armenians from the Middle East settled in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions?  Ongoing illegal settlement activity is being continued, especially, after Beirut blast in Lebanon, Lebanese-Armenians from Lebanon arrived Armenia. According to Armenia’s new High Commissioner of Diaspora, Affairs Zareh  Sinanyan ““Until now 800 Lebanese-Armenians have arrived in Armenia, some of them came before the Beirut explosion but after July 1, when the first plane landed in Yerevan, with the rest arriving after the August 4 explosion”. The illegal settlement is a serious violation of international law, and it will certainly lead negotiations into a blind alley.

The situation now is very dangerous, and all recent actions of the Armenian leadership indicates their desire to maintain the status quo or choose to escalate the conflict. In this context, a simple question should be asked why Armenian government considers the option to create militia troops? It confirms once again that the country is not ready for peace in the region, and is interested in using the future mercenaries against Azerbaijan army.

In the end, the current conflict escalation prevents the region’s full integration and puts inter-regional projects at increased risk. But more importantly, the people from both countries have suffered enough from this long-lasting bloody conflict. The official position of Azerbaijan is a peaceful resolution of the conflict in accordance with international law, and Azerbaijan now looks forward to real and serious progress toward a resolution of the conflict.  

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Eastern Europe

UK Special Services continue to provoke an aggravation of the situation near the Black Sea

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British foreign secretary James Cleverly in Kiev with president Zelensky.

Russian precision attacks against Ukrainian infrastructure are a necessary response to Ukrainian sabotage on Russian soil, including the bombing of the Crimean Bridge, President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The two leaders spoke by phone at Berlin’s request.

Putin explained the logic behind Russia’s military operation against Ukraine which has started military aggression against Donbass in 2014 and later against Russia in 2022, and stated that the Western policy of arming and training Ukrainian troops was “destructive.”

“It was noted that the Russian Armed Forces had been refraining from conducting precision missile strikes on certain targets in the Ukrainian territory for a long time, but now such measures have become necessary and unavoidable as a reaction to Kiev’s provocative attacks on Russian civilian infrastructure, including the Crimean Bridge and energy facilities.” The “terrorist attack” against the Nord Stream undersea pipelines “stands in the same category” and requires a transparent investigation that would include Russia, Putin told the German leader.

– Belarusian and Russian troops will act as a unified force. The two countries don’t want war, but are preparing to “repel any aggression, – Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has announced amid heightened tensions with the West over the Ukraine large-scale aggression against Donbass in 2014 and later against Russia in 2022. “Today we are preparing like a single force, a single army,” Lukashenko said, adding that instructors from both countries were training each other’s troops.

Lukashenko underlined that the situation around Belarusian border is ‘tense’. The country’s security agencies have registered an increase in the number of “provocations.”

– Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu called Belarus a “trustworthy partner” for Russia during a meeting with Viktor Khrenin, his Belarusian counterpart. Two ministers signed a revised version of a Regional Security Treaty between the two governments on December 3.

– Western European states are creating a dangerous situation by trying to exclude Russian and Belarus from the continent’s security order, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned. He accused EU leaders of allowing the US to dictate policy, and surrendering their own interests to Washington, and claimed that EU policy is creating insecurity on the continent. The West “is already trying to build a security architecture [in Europe] without Russia and Belarus. We don’t need such security,” Lavrov said. “The whole security [architecture] in Europe now comes down to it being completely subservient to the USA,” he claimed.

– Kiev plotting provocation on ammonia transit from Russia. The grain deal, as a part of a UN- and Turkey-brokered agreement that unblocked exports of Ukrainian grain and Russian fertilizers in the Black Sea, did not reportedly cover exports of Russian ammonia via the Tolyatti-Odessa pipeline. However, earlier, a UN-aid chief said that the ammonia deal would likely be reached by the end of the week.

Kiev  has been given a free passage of its grain deliveries abroad via the Black Sea under the multilateral deal reached last July, but is plotting a provocation to subvert the UN initiative on resumption of Russia’s ammonia transit abroad free of charge.

Guided by UK Special Services, and with help from Canada’s private military company (PMC) GardaWorld, the provocation is to echo the blasts carried out at Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea. The goal, like in the case of the September 2022 sabotage at the pipelines, is to prevent Russia from exporting its resources to other countries.

The Kiev regime’s plan reportedly presupposes blowing up ammonia storage facilities at Odessa Portside Plant, to subsequently blame Russia for the explosion.

From our partner International Affairs

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Eastern Europe

It Is Possible To Live Peacefully In The Caucasus

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The Caucasus is a geographical area inhabited by a number of peoples. This region with its beautiful nature has experienced complicated events throughout history. The South Caucasus, which is also the historical homeland of the Azerbaijanis, has gone through difficult periods over the past periods, which shaped the current map.

December 5th marks the Day of Deportation of Western Azerbaijanis from their native lands. The policy of ethnic cleansing systematically carried out against Azerbaijanis throughout the 20th century resulted in the forced deportation of the last Azerbaijanis from the territory of West Azerbaijan in 1988-1991.

The vast majority of our compatriots displaced from their native lands on the territory of present-day Armenia at various times died longing for their homes. About 250,000 of the Azerbaijanis, who were subjected to deportation in 1988-1991, are still longing for their homes and native lands. Those people are deprived of their fundamental rights – the right to live in the lands of their birth and to visit the graves of their relatives.

Unfortunately, the rich cultural and historical heritage of West Azerbaijanis was purposefully destroyed or alienated. The destruction of cemeteries belonging to Azerbaijanis is very heartbreaking. The destruction of a monument belonging to the world heritage means the destruction of a historical object and the infliction of damage to human history. International organizations, especially UNESCO, which should react sharply to such cases, are still keeping mum. A possible just position by UNESCO, its deployment of a fact-finding mission to the monuments, which belong to West Azerbaijanis and are in danger of being wiped out, as well as their registration and ensuring their safeguarding, would be very useful for human history.

Today, West Azerbaijanis are dreaming of returning to their homes and native lands, where they were deported, and reuniting with their homeland.

The community of those people declares readiness for peaceful coexistence in their native lands in Armenia. “We desire to return to our homes and visit the graves of our loved ones. Taking into account the ongoing positive processes for peaceful coexistence of 25,000 people of Armenian origin in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and being inspired by it, we believe that coexistence in the territory of Armenia may be possible”, Western Azerbaijani Community members state.   

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Eastern Europe

What “Victory” and “Defeat” Would Mean in Ukraine’s War

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Image source: war.ukraine.ua

In order to be able accurately to define “victory” in the war in Ukraine, the pre-requisite is to define whom the two sides are that wage this war. For example: when America fought in WW II, it was waging war in foreign battlefields and with its own troops and weapons, and even if America were to win in any of those battlefields, it still could have been defeated in WW II simply by Hitler’s winning WW II. Any given battlefield was only a part of the war itself; and that war, WW II, was not defined by any one of its many battlefields. There is a difference between a battlefield in which a war is being waged, versus the war that is being waged.

However: when America fought and still fights in Syria, it wages war on that battlefield against Syria, for regime-change in that nation; and ONLY by replacing Syria’s Government with one that the U.S. Government supports would America (and its allies in that war) “win” that war, in that battlefield (Syria), which is that war’s ONLY battlefield. In that instance, then, winning that battlefield is the same as winning the war there, by America and its allies, against that nation. America (unlike in WW II) does not wage this war against Syria by using its own troops and weapons but instead by hiring proxy armies — mainly separatist Kurds and Al Qaeda-led jihadists — in order to achieve there a regime-change that the U.S. Government approves of. Unless and until that is done, America will have lost the war that it is fighting in Syria. (Perhaps this is a reason why U.S. troops are not fully withdrawn from there though Syria’s Government has repeatedly ordered them to leave: America doesn’t want to lose in Syria, as it did lose in Afghanistan and in Vietnam.) However: the war in Syria is not between Syria’s Government and America’s proxy-armies there; it is instead a war between America and Syria, which is being waged by America in that battlefield, using foreign troops, to defeat Syria.

Similarly, the war in Ukraine is not a war between Ukraine versus Russia, but, in Ukraine’s case, Ukraine is only a proxy battlefield and proxy army on America’s side

The war in Ukraine is a war that America initiated against Ukraine in February 2014 by America’s coup there that overthrew Ukraine’s democratically elected and neutralist Government and replaced it by a rabidly anti-Russian and pro-American one on Russia’s border in order ultimately to become able to place just 317 miles away from the Kremlin U.S. missiles which would be only a five-minute flight-time away from nuking Russia’s central command — far to little time in order for Russia’s central command to be able to verify that launch and then to launch its own retaliatory missiles. 

For America to win that war, by Ukrainians, in the battlefield of Ukraine (i.e., by that proxy army, in that proxy battlefield against Russia) would be to checkmate Russia and so to transform Russia into another U.S. vassal-nation, regardless of what Russians might want — and this is what the U.S. regime demands: “regime-change in Russia.” That is America’s (and its ‘allies’ or vassal-nations’) goal there.

For Russia to win that war in the battlefields of Ukraine would be for Russia to defeat the U.S.-imposed government there and to establish in Ukraine not the neutralist Government that had been there before America’s take-over of Ukraine in 2014 but instead a Russian-imposed Government that will order all U.S.-and-allied troops and advisors — including from all of America’s vassal-nations and especially from NATO — out of the country, and close the door, seal Ukraine’s borders against all U.S. vassal-nations. That would mean telling all Ukrainians who want to leave for “The West” to go and never come back into Ukraine. At that time, Russia would invite the U.S. and its vassal-nations (or ‘allies’) to provide to any such Ukrainian any assistance, financial or otherwise, that the person might need in order to relocate into the U.S. empire. However, even if the U.S.-and-allied side refuse to provide any such assistance, the person must relocate and never come back — even if the person would then be stateless. Anyone who wishes to remain in Ukraine would be required to sign an oath of loyalty to the new, pro-Russian, Ukrainian Government. That would automatically entail the right to vote in the new Ukraine’s future elections.

The only alternative to there being a clear win of this war by either side would be for America to agree to Russia’s demand that America recognize the legitimacy of the then-existing line of separation between the two sides, and for Russia to relocate its own capital away from Moscow, to Novosibirsk (1,900 miles away from Ukraine) or some other city that would be far enough away from NATO so that America would not within the forseeable future any longer be able, at all realistically, to aspire to checkmate against, and grab control over, Russia. That would entail concessions by both sides, no win for either side. (Moving the capital to Novosibirsk would also place the capital near the center of Russia and within its Asian part — better suited for the future, nearer to China, Beijing being 1,865 miles away.) America would continue to be the world’s biggest threat to peace; the only way to stop that would be for Russia to win in Ukraine against America.

America is attempting to carry out the plan that Cecil Rhodes came up with in 1877, and that Harry Truman committed America to on 25 July 1945, and that GHW Bush, starting on 24 February 1990, committed America and its allies to continue at least until Russia becomes conquered. Barack Obama merely started the present phase of this Rhodesist plan, a phase that could produce a nuclear WW III and end everything, if Russia fails to achieve a clear win against the U.S. empire. 

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