Yerevan seeks salvation in the attack on Nakhichevan
Amid reports about preparations for a new round of talks between Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is to take place next week in Vienna, the ‘war party’ in Yerevan attempted to provoke Baku into fighting on Armenian territories by attacking Nakhichevan.
According to Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, this morning the Armenian armed forces fired at the positions of the Azerbaijani Army in the Shahbuz region of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, geographically unrelated to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Azerbaijani positions were fired at from the Yeghegnadzor region of Armenia. Soldier Yusuf Guluzade was slightly wounded, his life is not in danger. The attack was suppressed by return fire of the NAR army.
The intention of ‘the party of war’ headed by President Serzh Sargsyan, one of the leaders of the Karabakh separatists in the past, is clear: April offensive of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces took place on the Azerbaijani occupied territories, and from the point of view of the international law it was not an act of aggression against Armenia. However, the fighting at the border in Nakhichevan could have been interpreted as such.
Yerevan is an aggressor against the Republic of Azerbaijan, and occupies 20% of its territory. Now the Armenian forces under the guise of a non-existent ‘Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh’ try to shift responsibility to Baku for the damages in Karabakh after more than 20 years of war. The goal of the ‘party of war’ is to preserve power at any cost by extending the theater of operations and opening the Nakhichevan front. The latter in turn can result in Turkey and Russia getting involved in the conflict, which can lead to serious consequences. The only thing that Sargsyan cares about is securing his power in Armenia, and he is willing to sacrifice all other things for that.
The leading expert at the Political Science Center ‘North-South’, Alexander Karavaev, and professor at the Western Institute, Fikret Sadikhov, confirmed that, despite the fact that the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic does not border the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, i.e. the territories, occupied by the Armenian armed forces, Yerevan has never hesitated to fire at it when it was to their advantage.
"We should not be disillusioned by the fact that Nakhichevan is located far from the epicenter of the conflict. As an autonomous republic within Azerbaijan which borders Armenia, it faces the same problems related to the military confrontation. During an active stage of war in 1992-1993, Nakhichevan was periodically attacked by Armenia," reminded Alexander Karavaev.
It is important to note that one of the potential consequences of provocations against Nakhichevan, is Turkey being drawn into the conflict, and Turkey is a NATO member. According to the Karsky Treaty, which is still in force, Turkey is the guarantor of the safety of the autonomy. Experts have different assessment towards Ankara possible involvement in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in the future. Alexander Karavaev said that he believes Turkey will not go beyond political statements.
Fikret Sadikhov does not rule out that Ankara may be forced to respond to anti-Azerbaijani provocations of Yerevan. "Such provocations by Armenia, will not lead to [Turkey] acting on the Karsky agreement, but if they [provocations] become more frequent and Yerevan continues its attempts to turn them into large-scale military actions on the territory of Nakhichevan, Turkey will not stand idle. It is possible that Turkish army will interfere," the analyst expressed his position.
At the same time, the experts agreed that it seems unlikely that Iran may be involved in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. "Iran keeps as far away from the conflict as possible, making only vague diplomatic statements, while carrying out a policy of cooperation with both Armenia and Azerbaijan” said Alexander Karavaev.