Following the 2020 conflict, Armenia does not have a force in Nagorno-Karabakh. So Armenia’s position says “We respect the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its borders, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians must determine their status and structure of coexistence with Azerbaijan.“, Anita Khachaturova explains. If the country does not insist on obtaining an autonomous status for the Armenians of Azerbaijan, it insists on obtaining international security guarantees for the people there. But this was realized. “Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh Abandoned”. Armenia’s position in this situation is complicated. After the 2020 operation, Armenia has been significantly weakened in the face of Azerbaijan, which has been encroaching on its territory. “There is a real military threat against Armenia and the inability of the Armenian army to defend itself against Azerbaijan.”Anita points to Khachaturova.
As for Russia’s position, it seems no less complicated. Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, Azerbaijan can be called the zone of Russian influence. As of 2020, more than 1,900 Russian men are responsible for maintaining the security of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh and maintaining the ceasefire. Armenia and Russia have allied relations. Also, Russia is linked to Armenia through a bilateral treaty, but within the framework of the CSTO, a common defense military alliance that includes a collective defense clause.
But since 2020, and with the war in Ukraine, we’ve seen Armenia, especially with its Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, distance itself from Russia. Russia has repeatedly described some of Nikol Pashinyan’s actions and statements as “unfriendly”. He came to power with pro-European, anti-corruption rhetoric. It is not necessarily to the taste of Russia. Relations between Russia and Armenia began to deteriorate.
Also, “LRussia has been in Armenia since the 1990s.They have military bases on two Armenian borders, Turkey and Azerbaijan. But these forces have been largely inactive since at least the 2022 Ukraine war, including when Azerbaijan attacked the sovereign territory of Armenia in September 2022, targeting Russian troops.“, Anita Khachaturova underlines. At that time the OTSC and collective defense clause were not implemented.
With the deterioration of relations between Armenia and Russia, on the contrary, there are friendly and personal relations between Azerbaijan and Russia. To Anita Khachaturova, “Beyond the economic and political ties that connect the two countries, there is a personal dimension between President Vladimir Putin and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.”
This plus the war in Ukraine makes Azerbaijan a very desirable player. Russia needs both on the one hand, and “loyalty” in the region “Russia needs relays in its immediate vicinity to find exits for its gas and its goods, which it can no longer transport to Europe.”
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