Armen Chakmakjian

Escalation in Karabagh…why now?

In Random on April 2, 2016 at 8:08 pm

So with a nuclear summit happening, Azerbaijan launches a concerted series of attacks on the Nagorno-Karabagh region. This action escalates an already thorny issue in the area. Oddly, all the interested parties including the leadership of the EU, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan are all in washington sitting across the table from each other. Another interesting concurrent fact is that Putin did not come and demurred by saying that they believed that this whole nuclear summit is a contrivance for the US to influence the issue outside of the UN AEA (see this article) although they announced they were not coming in 2014!

Armenia itself relies on its good relations with Russia for protection. This relationship does have a negative side in that Armenia has to follow Russia’s lead on many issues and cannot stray too far westward in comity.

So one of two things are happening. The first possibility, Azerbaijan and their Turkey thought it a good idea to escalate the situation coincident with the summit so that the ongoing situation would be addressed in Washington outside the Russian diplomatic influence. The US has not been on Armenia’s side on the issue of Karabagh. The other possibility is Russia itself is behind it. hmm….

The latter sounds odd except to the extent that Armenia continues to do outreach to Europe and the US through diplomatic channels as well as through its diaspora. If president Sargysan was told to stay home from the summit and did not…this would be an excellent time to remind him who his sponsor is.

So either Erdogan is smacking Armenia through its proxy Azerbaijan, or Russia is allowing Armenia to get smacked a little to stay in line.

Who knows?  Realpolitik is alive and well in the region. And Armenia finds itself being jostled by the large powers.

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