Russia continues to distribute the game in the Caucasus

More of of the decades have elapsed since disappearance of the USSR, but in the region of South caucasus, on the former southern border of the extinct soviet empire, all roads continue to lead to Moscow. And this, despite the emergence of emerging powers, such as Turkey, or the existence of unruly states that wish at all costs to emancipate themselves from the Kremlin, as Georgia. This is the conclusion that most experts and commentators draw when more than a week has passed since the agreement signed by Armenia Y Azerbaijan under the mediation of Russia to end a month and a half armed clashes in the disputed enclave of Upper Karabakh, fights in which they could have lost their lives until 4,000 people, between civilians Y fighters.

“Without a doubt, Moscow’s role in the region is being reinforced,” he answers forcefully over the phone. Stanislav Pritchin, principal investigator of the Center for Central Asian, Caucasus and Ural-Volga Region Studies, in addition to being a contributor to the London think tank Chatham House. “Neither France, nor the United States, nor the Minsk Group achieved what Russia did in a few hours: an effective Stop the fire“to stop human bleeding and the” deployment of a peace contingent “, in this case Russian, to separate both sides, highlights the academic.

The so-called Minsk Group was formed in 1992 by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) after the war that confronted both sides in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With a tripartite Russian, French and American presidency, it had the mission of promoting a negotiated solution to the conflict and brought together several countries with interests in the region. The recent Moscow agreement, valid for the next five years, in practice corner a is multilateral forum and the powers represented there –France O USA– reserving for Russia, almost exclusively, the role of mediator.

Contain the expansion of Turkey

Another of the achievements of the russian diplomacy has been to contain the Caucasian expansion of Turkey, a country that supported, even militarily, Azerbaijan and with which Russia faces in other war scenarios such as Syria O Libya through local allied forces. “If one reads Slowly The agreement specifies that the peacekeepers deployed in the Upper Karabakh will be entirely Russian; the Turkish military will have a monitoring function and will be established in Azerbaijan, in no case in the disputed enclave “, Pritchin sentence.

All this, in addition, while Moscow maintains its ability to dialogue with an Azerbaijani government that, despite its alliance with Ankara, continues to consider Moscow a “strategic partner“, while strengthening Armenia’s dependence on Russia.

In Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, Moscow’s caution has been valued in supporting Armenia militarily, a country with which it is linked by a mutual defense agreement. “Unlike the 90s, Russia has not been” actively involved in the fighting, “although on paper it is an ally of Yerevan,” he told EL PERIÓDICO from Baku Tofik Abbasov, local political scientist. Even when the Armenian side had the upper hand, Moscow rejected the request for military assistance and he limited himself to declaring that it would only enter the war “if the internationally recognized territory of Armenia was invaded,” Abbsov continues. “Russia is not our ally, but we continue to consider it a strategic partner,” he concludes with satisfaction.

At Armenian side, “dependence” on Russia increases substantially, assesses the Armenian journalist and commentator Aik jatatian. Some voices even doubt the viability of this country, surrounded by enemies, if there were no protective mantle of the Kremlin. This circumstance grants Moscow a “decision-making role“in local internal politics, especially at a time when the country is led by a president, Níkol Pashinián, emerged from a popular revolt – rebellions that Moscow abhors epidermally – and with which the Kremlin has important differences. “Since he came to power, he has made many decisions that make Russia uncomfortable,” notes Jatatian.

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