Fragility in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone allows for Russian presence - expert

13:39 • 20.03.17



The vulnerability status along the Line of Contact between Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and Azerbaijan allows Russia to have its permanent presence in the region, a military expert said today, analyzing the situation in the conflict zone.


“The USSR’s collapse logically entailed different other processes, pushing the Armenians to a nationwide liberation struggle. And even though it was Russia’s fault, the Armenian people did manage to reinstate historical justice to [return] part of their historical homeland,” Hrachya Arzumanyan said at a forum of international bloggers in Stepanakert.  

Addressing the historical roots of the conflict, the expert noted that Artsakh was handed over to Azerbaijan in 1920 (a third side at the time) under a treaty signed between the Kemalist Turkish government and Bolshevik Russia.


Arzumanyan added that the 1990’s national army (composed of guerilla troops and volunteers) had considerable advantages over Azerbaijan. And despite the noticeable success, he said, the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army had to stop its military operations under the pressure of powerful geopolitical centers, specifically Russia.


“The situation we saw in the aftermath was what I call vulnerability status for each of the sides. Any further progress by the Armenian army would have required qualitatively different efforts after the drawing of the Line of Contact. So would have similar attempts by Azerbaijan,” he added.

“For some reason, Russia’s leadership decided, 4-5 years ago, to change the politico-military balance. And so they started arming Azerbaijan. That broke the parity [in the region],  leading up to what we now call the April war,” he added.

The expert said he knows that a coalition which Azerbaijan created for a short period afterwards allowed the country to trigger renewed military operations.

 

The two-day forum opened in the Nagorno-Karabakh capital on Sunday, May 19. It has brought together around 30 bloggers from 11 countries to address the coverage of conflicts in the social media. The working languages of the event are Russian and English.  

Anush Dashtents





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