Putin drew a line under the Karabakh conflict | Latest news The Moscow Post
05 December 2023

Putin drew a line under the Karabakh conflict

The Russian President drew a line under the second Karabakh war, marking the final position of our country and cooling the hotheads on the perimeter of the former USSR.

According to the correspondent of The Moscow Post, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the first detailed interview about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its outcome. In it, he told about how he tried to reconcile the warring parties, the unknown nuances of the negotiations and his attitude to the participation of the Turkish side.

The Head of state presented Russia's position last, after our peacekeepers took their positions in Karabakh, and there was no threat to security there. Putin's words were addressed both to the conflicting neighbours (first of all, their peoples), and were intended to cool down the Moldovan and Ukrainian nationalists who raised their heads in connection with the tragic events in Artsakh.

First of all, Russia clearly outlined its peacemaking position on Karabakh: the main thing, according to Putin, was not to appease and save someone politically, but to stop the bloodshed. And such offers were received by both sides much earlier than on November 10.

In particular, the plan for stopping the fire, peaceful settlement and transfer of part of the territories of Artsakh to Azerbaijan was proposed in October. It would help to avoid further bloodshed. However, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan flatly refused to lay down his arms and wanted to continue the fight. Therefore, "all the talk about some kind of betrayal of Armenian interests by them is absolutely groundless," Vladimir Putin said.

We don't hand over Pashinyan?

Thus, Vladimir Putin supported Pashinyan and Armenia as an ally, and once again indicated that there is no split between our countries, which is written about in the Western press. And not only Western, the narrative "Russia threw an ally" is being promoted at full speed on the territory of the former USSR. In particular, in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.

Taking this into account, Putin once again explained in detail why our country did not (and could not legally) take part in military operations within the CSTO. The fact is that even Armenia itself did not recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Therefore, Russia proceeded from the same positions as the rest of the world: the territory of the NKR is the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.

But the CSTO's defense mechanism only works in the event of an attack on the territory of one of its members, which did not happen in this case. At the same time, Russia did not refuse to support Armenia through all other available channels. This includes military-technical cooperation between the two countries. After all, it is known that Russia supplied Armenia with weapons in the past, and had obligations in terms of their maintenance and training of Armenian personnel.

These and other obligations within the framework of allied relations between the two countries, including bilateral military consultations, were fully fulfilled by our country. In addition, earlier Putin spoke about the status of Nagorno-Karabakh - the most sensitive issue for Armenia. According to the Russian President, the status of Karabakh will be determined in the future (that is, now it is clearly not the best time for this). His words are quoted by TASS.

Why did Putin so clearly indicate support for Pashinyan and did not drop the topic of status, which is what Aliyev wants? The answer is simple: the consistency of Russia's position on the unacceptability of any revolutionary, unconstitutional actions. Armenia's agreement on Artsakh was a forced consequence of a heavy military defeat. But today, nationalists accuse Pashinyan of betraying Armenian interests and put pressure on him across the street.

Putin sends a signal that Russia will not support any illegal actions to remove the Armenian leadership. In other words, our country is absolutely consistent here. And after the second Karabakh war, Nikol Pashinyan finally understood what Western tales about help and support are worth, and who Armenia should really rely on in Transcaucasia. Especially since it doesn't have much choice.

And on November 14, Pashinyan (already in the wake of accusations of betrayal within the country) publicly thanked Russia and President Putin personally for the support in mediating efforts to resolve the conflict. This was reported by Gazeta.ru.

In addition, just before the interview yesterday, the Head of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Arayik Harutyunyan, supported the same position. On Facebook, he thanked Putin for helping restore peace and stability in the territory of Karabakh. Like Pashinyan, he is well aware that Putin saved them from defeat and complete destruction.

Post in Russian by NKR President Arayik Harutyunyan on Facebook

It is important that on the eve of the publication of the interview with the Russian President, a large delegation of the Russian leadership, including foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and officials from law enforcement agencies, visited Armenia and then Azerbaijan. This means that the submitted position has been verified and agreed with all parties.

This is important against the background of Putin's words addressed to Azerbaijan. By leaving no one behind, Putin makes it clear that he respects the interests of Azerbaijan. The country tried to regain the territories lost during the first Karabakh war, recognized by the world as its own. That is, it was in its own right. In this situation, Russia did not engage in political speculation, but tried to stop the violence.

Turkey involved?

The cornerstone was the issue of Turkey's participation in the conflict. Has Russia allowed Erdogan to its backyard? But "Azerbaijan has the full right to choose its own allies," Putin said. And this position was also certainly agreed with both the leadership of Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Turkey did not manage to get into the actual peacekeeping contingent, but Putin will not escalate the situation and take Turkey out of the region to the detriment of Azerbaijan's interests. In return, they should recognize Russia's key role in the region, which in fact is what is happening. Thus, Russia has left behind a fine-tuning of the system of geopolitical checks and balances in the Transcaucasus.

Turkey's involvement in this conflict is "an inevitable result of the collapse of the Soviet Union," Putin says, in other words, of the geopolitical processes that have been taking place in the world for the past thirty years. And this is a signal to the Western world: it will not be possible to hang all responsibility for the processes that are being heated up, including by Western military and political circles.

Finally, Putin's words should have a sobering effect on the warmongers on the perimeter of the former Soviet Union. Especially the Ukrainian nationalists, who think that the blitzkrieg of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev will be easy to repeat in the Donbas.

This will not end in anything other than pacifying the aggressor. Moreover, as a result of such an offensive, Ukraine may lose another part of its territory in the battles with the Lugansk-Donetsk People’s Republic, and everything will end with the introduction of Russian peacekeepers. Even the hottest heads from Kiev will not go for such a scenario.

Similarly, Moldova with Sandu and her call to remove our peacekeepers from Transnistria. The same is true for South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but they learned that lesson back in 2008. This is out of the question now. So while Putin is talking, the guns are silent. Along with them, many hotheads on the perimeter of the former USSR also fell silent.

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