Russian Troops In Karabakh?

Russian Troops In Karabakh?

The balance of forces in the area of the Karabakh conflict has changed
sharply which may lead to breach of the military equilibrium. The
handover of Gabala Radar station between Azerbaijan and Russia is
complete. Recently Azerbaijan has been said to have stopped buying
weapons from Russia.

Balance in the area of the Karabakh conflict was kept as Russia sold
weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Moreover, neither one, nor the
other side received technologies of how to use these weapons, and they
were operated exceptionally by Russian militaries.

Now that Azerbaijan has decided to buy weapons from other countries,
probably from Israel, the Russian component of the military-political
balance disappeared. Now Russia should either strengthen its presence
in Armenia and become the official guarantor of security of Armenia
and Karabakh or join the U.S. and France force Azerbaijan to sign a
non-aggression pact.

Russia will prefer the first version, and everything will be done to
have Russian military forces within the CSTO in Karabakh. It is
unknown what their excuse will be. The first, apparently, is operation
of the airport of Stepanakert and provision of its defense by CSTO
forces. But it is possible that the option of border incidents is also
considered. Rumors on mobilization of Azerbaijani troops on the border
with Armenia fit in this context.

Perhaps, this is the reason of the unprecedented long visit of the
Iranian special representative to Armenia. The main message of his
visit was the appeal to find a peace solution to the Karabakh
conflict. In other words, Iran does not want to see foreign forces,
Russian, NATO or Turkish, in Karabakh, with which it has more than
100km of common border.

Western analysts predict resumption of the armed conflict in Karabakh
in 2014 after the presidential elections in Azerbaijan due this fall.
Russian experts predict war earlier. A representative of the Russian
parliament Mitrofanov says war is approaching. Perhaps, he knows
Russia’s intentions to appear in Karabakh soon.

There was information that Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan has been
invited to Moscow on April 25-26. Perhaps, the issue of the presence
of Russian troops in Karabakh will also be discussed. It is not ruled
out that Moscow will try to convince Armenia that if Russian troops
are there, Azerbaijan and Turkey won’t dare launch a war.

The Washington Times published a symptomatic article. It states that
Secretary Kerry needs to address immediately the smoldering conflict
of Nagorno-Karabakh. Kerry is going to visit Turkey this weekend. Who
knows, perhaps he may call in on Armenia too?

Naira Hayrumyan
11:03 06/04/2013
Story from Lragir.am News:

From: A. Papazian

http://www.lragir.am/index.php/eng/0/politics/view/29531

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