Is Washington threatening a counter-terrorist operation in Karabakh? Comments from Yerevan and Baku
RIA Novosti: Washington forcing NK to negotiate
“Washington is forcing the representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh to agree in the near future to a meeting with the Azerbaijani side in a “third country” with the participation of an American curator.” This information was disseminated by Russian media with reference to a “diplomatic source”. The report also says that in case of refusal, “the Karabakh leadership is threatened with an Azerbaijani counter-terrorist operation in the region.”
“The West does not serve or support any ‘military intervention’ against Nagorno-Karabakh,” says a political commentator from Yerevan. “The message from an allegedly diplomatic source in Washington is nothing more than a hoax from the Kremlin,” adds an expert from Baku.
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Information from Moscow
The information was published by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. It emphasized that Washington’s goal is to infiltrate the region.
A little later, the same agency published the reaction of the Russian Foreign Ministry to this message:
“Russia is concerned about the data that the US is trying to impose mediation services in the dialogue between Baku and Stepanakert (including through threats), this raises questions about the adequacy of American mediators.”
JAMnews has reached out to political observers in Yerevan and Baku for comment on these reports.
Commentary from Yerevan
“Russia has nothing more to do in the region”
Political scientist Gurgen Simonyan believes that the RIA Novosti material contains elements of an information war. The quoted “diplomatic source”, according to him, is not credible, an attempt to “rock the situation”.
“The US can put forward an ultimatum demand, but I don’t think it was done. The toolkit of the States includes the use of force or the threat of force. But I don’t know if they did. I’m talking in the opposite direction – that it is necessary to direct Azerbaijan onto a constructive path,” he told JAMnews.
Simonyan is convinced that the West does not serve or support any “military intervention” against Nagorno-Karabakh and says that during the talks in Washington, the parties were given “homework” – how they imagine the solution to the security problem of NK Armenians.
According to the political scientist, Moscow “made its investment – not in favor of Armenia.”
“Contrary to the interests of its official, according to the documents of the military-political ally, Russia is promoting the Azerbaijani agenda in the most dangerous and destructive way for Armenia. Up to the point that it creates a threat to the very existence of Armenia,” he said.
The analyst believes that the Russian Federation is guided by the interests of Azerbaijan and on the issue of dialogue between Baku and the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh:
“This dialogue gives Stepanakert subjectivity. And the Russian Federation put Nagorno-Karabakh on the altar as a price for continuing its aggression against Armenia. If successful, Russia will strengthen its presence, including the subjectivity of the Republic of Armenia in the subject of bargaining. Under no circumstances should we allow this to happen.”
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He emphasizes that Russia has nothing more to do in the region because it has failed in all its obligations, and now “reaps the fruits of its bad policy.”
“Let Moscow not care about what mechanisms Armenia will try to protect its national security, restore balance in the region and prevent the violation of its national interests,” he concluded.
Comment from Baku
“A source in Washington actually sits in Moscow”
Political commentator Hagi Namazov believes that “the message from an allegedly diplomatic source in Washington is nothing but a stuffing from the Kremlin.”
“Several factors point to this.
First, the message was transmitted by an agency belonging to the Russian authorities. There, without the knowledge of the Kremlin curators, such messages are not published.
Second, there is no exact source. This “diplomatic source” may well be in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation,” he said.
Namazov draws attention to the fact that the very structure of the message also suggests some thoughts:
“The fact that if the illegal regime in Khankendi refuses to make contacts with Baku and surrender to the authorities, Azerbaijan will launch a counter-terrorist operation in Karabakh has not been a secret for a long time. This was openly stated by President Ilham Aliyev himself.
Moreover, the Russian authorities are well aware that Washington supported Aliyev’s statement about a possible amnesty for the so-called. leaders of the separatist regime in Karabakh.
The Americans do not need to frighten the Armenian population of Karabakh with an anti-terrorist operation. It comes from the logic of things.”
“There is another interesting point in this relatively small message. It turns out that Washington’s goal is to infiltrate the region. That’s funny.
The US already has a lot of influence in the region. And the introduction of American troops into Karabakh is impossible for two reasons. Russian peacekeepers are stationed there now. And even if they leave in 2025, Azerbaijan will never agree to the deployment of troops from other countries. Because the presence of foreign military bases on the territory of the country is contrary to Azerbaijani legislation,” the political observer emphasized.
“So who needed this message? Of course, Moscow itself. Thus, the Kremlin is clearly hinting that it is against negotiations between Khankendi and Baku, and will also try to prevent a counter-terrorist operation in Karabakh. Because after the establishment of Azerbaijan’s sovereignty over the entire territory of Karabakh, Russian peacekeepers have nothing more to do there. And Russia has no plans to leave the region in 2025. Although official Baku is already talking about this at all levels.
I do not think that Russia is able to change something in Azerbaijan’s plans. By the end of this summer, the separatist regime in Khankendi will be finished. Almost no one in Baku doubts this,” Namazov concluded.