02/19/2024, 09.31
Send to a friend

Renewed tensions between Baku and Yerevan: Fears of new conflict

by Vladimir Rozanskij

A few days after Aliev's plebiscite re-election, Azerbaijani soldiers have opened fire accusing the Armenians of "provocation". Pašinyan responded to the ultimatums, while the prospects for a peace agreement receded. Baku's new claims on the Nakhičevan enclave.

Yerevan (AsiaNews) - The peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan seem to remain deadlocked, despite promises and announcements from both sides, and new tensions are creating concern about a possible resumption of the conflict, following Baku's conquest of Nagorno Karabakh last September.

Russian political scientist Arkadij Dubnov, a long-time advisor to the intelligence services of several countries, commented on the situation for Novosti Armenia, attempting to pinpoint the focal points of the Caucasian context.

He observes that 'not a week has passed since the plebiscitary re-election of Ilham Aliev as president of Azerbaijan, that the contours of the new-old leader's policy have immediately been outlined', with the 'response operation' of Azerbaijani border soldiers against what was described as a 'provocation' by Armenians, initiating a shooting that killed four Armenians and seriously wounded one Azerbaijani.

In Yerevan they tried to take time to understand what had actually happened, but from Baku 'they did not want to wait, giving the order to open fire'. According to Dubnov, this was not an isolated and random incident, but an 'absolutely serious escalation of the conflict', against the backdrop of Aliev's hardening of the conditions necessary for the signing of the peace agreement.

Now the Azerbaijani president insists on rewriting Armenia's constitution, a very divisive and much debated issue among the Armenians themselves, claiming to exclude any formula or mention that could refer to Nagorno Karabakh.

Although signs of readiness have come from Yerevan in this regard, to the extent of eliminating the Artsakh sector at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stern warnings and threats to 'use force if the demands are not met' continue to come from Baku.

In Nikol Pašinyan's much-quoted interview with The Telegraph a few days ago, the Armenian premier recalled Aliev's ultimatums, stating that 'he said that if he sees a rearmament of Armenia he will start a military operation against us, he repeated his demands to open a corridor between Armenian territory and the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhičevan, and also ruled out withdrawing his troops from our territory, stationed on the strategic heights, since in his opinion these occupied areas are necessary to keep the Armenians' intentions in check'.

Pašinyan therefore believes that 'Azerbaijan is taking several steps back from what was previously agreed', while Armenia intends to claim the 'sovereign right of every independent country' to have a strong and efficient army.

Aliev defines this aspiration of Yerevan as an 'expression of revanchism', and Dubnov is convinced that Baku's claim for total Armenian disarmament is 'simply absurd: post-war Armenia is not post-war Hitler's Germany, or imperial Japan after defeat, with the inevitable limitations on military force'.

That is why 'the possibility of a new war in the South Caucasus again appears to be more than just a theoretical possibility', the expert concludes, 'and it is becoming increasingly clear why Aliev wanted to rush so much to hold early elections'.

According to the Armenian Defence Ministry, the shooting started by the Azeris on 13 February against Armenian positions in the Nerkin Khanda district in the Siunyk region is only to be considered 'the beginning of a new military campaign by Baku', which it is not known how far it might go in the coming days.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang rise as Cold War fears cast a shadow over Korea
12/02/2016 15:14
For Fr Tom, abducted in Yemen, Holy Thursday prayer and adoration for the martyrs
21/03/2016 14:57
National Commission for Women asks for 'immediate action' in the nun rape case in Kerala
07/02/2019 17:28
White House to stop Beijing's "imperialist" policy in the South China Sea
24/01/2017 15:55
"We are optimistic," says Paul Bhatti as Rimsha Masih's bail hearing postponed to Friday


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”