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Armenia Dismisses Azerbaijani Military Buildup

Military vehicles take part in a huge parade held in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, at the weekend.
Military vehicles take part in a huge parade held in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, at the weekend.
YEREVAN -- An Armenian military official has said that Yerevan is not intimidated  by Azerbaijan's ongoing military buildup and the recent purchase of sophisticated Russian antiaircraft missiles on display in Baku over the weekend, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

First Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan shrugged off Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's renewed threats to resolve the conflict over the breakaway Azerbaijani region of Nagorno-Karabakh by force, questioning Baku's readiness for another war.

Tonoyan also expressed confidence that the Armenian side will maintain the balance of power with its oil-rich neighbor through the acquisition of more weapons and a sweeping reform of its armed forces.

"I think those statements are mostly political because our neighbor is also aware of our real capabilities," Tonoyan told RFE/RL in an interview. "Nevertheless, if Azerbaijan starts military hostilities out of self-deception, I don't see a possibility of it achieving strategic or tactical successes."

A Military Show Of Force

On June 26, Azerbaijan held its biggest military parade since the fall of the Soviet Union, a show of force that came just two days after Aliyev and his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisian failed to reach an agreement on a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict at a meeting held in Russia.

The parade in Baku involved thousands of troops and hundreds of tanks, artillery systems, and other military hardware.

"I am completely sure that our territorial integrity will be [restored] in any possible way," Aliyev declared in a speech.

Armenia's First Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan (right) and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian
The most significant of the new weapons shown by the Azerbaijani military were S-300 air-defense systems widely regarded as one of the world's most-potent antiaircraft weapons. Russia reportedly sold at least two batteries of these surface-to-air missiles to Baku last year in a deal estimated at $300 million.

News of that deal, which first emerged in July, raised concerns in Armenia and Karabakh. Opposition groups there said it will seriously limit the Armenian military's ability to hit strategic targets in Azerbaijan and will thereby encourage Baku to attempt a military solution to the dispute.

Sarkisian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian, both of whom are former military leaders of Karabakh, dismissed those concerns. Ohanian claimed in particular that the Azerbaijani army "will need quite a lot of time" to learn to use S-300s and that his troops know how to neutralize them.

Tonoyan echoed these assurances, adding that the Armenian armed forces have more such missiles at their disposal.

"We are more familiar with those systems," he said. "We have been exploiting them for a fairly long time and know the possibilities of reducing their effectiveness.

"Unlike Azerbaijan, our systems cover the entire airspace of the likely theater of military hostilities and, in terms of their qualitative and quantitative characteristics, represent a much greater capability. Therefore, the existence of S-300 complexes should worry not Armenia, but an Azerbaijan acting from the position of threats of military action."

Armenia officially confirmed the possession of such systems in late December. Armenian state television showed at the time official footage of S-300 batteries test-firing missiles in an undisclosed location.

It remains unclear when and on what terms Russia transferred these weapons -- which have a firing range of up to 300 kilometers -- to its main regional ally. They are only known to have been first delivered to the Russian military base in Armenia in the late 1990s.

Intensifying Arms Race

"From a military standpoint, those systems do not threaten Armenia's and Karabakh's security for the simple reason that it's an antiaircraft defensive weapon and neither Armenia nor the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic plan to start a military campaign against Azerbaijan," insisted Tonoyan. "Besides, they can only solve the issue of defending a part of Azerbaijan's airspace."

"At the same time, the acquisition of such systems and political speculation surrounding that issue show that our neighbor has switched from the acquisition of offensive weaponry to the acquisition of defensive weaponry. And that is also food for thought," he added, referring to the Azerbaijani buildup financed from Baku's massive oil revenues.

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev and President Ilham Aliyev view the military parade in Baku at the weekend.
On June 26, Aliyev reaffirmed his government's plans to boost military spending to $3.3 billion this year, up from $2.15 billion a year ago and just $160 million in 2003. By comparison, Armenia's defense budget for 2011 is projected to reach only $400 million.

Armenia has sought to stay in the intensifying arms race by maintaining close military ties with Russia that entitle it to receive Russian weapons at discount prices or even for free. A new Russian-Armenian defense agreement signed in August commits Moscow to helping Yerevan obtain "modern and compatible weaponry and [special] military hardware."

Ohanian said in February that Armenia acquired "unprecedented" quantities of modern weaponry in 2010 and will continue the buildup in line with a five-year rearmament plan approved by Sarkisian's National Security Council in December. The plan envisages, among other things, the acquisition of long-range, precision-guided weapons.

"Considerable work has been done in that direction, and it will continue at an even faster pace," Tonoyan said. "Modern warfare also requires corresponding operational-tactical skills, and coordinated actions on communication, intelligence, and information technology. A lot of work is also being done in that direction as well. And the emphasis is being put on domestic manufacturing."

In that context, Tonoyan stood by the Armenian Defense Ministry's announcement earlier this month that it is manufacturing and supplying army units with unmanned military aircraft capable of flying deep into enemy territory.

He also did not deny reports that the Armenian army is due to receive more Russian weapons as a result of an ongoing restructuring of the Russian base headquartered in Gyumri.

A senior Russian Defense Ministry official announced the transfer of this "excess weaponry" last week, but did not elaborate.

The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said afterwards that it will investigate the veracity of this information "through relevant sources."

The commander-in-chief of Russia's ground forces, Colonel-General Aleksandr Postnikov, twice visited Armenia and held talks with Ohanian and other top military officials in April.

The Defense Ministry in Yerevan said the talks focused on an ongoing redeployment of the Russian troops stationed in the country.
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Harduny from: Reston, VA, USA
June 29, 2011 15:00
Any new war over Nagorno Karabakh will be a long, protracted conflict where Karabakh Armenians will offer fierce resistance and will try to launch counter-offensives in several directions. Nagorno Karabakh will be supported by Armenia, Russia, Armenian diaspora worldwide and even Iran. It will be a mess of huge proportions which Azerbaijan will not be able to afford. Baku knows about all that.

Regardless of the oil money, balance between Armenians and Azerbaijan now will never be as badly skewed in favor of Azerbaijan as it was at the time when Armenians defeated Azerbaijani offensive in 1990s and drove their adversary out.

It is important to understand that Azerbaijan is in essence a small oil monarchy headed by the Aliyev clan. It is a corrupt family-run oil country. There are no precedents in entire world history that states like Azerbaijan ever went to war against neighbors. By their nature, they are highly risk-averse and feature huge agency problems (meaning that the small Aliyev clan cannot afford trusting too many of its subordinates). The real enemy of the Aliyevs IS the Azerbaijani army. If it becomes really effective it will topple Aliyevs long before launching a war against anyone.

There is simply no alternative to real good-faith negotiations between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
In Response

by: John from: Canada
June 29, 2011 17:57
I was going to say that the chances of those missiles being paraded in Baku to be used against the Presidential Palaces in Baku are much greater than them being used in a war with Karabakh, but you said it more eloquently.
In Response

by: MadMax from: Toronto, Canada
June 30, 2011 07:07
I wish people made comments about the things that they have clue of. John, do you realize that Azerbaijan is not same country as in 1992? If you dare you should visit the country to see its might with your own eyes before making this stupid comments. Armenia on the contrary is a dirt poor counrty with desparate and hopeless population. Have you read the recent stats regarding the outflow of armenians form their counrty? here is the scenario that i predict. Azerbaijan will liberate Garabag within a month. Then the war with armenia wil start and i agree that it will be a lenghty war. But we are much better prepared this time than lousy armenia. You boast about all the support that armenia will receive during the war. Stop being naive...world powers = corporate interests and large corporations love Azerbaijan because they make billions over there. So think carefully and try to be analytical. Armenia is done, has no future...
In Response

by: John Harduny from: Reston, VA, USA
June 30, 2011 14:05
The last thing the oil corporations want is a delusional bimbo like Aliyev starting a real war. This is idiotic Azerbaijani propaganda no one will ever believe.
In Response

by: Mujo from: USA
June 30, 2011 19:28
I pretty much agree with John on this. The Aliyevs have too much to lose to start a war. Russia has defense agreements with Armenia, offsetting any military advantage Azerbaijan might have. There are only two possible scenarios under which Aliyev would risk attacking Karabakh or Armenia.

1) He believed Azerbaijan could win quickly, either because they believe Russia would not honor their alliance with Armenia, or they think they could win before Russia had a chance to react. Check out how the later worked for Georgia in 2008.
2) He was in danger of being overthrown by domestic forces and started the war in a desperate attempts to save his own hide.

Aliyev and his cronies are getting way to rich with the status quo and have no reason to change it.

And one more thing. How competent is Azerbaijan's military? Having a bunch of new toys will do them little good without the training or discipline to use them or fight effectively.
In Response

by: RD
July 01, 2011 05:36
All, I think Winston Churchill says it best;
Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

If the puerile and inept leadership in Azerbaijan thinks it can spend billions on its military and easily win a war, roll the dice and take your chances.

by: Felipe Muñoz from: Santiago, Chile
June 29, 2011 15:56
Well, as said before, only the military balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan will keep the danger of a new war out of the issue; at least, in the short term. Besides, Azerbaijan can say anything they want... however, i don't see Aliyev capable of launch a new war against Karabakh bypassing all international warnings against the ''use of force''. If they do so, Aliyev's image will be seriously damaged. With the issue of the Armenian Genocide, many countries will perceive an attack on Karabakh as a new attempt of repression on armenians.

And in the other hand, nothing guarantees that Aliyev will be totally secured inside Azerbaijan during a war; since all that we have witnessed in the Arab World and the so-called Arab Spring (or Uprising).

Son in brief, no matter what can be said, i dont see Baku capable to unleash a war in the short term (between 1 ~ 3 years). But its hard to predict -with a world more unpredictable- what can happen in this region in 5 or more years.
In Response

by: John from: Canada
June 29, 2011 17:50
If it continues like this, i.e. Aliyev family controlling the ownership of all major industrial/service sectors, and flaunting them shamelessly in front of their near-destitute general population, I don't think in 5 years they (Aliyevs) will be in power.

Let us not forget that the diversion of multi-billion-dollar expenditure each year towards the army is one excellent way of lining up a lot of pockets of the top leadership of Azerbaijan. It has turned into a great source of personal enrichment of a few select elite. That is why the Armenian military analyst, Richard Giragossian, says with confidence that as long as Safar Abiyev, the lap dog of the Aliyev clan, remains as Azerbaijan's Defence Minister Armenians have nothing to worry about.
In Response

by: MadMAx from: Toronto, Canada
July 01, 2011 06:30
Once again, wrong...first of all its is very questionable that russian will ever get involved when the war erupts. another thing, Azerbaijan will liberate its own lands (Garabag) and even if there is a treaty between russis and armenia this is irrelevant since Azerbaijan will not attack Armenia. Are you purposely not seeing this?! As for Aliyev, no matter what kind of leader he is, he has done much more for his country than any other president. Besides, do not forget, Azeri nation will never surrender Garabag to armenians! period! does not matter what they think about their president, when there is a war, everyone will rally behind him for this cause. problem with armenia is not even Garabag, its a nation of thieves...even if we compromise Garabag now, in about 20 years they will start demanding more land from Azerbaijan. Its in their blood, nature...We have lived with them side by side for so many centuries, in Caucasus, nobody trusts Armenians. Ask Georgians...Also, do not question fighting capability of Azeri soldiers...One of our national heroes single handedly destroyed 114 armenian soldiers recently when they attacked our positions. We have thousands of warriors like him...its a different nation, different country...get this to your stupid skull...i don;t really have to convince you...all we have to do is wait and see....
In Response

by: John from: Canada
July 02, 2011 05:56
One can resort to racist buffoonery to make a point (if there is any point to make in the above idiotic rambling). The fact remains that Karabakh was never part of Azerbaijan, the latter did not even exist before 1918, whereas Armenian Artsakh's history goes back to three millennia. Nevertheless, the Azeri's want to own someone else's land. Now who is the true thief?

In 1992 every "analyst" were saying Azerbaijan's overwhelming superiority would crush Armenian fighters with their poor armaments, only to find out that had the war continued one more month, Baku would have been threatened, this according to the Pentagon analysts.

Today, except Azeri commentators, international military analysts have come to understand and confirm that despite multi-billion dollar propping up of Azeri army, Armenian armed forces are superior and would crush any attempt, resulting in more Azeri territorial losses. Unfortunately typical racist Azeris believe in the lies of Aliyev and pray for a chance to kill some Armenians. These poor souls don't have the ability to understand that the Aliyev clan would never, ever, risk loosing their source of income, stealing from the Azeri people, for a war that might threaten their governing (read: embezzling) positions.

by: Gev from: Yerevan
June 29, 2011 20:19
Do Armenian servis journalists have names? :-)
In Response

by: tommy from: America
July 01, 2011 20:45
Russia will get involved by supplying more weapons. They would love to get rid of the president of Azeribaijan and make it more moscow friendly. They don't like that pipeline going to Turkey. They want Gazprom to sell all of Azeribaijan's oil. Alieyev knows he isn't popular with him and his friends getting rich, but the population in Azeribaijan getting more. He is also worried about the Arab Spring. Also, oil companies don't want conflicts that can endanger the pipeline. There was never an Azeribaijan before 1918. What right does it have to any of its land. The whole reason this mess started because turkey put pressure on Stalin to give it to Azeribaijan.
In Response

by: Elvin from: Gandja
July 02, 2011 09:46
you think u are smartter than anyone is. there was never exist Azerbaijan? come on! this country is not USA which was created by people who is punished because of several prisoners. this is your history. ifd you check up history you will see the Azerbaijan. in order to see Azerbaijan firstly you need to see its nation in history/ Name of country could be chnaged several times in any country.

by: Sara Huseynova from: Baki
July 01, 2011 10:25
Impeccable military parade in the capital of Azerbaijan has made many think tanks in Europe and the U.S. on a different attitude to Azerbaijan and its leadership, which managed to collect in the short term and create a splendor of military equipment and army, whose ranks are all types of troops.
The reactions of these centers can be seen in the pages of major newspapers and magazines of the leading countries of the world. And this is not the most important. The most important thing is that after such a parade in Kazan and Moscow lost to the United States and Europe, meaning the arbitrator in resolving regional conflicts, as it were, say, in May 1994, when under pressure from Moscow, the warring parties to the negotiating table in Bishkek and signed the Act of cease-fire. Since then begin peace talks on the liberation of occupied territories by Armenian aggressors on the level of the OSCE.
The fact that the talks will be held in Kazan, without success, and Armenia will refuse to sign a peace treaty, they wrote, again, as the Western and Azerbaijani newspapers that are correctly assessed the situation in Kazan.
World leaders have enabled Russian President, that he showed what he can to resolve regional conflicts. Refusal Russian vassal Sarkisian to go to the world have shown the world the weakness of Russian leader, who was unable to take an objective position and put his vassal to the negotiating table.
"Medvedev upset the results of the summit in Kazan" - under such headings out several Russian newspapers, but how do Russian saying: The train has already left!
Genocide denial of the proposals the Russian president reiterated the suggestion of Western analysts that Russia, as a huge country, already unable to resolve regional conflicts, and now Russia is not even a strong, even as in the Yeltsin era.
Squandering the country's oligarchs and Kremlin officials high, closing thousands of factories, capital outflows from the country, forced urbanization, Russian chauvinism, which served as an anti-Russian sentiment in the autonomous regions, will lead to the disintegration of Russia, and that was with the Soviet Union, because Kremlin deuce can not recover its former strength in Russia. Surely, everyone knows that Armenians. Know that is the end of a great power, so look for the moment to go out of control of their owners.
In such a parade of the geopolitical situation in Azerbaijan once again showed the world that in a short time, Azerbaijan will be strong enough to liberate their land by force, and dictated a re-Armenia, which will not sustain either its economy or its foreign investors. After this parade, you can even predict the future.
As in 1923 the Armenians themselves to return Karabakh to Azerbaijan's heart, as Karabakh is a beautiful mistress, for the content of which Armenia has no money or resources. A continuation of the conflict will lead to its default, which already has actually.


by: Tahir Ceferli from: Baki Basqal
July 01, 2011 11:08
This parade of Azerbaijan showed the world that he has enough strength to liberate their lands from Armenian occupation. Pleasing to the eye what the short term Azerbaijan was able to achieve such success in military construction, has managed to create a regular army, armed with new weapons and technology.
The whole world already knows that thanks to Russian adventurism "in order not to become to remain in the Caucasus", the Kremlin clique allow Armenians occupy 20% of Azerbaijani lands. if deep thought, international law is considered a military occupation of foreign territory. That's not all: more than half the Armenian population in Russia relocated their towns and villages in order to solve demographic problems.
Kazan meeting began with a parting of the Presidents of France and the U.S.A, that would be a good guarantee for the solution of the Karabakh conflict by peaceful means. Such an outcome of negotiations would show the world that Russia once again has an influence on Armenia and its leadership, because In the recent past, at the instigation of Moscow "Karabakh clan" has signed an agreement with Russia War, which turned Armenia into Forpostan Russia. In this Russian made his vassals have Russian military bases at the expense of so meager budget of Armenia. And this is not the most important, the important fact that in the event of military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, Russia will not support it. Then the question arises: why Russia had to arm Armenia and turn it into a vassal?
Of course, Turkey, with its markets. Armenia has forced the Turks to sign with Russian Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which eliminated the danger of conflict between the leading powers in the region.
Now do not think that Russia will build up their armaments to Armenia since danger of collision with Turkey has disappeared, there remains only Georgia, which openly opposes the Russian aggression in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
New use of Russian weapons may Forpostan against Georgia, in whose territory the Javakheti , where separatist sentiment prevails, of course, as in his time was in Karabakh, at the instigation of Kremlin officials ..
Armenia signed a military agreement with Russia, has actually turned into a country that prevents the West in the implementation of its geopolitical goals, so it is quite possible that the West would soon turn away from it.
Azerbaijan that Armenia parade dictated arms race in that Armenia will not be not only money but also of industry producing weapons
The correct solution would be reconciliation with Azerbaijan, which still offers a peaceful solution to the Karabakh problem.
The aggressiveness of the Karabakh clan can understand that if they somehow make concessions to lose power
Unsuccessful outcome of the talks in Kazan showed the world that Russia as a great power can not affect the course of events unfolding in the Caucasus region. Even the Armenians refused to comply with the requirement of Moscow to end the conflict. In 1994, Russia forced Azerbaijan to sign Bishketsky protocol, but this time it could not affect his Forpostan. By this action of RA showed the world that Russia is not so great power to her, because can not make such a "small and defenseless," Armenia to the world.
In Kazan, the Russian leadership could not solve a simple problem without thinking about how the West will accept the outcome of negotiations failed. West made it possible for Russia itself to solve the Karabakh problem, knowing that she herself had created it, and if has the power to do away with it.
Kazan has shown how weak Russia that can not be a guarantor of stability in the Caucasus region, which will naturally be taken into account analytical centers of the West. A parade of the Azerbaijani army will give new impetus to the West for investment of new investment in the economy of Azerbaijan, who, possessing such power of military force to protect the billions of dollars in these projects ..
In Response

by: Zareh
July 02, 2011 14:27
A combination of wishful thinking, hot air and wilfully misleading propaganda, this has been the Azeri modus operandi, and will continue so, unfortunately. Azerbaijan has never reconciled by loss of Karabakh and does everything to scuttle any negotiation that does not satisfy 100% of its demands. This has resulted in an impasse which can only make matters worse. One thing nationalist Azeris forget that no matter how much Azerbaijan arms itself Armenians cannot hand over their motherland to foreigners just because they are being bullied and menaced. War, if it happens, can promise to be catastrophic. Azeri soldiers will be fighting to preserve the Aliyev clan's dominance in Baku, Armenians will be fighting to preserve their homeland.

Once, Armenians backed to the wall demonstrated what can happen in a motivated war, they can certainly do it again, Ilham knows that very well.

Fortunately at this stage all talk of "Military means against Armenians" of Azerbaijan has proven to be a huge cowardly bluff.
In Response

by: Felipe Muñoz from: Santiago, Chile
July 02, 2011 19:22
I also watched the parade, and their weaponry. However, there's something important to underline: The ''Last Word'' is said in the battlefield. The US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq shown that the factor of the ''assymetrical war'' can be highly damaging for a ''Regular Army''. Azerbaijan -by my own conclusions- is abled to invade many of the Karabakh in short time in the beginning... but, in their condition of occupants, the AZ army could have a very hard stay in there. After all, the armenian defense in Karabakh wasn't after all only based on the ''Regular'' forces from Armenia; but also comprised karabakh-armenians that fought in a ''irregular'' manner (because they weren't from Armenia Military).

Just think how much the ''irregular war'' had costed to the US just in Iraq... That's why i always say.. the Last Word is said in the battlefield... on the side of Armenia-Karabakh or Azerbaijan.

by: Ken from: BAKU
July 04, 2011 21:59

I would say there is a huge demand from different sides.That need to solve this problem quickly and without detriment. Need to guarantee to controlling over the pipelines and oil sales/benefits.Need to hold newprojects that to take energy to Europe and make money.They say Yeaa we can do much money here if they don t mess. To Europe Energy is more important , USA has also own plans in this region, Only Russia says it is quite normal, i wanna be controller in here, these places were under my control and will be under my control. So don t poke your noses.
Iran afraid of USA, that Azerbaijan can be by USA s side. That USA can use Azerbaijan s opportunities against Iran.
This is a regional (qlobal) problem. Everybody wants to take an advantage. USA, EUROPE,RUSSIA,TURKEY, even IRAN. They don t listen to Azerbaijan but they also know Azerbaijan can behave differently if great money makes Azerbaijan dizzy.

by: Bora from: Brazil
July 07, 2011 09:17
Prominent analysts all agree Armenia will not be able to resist Azerbaijan in time of war. But the real question is what is Russia's position and how would Russia supply Armenia during war. So this is really a conflict between Azerbaijan and Russia, Armenia is only a puppet state. Think about this: Armenia has the 2nd worst economy in the world according to Forbes and a fertility rate of 1.35. In the words of former Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosyan "Armenia will be doomed if we dont give up Karabakh."
In Response

by: John from: Canada
July 07, 2011 16:03
Yeah, we've heard that before. Armenians were supposed to lose in 1990's according to some military experts. But we all know what happened, and this with the active military cooperation with the Azeris of Russian units/Ukranian/Afghan Mujahideen/US rogue military advisors/Turkish volunteers/Chechen ultraIslamist fighters, and so on.

Azerbaijan might accomplish in achieving a catastrophic damage but will not win the war, furthermore she will loose more territories. This is the opinion of real military analysts today. Of course when this happens Azeris will blame the Russians, instead of admitting their inept and unmotivated army, just like they did it in 1990's, when they lost the war facing a far superior Armenian fighting force, defending their homeland.

Levon Ter Petrossian never said Armenians will have to give up Karabakh, That is a lie.
In Response

by: John Harduny from: Reston, VA, USA
July 11, 2011 15:47
1) Armenia was in a much worse shape when it won the war against Azerbaijan in the 1990s. Azerbaijan's and Turkey's blockade worked then, now it does not.
2) Military experts agree that the Karabakh Armenians have the best fighting army in the former USSR per unit basis. They kicked out and destroyed the Chechen mercenaries under Basayev and the Afghan mujaheddin, while Russians were fighting long wars with both of them and essentially lost them both (they were more successful in case of Chechnya).
3) Armenia and as a matter of fact Azerbaijan are not puppet states. This is ridiculous self-deception. In many cases they are puppeteers.
4) Levon Ter-Petrosyan's position on Karabakh is not different from anyone in Armenia really.

by: Adrian Scholes from: Brisbane,QLD, Australia
July 27, 2011 15:36
The entire notion of an easy war is extremely idiotic if history has proven one thing that technological superiority is not what always wins wars. The previous post soviet union war between Armenia & Azerbaijan was won on ideology of cultural issues not military superiority .

The Armenians were fighting on the basis of regaining ancestorial lands stolen by turkic tribes during stalins ''re-outline'' of soviet borders. Azerbaijan's military build up is an attempt to force diplomatic solutions to the issue, hoping to scare Armenian diplomats into coming to an agreement that may not suit them to ensure a war does not break out. Azerbaijan cannot risk war in the region for on of two reasons;
- The initial war will cause an economic collapse( Private entenprisers will pull out contracts on the basis of a risk assessment that will not ensure the free flow of its natural resources during the war.
- Iran will not allow the conflict to enter a stage of military engagement for fear of unstability within its own nation home to a minority of 7 million azeri's.

In the case of an armed conflict my assessment( Doc.Phd International Affairs & Linguistics ) I believe that Russia has no choice but to honour its previous agreements. This is mostly due to the fact that Russia has committed itself deeper into the treaty after the 2008 South Ossetian conflict. In which Armenia remain its only ally in the region/ The region itself is of strategic importance not only to Georgia but also to a pro-NATO Turkey and access to the middle east via Armenia-Iran.

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