Peace in the South Caucasus is about to be blown up. Armenia's aim is to derail the peace treaty!

12.05.23 15:00

The Armenian army again goes for armed provocations on the border with Azerbaijan in the area of Zod, east of Lake Gokcha (Sevan). According to the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry "There is an activity of Armenian Armed Forces units, which have concentrated additional manpower and military equipment in the direction of the Zod mine in the Basarkechar region. "The entire responsibility for the tension in the region lies precisely on the military-political leadership of Armenia," reads the report of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan.


Attention should be drawn to the fact that Armenia's military provocations have increased precisely at a time when the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan are preparing to meet in Brussels to finalise the parameters of a peace treaty. The provocations are clearly aimed at disrupting the peace process.


Following his visit to Moscow on May 9, 2023, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan suddenly became more "skeptical" regarding a peace treaty with Azerbaijan, whose final stage of preparation was linked by many to the meeting between the leaders of the two countries in Brussels on May 14, 2023. However, the clearly Russophobic current Armenian authorities must also have their own considerations if they are to put the brakes on the peace process.


In order to understand the logic behind the Armenian side's current military provocations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, it must be borne in mind that the Armenian nationalists' "miasum Artsakh" remains a fix-it idea. They do not want to part with it, even formally claiming "recognition of borders".


But now the Armenian nationalists have begun to understand that it is unrealistic to create a "great Armenia" beyond the current internationally recognized borders through aggression and the seizure of foreign territories. After all, the whole world recognizes Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory. In all previous wars over Karabakh, Armenia fought on foreign territory and acted as an aggressor against its neighbour.


No references to mythical or "threatening Armenians of Artsakh" "genocides" and "exceptional suffering" in the past can help to legalize the result of aggression. And this is the reality of the last hundred years at least. Since 1914 the world community has never recognised the legitimacy of the "territorial conquests" of the aggressor countries.


 And Russia's current war in Ukraine over "territorial gains" makes absolutely no sense from this point of view. Although it was provoked in every possible way by the Armenian lobby to create a precedent for the annexation of foreign territories. The same Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov-Kalantarov, who, apparently, has studied modern history poorly.


 Even if by some miracle the Russian Federation manages to retain the currently occupied territories of the Ukrainian Crimea and parts of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions - no one in the world will recognise this. The aggressor will not be able to "legitimise" the conquest. It has long been an axiom in the world.


It is quite different when a country acts not as an aggressor, but as a "victim of aggression". Then, indeed, the results of a war, especially if it escalates to world proportions, may result in a substantial increase in the territory of the "victim".


The most eloquent example is Serbia, which in 1914 was formally The most telling example is Serbia, which was formally a "victim of aggression" in 1914. Which, however, was provoked by its own support for terrorism, which led to the assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne.


During the First World War, Serbia suffered a catastrophic defeat and even loss of statehood for some time. Serbia was invaded by Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian forces. The Serbian army was evacuated to the Greek island of Corfu in 1915, via Albania. It was only at the end of World War I that the rebirth of the Serbian state became possible. But on what scale?  On a scale that the Serbs had never even dreamed of before!


Serbia not only regained all its territories. As a result of the First World War, it annexed the previously independent Montenegro, as well as Bosnia, Vojvodina, Croatia and Slovenia, increasing its pre-war size by more than threefold! The fact that it was "renamed" first as the "Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes" and then as Yugoslavia did not change the situation. Serbia, from a small landlocked country, became a "candidate for the great European powers". And this happened even though its former patron, Russia, had been devastated by the results of the First World War and the revolution.


Of course, Yugoslavia eventually disintegrated in the 1990s, and Serbia lost almost all of its acquisitions. But there was a period of "great power" as a result of WWI, where it was the "victim of aggression", in its history.


Another example is not so striking, but also instructive. World War II began with the German attack on Poland. As a victim of aggression Poland received a large chunk of German territories as a result of WWII, although it also had to give up western Ukraine, western Belarus and the Vilna oblast of Lithuania, which became part of the USSR.


In other words, to have any chance of changing internationally recognised borders in one's favour, one must not be the aggressor, but the "victim of aggression". You don't have to attack another country's territory, you have to be attacked. Then at the end of the war, even if in the course of that war the "victim" suffers a total defeat and a military disaster (as was the case with Serbia in 1915 and with Poland in 1939), it is possible that having ended up in the "winner's camp" one may demand an increase of one's territories at the expense of the "aggressor".


Hence, it is clear what the Armenian nationalists are counting on. They need to provoke large-scale military actions, but in such a way that they go to their, the Armenian internationally recognized territory, to declare themselves "the victim of aggression" and Azerbaijan respectively "the aggressor". How many Armenians will be killed at that the Dashnaks are not bothered much; they even want large-scale victims to have an occasion to shout to the whole world about a new "genocide".


The strategy of different groups of Armenian nationalists differs further. The pro-Russian revanchists are still hoping for help from Russia. At the same time, they understand that because of the war in Ukraine, Russia might not have enough forces for a second front and a "military corridor" through Georgia. They are attempting to cunningly obtain the opening of a "corridor" for weapons and troops without war.


This may be the reason why the Russian leadership suddenly "took a kinder hand" to Georgia. By decree of President Vladimir Putin Russia abolished visa regime for Georgian citizens starting from May 15, 2023. This is certainly a big plus for many ordinary Georgians. But Georgians, in general, have wanted to abolish this regime for a long time and no one listened to them in Moscow. Georgians have got used to live with visas in Russia. And here all of a sudden such "kindness".


The fact that the Armenian separatist "Javakhk diaspora of Russia" lobbied for visa-free travel was directly reported by political analyst Shota Apkhaidze in his telegraphic channel. The most interesting thing is that "Javakhk Armenians" needed this "visa-free" visa much less than Georgians. Most of them have Armenian and Russian passports, and used them to cross the border without problems.


And then, suddenly, "Javakhi" separatists started to "take it easy" towards those very Georgians with whom, at the first opportunity, they would do the same to Georgians as their compatriots of the Baghramyan battalion did to Georgians in Abkhazia. The Armenian lobby will clearly seek a "corridor" from Georgia in exchange for visa-free travels to Russia.


But the Kremlin, through its proxies, makes it clear that Georgians should not expect return of Samachablo and Abkhazia and even possibility for refugees to come to the occupied territories. It is no accident that on the eve of abolition of visas for Georgians in Russia, the separatist court of Sukhumi on May 5, 2023 sentenced a young girl, a citizen of Georgia Christine Takalandze to 10.5 years in prison for alleged "espionage"! This is a message to all Georgians - you may get a "visa-free visa", but do not even think about coming to Abkhazia! Abkhazia, according to the plans of Armenian nationalists, is intended to become a "seaside Armenia" and the Armenian population is already the majority here.


So, if Georgia "in gratitude for visa-free travel" will consent to a "military corridor" between Russia and Armenia, then, first, it will permanently lose Abkhazia and Samachablo, and second, it will receive a real threat of destruction of Georgia as a state. After all, it is no secret that by taking advantage of the "corridor" the Kremlin and the Dashnaks will create conditions for the rise of the same "Javakhkian" separatism and dismemberment of Georgia.


Other Armenian nationalists (including Nikol Pashinyan) do not really hope for military assistance from Russia, but they want either Western countries or Iran to get involved in the war in the South Caucasus, which they are stirring up with all their might. But again, for that to happen, Azerbaijan must be presented as the "aggressor", and it must "invade" internationally recognized Armenian territory.


 This "invasion" is provoked by Armenian army, firing at Azerbaijani borderline territory and trying to cause the response of Azerbaijani army, as it was on May 10-11, 2023 near Zod mine. The provocateurs did not choose this area by chance either. The robbery of Azerbaijan's subsoil resources in the Kelbajar region was carried out through the illegal exploitation of the Zod (Sotq) gold mine. Today, most of the mine has been returned to Azerbaijan's control, but a network of roads and transport infrastructure remains, which Armenia can use by promptly moving military units to the border and taking them deep into the territory to provoke Azerbaijan to retaliate. Armenia's goal is to undermine the conclusion of the peace treaty.



George Mazniashvili

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