A war of nerves

The more a growing number of provocations by Azerbaijan in the area of contact of the Karabakh conflict, the more increases our concern about the enemy’s intentions, associated with the coming of spring.

The current behavior of Baku up repeating the tactics adopted in anticipation of the April war in 2016: first, the actions of a small subversive group, and then a consistent increase in the power of military equipment used in the contact zone, and in the end, the resumption of hostilities. Again and consistently used types of weapons, as well as in the spring of 2016 first used machine guns, grenade launchers, and then the gun.

The only difference is that a decreased frequency of attempts at sabotage of border crossings, due to the emergence in the Artsakh borders of the instruments of observation. But it will not prevent after use of guns in one day the enemy put to use his entire army, unless of course, deems that there is the necessary political moment.

Just in the current situation, in terms of the planned deepening of the trends of positive development of Russian-us relations, the resumption of hostilities is impractical. Consequently, Baku has continued in parallel to the policy of increasing the intensity of the provocation, to pursue an active diplomatic probing, trying to find customers for your new venture.

Apparently, after the obvious failure when attempting such soundings, made by Azeri journalists during the famous new year press conference of the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia, Azerbaijan intends to create the illusion that intends to turn in the direction of the West. In recent years greatly intensified the meeting of Ilham Aliyev with the heads of several European countries and organizations.

However, in the former Soviet Union gradually formed a kind of “internal opposition” with the support of the leaders of the CSTO member States — Kyrgyzstan and Belarus. Ilham Aliyev came to an agreement with the leadership of Ukraine about the mutual boycott of products made in the Donbass and in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

After attempts to exert indirect pressure on Russia reached its peak in the activity of blogger Alexander Lapshin, a hereditary monarch Baku stated that “the April military clashes and rising tension and clashes on the line of contact is the internal affair of Azerbaijan.”

It is nothing like the first response to a slap, which caused the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, after the visit of Minister of foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Mamedyarov in Moscow. That is, Baku is thus said that there is no agreement on a truce, nor the OSCE Minsk Group, implementing mediatory mission on the basis of this contract.

The answer of Yerevan also has not kept itself waiting. “This statement is a blatant disrespect to the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group, prikladyvaya mediation efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict. If the Azerbaijani leadership pretends not to realize it, even it’s not its internal affair, but if makes such statement knowing that it is a pathology” – said Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of Armenia Shavarsh Kocharyan.

The question arises: does this mean that the behavior of Baku inevitably leads to a repetition of the war, similar to events in 2016?

To understand this, you need to consider that the new Aliyev pathology that followed the recent Moscow visit Mammadyarov, coincides with the fact of releasing two different formats for the resumption of negotiations.

Returning from Moscow, Mammadyarov talked about the readiness of Baku to resume the tripartite talks under the mediation of Russia. Following this at a press conference the representative of the Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova announced work on the organization of the meeting of foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group.

At this point it appears the following incident: Azerbaijani diplomacy accompanies provocations in bilateral relations willingness to continue negotiations with a private mediation of Russia, Maria Zakharova, “ignoring” such a high level of confidence in the country, continues to promote known and confirmed at the international level, the mediation format.

Moreover, in parallel with the behavior of Russia, sounds clear assessment of the President of France about the need of realization of the Madrid principles on the basis of the right of self-determination of NKR. This shows that the demonstration of willingness to continue negotiations in private mediation of Russia from Baku is the failed attempt of search of differences between mediators, which was politely rejected.

It is also clear that this refusal is accompanied by a warning about the impermissibility of resorting to war. The presence of such a unified position of intermediaries is the main reason that Baku on the one hand is exacerbating the situation demonstrates a willingness to negotiate, and on the other hand is afraid to cross the Rubicon. Because of all this, begins the real war of nerves that will become even stronger during the coming spring, when Baku will try to use electoral, electoral and post-electoral processes in Armenia.

This shows that for the upcoming spring become inevitable new tactical clashes in different parts of the front. But in terms of encouraging balance of power in the international arena, are fighting the local value can escalate into full-scale war only in case if the nerves of one side or another will not stand.