An official statement circulated on the eve of the Armenian defense Ministry, of course, a matter of some concern. We are talking about the following: “may 15, around 16:30 (Yerevan time), Azerbaijani armed forces in the Eastern direction of the line of contact with the forces of the Artsakh Republic (Nagorno Karabakh Republic) have resorted to provocations by firing guided missiles military facility of the NKR defense Army. As the press service of the NKR defense Ministry, the shelling partially damaged military vehicles, and no casualties”.
Without an order of the Baku missiles would not have been shot
It is clear that this move will not remain unanswered. But there is another issue: until recently the border has remained relatively calm. Even use guided missiles other large-scale actions were observed. The average intensity and the number of shots remains the same, and even after this incident, no emergency events were reported. Consequently, it turns out that the use of the guided missile did not pursue the goal to increase tension. In this case, why the Azerbaijani side did it? Of course, there may be many different explanations, but one option is clearly necessary to exclude: this attack could not be initiated by individual soldier or commander. After the incident, the Azerbaijani defence Ministry hastened to present to the public the harm of Armenian military equipment as “military achievement”. Note also that these actions were recorded on video rather professional, and it tells me that the order was given from the Ministry of Defence. Of course, it is theoretically possible that it was the initiative of Minister Zakir Hasanov, given exerted on him in recent days, public pressure, including repeated proliferation of online video, one-year-old about the infamous brawl in one of night clubs of Baku with the participation of the daughter Hasanov. That is, for the sake of trying to look like a hero in the eyes Aliyev, Hasanov could give the order the missile strike on the Armenian military equipment. But this is an unlikely scenario, given that it is unlikely that the Minister without the consent of the Sultan alone would have taken this step, clearly resulting in a violent reaction, including superpowers. In short, the missile would not be launched without awareness of the President’s administration is the most likely scenario. But why was this necessary Aliyev?
May 15 was hot
The answer to the question are some of the events of recent days. Held on Saturday and Sunday in Beijing’s great summit “silk road”, recorded that the project is gaining momentum. Not difficult to guess that the Karabakh conflict is a disincentive, and it is logical that may overcome the factors promoting final or interim settlement, including in the form of pressure. And the following fact gives the impression of such pressure: on the eve by decision of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation was dissolved organization “all-Russian Azerbaijani Congress”. And this is the case, such as this organization “Union of Armenians of Russia” not only continues to operate but at the recent birthday of the Chairman of the Union Ara Abrahamyan took part the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov. And when then dissolved Congress of Azerbaijanis, the concern and the hysteria that arose from the Russian and Azerbaijanis in Baku, are quite clear. It came down to the fact that the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan has been talking about the deterioration of relations between the two countries, the head of the Congress Kurbanov threatened “far-reaching consequences.” But amid the noise noticeable one — the decision of the Supreme court seriously scared of Baku, making it clear that such attacks may continue and become stronger.
In this context, definitely not coincidentally, that same day, may 15th, the foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov made an interesting statement, confirming the words of the foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian that after the regional visit of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk group in June will be the meeting of two foreign Ministers. Mammadyarov also said: “Following the logic of the Moscow meeting of foreign Ministers of the three countries, I have formed the impression that the withdrawal of troops in exchange for the world or the territory in return for peace is possible. This logic is only in the negotiation process over the past 12 years. But in diplomacy talks for the sake of negotiations do not exist. Already it is clear that Armenia must withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan”.
He wants to tell Baku the mouth of the Minister of foreign Affairs? The reference to “the logic of the Moscow meeting of foreign Ministers,” Russian analyst Stanislav Tarasov created the impression: “during a recent meeting on April 28 in Moscow of the foreign Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia was reached some tacit agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Nalbandian and Mammadyarov has reported to their presidents, the Armenian Minister has received approval for further steps. But at this moment Baku strikes anti-aircraft missile complex “OSA”, if not break, it will significantly complicate further diplomatic dialogue between Baku and Yerevan…”
That is, the Azeri Minister, in contrast, was not given the go-ahead to move in the direction of the Moscow agreements. Note that the second part of Mammadyarov’s statement also testifies to this. How should I understand the expression “the withdrawal of troops in exchange for the world or the territory in return for peace”? If right, it turns out that Baku just threatens: if the territory will not be returned or troops will not be withdrawn, the world will not, we go to war. We can think of it this way: in Moscow, Mammadyarov was forced to give certain promises, but Aliyev did not agree. This is followed by a new step of pressure — dissolution of the Congress of Azerbaijanis and Aliyev is blackmail: if so, we’ll start the war. By this logic, a missile attack can also be seen as a step made in the proof of this blackmail.
The blackmail option is more likely
What does Aliyev? It’s blackmail, aimed only at avoiding undesirable developments, or he is willing to go to war? This depends on the response of the Armenian side. If Azerbaijan get justice for a missile attack, it would definitely be to have a tangible influence on the decision of Baku, even if his ultimate goal of war.
But there is another question: what risks is Aliev if really ready to play VABank? We should not forget that the settlement of the Karabakh conflict at the moment assumes a value in the security context of the “silk road”. War is more than undesirable for Russia to maintain the stability of their southern borders and prevent a new outbreak of tension. If Aliyev really ready to end up going to war, it must also be considered, to put it mildly, a negative reaction of Moscow and Beijing and Iran.
However, Baku must consider the constraints faced by Turkey. Full-scale involvement of Turkey in the Karabakh war, Moscow clearly considers stab in the back from Ankara, in addition, Turkey has its own interests in the silk road, and the new war will create new problems in this issue.
On the other hand, we will not deny that Baku could act assessment voiced in the U.S. Congress at a meeting of the intelligence Committee with participation of the head of the FSB, according to which in 2017 the possible resumption of the Karabakh war. In Baku it could assess how the decree about the beginning of the war, which Azerbaijanis can hope for Washington. In addition, the “silk road” for the United States, to put it mildly, junk project, and Washington could support any initiative that it will block. But Baku also probably understand that in the event of war the American army will not come to their aid, but as the show itself of the Russian military base in Armenia?
Thus, even if Aliyev really decided to start a war, she, high, may be a repetition of last year’s four days of clashes. Zero result with unknown losses. Consequently, statements by Mamedyarov are more like blackmail. But what can he give?