Armenia – Azerbaijan. Border skirmishes. What are Azerbaijan’s goals and what does this conflict mean for Russia?

Azerbaijan aims to use the favorable international economic situation to increase military pressure against Armenia, including the possibility of enforcing its demands by force, Arkadiusz Legiec of the Polish Institute of International Affairs wrote in a recent edition of the Information Brief on Armenia. Azerbaijan conflict. The expert explained what possible targets Baku chose when launching its offensive, and what consequences it could have for Armenia and its biggest ally, Russia.

Monday through Tuesday nights Azerbaijani forces attack Armenian positions At three locations using artillery and large-scale weapons.

Information about the fighting on the border Armenia and Azerbaijan, the Polish Institute of International Affairs’ researcher for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Arkadiusz Legic, compiled on social media. “At 02:00 local time, the armed forces of Azerbaijan launched a massive shelling attack using heavy artillery and drones on the southeastern part of the border with Armenia. Over time, the fire spread to the depths of Armenian territory in the provinces of Kegarkunik, Vajak Dzor and Szunik,” the expert wrote.

He said Azerbaijan’s ground forces were trying to break through Armenian defense lines, although “so far we have not dealt with their massive entry into the territory of Armenia”. The PISM analyst stressed that no armed incidents have yet taken place on the border between Nagorno-Karabakh or Armenia and Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.

“Azerbaijan aims to take advantage of the favorable international economic situation”

According to Arkadiusz Legieć, the current offensive of Azerbaijani troops is favored by the situation in the international arena. Russia – Armenia’s main ally – “engaged militarily Ukraine and suffers defeat as a result of the Ukrainian counterattack”, as well as the EU’s commitment to strengthen political and economic cooperation with Baku in the face of the need to diversify the supply of raw materials to the EU.

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“Azerbaijan aims to use the favorable international economic situation to increase military pressure against Armenia, including the possibility of implementing its demands by force,” emphasizes the expert, describing the causes of the conflict. Legic explained that the authorities in Baku said their actions were “only a reaction to Armenia’s provocations and subversive activities.”

“Even if this is not the constant news of Azerbaijan, however incredible it may be, the possibility cannot be ruled out that the unrest could be triggered both as a result of a trivial incident (…) and as a result of grassroots actions inspired by political opponents. [armeńskiego premiera Nikola – red.] Pashinyan to take advantage of another expansion with Azerbaijan “- he assessed.

Azerbaijani Soldiers in Lachin (September 2022)Resul Rehimov / Abaka / PAP

As the expert pointed out, after 2020, “Armenia remains a militarily passive party and tries to resolve the conflict diplomatically (without military equipment capable of countering Azerbaijan), while Azerbaijan continued to increase its military pressure.”

What are Azerbaijan’s goals?

The Legion pointed out that the minimum goal of the Azerbaijan operation was “to apply military pressure to bring the Azerbaijan-Nakhichevan transport corridor within the territory of Armenia on Azerbaijan’s terms”.

“However, this is a very limited scenario,” he noted and added that “in the short term, Azerbaijan’s goal is to build the Azerbaijan-Nakhichevan regional corridor on the territory of Armenia without the consent of Armenia under Azerbaijan’s control. .”

For this purpose, the southern provinces of Armenia must enter the land forces of Azerbaijan, which will occupy this territory, which is unknown at this time. “There is a possibility that they will happen in the next phase of operations” – the PISM analyst added.

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Armenia and Azerbaijan are involved in a dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh.Reuters Archive

In the long run – he pointed out – “any possible military victories and the capture of the southern part of the territory of Azerbaijan Armenia (especially Vajak Dzor and Szunik provinces, which are most vulnerable to Azerbaijani occupation) will help to separate Nagorno-Karabakhorno territory from Armenia”.

What does the new scenario of conflict mean for Armenia and Russia?

Arkadiusz Legięć pointed out that the Armenian forces have not allowed the enemy to enter their territory for the time being, but the Azerbaijani troops have not yet made a serious attempt to enter. “Armenia does not have the tools to resist a full-scale aggression by Azerbaijan,” he stressed.

According to the expert, regardless of the course and scale of the attack, it will have serious consequences for Armenia and its authorities. “This is the downfall of the foreign policy of Nikola Pashinyan, who strove for a peaceful solution to the conflict and was ready to make many concessions,” he said. He further said that the opposition parties will take advantage of this situation.

The current situation, according to the analyst, “is a consequence of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, which, against Russia’s will, necessitates the restriction of Russian instruments in the South Caucasus and Armenia.”

In the current situation, Moscow and its allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization “must provide all assistance, including military assistance, to their ally Armenia.” “As a rule – Russia’s lack of effective reaction to current events will seriously reorganize the security situation in the South Caucasus and begin to burn its influence in the vast area of ​​the post-Soviet region (…) , primarily based on its ability and readiness to use military force in defense of your interests “- he pointed out.

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PAP, Twitter / ArkadiuszLegiec

Main photo source: Resul Rehimov / Abaka / PAP

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