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War in the Caucasus will frustrate Bakuís energy ambitions

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 25
Turkish analysts think that extending the term of Russian military base in Armenia and the newly signed agreement is a message for Baku. President Medvedev of Russia has sent a warning message to Baku not to dare to start any military activities. This was mentioned in Hurryet daily news. The paper expresses concerns at possible military developments in the conflict zone of Karabakh. It is well known that Azerbaijan is frustrated that peaceful negotiations have not yielded any visible results in the conflict resolution and therefore Baku has recently hastily increased its military potential.

Over the last seven years Azeri military expenditure has increased 13 times, reaching USD 2.15 billion, while Yerevan is deepening its military cooperation with Russia. This of course poses a serious threat that any military conflict could develop into war. The head of the Turkish centre of International Relations and Strategic Research Sinan Ogan, considers that the prevailing view in Azerbaijan is that the Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved peacefully and that OSCE Minsk Group attempts to resolve the conflict are unsuccessful. Nobody has exerted enough pressure on Armenia to retreat from the region. Therefore Baku is moving towards the point whereby it can say ĎIf you cannot resolve the problem, we can do it ourselves.í Sinan Ogan thinks it is doubtful that either Russia or Turkey will get involved if a small scale war is launched. In addition Russia could use a small conflict to put pressure on Armenia to force it to make certain concessions. Analyst from Finland, Igor Torbakov does not believe this frozen conflict will emerge into a military confrontation, however he does not rule out the fact that the situation could spiral out of the control. He thinks that Azerbaijan should realise that any kind of war in the Caucasus region will frustrate Bakuís energy ambitions. According to him Bakuís investment in the military sphere is likely to exert psychological pressure on Yerevan, as well as on the international community. However he thinks that even though both sides want to avoid large-scale military confrontation, the possibility of unleashing a war unfortunately still exists. ďSome provocations might cause the situation to deteriorate and become out of control, as happened in Georgia in 2008,Ē thinks Torbakov.