“Baku legitimized the entry of Ankara”: Turkey increases its military presence in the South Caucasus

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The situation observed after the signing of the tripartite agreement on Karabakh unleashed the hands of Turkey in the South Caucasus, which is evidenced in the latest Ankara statements directed at Yerevan, Moscow and Tehran, according to the head of the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the Yerevan State University, Rubén Melkonián.

Armenia has faced new challenges and no longer has the right to make mistakes, the expert believes. In accordance with Rubén Melkonián, the events in Nagorno Karabakh reinforced Ankara’s military presence in the region.

The expert highlighted the creation of a Russian-Turkish center in the area under Azerbaijan’s control, as well as the approval by the Turkish Parliament of a project on the dispatch of military personnel to Baku.

“The countries are increasing their military presence in the region. Iran has already transferred its troops to the border, while Russia sent a peace contingent to Karabakh,” Melkonian explained.

The third major regional player, Ankara, does not hide its aspiration to strengthen its presence in the South Caucasus, said the expert. This fact is precisely related to the creation of the control center and the dispatch of a military contingent to Azerbaijan.

According to the expert in Turkey, Baku allowed Ankara to enter the region: the Azerbaijani authorities legitimized the de facto Turkish presence in their country. In this way, he added, Turkey shows its strength by supporting Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict and thus sends a message to Russia, Iran and Armenia.

Melkonián pointed out that Turkey’s weight in the world has increased: it is no longer the country it was between the 50s and 90s of the 20th century. The threat of Turkish aggression in the region has not been completely eliminated, which means that things may get worse in the South Caucasus.

At the same time, the analyst ruled out the possibility of an attack by Turkey against Armenia at this stage, emphasizing that that would mean a direct confrontation with Russia. Also, this step will be considered as a NATO attack on the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which could have even more serious and unpredictable consequences not only for the region, but for the entire world.

According to the specialist, the Karabakh problem is already part of global politics, the major players are involved in solving this difficult problem.

As for the tripartite declaration on Karabakh, according to Melkonian, with his signature the fragile basis for a solution that has been developing in recent decades has been destroyed.

The presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a joint declaration on a ceasefire in Karabakh. According to the statement, the total ceasefire in Nagorno Karabakh came into force on November 10. The Armenian side accepted a series of territorial concessions.

To control the ceasefire and hostilities, a Russian peacekeeping contingent is being deployed in the conflict zone in Nagorno Karabakh, with 1,960 military personnel, 90 armored transport vehicles and 380 units of machinery.

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