There is an unfinished business in the Caucus for Azaris. The grand expansion & conquering of the ancient Karabakh lands until the state border of Armenia is not done as yet. There is however a brick wall that they have to come up against. The Russian Peacekeeping Mission. If Azari are good in one thing that is undoubtedly being the best geopolitical opportunists of all time. There was a reported buildup & an attempted incursion into Artsakh by the Azari forces a couple of days back. What are they trying to achieve?
Is this a one time random or an accidental incident ? Or is it a timely well calculated beginning of a series of events to follow. Let’s do the math
In the international arena a tectonic plate shifting is happening. It is almost the moment of the collision of the continents. The war in Ukraine is heating up with Russian forces decimating the Ukrainian army in the Don basin. Albanians in the breakaway Kosovo province are openly upping the ante against Serbs with a possible NATO intervention on the horizon. Nancy Pelosi’s much hyped & provocative state visit to Taipei is dominating the global news. The world is in utter chaos & the focus , attention of the international community keeps changing from one theater of geopolitics to another. The focus is in disarray. So who will have time for a small incursion by the Azari forces into Artsakh.
The energy crisis that is devastating the European continent has made gas rich countries such important partners more than ever. Europe is not held hostage by the barrel but by Pipelines. Europeans are pushed against the wall & they are desperate in finding Gas for their industries and the population. Winter is coming & the empty gas storage facilities in Europe are worse than a nightmare. Algeria’s gas supply will be reduced with pre planned maintenance of the pipeline. Neither Qatar nor Iran could accommodate the growing desperate demands. That makes the Caucus Gas King Ilham Aliyev the president of Azerbaijan an untouchable, strategically important , valuable partner. No one in the right mind would want to antagonize Azerbaijan or to be in their bad books. That gives Azaris a leverage way above their weight class.
Russians do not have the appetite for another hot front. It is unwise & could jeopardize their grand strategy for Ukraine & European theater. Of course that does not give another state actor to harm the lives of the Russian servicemen nor their assets. More importantly they will not want to undermine their strategic position. However they could probably stomach a little incursion to non-Russian lands. In a worse case scenario they will make a strong statement & save face. The Sultan of our century President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in a unique position with unbelievable opportunities in hand. As a wise statesman or the opportunist that he has always been , he did not board the Anti Russia Sanctions ship. He is positioned in a way to help the Sanctioned Russian & Iranian economies to circumvent the Western sanctions. The grain deal he helped broke between the Russians & Ukrainians is evident for the leverage he got. His indispensability gives him a free rein in matters related to Azari-Armenian issues. In turn this works as a life insurance for the President Ilham Aliyev.
The first phase of this is the usual misinformation by the Turkish led media outlets reporting unprovoked attacks on the state border of Azerbaijan. This gets amplified across social media platforms making it to look as if Azerbaijan is in fact the victim & the Armenians are the aggressor. This method has been used time again with varied success. Then the world witnessed a military buildup of the Azaris with trucks painted with a letter A. This would certainly bring the pre war memory of Russian military columns painted with mystery signs closer to Ukraine. Will an all out breaking of hostilities take place now? Well not at this stage. This is probing the reactions of all the stakeholders. Calculating the risks, assessing the circumstances. These kinds of events could take place across Karabakh for the next foreseeable future until Azerbaijan sees the most opportune time to finish the business they started. Will the Russian strategy of making the Karabakh issue a deep frozen conflict until the time is ripped will be tested sooner than later. This will be the first phase of a long game !