Azerbaijan threatens Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh - Politics | PoFo

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Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has warned he is ready to use force to wrest control of a disputed enclave from Armenia if last-ditch peace talks fail.

He said talks starting on Sunday in Munich were the final hope of settling the Nagorno Karabakh issue peacefully.

A fragile ceasefire has been in place in the region since it was the scene of a brutal war between the two countries in the 1990s.

Both nations lay claim to the enclave, currently under Armenian control.

In comments broadcast on Azeri TV on Saturday, President Aliyev said that if the Munich talks failed to reach agreement he would be "left with no other option".

"We have the full right to liberate our land by military means," he said.

Western diplomats attending the talks, the latest in a round of internationally mediated meetings on the dispute, have said they hope the situation will not reach that point.

Some 30,000 people died in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, which erupted after the mountainous region declared independence in 1991.

The region and seven surrounding Azeri district have been under Armenian control since the Russian-brokered ceasefire in 1994.

Azerbaijan has never ruled out military action to take back the land and has spent billions on dollars on building up its military.

The BBC's Tom Esslemont, in the South Caucuses region, says Mr Aliyev is using stronger language than ever before because the talks come at a critical time.

The meeting will be the first since Armenia and Turkey - an ally of Azerbaijan - normalised diplomatic relations after a century of hostility.

That move has left Azerbaijan feeling isolated, says our correspondent.

Have the Azeri Turks not learned their lesson? The chances of an actual conflict are low (especially with Georgia getting owned) but who knows what crazy shit this guy is capable of.
User avatar
By W01f
I do wonder if any major powers would actually try to intervene if war were to break out. This isn't really the same sort of scenario as what we saw in Serbia and Georgia.
By Aekos
Russia would probably (hopefully) help the Armenians, Turkey would come to the aid of its Turkish brothers.
User avatar
By Captain Sam
Azerbaijan would win if a military conflict does erupt. It has the larger and better equipped armed forces. Armenia hardly even has an air force.
By Aekos
Please see: Nagorno Karabakh war of 1988-1994

Karabakhi forces were getting ready to march on Baku
By stalker
While Armenia had the upper hand until the mid-2000's and probably retains its advantages in morale, unfortunately the military balance has swung pretty decisively in Azerbaijan's favor since the opening of the BTC pipeline. Azeri military spending is now equivalent to Armenia's entire state budget.

That said, Armenia is in the CSTO - an alliance with Russia - and can count on Russian support if attacked. Azerbaijan stand no chance against Russia, of course. As such, this is almost certainly empty bluffing by an Aliyev worried by Azerbaijan's impending isolation due to improving Turkish-Armenian relations; or more worryingly, displays an intent to force the Nagorno Karabakh question before it's too late.
User avatar
By eloweeth
Russia would probably (hopefully) help the Armenians, Turkey would come to the aid of its Turkish brothers

Actually relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are improving and it is possible that noone interrupts this time.Hope they will solve their problems without armed conflict!
By Aekos
Hope they will solve their problems without armed conflict!

Agreed! The region has seen enough bloodbaths. It's time for economic development (and no, I don't mean spending oil money on weapons).

Also, who's that in your avatar? Just some random Turk child?
By stalker
Actually relations between Azerbaijan and Russia are improving and it is possible that noone interrupts this time.

Azerbaijan has improving relations with Russia (out of Azeri necessity). Armenia is functionally Russia's protectorate. There is no doubt which side it will support in a war, IMO.
User avatar
By Independent_Srpska
Following the NATO suit for Kosmet - Russia should recognize Nagorno Karakbah as a part of Armenia, or even, at the first point, as an independent state...
User avatar
By pikachu
Azerbaijan threatens Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh
He's done the same thing more than 5 times in the past five years. New year - new threats. Possible intentions are: putting pressure on Armenia (which I doubt actually works) and rallying internal audience. Russia would definitely try to intervene if Azeri-Armenian conflict were to erupt just to uphold its authority in the area, but I have doubts whether it would directly aid one side against the other. Even a direct attack on Armenian forces in N-K can hardly be classified as an attack on Armenia itself, given the presence of its forces in N-K is not legally binding, meaning the CSTO collective defense clause doesn't have to come in force.

Azerbaijan has improving relations with Russia
"Improving" relations is what they always say in diplomatic public statements, in reality I'd say the level of cooperation between Russia and Azerbaijan has either stayed the same or even slowly fading. The BTC and Baku-Supsa pipelines were major turning points, as of 2007/2008 the old Russian-Azeri pipelines are no longer in use. The levels of cultural cooperation have been falling, Russian TV access was systematically restricted. Azerbaijan is a founding member of GUAM in 2001, that speaks tons.
User avatar
By Bosnjak
I do not think a war is going to happen.

Azerbaijan due its resources is more important then Armenia.
Last edited by Bosnjak on 23 Nov 2009 21:08, edited 2 times in total.
By Aekos
If a new Karabakh war led to a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it would be interesting to see Armenia reclaim Nakhchivan and Karabkah Northern Artsakh.
User avatar
By Igor Antunov
The US has been massively funding and training Azerbaijani forces, airforce, army and even their navy.

No doubt Azerbaijan leadership is making the same mistake Georgia's leadership made, thinking that NATO will come to their rescue when Russia lays the smackdown.

Azerbaijan will no doubt keep becoming more and more belligerent. They haven't been modernizing and increasing their military stockpile with US financial assistance without intending to use it.

Personally I pity them for what will happen to them if they engage in agression against Armenia.
User avatar
By pikachu
The US has been massively funding and training Azerbaijani forces, airforce, army and even their navy.
Source? I'm not aware of this "funding".
User avatar
By Igor Antunov
Direct US and NATO support and training with airforce:

The United States is the most active participant in the modernization of the Azerbaijani Air Force. Azerbaijani airfields in Gala and Haji Zeynalabidin Tagiyev settlements were modernized with the US support in the framework of the Azerbaijan-NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan. The special equipments were installed there to provide security of the flights. The starting command points, engineering control systems and engineering air force service were provided with the new buildings. Negotiation over the modernization of Kurdamir airfield is currently under way.

An advanced Flight Control System has been installed at Dollyar Air Base with support from the United States.

Since September 2008, Turkey has helped to modernise the Air Force central headquarters. According to the Turkish-Azeri agreement, a NATO standard central command management center will be installed there. A great number of projects such as joint manufacture of attack helicopters and unmanned aircraft will be implemented with Turkey in the near future.

The U.S. also provided Azerbaijani military with the latest radar technology in 2006. In the same year, plans were announced for the U.S. to modernize one radar station near the Iranian border at Lerik and another near the border with Georgia at Agstafa. Joint work has also commenced on two radar stations on the Russia-Azerbaijani border and Iran-Azerbaijani border to monitor Caspian Sea traffic ... -nns03.htm

NATO support with army:

Azerbaijan has been undergoing serious modernization and capacity expanding programs, the military budget alone increased from around $300 million in 2005 to $2.46 billion in 2009.[1] Azerbaijan has signed numerous contracts to strengthen its armed forces and to train its military with Turkey's assistance.

Direct US support and training with Navy:

In 2004 the U.S. Navy SEAL team from Little Creek Amphibious Base, Va., participate in joint exercises with the Azeri Army’s 641st Special Warfare Naval Unit, headquartered at the Azeri Naval Station outside Baku.

In 2005, Blackwater USA's Maritime Division was contracted to conduct interdiction training for the Azerbaijani Naval Sea Commandos.[2]

In 2006 the US Government donated three motorboats updated to the latest technology to the Azerbaijani navy. There is also an agreement to provide US support to refurbish Azeri warships in the Caspian sea.

On May 19, 2006 Azeri and Turkish Navy held joint military exercises on safeguarding the security of oil and gas pipelines in Baku. The training session was observed by the Azerbaijan Navy commander Shahin Sultanov and Turkish Armed Forces attaché Seyhan Ceyhan. The activities aimed to ensure the safety of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC), the main export pipeline to take Caspian oil to Turkey and further to world markets, as well as on expanding cooperation between the two countries’ military. The exercises started with the clearance of mines that ended up on the seabed. This was followed by rendering harmless the traps planted in the area by symbolic terrorists. The training concluded with the practice of a maritime and air operations. A similar exercise is expected to take place in Turkey soon[3]

In 2007 an agreement between Azeri Navy and one of the US military companies was concluded, which stated that a part of the Azeri Navy would be equipped with advanced laser marksmanship device/system. The US company specialists were also to give training for the use of new equipment. As a comment on this Colonel Lieutenant Eldar Safarov said that the work on modernization of warships will continue.[4]

US is basically 'donating' military equipment and refurbishing existing Azerbaijani equipment. One step beyond funding.

This looks like georgia part 2, another central asian puppet love child of NATO about to make a serious miscalculation.
User avatar
By Bosnjak
This looks like georgia part 2, another central asian puppet love child of NATO about to make a serious miscalculation.

Would Russia realy intervene in an Armenian-Azeri conflict?
User avatar
By Igor Antunov
There are russian peacekeepers there, Armenia is a Russian ally, and since it is all in the russian sphere of influence, Russia will feel obligated to intervene against a change to the status quo that would favor NATO.

Russia also maintains a large military base in Armenia that is heavily integrated with Armenia armed forces. Therefore any conflict would involve Russian forces.
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