Reasons and purposes of Armenian provocations on border-ANALYSIS

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27 May 2021

As June 20 parliamentary elections are coming in Armenia, all politicians of the country from both government and opposition are engaging with misleading citizens by highlighting issues of foreign enemy, border, and territory. Armenia has already being continued to disseminate false information in the country and abroad regarding the so-called “entry” of Azerbaijani servicemen to any territory of Armenians for several weeks.

Processes show that politicians of the country don’t want to reconcile with the new reality, created by the war, yet while the Armenian community has a chance to establish its future now, at last, intends to mislead Armenian people with fake allegations and hopes. Otherwise, different politicians of the people, of which army was destroyed a few months ago and statehood is under question currently, would not continue their provocations, revanchist policies at the state level. Despite the peacekeeping steps of Azerbaijan during the post-war period, Azerbaijanphobia has strengthened in political circles of Armenia, which is drowning in the vice of political, economic crisis over the recent days, at the same time revanchist feelings have spread widely. In fact, Armenian politicians well understand that Azerbaijanphobia, aggressive ideas, existing in the country, namely caused relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia to reach this level. So, the priority of the Armenian community should now be reviewing national ideology and philosophical views.

Confessions of some Armenian politicians regarding Armenian provocation

However, some forces in Armenia had to say reality regarding tensions over the last days. For example, while talking about the policy of Armenia regarding Azerbaijan during the post-war period, former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan probably considering Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian noted that “Armenia speaks with a language of threat against Turkey and Azerbaijan in order to be seen well by foreign countries after the Karabakh war again.” Ter-Petrosyan confesses here himself that although FM of the country knows where the processes in the region go to, he does not avoid provocations purposefully and issuing stupid statements during the post-war implements instructions of some West circles.

Deputy of the “My Step” bloc Vahe Galumyan has hinted at official Baku’s being right on the issue of the border with his statement while talking about the border problem with Azerbaijan. According to V. Galumyan, who said “There are some territories in the Tavush region under our control”, Barkhudarlu. Sofulu, Kheyrimli, and Voskepar (Eskipara – Z.M) villages in the Tavush are recorded as Azerbaijani territory according to the maps of 1976.

It should be noted that like some Armenian politicians, most of the citizens have already started to understand that people, who dealt with provocations until the war and in the post-war period, were those who were standing at the head of Armenian authority.

Armenian army’s provocations on the border and those who gained a political point from it

Unfortunately, we are facing unpleasant events in the direction of the border over the past three days too. Thus, according to the information disseminated by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence on May 26, from May 24 to May 26 the positions of the Azerbaijani army located in the Kalbajar and Gadabay regions were intermittently fired from firearms by enemy positions in Gegharkunik province of the Republic of Armenia. No retaliatory fire was opened. There are no losses.” Armenian MoD, as always, commented on the event in accordance with their wishes, it noted that as a result of firing on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, junior sergeant Gevorg Khurshudyan, born in 1989, was killed. Azerbaijani MoD categorically denying allegations, stated that the mentioned servicemen died as a result of a tragic accident and the Azerbaijani side has nothing to do with it. Of course, as a result of chaos in the army, the Armenian Defense Ministry, which is trying to blame the death of an Armenian soldier on Azerbaijan, refrains from the reaction of mothers of soldiers.  For months, at the center of Yerevan, numerous parents protest against sending their children to military service due to the incomplete Karabakh policy pursued by Armenian politicians and the arbitrariness in the army. The situation has reached such a level that today, Armenian youth are resorting to all means, in order to avoid the army.

At night on May 27, provocations of the Armenian side continued. According to the information disseminated by Azerbaijani MoD, at around 03.00, an intelligence-sabotage group of the Armenian armed forces tried to cross the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in the direction of the settlement of Yukhari Ayrim in the Kalbajar region.  As a result of urgent measures, 6 enemy servicemen who tried to mine the supply routes leading to the positions of the Azerbaijan Army on the border, were surrounded, neutralized, and taken prisoner. In the morning, several combat vehicles, including tanks of the Armenian armed forces, were congested near the border. As a result of the actions taken by our forces, their movement was suppressed.

The latest provocation of the Armenian army puts forward an interesting point. Can the Armenian Defence Minister and the General Staff set any military purpose in front of the now-disbanded Armenian army, and to what extent is this logical? The Armenian side already knows very well that they will not be able to reach their military goals. It means that provocation that happened recently, as well as yesterday has a political purpose, not military.

While talking about border incidents that continued recently it is clear who is behind these provocations within Armenia. The following groups are interested in the escalation of the situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border and gaining political dividends from this situation.  These are Ombudsman Tatoyan, who is now rising in ratings with false and populist statements (according to a Gallup poll), Foreign Minister Ayvazyan, who continues to undermine the trilateral Statement and seek to disrupt talks with some Western circles, and the political opposition.

Robert Kocharyan's ugly deed

Here special attention should be paid to former President Robert Kocharyan. One should not forget that it was the media outlets close to Kocharyan that first highlighted the issue of what happened in Garagol and other border areas and put pressure on the political authorities around the issues. Robert Kocharyan is using his most insidious plans to win votes in the elections by creating fear among Armenians living along with the border areas on Zangazur, border issues. At present, the fact that some commanders in the army and members of the Armenian community in those regions are close to Kocharyan cannot be excepted that these processes are a provocation against both Azerbaijan and the political authorities in the framework of the pre-election campaign. Violation of the ceasefire by some groups of the Armenian army on the border in recent days may be the work of commanders close to Kocharyan.

Being well aware of the necessity of the delimitation and demarcation of borders and the fact that it is a continuation of the Trilateral Statement, and the guarantor is Russia, Kocharyan is not putting pressure on Pashinyan regarding the topic directly till the election but through opposition-run media, telegram channels, community leaders in the regions in order not to face the anger of Moscow.

The ruling team and Pashinyan's goals

In his turn, Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan is also playing a "geopolitical game" against the background of ongoing provocations by the Armenian servicemen on the border. Soros “pupil” forces that sooner or later aim to drive Russia out of Armenia individual members of “My step” movement and some political circles in Armenia allegedly claiming that Azerbaijanis crossed the border into Armenia, emphasizing that they are left alone before these "threats" and CSTO does not help them, they are inculcating in the public that the only way out is in the West. On May 26, Nikol Pashinyan sharply criticized the activities of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in his speech. He noted that "this organization “has not yet expressed a resolute position on the necessity to withdraw Azerbaijani forces to their previous positions."
He added that Armenia is not satisfied with the speed of the CSTO steps on the border problem with Azerbaijan. If this organization does not solve the problem on the border, Armenia will appeal to the UN Security Council. One of the interesting points in this statement, which is openly against Russia, is that Pashinyan repeated the views expressed by French President Macron some time ago, following Foreign Minister of this country Ara Ayvazyan and expressed his support for bringing the Azerbaijan-Armenia issue to the UN Security Council tribunal.

Summary

All of the above gives ground to say that as the parliamentary elections come close in Armenia, provocations regarding Azerbaijan are expected to intensify. The main purpose of the Armenian opposition is to come to power at any cost and to implement its personal interests over the tragedy of the Armenian people after that. The Armenian government has also set a goal to become in power with the same thought.
But they should not forget that their policy is so dangerous and Azerbaijan’s “Iron Fist” remains in its place.

Despite the requirements of any forces inside and outside Armenia, the delimitation and demarcation issues of the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia will be resolved, and the “Zangazur Corridor” will be opened.

Zaur Mammadov,

Senior lecturer at the Academy of Public Administration under the President, chairman of the Baku Political Scientists Club

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