A meeting of the leaders of the three countries, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan was held in Moscow last Monday, dedicated to the further settlement of the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Its results cause a not entirely unambiguous attitude.
Despite the fact that the meeting was formally trilateral, the spirit of the fourth participant, Turkey, whose interests were clearly represented by President Aliyev, clearly hovered there. What gives reason to believe so?
At first, judging by the announced results, the negotiations were held in the spirit of dictatorship by the winner of his terms to the vanquished on neutral territory. No compromise was reached on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh. Yerevan asked for the autonomy of this territory within Azerbaijan, but Baku does not agree to this. Armenia simply cannot yield, bowing even further, and the opponent does not intend to pity her. In fact, the conflict is only temporarily frozen, or rather, for 5 years, while Russian peacekeepers are present in Karabakh. After this period, Azerbaijan will have the right to ask them to leave, refusing to extend their powers on its territory.
It is not hard to guess what might follow next. Both Baku and Yerevan will pump up their armed forces for the second and final round of the war throughout this five-year period. This situation completely suits Ankara. The presence of an unresolved conflict gives it full reason to deploy its military infrastructure in Azerbaijan to support its ally.
Secondly, as a winner, Baku demonstratively humiliated Yerevan, refusing to meet him halfway on the extremely sensitive issue with the prisoners of war. Those Armenians who continued to fight after the signing of the armistice agreement and fell into the hands of Azerbaijanis, they refuse to consider prisoners of war, calling them terrorists. Now they will be indicatively judged by the corresponding article. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan promised to continue negotiating with President Aliyev on this painful issue for Armenia.
Thirdly, the information about the opening of two transport corridors through the territory of Armenia and Azerbaijan is not quite unambiguously perceived. The first is the road between the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan, sandwiched between Turkey and Armenia, and "big" Azerbaijan. Baku and Ankara managed to get Yerevan's consent to open this land corridor following a military victory over the Armenians. The main winner here is undoubtedly Turkey, which has received direct access to the Caspian Sea and intends to use it to turn into a "logistics superpower". Thanks to this conquest, Ankara will be able to take away from Moscow significant volumes of cargo flows going from Asia to Europe along the "New Silk Road".
It is not yet clear how this transit will be carried out legally: Armenia will have to transfer part of its territory to Azerbaijan or surrender it in a long-term concession with the right of extension. Baku will obviously not regret Yerevan in this matter either. As they say, woe to the vanquished. By the way, the Russian border guards will have to guard this transport artery.
So that the Kremlin would not be so offended, at a trilateral meeting last Monday they “threw a bone” in the form of a second transport corridor, which should connect Armenia with Russia. Previously, the railway between these two countries passed through Georgia, but this issue was finally “removed from the agenda” last year due to the unsettled status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in favor of Tbilisi. The emergence of a new railway will improve economic communication between Moscow and Yerevan, will simplify the supply of the Russian military group, and Armenia itself will gain access to the markets of Turkey and Iran. However, this infrastructure project has its own downside.
Thus, the railway will pass through the territory of Azerbaijan, and "evil tongues" say that the consignors of goods will have to face the ancient tradition of eastern corruption and all kinds of extortions. At any moment, in case of aggravation of relations, the railway supply between Russia and Armenia can be interrupted by Baku. By the way, trains with Azerbaijani soldiers, weapons and ammunition will then go along the same routes towards Armenia.