YEREVAN, August 9. /ARKA/. Turkey’s new goal is to turn the South Caucasus into the zone of its responsibility, an Armenian expert in Turkic affairs Ruben Safrastyan, told a news conference today.
“After last autumn’s second war in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, which Turkey, in fact, had prepared, coordinated and sent weapons and mercenaries to Azerbaijan, Ankara has intensified its aspirations to become the major operating state in the region,” he said.
According to Safrastyan, to achieve this goal, Turkey has involved Azerbaijan into this plan.
“In fact, Azerbaijan has become a tool in the hands of Turkey for the implementation of this geostrategic goal,” he said, adding that Azerbaijan itself has expansionist goals regarding Artsakh and Armenia.
“The corridor that Turkey is seeking to have through Armenian province of Syunik is to serve this goal. In fact, Turkey, pursuing its geostrategic goals, is also seeking to implement its pan-Turkic programs,” he said.
The Turcologist explained that in order to achieve its plans, Turkey needs to weaken Armenia as much as possible. He also told what means Turkey used and will use for this.
“Firstly, to step up pressure on Armenia, which we clearly see after the end of the 44-day war. This is manifested in the aggressive rhetoric, and in the aggressive actions of the Azerbaijani troops against the sovereign territory of Armenia, and in those military exercises that often take place along the borders of Armenia, and in the large-scale supplies of weapons and ammunition to Azerbaijan,” he explained.
According to Safrastyan, the creation of a joint Turkish-Azerbaijani military subdivision, which eventually will lead to the creation of a Turkish-Azerbaijani united army, also serves the purpose of increasing pressure on Armenia.
All this, according to the expert, is aimed at weakening Armenia and forcing it to make concessions both on the status of Artsakh and the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Safrastyan is sure that at some stage this policy will be replaced by more aggressive actions from Azerbaijan against Armenia, and Turkey will stand behind it.
“Azerbaijan, provoked by Turkey, can start an aggressive war directly against Armenia. And we need to be ready for this,” he stressed.
On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and phosphorus weapons.
After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia. A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor.-0-