- Konstantin Valentinovich, events in Transcaucasia are clearly unfolding in a blitz scenario: Turkey is increasing pressure on the issue of opening the Zangezur corridor, the status of Russian peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh is unclear, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken says that Azerbaijan is preparing an attack on Armenia. What is your forecast?
- A military conflict is being prepared there in a normal way. It is clear that access to Nakhichevan through a direct corridor, by taking control of the Zangezur corridor, is impossible without a military conflict, and this creates another tense point where Russia will have to make a hard decision. Armenia is now a member of the CSTO, and if a new military conflict begins against Armenia, Russia will either have to recognize the incapacity of this treaty or take part in this conflict on the Armenian side, which means direct military action against Azerbaijan. Therefore, the political situation will largely determine what decisions should be taken. Russia needs to solve the issue of ensuring Armenia’s security within the framework of a short-term operation to defeat the aggressor’s troops. If this decision is not made due to objective circumstances, for example, the threat of Turkey’s intervention in the conflict, then, perhaps, an attempt will be made to solve this issue politically and diplomatically. And it will be Russia that will do this. The West will try its best to ensure that a military clash between Russia and Azerbaijan becomes a reality. The reason is that the West has lost the military conflict in Ukraine, which is already universally recognized. That is, the West failed to solve the task of ousting President Vladimir Putin and replacing him with a liberal, pro-Western leader of Russia through a combined strike from Ukraine, economic sanctions, and information warfare. Therefore, it will expand the zone of instability and military conflicts around Russia.
And the hot spots are already visible. It has been stated that the Balticconnector gas pipeline between Estonia and Finland has been damaged. With a high degree of probability I assume that, motivated by the threat of further damage on this gas pipeline, they may introduce a security zone around it and prevent the movement of Russian civilian vessels that connect continental Russia with the Kaliningrad region. In this case, Russia would have to face the challenge of ensuring maritime communication, as there is no other communication with sufficient capacity to connect the Kaliningrad region with mainland Russia. This could lead to a clash with NATO.
And NATO is preparing for war, there are already relevant exercises being held there. Tensions in Ukraine will remain. With a high degree of probability, Poland may be drawn into this conflict, and it will deploy troops in the western regions of Ukraine.
The next point is the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone, where Russia may be drawn in.
And the third point is the Middle East, where a large-scale conflict with the involvement of a large number of countries is clearly growing. Israel’s strikes on civilian airports in Damascus and Aleppo demonstrate that this conflict will expand. By doing so, Israel shows the West’s determination to drag other countries of the region into this conflict. The talk that this is supposedly a warning is utter nonsense. It is precisely a demonstration of the determination to drag other countries into the conflict. This creates a war zone, which can actually be considered the first stage of the Third World War, which is no longer a hybrid one, but is still in hybrid form.
- Turkey, as a NATO member, promotes the interests of the United States and Israel in Transcaucasia through Azerbaijan. An example of this is the Israeli military base in the Zangilan region of Azerbaijan. But at the same time in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict Erdogan is definitely on the side of Palestine. In Syria, the disagreement on the Kurdish issue between Turkey and the US is also visible. What is the real role of Ankara and who is the true director?
- Turkey now seeks to pursue an independent policy. This should be clearly understood. Why do we appreciate cooperation with Erdogan? Because he is a truly sovereign leader who makes his own decisions and does not accept decisions dictated by the United States or Brussels, like Germany or France, and it makes sense to negotiate with him. And since this is the case, by respecting and taking into account Turkey’s interests, it is possible to ensure the reduction of tension in this direction through political and diplomatic measures. At the same time, the essence of Turkey’s policy comes down to the expansion of its spheres of influence and the realization of the so-called plan of the Pan-Turkic world — the Great Turan, which comprises all Turkic-speaking countries and peoples in the territories adjacent to Turkey, including those peoples who are citizens of Russia and live in Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, in particular. The implementation program of this project poses a serious threat to Russia. Nevertheless, at the moment Turkey is not as aggressive as other countries with regard to the conflict in Ukraine. Although it provides some assistance to Ukraine, it does not allow NATO ships to enter the Black Sea through the Bosporus Strait, referring to the Montreux Convention.
As for Turkey’s current policy, it is interested in bringing the Zangezur corridor under Azerbaijan’s control, which would give Turkey direct access through Nakhichevan and Azerbaijan to areas immediately adjacent to and within Russia and Central Asia. In this matter Turkey is cooperating with the U.S., because America is interested in unleashing a military conflict in this region.
As for Syria, Turkey is interested in eliminating Kurdish paramilitary formations and Kurdish formation in general, which tends to form certain elements of statehood on the territory of Syria, because it is fraught with the threat of losing the eastern regions of Turkey, densely populated by Kurds. And this is where the Turks come into conflict with the US, and even clashes have occurred — when the US shot down a Turkish drone. But they shot it down because that drone, like the Turkish airplane, was striking at the Kurds. And the Kurds are a proxy force, supervised by the US. So this is where the United States and Turkey are in conflict.
The situation with Israel. The U.S. is on the side of Israel, while Turkey is de facto on the side of Palestine. There is a serious conflict there too. However, in the part of Zangezur corridor in the zone of this conflict Turkey will be on the side of Azerbaijan, and in this respect it may come into conflict with Iran, which does not want such a corridor to appear, which cuts off Iran from Central Asia and creates a threat to it from the east. So Iran could also be drawn into this conflict, as could Russia. This is a very favorable option for the U.S., as it justifies the probability of Turkey’s entry into the conflict with Iran, and here we can expect that Saudi Arabia will also join in. Then, together with Israel, the U.S. could create an anti-Iranian coalition that could try to launch military action against Iran in order to defeat it.
This is roughly the scenario I see for the solution of the Iranian issue on the part of the US and the West. These knots are closely tied, and each of them has a lot of subtle points. All the Western plans that I am considering now have such vulnerable points, so it is impossible to say that they will be strictly implemented. However, there is an aspiration in this direction. And how it will turn out will depend on many factors that are not even visible now.
To be continued.