Kannik: Azeris know that Russia cannot protect Armenia

Indrek Kannik.
Indrek Kannik. Source: ERR

Indrek Kannik, head of the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS), told "AK" that Azerbaijan seized Nagorno-Karabakh with the knowledge that Russia, which had previously supported Armenia, cannot protect them now, because all of its forces are focused on the war in Ukraine.

Kannik said that Russia's war Ukraine is the primary reason why Azerbaijan troops entered Nagorno-Karabakh.

"The Azeris are aware that Russia could not realistically support Armenia, even if it wanted to, as all of Russia's forces and resources are dedicated to the war in Ukraine," he said.

According to him, the Karabakh region should now be at peace for some time.

"This territory is currently controlled by Azerbaijan. The key issue is whether ethnic cleansing can be prevented. Can it be ensured that the Armenians who presently reside there will be able to do so? This is the key to the future: whether Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Turkey can establish more stable and routine relations than they have over the past 30 years," Kannik said.

According to Kannik, the Armenians' fear of ethnic cleansing in Karabakh is understandable given that a similar event transpired 30 years ago.

"In the late 1980s and early 1990s, when this conflict erupted, both Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan endured pogroms. The Azeri population of Nagorno-Karabakh has been expelled, and Armenians have fled cities in Azerbaijan," he said.

Long-term peace would also be the best solution for Estonia, Kannik said. "This would reduce the chances of Russia being an influence there, and in the long run, for Georgia to turn in a favorable for us direction," he said.  

Representatives from Nagorno-Karabakh and the Azerbaijani government met on Thursday to discuss the future of the region that Azerbaijan says is now entirely under its control following a military offensive this week, Baku state media reports.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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