Aggressive behavior of Azerbaijan on the border with Armenia and Artsakh: what's next?
At the beginning of the month Baku deployed troops to the borders of Artsakh and Armenia. Azerbaijani government unlawfully demanded to organize the traffic connecting Artsakh with Armenia through a different route instead of the six-kilometer Lachin corridor. From August 3 to 6, Azerbaijani Armed Forces repeatedly violated the ceasefire. The units used grenade launchers and unmanned aerial vehicles in the direction of the positions of the Artsakh Defense Army in the regions of the Sarybaba and Buzdukh mountains, as well as in the Mardakert region. As a result of the attacks, two Artsakh servicemen were killed and fourteen were wounded. The incidents were settled by the command of the Russian peacekeepers.
Meanwhile, Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan hastened to draw the public attention to the necessity of agreement on the details of the peacekeeping operation. Concrete steps in this direction have not yet been taken. As part of measures to de-escalate the situation, the peacekeeping forces are settled in some positions along with Artsakh Forces.
At the moment the situation in Artsakh is relatively stable. In some sections of the line of contact, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces continue to provoke the ethnic population of Artsakh into retaliatory actions, using firearms of various calibers.
The attack was organised less than a month after U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken repealed Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act on July 4. This section blocked direct military assistance to the Azerbaijani government. Aliyev interpreted Blinken's actions as a green light for aggression. Taking advantage of the fact that the American establishment is puzzled by the Ukraine and Taiwan issues, Aliyev resumed the offensive.
Official Washington does not directly comment on the aggressive actions of Baku. According to the statement of the head of the press service of the State Department, Ned Price, the intense fighting around Nagorno-Karabakh caused deep concern to the US leadership. Following the discussion of the conflict with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Blinken noted that America is ready to cooperate on a bilateral basis with like-minded partners as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group to facilitate the dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In fact, the White House is increasing diplomatic activity in the region in order to oust the Kremlin from the South Caucasus region.
The Russian leadership is focused on solving such issues as the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the unblocking of transport communications. Moscow supports Yerevan in all available ways, preventing Baku from disarming the Artsakh Defense Army.
The likelihood of a resumption of full-scale hostilities is extremely high. Trampling on the trilateral agreements between the leaders of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan, Baku ignores the clause of the statement of November 9, 2020 on the transfer of prisoners of war. President Ilham Aliyev is blackmailing with military force and making unlawful demands on the Armenian side. The Azerbaijani military-political leadership is "creating" legitimate grounds for a new war. Armed incidents are tactical steps in this direction. It is also worth considering that Aliyev has been consistently trying to move the conflict to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border for a long time.