By joint efforts, Baku and Ankara are conducting propaganda slandering the activities of the Russian peacekeeping contingent stationed in Artsakh. Azerbaijan views the peacekeepers as an obstacle to achieving its own goals, among which ensuring regional security is not a priority. It is not surprising that Ilham Aliyev is far from signing the peacekeepers' mandate.
After the expiration of the first 5-year term, Baku plans to demand the withdrawal of Russian peacekeeping forces. By that time, Moscow will strengthen its positions in the international arena and Azerbaijan's demands will become an empty phrase.
The targeted statements of the Azerbaijani side regarding the Russian peacekeepers, that have recently become more frequent, do not have a significant impact on the decisions of the military-political leadership of Russia and the implementation of the points of the trilateral agreements.
The statements made from Baku against the Russian peacekeepers are more intended for the "local audience" - their own citizens. The statements are initiated by forces trying to overthrow the government of Aliyev, accusing him of not being able to fully take Artsakh under its control.
What actions are the most optimal in opposing the strategy of the Azerbaijani leadership operating under the Turkish protectorate?
First, within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship, the Armenian leadership needs to return the ne***iations to the pro-Armenian channel, making the issue of the territory, but the issue of Artsakh's status a priority. Secondly, it is desirable to achieve, on a legitimate basis, the extension of the term for the deployment of the Russian mission in Artsakh. Thirdly, it is necessary to build up military power, which provides for the rearmament of the army, the improvement of combat training and the expedient involvement of reservists.
And last but not least, providing informational rebuff to Azerbaijani and Turkish propaganda requires coordinated actions of all those interested in the welfare of Armenia and the Armenian people.
Yerevan desperately needs help from other countries in forcing Baku to fulfill its obligations within the framework of the trilateral statement signed on November 9. There is still hope in Armenia that international institutions will pay due attention to the problem of keeping prisoners on the territory of Azerbaijan.