ArmInfo.The large-scale organized military operation (in Nagorno-Karabakh) itself is not surprising, a new phenomenon was that Baku was not satisfied with the first successes. Now it is difficult to say what realistic goals may be, whether he really seeks to recapture the entire Nagorno- Karabakh.
The offensive continues, because its goal is to mix the cards, change the existing status quo. Turkey is seeking this. She wants to intensify her activities in the Transcaucasus as the patron saint of Azerbaijan. Ankara seeks to initiate negotiations with Russia. This opinion was expressed in an interview with the Polish Radio (Polskie Radio) by the well-known Polish political scientist Mateus Chudziak, an expert at the Warsaw Center for Oriental Studies.
Speaking about what the Turks are striving for, the expert noted that the first goal concerns Azerbaijan. From there, the Turks import energy resources, receiving an alternative source of their supply to Russia. This is essential from a strategic point of view. In addition, the spheres of politics, economics, and the spread of "soft power" are important. In the past 30 years, the Turks have seriously invested in Azerbaijan, which was associated with both the economy and self-awareness. Pan-Turkic sentiments are strong in Turkish society, and in this context, Azerbaijan is of great importance. Thus, Turkey's unprecedented activity is designed to protect Turkish interests in the Transcaucasus, which Moscow has considered its sphere of influence for over 200 years.
The next goal, in his opinion, concerns interaction with Russia. Ankara believes that the architecture of relations on the international platform (in the Transcaucasus, in the Middle East) is changing, and this opens up new opportunities for it. The United States, according to the Turks, is losing the role of the world gendarme, the world order is being transformed, and in these conditions Turkey can "snatch" something. From her point of view, the Caucasus is the most suitable area for the spread of influences. Moreover, Ankara considers it necessary to reformat its multifaceted and uneasy relationship with Russia. On the one hand, they have a place for cooperation in the field of energy (the Turkish Stream gas pipeline was recently launched). In addition, the Turks bought the S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems from the Russians. At the same time, in recent years, they have consistently tried to reduce the volume of gas imports from Russia, and in this area Azerbaijan is their key (though not the only) partner. According to the expert, Ankara is competing with Moscow in Syria, Libya, and claims to be deployed in the Transcaucasus. Turkey's involvement in the Karabakh conflict is aimed at initiating negotiations with Russia, taking part in the process of resolving the situation in the region. The more such fields for negotiations, the more opportunities there are to contact the Russians and, on the one hand, to achieve some concessions (including on Syria and Libya), and on the other, to compensate for the strategic, military and political superiority of Moscow by entangling it in very difficult game in various areas and different parts of the world.
Speaking directly about the escalation of hostilities in Karabakh, the expert noted that the problem is that Turkey and Azerbaijan take a maximalist position. "I don't know if they really believe that they can recapture Nagorno-Karabakh, how they assess their forces in this context, but so far they have not softened their rhetoric. The Turks say that "the Armenian occupation must end," without explaining whether they mean the territory of Karabakh directly or also the occupied territories adjacent to it. Part of the use of harsh rhetoric can be explained by the fact that the Turks always raise the stakes a lot at first, the world is already used to this>, he stressed, adding that the minimum plan is an attempt to change the status quo through significant territorial acquisitions of Azerbaijan, best of all those that will force Russia to join the political settlement and create a situation allowing Turkey to become its equal interlocutor. In this context, having the right to vote as a mediator in the OSCE Minsk Group is one of Ankara's requirements. Until now, she did not have the status of an equal participant in the negotiations, and it is not known how the mediating countries (USA, Russia and France) will react to her activity. Turkey supports Azerbaijan's actions, because so far in case of a truce in political terms, it will not win in any way. If the fighting stops now, but Russia does not actively join the negotiations, the work of international organizations serving to resolve the situation is not launched, the Turks will not receive any benefit.
Therefore, Turkey is interested in such an aggravation of the situation, which will persuade other countries to admit that it will not be possible to do without its full participation in the negotiations. This is the main goal, so, apparently, until Ankara achieves it, at least it will not soften the rhetoric. There are reasonable assumptions that the Azerbaijani offensive began with the suggestion of Turkey, and it would not have acquired such a scale, if it were not for the confidence in its absolute political support. Ankara is actively involved politically in this conflict, because it has certain goals that it seeks to achieve. Answering the question why the Turks decided to do it all right now, the political scientist called this moment optimal. First, Moscow is not as strong as in previous years. She had difficulties with Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, where another revolution took place. Russia found itself "under a magnifying glass" after the attempt to poison Navalny; internal problems associated with both the pandemic and public protests are growing there. "If not now, then when else," the Turks reflect.
Of course, the intra-Turkish context is also important. Turkey is also experiencing difficulties in connection with a difficult economic and volatile epidemiological situation, which threatens to worsen. The authorities are very much afraid of this. Helping fraternal Azerbaijan allows the Turkish leadership to "gain points" in society, since nationalist sentiments and pan-Turkic ideas are very strong in it. In Turkey, they feel a strong connection with other Turkic peoples, primarily with Azerbaijanis, and this allows them to mobilize society. All political and public groups, with the exception of the Kurds, support the activity of Ankara, the actions of their government and Azerbaijanis. So in the context of the Turkish and Russian domestic political situation, this is a very good moment for Turkey, which can decisively side with Azerbaijan and try to become a participant in the political game in the Transcaucasus.
As the expert noted, Turkish tactics are called "playing several pianos". It remains active in Syria, strengthens military bases in Somalia and Qatar, is conducting military operations in Libya, is present in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, and now we see its involvement in the situation in the Caucasus. Ankara is developing its activities, believing that it can strengthen its influence in some places. As a consequence, in the orbit of its current goals, there may be concessions in Libya or Syria. There, Russia has a noticeable advantage, and Turkey may try, by tying it in with negotiations on the Transcaucasus, to achieve some progress, for example, regarding Idlib, this is important for it. Policy towards Russia as a whole is no less important. Ankara, realizing to what extent Moscow is superior to it, wants to try to achieve the position of an equal partner in negotiations with it. This is the main goal.