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 Friday, April 30 2021 11:57
David Stepanyan

Forecast: A new Putin-Erdogan deal on the South Caucasus and Ukraine  is by no means out of the question

 Forecast: A new Putin-Erdogan deal on the South Caucasus and Ukraine  is by no means out of the question

ArmInfo. Apparently, 2021 will be no less difficult for our region than 2020. Several interrelated factors provide the basis for this statement. A similar opinion was  expressed to  ArmInfo by the professor of the Georgian Technical  University, Doctor of International Relations, conflictologist Amiran  Khevtsuriani.

"We see that in the situation around Ukraine, Russian President  Vladimir Putin quite deliberately took a time-out. A few days  earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the construction  of the Nord Stream 2 will definitely be completed by the summer.   Meanwhile, thanks to the pipeline, Ukraine is losing the status of an  energy corridor - Russian gas will be 100% transported to Europe via  the new route. In this light, the Kremlin is not interested in  escalating the situation in Ukraine. At least for now," he said.  At  the same time, according to Khevtsuriani, the situation around  Ukraine, due to a number of internal Russian and internal Ukrainian  factors, remains alarming. In this light, he does not rule out the  unleashing of large-scale hostilities in the south-east of the  country by the end of summer and early autumn. According to his  forecasts, in the event of such a development, the West will  immediately "express indignation", but as always will limit itself to  sanctions. And the "Old Europe" will start running with papers, and  it is absolutely possible that it will blame the Ukrainian government  for the aggravation of the situation, as it was in the case of  Georgia in 2008.

And here, according to the conflictologist, the Turkish factor comes  to the fore again. And even more precisely, the need to neutralize  Turkey, which does not hide its sympathy for Ukraine and periodically  supplies weapons to Kiev. According to Khevtsuriani, such  neutralization without a "piece of chocolate" is unthinkable. And  such a" piece of chocolate " may once again be Russia's strategic  ally Armenia. Thus, according to his estimates, it is possible that  Putin may offer Erdogan another opportunity for free action in the  South Caucasus in exchange for firm neutrality in the Ukrainian  issue.

"The mention of the need to unblock communications in the trilateral  statement on Karabakh signed on November 9 last year gives Baku the  opportunity to demand the so-called Zangezur corridor, through which  Azerbaijan seeks to get a connection with the Nakhchivan Autonomous  Republic. The latter is categorically unacceptable for Armenia.   Accordingly, Yerevan's disobedience may lead to the launch of a new  military campaign in the South Caucasus, as Ilham Aliyev has  repeatedly hinted. And the recent recognition by US President Biden  of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire is an additional  argument motivating Ankara to conclude another deal with Moscow.   Especially if the latter pays for it with a "piece of chocolate", -  the conflictologist summed up.


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