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Old 10-09-2020, 02:25 AM
Fallenkezef Fallenkezef is offline
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Originally Posted by RN7 View Post
This whole affair is being stoked by Erdogan who is a dangerously deluded SOB and a pan-Turkish nationalist and a hardline Islamist. That coup against him in 2016 was probably orchestrated by him or people who support him to eliminate any opposition to his control over the Turkish state. Erdogan has ambitions of revitalising a pseudo Ottoman Empire across the Middle East and the former Soviet states in the Caucasus and Central Asia. He has been flirting with Russia to emphasise the importance of Turkey to America and the West, while at the same time playing the NATO card to keep the Russians at bay.

On face value Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea, has vast oil and gas reserves, the highest GNP in the region and strong ethnic ties with Turkey, while Armenia is a land locked and resource poor nation. But thinking that Russia will ignore its history and Orthodox Christian solidarity with Armenia and favour Azerbaijan is a mistake. This won't end well for Erdogan or Azerbaijan for a number of reasons.

Russia also has access to the Caspian Sea and oil and gas reserves that dwarf anything that Azerbaijan has, while the land locked Caspian Sea is hardly as strategically important as the Black Sea or the Mediterranean.

The Armenian lobby in Moscow is also very strong and some prominent Armenian-origin journalists run Russian media outlets. Russia’s powerful Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has an Armenian father, while the largest non-Slavic diaspora in Russia is Armenian.

Russia has no military forces in Azerbaijan but has 3,300 troops based in Armenia. An army motorised-rifle brigade with 74 tanks and 12 helicopters, while the Russian Air Force also has 18 Mig-29s and two SAM batteries including one S-300V SAM battery. Russia places them there to guarantee Armenian security and Russian influence in this part of the world.

Turkey's relationship with NATO and the West has reached near breaking point. America kicked Turkey off the F-35 programme and pulled its nuclear weapons from Incirlik Air Base because it doesn't trust Erdogan and the Turkish military. Erdogan has ended traditionally good Turkish relations with Israel who has the most powerful military in the Middle East, while Turkish relations with the EU over migrants are now so bad the nobody is even talking about supporting Turkish membership of the EU anymore. For the Turkish military this is a bad situation. Turkey buys practically all its weapons from the West, especially America and Germany. If the West cuts off technical and logistical parts support the Turkish military will end up like Iran.

Although Azerbaijan has a strategic importance which draws Russian attention to it, Russia likes to supports Armenia for many reasons including the fact that its support for Armenia keeps Azerbaijan in its place and within its political orbit. Also picking a fight with a nuclear armed Russia in its own back yard is not a good idea, particularly a Russia led by Vladimir Putin. Even America wouldn't want to do this, but Erdogan thinks that Turkey can handle Vlad who's well known for not being ruthless and has a lack of inclination for retaliation against his enemies!!
I'm inclined to agree, especialy with the covid mess and looming global recession. If Turkey provokes the bear the West's response will be the usual condemnation in the UN and NATO making strongly worded statements while making it clear that the conflict is a local issue between two independent nations.
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