Armenia's truce violations amid rising tensions & strategic weapons deals with France
    Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it

    ANALYTICS  23 June 2024 - 15:31

    Fuad Muxtar-Agbabali

    Recent months have seen a resurgence of reported truce violations along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, with the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry detailing multiple incidents of Armenian forces targeting Azerbaijani positions. This uptick in border skirmishes occurs against a backdrop of significant military acquisitions by Armenia from France and ongoing supplies from India, raising questions about the motivations behind Armenia’s actions and the broader geopolitical implications.

    Chronology of truce violations

    June 12, 2024: Armenian armed forces fired on Azerbaijani positions in Havush, Nurgut, and Guney Gishlag settlements in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

    June 13, 2024: Azerbaijani positions in Yukhari Buzgov, Babak District of Nakhchivan, came under fire.

    June 14, 2024 (07:15): Armenian forces attacked Azerbaijani positions near Akhura settlement of Sharur District in Nakhchivan.

    June 14, 2024 (13:55): Azerbaijani positions in Sadarak District, Nakhchivan, were targeted.

    June 16, 2024: On June 16, at 00:50, the Armenian armed forces units from the positions located in the direction of Bardzruni settlement of Yeghegnadzor region using small arms subjected to fire the Azerbaijan Army positions stationed in the direction of Shada settlement of Shahbuz region of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

    June 21, 2024: Positions in Mollabayramli settlement, Kalbajar District, were fired upon.

    June 22, 2024: Another incident in Mollabayramli, Kalbajar, with Armenian forces engaging Azerbaijani troops.

    The resurgence in border tensions coincides with Armenia’s significant military acquisitions from France and India. In particular, Armenia’s purchase of 36 CAESAR self-propelled artillery units from France and various advanced weaponry from India, including anti-tank missile systems and attack drones, suggests a strategic military buildup.

    Possible motivations behind Armenia's actions

    Despite public declarations of peace, Armenia’s procurement of advanced offensive weaponry indicates preparations for potential conflict. This might be an attempt to strengthen its bargaining position in ongoing negotiations.

    Armenian domestic opposition remains a significant factor. Political factions opposed to a peace deal with Azerbaijan may be using border skirmishes to undermine the current government’s position and derail the peace process.

    The involvement of Western nations, particularly the US and France, might be encouraging Armenia to adopt a more aggressive stance. These countries could be using Armenia to maintain influence in the South Caucasus, countering Russia and bolstering their strategic foothold.

    Azerbaijan is set to host the COP29 summit in November 2024, a significant international event. Armenia’s provocations could be aimed at undermining Azerbaijan’s international standing and distracting from its diplomatic and environmental initiatives.

    Implications & conclusion

    The escalating tensions and Armenia’s aggressive posturing raise the risk of renewed conflict, potentially destabilizing the region further. Azerbaijan, committed to the peace process and focused on diplomatic engagement, finds itself in a precarious position, needing to balance military readiness with diplomatic initiatives.

    The international community, particularly mediating powers, must recognize the delicate balance required to sustain peace efforts. Diplomatic pressure on Armenia to adhere to truce agreements and meaningful engagement in the peace process is crucial to preventing another destructive conflict.

    Understanding the motivations behind Armenia’s recent actions is essential for formulating effective diplomatic responses and ensuring that the region does not slide back into full-scale war. The strategic military deals with France and India, coupled with domestic political dynamics and plots to undermine the domestic situation in Armenia, are key factors in interpreting the rationale behind Armenia’s border violations.

    Caliber.Az

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