Azerbaijan declares control over Nagorno-Karabackh

President Ilham Aliyev has claimed victory after Azerbaijani troops launched a fierce offensive in the Armenian separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh agreed to a ceasefire that includes Armenian fighters laying down their weapons. Thousands of Armenians have fled the area. Commentators discuss causes, failures and consequences.

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Guarantee the population’s safety

The world must do all it can to protect the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, De Volkskrant urges:

“Now the international parties — the EU, the US, but above all Turkey as an ally of Azerbaijani President Aliyev — must put as much pressure as possible on Azerbaijan to prevent the ethnic powder keg of Nagorno-Karabakh from exploding. An ethnic ‘cleansing’, or even genocide, must be prevented in the enclave. The safety of these citizens must now be the priority.”

Peter Giesen
Tygodnik Powszechny (PL) /

Government in Yerevan in a precarious position

Tygodnik Powszechny looks to the future of Armenian PM Pashinyan:

“A second lost war over Nagorno-Karabakh could mean the end of Pashinyan’s government — and political career. Armenia has long since tired of its role as hostage to Karabakh, but abandoning the region will earn Pashinyan accusations of treason. Even more so after another lost war. The exodus of Armenians from Karabakh will only add to the number of Pashinyan’s enemies, who are ready to instigate a new street revolution [like in 2018], this time to push him off the throne.”

Wojciech Jagielski
Večernji list (HR) /

Russia’s revenge on the Armenians

Nagorno-Karabakh’s swift defeat was only possible because Putin gave the green light, Večernji list suspects:

“Perhaps Pashinyan has realised that he will not get the help the US promised to him before and after the military exercise Eagle Partner 2023. ... This exercise, in the eyes of many experts, is the reason why Vladimir Putin gave Azerbaijan the go ahead to take the rest of the territory and thus punish the disobedient Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, who turned his back on Putin and moved too close to the US. ... The demonstrators gathered outside the Russian embassy in Yerevan to protest against Russia show that the Armenians are aware of this.”

Hassan Haidar Diab (RO) /

Dubious gas partner in Baku

The EU has clearly chosen the wrong energy partner in Azerbaijan, says

“The prospect of a new war in the Caucasus is a serious strategic and diplomatic setback for the EU, which has been courting Azerbaijan as an ally and alternative gas supplier to Russia. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen paid an official visit to Azerbaijan in July 2022 to lobby for an increase in natural gas exports. Describing the country as a ‘trustworthy partner’, she signed a memorandum with President Ilham Aliyev on closer economic cooperation, even though experts warned that Brussels was simply replacing one autocracy with another here.”

Marco Darius Badea
T24 (TR) /

Look at who benefits

We should take a closer look at whose interests are at stake here, warns T24:

“Azerbaijan is worried about the presence of a large number of armed Armenians in Karabakh. After 30 years of waiting, Baku doesn’t want the problem to come to a standstill in its present form and remain unresolved for another 30 years. Baku will take full control of Nagorno-Karabakh, but whether peace will come to the region remains to be seen. There should be careful reflection on who will be most gratified by Baku’s latest move, Pashinyan’s loss of power and his being replaced with a more radical government, as well as the fact that the Caucasus can’t achieve stability — and what risks are taken for short-term gains.”

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