Major news day for Russia: In conclusion of his working visit to Iran, Vladimir Putin answered questions from the media.

July 20, 2022

In conclusion of his working visit to Iran, Vladimir Putin answered questions from the media.

Question: Mr President, some would think the world has forgotten about Syria amid the numerous issues on the international agenda. But we have seen today that this is not so.

We would like to hear your views on the situation on the ground in Syria. A great deal has been said today about points of contact, but there are many differences as well. Have you discussed or coordinated any fundamentally new solutions today? I am referring primarily to these differences.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: What I would like to begin with is not the differences but the fundamental issues that allow us to work and continue our efforts in the trilateral format. All of us believe that it I necessary to guarantee the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to eliminate all sorts of terrorists, which I will not enumerate here. This is the fundamental and the most important thing, as we have pointed out again in our joint statement. I believe that this is very important.

Yes, there are certain differences, which is obvious, but all of us support the constitutional process. Thanks to our efforts, we have brought together various conflicting parties at one negotiating platform, including the opposition and the official authorities of the Syrian Arab Republic, experts and representatives of public organisations, as well as the UN. I believe this is extremely important. This is the first point.

The second. Humanitarian aid is being provided to Syria, for which there is particularly great demand today, because the sanctions imposed on Syria and the Syrian people have produced a deplorable result: nearly 90 percent of people in Syria are living below the poverty line. The situation in Syria is extremely serious.

Of course, it would be unfair to give priority attention to certain groups, to politicise humanitarian aid.

Third. There are different approaches to organising humanitarian aid. We have always believed that it should be organised in full compliance with international humanitarian law. This means that all humanitarian aid must be provided through the official Syrian authorities, through Damascus. However, we have agreed to extend the existing procedure for six months, including for deliveries to the Idlib zone, so as to have more time for coordinating our positions.

There is some disagreement about what is happening in Northern Syria. Incidentally, we also have some common ground here: all of us believe that US troops should leave this area. This is the first point. And they should stop looting the Syrian state, the Syrian people, taking their oil illegally. But there is disagreement about how to organise and stabilise the situation in that region. As you know, Russian-Turkish observation convoys are working there together.

However, in our view, in order to ensure a long-term, stable situation there it is necessary to transfer the entire territory under the control of the official authorities in Damascus, under the control of the Armed Forces of the Syrian Arab Republic, and then it will be possible to hold a dialogue with those who are responsible – in this case the official Syrian authorities. I believe it would greatly stabilise the situation there.

But in general, it is work in progress. As I have said many times and would like to stress once again, the work of this tripartite group – Russia, Turkiye and Iran – this joint effort to search for compromises and find these compromises has led to the fact that over 90% of Syria is now under official government control and, as we say in such cases, we have broken the back of international terrorism there. This is a great result of this joint work.

Question: Mr President, you had three one-on-one meetings today, first with Mr Raisi, then with Mr Khamenei, and then with Mr Erdogan, and there were no news conferences after these meetings. All we know is the topic you were discussing, the official part.

In particular, you said that you discussed the grain issue with your Turkish counterpart, the issue of supplying Russian and Ukrainian grain to international markets. Could you tell us some more about that, please?

Vladimir Putin: There are no secrets here; in fact, almost everything is known. There are some subtleties; maybe I do not always have time to follow what is happening in the information field. I will tell you how I see it.

First, what was the highlight of the three meetings? At each meeting, there were issues that could be considered central to a particular bilateral meeting.

For example, as I said at the news conference, in my press statement, the main theme at the meeting with the Spiritual Leader of Iran was strategic issues, including developments in the region. This is natural, as it is the sphere of his activity. It was very important for me to hear his opinion, his assessment. I have to say that we have very similar views with Iran on many aspects. So, it was very important and very useful.

As for my meeting with President Raisi, we discussed primarily economic matters. I would like to note that Russian-Iranian trade has grown by 40 percent over the past six months. This is a very good indicator.

There are promising spheres for our cooperation, and there is a great variety of them, like infrastructure development. You may know that a deputy prime minister of the Russian Government chairs a group that is responsible for developing relations in the South Caucasus, including infrastructure projects in the South Caucasus, that is, in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. A great deal can be achieved in this sphere in cooperation with Iran.

As you know, the first pilot train is travelling along the North-South Railway line. It is a short route to ports in the south of Iran, which further leads to the Persian Gulf and India.

There is a practical project: the Rasht-Astara railway is a short 146-kilometre line across Iran. Azerbaijan is interested in its construction. I recently met with President Aliyev during the Caspian Summit, and we discussed this matter. Iran is interested in this as well, as our Iranian partners have told us just now. Russia is interested in this, because it will connect Russia’s northern region, St Petersburg, directly to the Persian Gulf. It is a very interesting and promising project. The task now is to build this line, which is only 146 kilometres. Russia is ready to do this.

We need to coordinate the conditions of this construction project. We have discussed its general outlines with our Iranian partners and friends, and we have coordinated it with Azerbaijan. I hope we will get down to business now. And then, it will be an interesting job for us. It actually amounts to exporting the services of Russian Railways (RZD). This is one of the relevant examples.

There are other spheres. There are security issues relevant to Iran’s nuclear programme. It was very important for us to understand the sentiments of the Iranian party regarding this work. It also involves Russia, which is contributing to the joint efforts aimed at relaunching interaction between Iran and the IAEA. I will not speak about this now, but Russia is playing a considerable role in this.

The grain issue. It is what we discussed with the President of Turkiye. I have already said that the Republic of Turkiye and personally President Erdogan have done a great deal to facilitate the agreement on Ukrainian grain exports. But initially we suggested that it should be adopted as a package, that is, we would facilitate the Ukrainian grain exports provided all the restrictions on the potential exports of Russian grain are lifted. This is what we initially agreed upon with international organisations. They pledged to formulate this as a package solution. Nobody has so far raised any objections, including our American partners. We will see what comes of it in the near future.

As you know, the Americans have actually lifted restrictions, for example, on the delivery of Russian fertilisers to the global market. I hope this will also happen with regard to the export of Russian grain if they really want to improve the situation on the global food markets. As I have said, we are ready to do this right now. We can export 30 million tonnes of grain, and our export potential based on this year’s harvest will be 50 million tonnes.

Question: Mr President, a serious energy crisis is developing in Europe, which is discussing the possibility of Gazprom cutting off gas deliveries. The company has allegedly issued an official notification to one of its German clients, citing force majeure circumstances.

Are there grounds for accusing Russia of causing this energy crisis? Will Gazprom continue to honour its obligations

Vladimir Putin: First of all, Gazprom has always honoured, and will continue to honour its commitments.

There are no grounds at all for the attempts by our partners to shift or try to shift the blame for their own mistakes on Russia and Gazprom.

What is the situation with energy deliveries? In 2020, in the first half of 2020, gas cost 100 euros per 1,000 cubic metres in Europe. The price rose to 250 euros in the first half of 2021. Today it is 1,700 euros per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.

What is happening? I have spoken about this on numerous occasions, and I do not know if we should go into detail regarding the energy policies of European countries, which underrate the importance of traditional sources of energy and have put money on non-traditional energy sources. They are big experts on non-traditional relations, and they have also decided to make a bid for non-traditional energy sources like the sun and wind.

Last winter was long, there wasno wind, and that did it. Investment in the fixed assets of traditional energy producers has decreased because of previous political decisions: banks do not finance them, insurance companies do not insure them, local governments do not allocate land plots for new projects, and pipeline and other forms of transportation are not developing. This is a result of many years, probably a decade of this policy. This is the root cause of price hikes rather than any actions by Russia or Gazprom.

What is going on today? Until recently, we supplied gas to Europe without Turkiye: we supplied around 30 billion cubic metres a year to Turkiye, and 170 billion to Europe, 55 billion via Nord Stream 1, and, if memory serves me, 33 billion were supplied via Yamal-Europe, via the two strings that run through Ukraine. About 12 billion were delivered to Europe through Turkiye via TurkStream.

Ukraine suddenly announced that it was going to close one of the two routes on its territory. Allegedly because the gas pumping station is not under its control but on the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic. But it found itself under the control of the Lugansk People’s Republic several months before, and they closed it just recently without any grounds. Everything was functioning normally there, no one interfered. In my opinion, they closed it simply for political reasons.

What happened next? Poland imposed sanctions on Yamal-Europe, which supplied 33 billion cubic metres of gas. They used to take 34, I think, 33–34 million cubic metres a day from us. They shut it down completely. But then we saw that they turned on the Yamal-Europe pipeline in reverse mode, and they started taking about 32 million a day from Germany. Where is the gas from Germany coming from? It is our Russian gas. Why from Germany? Because it turned out to be cheaper for the Poles. They used to get it from us at a very high price, closer to the market price, whereas Germany gets it from us 3–4 times cheaper than the market price under long-term contracts.

It is profitable for German companies to sell it to the Poles at a small premium. It is profitable for the Poles to buy it because it is cheaper than to buy it directly from us. But the volume of gas in the European market has decreased, and the total market price has gone up. Who has won? All Europeans only lost. This is the second point: Yamal-Europe.

So, first one of the routes in Ukraine was shut down, then Yamal-Europe was shut down, now Nord Stream 1, which is one of the main routes – we pump 55 billion cubic metres a year through it. There are five Siemens gas compressor stations working there, and one is on standby. One compressor had to be sent out for repairs. A repaired compressor was supposed to come from Canada, from the Siemens plant in Canada, to replace it. But it ended up under sanctions in Canada. So, one pumping station, just one piece of equipment was out of order because of scheduled maintenance work and it has not been returned from Canada.

Now we are being told that the unit will be delivered from Canada soon, but Gazprom does not have any official documents yet. We must certainly obtain them, because this is our property, it is the property of Gazprom. Gazprom should receive not only the hardware, not only the gas pumping unit, but also the accompanying documents, both legal and technical documentation. We must be able to see what Gazprom is taking – the turbine’s current condition as well as its legal status, whether it is under sanctions or not, what we can do with it, or maybe they are taking it back tomorrow. But that is not all.

The problem is that at the end of July, on July 26, I think – we can ask Gazprom – another turbine should be sent for routine maintenance, for repairs. And where will we get a replacement from? We do not know.

One more turbine is actually out of order because of some crumbling of its internal liner. Siemens has confirmed this. That leaves two operational units, which are pumping 60 million per day. So, if one more is delivered, fine, we will have two in operation. But if it is not, only one will be left, and it will pump only 30 million cubic meters per day. You can count how much time it will take to pump the rest. How is this Gazprom’s responsibility? What does Gazprom even have to do with this? They have cut off one route, then another, and sanctioned this gas pumping equipment. Gazprom is ready to pump as much gas as necessary. But they have shut everything down.

And they have fallen into the same trap with the import of oil and petroleum products. We hear all sorts of crazy ideas about capping the volume of Russian oil imports or the price of Russian oil. This is going to lead to the same situation as with gas. The result (I am surprised to hear people with university degrees saying this) will be the same – rising prices. Oil prices will spiral.

As for gas, there is another route we are ready to open, which is Nord Stream 2. It is ready to be launched, but they are not launching it. There are problems here as well, I discussed them with the Chancellor about six or maybe eight weeks ago. I raised this issue; I said that Gazprom had reserved the capacity, and that this capacity needed to be used, and it cannot be suspended in mid-air indefinitely.

The answer was that there were other issues on the agenda, more important things, so it is difficult for them to deal with this right now. But I had to warn them that then we would have to redirect half of the volume intended for Nord Stream for domestic consumption and processing. I raised this issue at the request of Gazprom, and Gazprom has actually already done it. Therefore, even if we launch Nord Stream 2 tomorrow, it will not pump 55 billion cubic meters, but exactly half that amount. And given that we are already halfway through this year, it would be just a quarter. Such is the supply situation.

But – I said this at the beginning of my answer to your question and I want to end with this – Gazprom has always fulfilled and will always fulfil all of its obligations, as long as, of course, anyone needs it. First, they themselves close everything, and then they look for someone to blame – it would be comical if it were not so sad.

Question: You spoke with Mr Erdogan today. He has repeatedly stated his readiness to arrange talks between you and Vladimir Zelensky. Has this issue surfaced today? Are you ready to meet with the President of Ukraine?

Vladimir Putin: President Erdogan is making a lot of efforts to create the necessary conditions for normalising the situation. It was during our talks in Istanbul that we actually reached an agreement, and it only remained to initial it. But, as you know, after that, when our troops, in order to create the right conditions, withdrew from central Ukraine, from Kiev, the Kiev authorities backed off on those agreements. These were agreements that had actually been achieved. So, you see that the final result depends, of course, not on intermediaries, but on the parties’ commitment to fulfil the agreements reached. And we can see today that the Kiev authorities have no interest in that.

As for Turkiye’s efforts, as well as other countries’ proposals – Saudi Arabia has offered its mediation services, and the United Arab Emirates, and they do have such capabilities – we are grateful to all our friends who are interested in resolving this crisis for providing their opportunities. Even their willingness to make some contribution to this noble cause is worth a lot. We are deeply grateful for that.

Iran in South Caucasus: Turning losses into wins

Determined not to be cut out of the South Caucasus, Iran is forging strategic ties with both Baku and Yerevan

July 11 2022

Photo Credit: The Cradle

By Yeghia Tashjian

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi have averted conflict through geo-economic compromise

At the end of the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war – which Azerbaijan won with Turkish support and Russian diplomacy – Iran was widely seen by analysts as the conflict’s biggest loser, in terms of its regional strategic interests.

Without wasting much time, however, Tehran flipped those fortunes by very proactively engaging its soft power in the South Caucasus to advance its geo-economic interests. This is arguably due to Iran’s concerns over Turkish-Azerbaijani expansionist designs in the region.

In the main, Iran has sought to revitalize its relations with Azerbaijan to mitigate Turkey’s push for control over the Zangezur Corridor, a strategic transportation route bypassing Armenian territory close to the Iranian border.

The corridor’s opening is said to be dependent upon the development of a comprehensive Armenian-Azerbaijani agreement. In this regard, Tehran is engaging with both countries simultaneously, and in doing so has helped reduce Baku’s political pressure on Yerevan.

Resetting relations with Azerbaijan

On March 11, 2022, Azerbaijan and Iran signed an agreement to establish new railway, highway, and energy supply lines connecting the southern territories of the disputed Karabakh region (captured by Azerbaijan) to the Azerbaijani Nakhichevan exclave.

According to the agreement, the new highway will be 55 km long and will pass through northern Iran, eventually connecting to Nakhichevan. In addition to the highway, two railway bridges and a road bridge will be constructed over the bordering Arax River.

Iranian political analyst Vali Kaleji says these projects have geo-economic significance for both Azerbaijan and Iran.

For Baku, the construction of this highway is essential for several reasons. First, it is a continuation of an already existing highway in Azerbaijan and will draw investment into the southern regions of Karabakh currently under the control of Baku.

Second, the 55-km highway through Iran will offer an alternative to the Zangezur corridor that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was pushing for after the trilateral statement, which put an end to hostilities – for now – between Baku and Yerevan.

Despite the fact that the trilateral statement called for the opening of trade routes and communication, it did not mention anything about a ‘corridor.’ President Aliyev has largely promoted the Zangezur Corridor idea for domestic consumption while adding political pressure on Armenia to sign a peace treaty over Nagorno-Karabakh.

To date, Russia, Armenia and Iran have disregarded Baku’s Zangezur Corridor claims.

Peacekeeping policies

To prevent another war between Baku and Yerevan, Tehran came up with an alternative solution by providing this alternative route that will lift some pressure from Armenia’s shoulders, as Azerbaijan was threatening to gain the corridor by any means necessary.

Moreover, Baku is also concerned that if the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s government falls and the opposition comes to power, the successive government will not provide any corridor to Azerbaijan through the Armenian territories. Hence, as Keleji noted, “Baku is deliberately pursuing another option should the Zangezur Corridor not come to fruition.”

Finally, Azerbaijan will establish a link with Nakhichevan through Iran, providing additional Iranian leverage over Baku in the future.

Iranian interests

Iran, in turn, has its own considerations for allowing the construction of a highway and railway across its territory that would connect Azerbaijan proper to Nakhchivan.

In reaction to the expansionist narrative pushed by Azerbaijan over the Zangezur Corridor and Azerbaijani incursions into bordering villages in Syunik (southern Armenia), Iran drew its red lines and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened to use military force if necessary to prevent any territorial change in its 44 km border with Armenia.

As such, Tehran sees the construction of a new highway and railway line via Iran as an appropriate alternative to the Zangezur corridor that will alleviate the military pressure on southern Armenia.

For this reason, Ahmad Kazemi, an Iranian expert on the South Caucasus region, in his article “Baku’s reconciliation with geopolitical realities” wrote that Baku is pushing a “fake Zangezur corridor” to appease Turkey, Israel, NATO while following pan-Turkic dreams.

It was only last year that Aliyev declared: “The corridor that is going to pass through here is going to unite the whole Turkic world.”

For Kazemi, this “Turanic corridor” will go against the interests of Iran, Russia, and China. It is therefore inevitable that these three states will not allow geopolitical changes on Armenia’s southern borders.

Isolating Iran

Meanwhile, with the ongoing war in Ukraine, Moscow has focused its attention on the importance of the North-South trade route. According to Kaleji, strengthening this transit route will aid in countering the tightening economic sanctions and transit restrictions imposed on Russia by the west.

In this regard, the Iranian Roads and Urban Development Minister Rostam Qasemi visited Moscow on 30 April to sign a comprehensive agreement on cooperation in the field of transportation. Both countries agreed to accelerate the construction of Azerbaijani-Iranian railway to connect Moscow to the strategic Persian Gulf – a security concern of western powers since the Cold War era.

In February, during an Iranian-Armenian conference held in Yerevan, an Iranian diplomatic source told The Cradle that “Iran will take all the necessary measures to prevent the loss of the strategic Armenian-Iranian border and will do all it can to prevent a new war.

Tehran realizes that any such loss will further increase Turkish influence in the region and that Iran was an indirect target of the 2020 war in Karabakh, with the aim of isolating Iran regionally.

Within this context, the Iranian-Armenian railway line from Meghri, Armenia’s Syunik province, could have been an alternative route connecting Iran to Russia, but it suffers from high costs and has not seen any progress since 2009.

Armenia’s poor infrastructure, its conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan, and its slow progress in the construction of the North-South highway (over the past twelve years, it has implemented only five percent of the 556-kilometer highway connecting Georgia with Iran) has further isolated and slowed down Armenia’s participation in the regional economic project.

Armenia’s gateway to Asia

However, over the past four months, Iran and India have been pushing Armenia to take crucial steps to reinvigorate the north-south transport project. As a result, important meetings between Iranian and Armenian officials have been organized to address trade, transit, and energy issues.

On 2 March, leading a high-ranking delegation of trade officials and private entrepreneurs, Iranian Minister of Industry, Mining, and Trade, Reza Fatemi-Amin paid a visit to Armenia as part of Tehran’s efforts to strengthen trade ties with its neighbors.

This was the first visit to Armenia by senior Iranian officials since President Ebrahim Raisi took office in August 2021. Accompanying the delegation were the CEOs of 35 Iranian private companies.

The Iranian side stated that Tehran attaches great importance not only to the development of economic relations with Armenia but also considers it as a “gateway” to the markets of Russia and other Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member countries.

For the rail connection, Miad Salehi, head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, pointed to three possibilities for rail transit between Iran and Armenia. The first two rail connections are:

  • The Jolfa-Nakhchivan-Yerevan.
  • The Jolfa-Nurduz (in Iran) and Yerevan-Nurduz (in Armenia) railroads, which were agreed upon seven years ago though not realized.

Iran has also proposed a multi-modal transit route from Yerevan to Jolfa by road, and then southward to the port of Bandar Abbas by rail, essentially opening the gates of Asian markets for Armenia.

Iran hasn’t been pushed out of the South Caucasus  

After the trilateral statement in 2020, Iran felt isolated from the South Caucasus, though its absence did not last long. Following the election of President Raisi, Tehran adopted a proactive balanced foreign policy in its neighborhood to secure its primary geo-economic interests.

The Iranians have realized that the Zangezur Corridor poses a threat to their national security as it bypasses Iranian territory and prevents Iran from gaining transit fees from Azerbaijani trucks. But it also threatens to reshape the strategic international borders between Iran and Armenia to the benefit of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and by extension, their mutual ally, Israel.

Tehran recognizes that were Azerbaijan to succeed in imposing the Zangzur Corridor on Yerevan, Baku could connect to Turkey, Israel, and the European Union by land. Crucially, Iran also interprets this as an expanding presence of Israel and NATO on its borders.

During his Caucasian tour this month, Iran’s national security chief, Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani, held talks in Yerevan with his Armenian counterpart and Prime Minister Pashinyan, where he stressed that Tehran was against any actions leading to a geopolitical change in the region.

Rather than accepting a lesser role, Iran has successfully deployed its economic soft power to recalibrate the field and increase its leverage over Azerbaijan. On one hand, Tehran fostered the construction of a railway with Azerbaijan to connect with Russia; on the other hand, it strengthened its trade, energy, and communication projects with Baku’s archenemy, Armenia.

For now, though, Iran’s engagement with Azerbaijan over the alternative corridor has lifted the military and political pressure on Armenia, thus preventing another war near its northern borders.

Iran’s dialogue with both countries has – for now – arguably lifted Azerbaijan’s military and political pressure on Armenia, safeguarded its national interests, and prevented another war near its northern borders.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

FM Lavrov presser after talks with FM Hossein Amir-Abdollahian (Iran)

March 16, 2022

https://mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/1804343/

Ladies and gentlemen,

We have held talks with my colleague, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. The talks were held in a traditionally friendly atmosphere and were frank, concrete and useful.

We discussed the further development of our broad and multifaceted bilateral cooperation in accordance with the agreements reached by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi during his visit to Moscow on January 19-20, 2022. We are continuing to work on a new, big interstate treaty at Iran’s initiative. We expressed mutual interest in signing this basic document as soon as possible. It will reflect the current state and development prospects of the entire range of Russian-Iranian relations. We reaffirmed the principles of our interaction on the international stage.

We highlighted our trade and economic cooperation and noted the steady growth in our mutual trade despite the illegal sanctions and the pandemic. In 2021, it increased by nearly 82 percent, to more than $4 billion. We agreed to continue working to build up our business ties and enhance their quality, including at the interregional level. We confirmed that no illegal sanctions would hinder our consistent progress.

We had a constructive discussion on current international matters. We have a common stand on the promotion by our Western partners, led by the United States, of the “rules-based order,” which they want to take the place of international law. This rules-based order is the epitome of injustice and double standards, alongside the afore-mentioned illegal unilateral sanctions, which are targeting ordinary people.

We spoke up firmly in favour of making international life more democratic, based on all countries’ strict compliance with the UN Charter and its principles, and on the strengthening of the UN’s central role in international affairs. We decided to continue strengthening our effective cooperation within the framework of the UN, where our positions are traditionally very similar or coincide.

We expressed support for the decision taken at the 21st SCO summit in Dushanbe in September 2021 to launch the procedure to grant the status of full member to Iran. Tehran plays a major role in Eurasia and has been working closely with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for a long time. This interaction will now be given a new, comprehensive quality.

We facilitate a negotiating process that was launched in November 2021 to conclude a full-scale free trade agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union. We are convinced that the liberalisation of customs tariffs will positively influence the development of Russian-Iranian trade and economic ties.

We held a detailed discussion on the current situation with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Iranian nuclear programme. We support the soonest possible resumption of the full implementation of the agreement, which was formalised by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, based on a balance of interests initially stipulated by it. We are expecting the United States to return to the nuclear deal’s legal framework and to cancel the illegal US-imposed sanctions that have a painful effect on Iran, its people and a number of other countries.

We exchanged opinions on the military-political and humanitarian situation in Syria. We expressed our mutual striving to closely coordinate our actions to further attain a lasting peace and improve the humanitarian situation in this country. We agreed to continue to work together for these purposes within the framework of the Astana format, which has proven effective and which includes our Turkish colleagues.yem

We coordinated our positions on other important regional matters, including the situations in the Caspian region, the South Caucasus, Afghanistan and Yemen.

We touched on the situation in Ukraine and around it. We thanked our Iranian colleagues for their objective and well-thought-out position and for understanding Russia’s security concerns, which were caused by the destabilising actions of the United States and its NATO allies. Once again, we noted that our actions are to protect the people of Donbass from the military threat posed by the Kiev regime and to facilitate the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine in full compliance with the values contained in the UN Charter and within the framework of documents, approved at the top-level.

I believe our talks were very productive. We have agreed to maintain contact on all issues under discussion.

Mr Minister has kindly invited me to pay a reciprocal visit to Tehran. We have accepted the invitation, and will coordinate the dates soon.

I would like to use this opportunity to congratulate our Iranian friends and, in their person, all those celebrating the springtime Nowruz holiday in the approach to this bright event.

Question (translated from Farsi): They say Russia has demanded written guarantees from the United States at the talks in Vienna, so that any sanctions against Moscow would not affect its relations with Tehran. Can this prevent agreements from being reached? Or will the American side’s illogical demands lead to this?

Sergey Lavrov: We have received written guarantees. They are actually included in the text of the agreement on the resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear programme. All projects and areas of activity envisaged by the JCPOA have been protected, including the direct involvement of our companies and specialists, including cooperation on the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, which is a flagship cooperation project, and in the context of all existing plans associated with it. The Americans try to accuse us of slowing the agreement process almost every day. This is a lie. Certain capitals have yet to approve the agreement, but Moscow is not one of them.

Question (translated from Farsi, addressed to Hossein Amir-Abdollahian): Yesterday you spoke on the phone with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba. He wanted to give you a message for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. How would you comment on this?

Sergey Lavrov (adds after Hossein Amir-Abdollahian): During our meeting, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian spoke to me about the phone call he had with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. He conveyed to me Dmitry Kuleba’s wish that we need to “stop the war” as soon as possible. This is exactly what we are doing – we are stopping the war that the Kiev regime has been waging against the population of Donbass for the past eight years or more. This war must stop. Especially now, when once again we can see the true face of the radical nationalists in Kiev. Yesterday, they used Tochka-U systems to fire cluster munitions at the centre of Donetsk killing 20 and injuring even more civilians. All these facts are being hushed up in the West, which continues to whip up hysteria by spreading patent fake news.

We have handed over some materials to our Iranian friends (we are distributing them to all our counterparts). They contain concrete facts to show what the current Ukrainian government is like, what approaches Ukrainian officials (starting with the president) express, and how they treat their obligations under the United Nations Charter, UN resolutions, the OSCE and the Minsk agreements. They signed the Package of Measures and then ignored it with the connivance (or even encouragement) of our Western colleagues.

The negotiations are ongoing on Ukraine’s neutral military status with security guarantees for all participants in this process; Ukraine’s demilitarisation to prevent any threat to the Russian Federation from its territory ever; and the termination of that country’s nazification policy supported by a number of Ukrainian legal acts, including the abolition of all discriminatory restrictions imposed on the Russian language, education, culture and media in Ukraine.

Question: Russia has repeatedly said that there is no alternative to the JCPOA. There are some reports that the United States may suggest a new agreement without Russia’s participation. Does Moscow have any counter proposals?

Sergey Lavrov: This is yet another attempt to lay the blame at the wrong door. We have never made any excessive demands. All our rights in cooperation with Iran on JCPOA projects are reliably protected. If the Americans have not yet made a final decision on resuming the JCPOA, they probably want to shift the blame for this on somebody else. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that at this point, the obstacles are being created by the US’s excessive demands.

Question: The nuclear deal could unfreeze Iran’s oil exports. Would this affect Russian oil exports? Is there any mechanism to smooth over such consequences in relations between Moscow and Tehran?

Sergey Lavrov: The nuclear deal is bound to unblock Iran’s oil exports. We enthusiastically supported this important part of the agreement.

As for the impact of Iranian oil on the world market, this will affect all exporting and importing countries. There are mechanisms to prevent volatile surprises. First, there is OPEC+, of which Iran is a member. When new amounts of hydrocarbons appear in the world market, it drafts an agreement on an optimal distribution quota. I am sure that constructive work lies ahead as soon as all issues linked with Iran’s oil on the world market are settled.

Question: Having cited considerable evidence, Russia raised the issue of bio-laboratories in Ukraine. Is the international community interested in this issue? Is it ready to talk about this? Will Moscow return to this issue?

Sergey Lavrov: I would not describe the reaction of the international community as “interest.” The reaction is sooner a negative surprise and wariness. The revealed facts point to the enormous scale of the US’s unlawful activities on spreading its military bio-laboratories all over the world. There are hundreds of them, including almost 30 in Ukraine. Many of them have been established in other former Soviet states right along the perimeter of the borders of Russia, China and other countries.

We will demand that this issue be reviewed in the context of the commitments assumed by all participants in the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction. We will do all we can to force the Americans to stop blocking our proposal from 20 years ago on the need to create a special mechanism for verifying any alarming reports on the appearance of substances that may be used to develop biological weapons. They are against this mechanism because it would make any bioactivity transparent. They do not want transparency because they find it more expedient to do everything under their own control, as they have been doing up until now.

I am convinced that the international community has realised (and will realise again) that such activities are unacceptable and fraught with lethal threats to civilians on a massive scale.

Revisiting Russia’s 5th and, especially, 6th columns (UPDATED)

February 08, 2022

First, the easy one.  Russia has a typical 5th column: pro-western “liberals”, assorted agents of influence, nostalgic of the 90s (when they could plunder Russia as much as they wanted), Washington Consensus types, folks who hate Russia (for whatever reason) and dream of the day Russia will break apart, etc. etc. etc.  They are, objectively, agents of influence for the western PSYOPs.  I coined the term “Atlantic Integrationists” because, at best, these folks want Russia to be accepted by the West as an equal partner and then join all the western institutions and become the next Poland.  Of course, these folks are all russophobes, whether they admit it or not.  They think of themselves as “elites” (they like to call themselves “intelligentsia”) and they feel much superior to the “dark, illiterate, masses” who vote for monsters like Putin.  I think this is all pretty simple and I won’t discuss that any further.

Now the much more complex issue.  Russia ALSO has a 6th column.  I wrote an entire analysis of these folks in a post entitled ” Is there a 6th column trying to subvert Russia?” which you must read to understand what I am going to describe below.  I will not repeat it all here.

I will, however, offer a few reminders:

  • The western PSYOPs understood that when most Russian hear the the West and the Russian 5th column that calling Putin a “brutal dictator” they think “well, if they hate him this much, he must be defending our, Russian interests, and not the West’s imperial agenda” (Russians also remember how the West absolutely *loved* Eltsin!).  Considering that pro-western liberals represent something in the range of 1-3% (max!), the folks at the CIA or MI6 figured out that they were wasting their energy and had to come up with a different plan.
  • And somebody pretty sharp came up with the idea of calling Putin not patriotic enough, sold to the WEF and Davos, an agent of Israel and a traitor to true Russian interests.  Of course, this is NOT what western PSYOPs told the audience in the West, but in Russia the folks from the CIA and MI6 found a very fertile ground amongst the folks who, for whatever reason, were disillusioned by Putin and who were instantly willing to pick up and repeat the narrative “Putin is not patriot, he is, in fact, a weak figurehead at best, and a traitor at worst“.

Again, I wrote an entire article about that, so please do read it to understand the “hows” and the “who” of all this.

My article was written on April 30, 2020, and I think I did a decent job describing a phenomenon nobody else, at least to my knowledge, discerned or described.  But what I did not have is a “smoking gun”, the proof that my analysis was not all the product of conjectures or my misreading of the reality of Russian internal politics.

Yesterday I found that smoking gun.  And, boy, it is good, really good.  Let me explain.

There is a Russian retired Colonel-General named Leonid Ivashov.  Here is his English Wikipedia page.  It so happens that I had the chance to meet him and have a long conversation, one on one, with him in Moscow in 1993 when he was the Secretary of the Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS States.  It was quite a meeting, outside nearby firefights were taking place between the supporters of Eltsin and those who defended the Russian Parliament, so I had to pass two rings of heavily armed and very stern looking Special Forces to meet Ivashov (we met in the building where he had his offices and the guard was very strict).  The fact that he was willing to meet me, a young Russian emigre and a nobody, in such crazy circumstances speaks to the kind of man Ivashov is: very nice, soft spoken, humble and very welcoming.  We drank some Turkish coffee with cardamon (which he called “Moldavian style coffee”) together and even shared one glass of (excellent) Moldavian brandy.  If I remember correctly, Ivashov served in Moldavia, hence his love for all things Moldavian.  He made a great impression on me, he was very sober minded, superbly educated, amazingly open (especially for a Soviet-era general) and I think we parted on very friendly terms.  I want to share all this with you to be as honest as I can about what I will write next about Ivashov.

Politically Ivashov was clearly a real patriot, no doubt about it.  However, over the years, his criticism of the Kremlin policies and, eventually, Putin personally become harsher and harsher.  Over the years he became one of the figureheads of what I would call the “anti-Putin patriotic movement” in Russia.  Here are some of the talking points members of this movement often expressed:

  • Putin is a pure product of the Eltsin “family”.  He was deeply involved with the likes of Eltsin, Sobchak and the rest of the gang which took power in 1991.
  • Putin’s elections are all fake, the people of Russia hate him.
  • Far from saving Russia from disaster, Putin very much continued the Eltsin policies of the 90s, only wrapped in a pious pseudo-patriotic claptrap.
  • Putin is selling out Russia to both the West AND China.
  • Putin also sold out to Russian Jews, international Zionists and the Israelis.
  • Putin betrayed and lost Russia when he recognized the Ukronazi regime in Kiev and stopped the LDNR forces from liberating more (some would even say “all”) of the Ukraine.
  • Putin is surrounded by oligarchs whose bidding he does and whose interests he really upholds.
  • The Putin regime does nothing against all the western agents of influence in the Russian media and government structures, but he viciously represses real Russian patriots.
  • Russia is all but dead, we lost against the West, China will eat us up, economically Russia is dead too, import substitution did not even work, and Russia is still totally dependent on the West for basic stuff ranging from simply metal bolts, to microchips to entire machines.

I could go on for much longer, but I want to point out two crucial things here:

  1. The Russian liberals and the Russian anti-Putin patriots agree on many things.
  2. If what these folks say is correct, then its all over, Russia is done, and everything is lost.

That latest concept, “everything is lost”, even created a special words for those who believe that to be the case: “allislosters” (всепропальщики).

I have always contended that pro-US liberals and the allislosters fundamentally share the same ideas and are, whether they are aware of this or not, objectively advancing the kind of defeatism which the western PSYOPs want to inject in the Russian collective psyche.  That idea is what I call the “Borg ultimatum” (from the Star Trek the Next Generation series): “resistance is futile, you shall be incorporated”.

When degenerate liberals a la Muratov or pseudo-democrats like Navalnii spew that crap, they get traction with only a tiny proportion, a few percents max, of the Russian population.

But when real patriots say these things, it bring FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) into a MUCH bigger percentage of the Russian population, probably no less than 20%: not a majority, but a very sizeable minority.

Here is a machine translated (and slightly corrected) version of the text penned by General Ivashov and his supporters which was released yesterday and, very characteristically, immediately mentioned by the entire western media within hours.  Read it for yourself before we continue.  I bolded out some key sentences.

***

The Chairman of the All-Russian Officers’ Assembly, Colonel-General Leonid G. Ivashov, wrote an Appeal to the President and citizens of the Russian Federation “The Eve of War”:

Address of the All -Russian Officers’ Assembly

to the President and citizens of the Russian Federation

Today, humanity lives in anticipation of war. And war is the inevitable human sacrifice, destruction, suffering of large masses of people, the destruction of a habitual way of life, disruption of the life systems of states and peoples. A big war is a huge tragedy, someone’s grave crime. It so happened that Russia was at the center of this impending catastrophe. And, perhaps, this is the first time in its history.

Earlier, Russia (USSR) waged forced (just) wars, and, as a rule, when there was no other way out, when the vital interests of the state and society were threatened.

And what threatens the existence of Russia itself today, and are there such threats? It can be argued that there are indeed threats – the country is on the verge of ending its history. All vital areas, including demography, are steadily deteriorating, and the rate of population extinction is breaking world records. And degradation is systemic, and in any complex system, the destruction of one of the elements can lead to the collapse of the entire system.

And this, in our opinion, is the main threat to the Russian Federation. But this is an internal threat emanating from the model of the state, the quality of power and the state of society. And the reasons for its formation are internal: the non-viability of the state model, the complete incapacity and lack of professionalism of the system of power and management, passivity and disorganization of society. Any country does not live in such a state for a long time.

As for external threats, they are certainly present. But, according to our expert assessment, they are not critical at the moment, directly threatening the existence of the Russian statehood, its vital interests. Strategic stability is maintained in general, nuclear weapons are under reliable control, NATO forces are not being built up, and they do not show threatening activity.

Therefore, the situation being escalated around Ukraine is, first of all, artificial, self-serving for some internal forces, including the Russian Federation. As a result of the collapse of the USSR, in which Russia (Yeltsin) took a decisive part, Ukraine became an independent state, a member of the UN, and in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter has the right to individual and collective defense.

The leadership of the Russian Federation has not yet recognized the results of the referendum on the independence of the DPR and LPR, while at the official level more than once, including during the Minsk negotiation process, it emphasized the belonging of their territories and population to Ukraine.

It has also been said more than once at a high level about the desire to maintain normal relations with Kiev, without singling out special relations with the DPR and the LPR.

The issue of the genocide committed by Kiev in the south-eastern regions has not been raised either in the UN or in the OSCE. Naturally, in order for Ukraine to remain a friendly neighbor for Russia, it was necessary for it to demonstrate the attractiveness of the Russian model of the state and the system of power.

But the Russian Federation has not become such, its development model and the foreign policy mechanism of international cooperation repel almost all neighbors, and not only.

The acquisition of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia and their non-recognition as Russian by the international community (which means that the overwhelming number of states of the world still consider them to belong to Ukraine) convincingly shows the inconsistency of Russian foreign policy and the unattractiveness of domestic policy.

Attempts through an ultimatum and threats of the use of force to make the Russian Federation and its leadership “fall in love” are senseless and extremely dangerous.

The use of military force against Ukraine, firstly, will call into question the existence of Russia itself as a state; secondly, it will forever make Russians and Ukrainians mortal enemies. Thirdly, there will be thousands (tens of thousands) of young, healthy children killed on one side and on the other, which will certainly affect the future demographic situation in our dying countries. On the battlefield, if this happens, Russian troops will face not only Ukrainian servicemen, among whom there will be many Russian guys, but also military personnel and equipment of many NATO countries, and the member states of the alliance will be obliged to declare war on Russia.

The President of the Republic of Turkey, R. Erdogan, clearly stated on whose side Turkey will fight. And it can be assumed that two field armies and the Turkish navy will be ordered to “liberate” Crimea and Sevastopol and possibly invade the Caucasus.

In addition, Russia will definitely be included in the category of countries that threaten peace and international security, will be subject to the heaviest sanctions, will turn into an outcast of the world community, and will probably be deprived of the status of an independent state.

The president and the government, the Ministry of Defense cannot fail to understand such consequences, they are not so stupid.

The question arises: what are the true goals of provoking tension on the verge of war, and the possible unleashing of large-scale hostilities? And that there will be such, says the number and combat strength of the groups of troops formed by the parties – at least one hundred thousand soldiers on each side. Russia, baring its eastern borders, is moving formations to the borders of Ukraine.

In our opinion, the country’s leadership, realizing that it is not capable of leading the country out of the systemic crisis, and  , with the support of the oligarchy, corrupt officials, lured media and security forces, decided to activate the political line for the final destruction of the Russian statehood and the extermination of the indigenous population of the country.

And war is the means that will solve this problem in order to retain its anti-national power for a while and preserve the wealth stolen from the people. We can’t think of any other explanation.

From the President of the Russian Federation, we, the officers of Russia, demand to abandon the criminal policy of provoking a war in which the Russian Federation will be alone against the united forces of the West, to create conditions for the implementation in practice of Article 3 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and resign.

We appeal to all reserve and retired military personnel, citizens of Russia with a recommendation to be vigilant, organized, support the demands of the Council of the All-Russian Officers’ Assembly, actively oppose propaganda and the outbreak of war, prevent internal civil conflict with the use of military force.

Chairman of the All-Russian Officers’ Assembly, Colonel-General L.G. Ivashov

Source here

***

Next, what I want to do is bring all the parts I bolded out into one single paragraph.

I would call it their “creed”, the symbol of their “faith”.  Here we go:

The country is on the verge of ending its history. The non-viability of the state model, the complete incapacity and lack of professionalism of the system of power and management, passivity and disorganization of society. External threats, they are certainly present. But, according to our expert assessment, they are not critical at the moment. NATO forces are not being built up, and they do not show threatening activity. The situation being escalated around Ukraine is, first of all, artificial, self-serving for some internal forces, including the Russian Federation. (The Russian) development model and the foreign policy mechanism of international cooperation repel almost all neighbors, and not only. The acquisition of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia and their non-recognition as Russian by the international community convincingly shows the inconsistency of Russian foreign policy and the unattractiveness of domestic policy. Attempts through an ultimatum and threats of the use of force to make the Russian Federation and its leadership “fall in love” are senseless and extremely dangerous.The use of military force against Ukraine, firstly, will call into question the existence of Russia itself as a state. There will be thousands (tens of thousands) of young, healthy children killed on one side and on the other, which will certainly affect the future demographic situation in our dying countries. Military personnel and equipment of many NATO countries, and the member states of the alliance will be obliged to declare war on Russia. It can be assumed that two field armies and the Turkish navy will be ordered to “liberate” Crimea and Sevastopol and possibly invade the Caucasus. The question arises: what are the true goals of provoking tension on the verge of war, and the possible unleashing of large-scale hostilities? The country’s leadership, realizing that it is not capable of leading the country out of the systemic crisis. This may lead to an uprising of the people and a change of power in the country (and) activate the political line for the final destruction of the Russian statehood and the extermination of the indigenous population of the country. War is the means that will solve this problem in order to retain its anti-national power for a while and preserve the wealth stolen from the people. We can’t think of any other explanation. We, the officers of Russia, demand to abandon the criminal policy of provoking a war.

I submit that this is unambiguously a terminally defeatist text.  It basically says the same thing as what the Ukronazis were chanting in streets “Russians, surrender!  Russians, surrender!”. 

I am on record as saying that Russia has been at war with the Empire since at least 2013.  Yes, that war is 80% informational, about 15% economic and about 5%  kinetic.  But it was (and still is) a very real war: the Empire lost that war on January 8th 2020 and the USA lost this war on January 6th, 2021.  What is taking place now are truly mopping up operations, especially after the Joint Declaration of Russia and China!

Objectively, General Ivashov by his open letter is serving the interests of the CIA/MI6 PSYOPs, now the entire western media can say “Russian generals are opposed to Putin’s aggressive campaign against the Ukraine”.

The fact that this text was released at a time when Putin and Macron had a SIX hours long negotiation is also very telling, to put it mildly.

And then, there is this: this latest text DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS everything which Ivashov said many times over the past years.  I don’t have the time or energy to give you all the quotes, but I recommend this video from the exiled Ukrainian blogger Anatoly Sharii, who shows and explains that all in details.  The video is in Russian, but I believe that there is a way to get an auto-translation going in the YouTube captions.  If you can, I highly recommend you listen to what Sharii says.  I would summarize it by saying that Sharii correctly point out that Ivashov made a 180 and now even contradicts his own, past, views.

Personally, when I first saw that text I had to rub my eye and make sure it was not an optical illusion or a hallucination.  My next thought was that somebody must be blackmailing Ivashov.  But that is highly unlikely.  The man is already retired, I doubt that anybody has any “dirt” on him and, frankly, I don’t believe that he is a coward who would yield to such pressure or abandon his principles.  Neither is Ivashov senile, at 78 he is still has very articulate mind (as shown by his live inteviews and videos on the RuNet; he ain’t no Sleepy Joe).

Was this text a fake?

Nope, Ivashov even doubled down this video.

So what in the world happened here?

Before I answer that question, I want to touch upon something very important.

In any PSYOPs or propaganda, WHAT you see is much less important than the EFFECT of what you said will have.  So PSYOPs and propaganda are not aimed at “everybody” because people are different.  Which I won’t even bother debunking all the factual falsehoods, logical fallacies or outright idiotic nonsense this text is full of.  Most of the readers of the Saker blog easily can do that by themselves anyway.

Let me give you one example: these anti-Putin patriots constantly “warn” that there will be an uprising, an insurrection or even coup against Putin.  So the WHAT is “a warning about something”, but from an EFFECT point of view, it is very simple: FUD – to try to induce fear, uncertainty and doubt.

In the real world, there is exactly *zero* possibility of any revolt, insurrection or coup against Putin.  If anything, should the liberals or the anti-Putin patriots try to organize a Maidan in Mocow, they will be crushed not as much by the security services, as by the much larger ANTI-Maidan forces in Moscow (that already happened once in 2011-2013).  So the argument is idiotically counter-factual.  But the intended EFFECT is FUD at a time when Russia is winning on all fronts.

Not a coincidence.

That being said, what happened to Ivashov?

I see only one explanation: I would call it “ideological drunkenness”.  That is when a person’s ideological inclinations become so acute and the reality in the real world so unacceptable, that a person becomes literally “drunk” with his/her ideology.  We can currently observe that with the US Neocons, the Trump 2024 supporters, the anti-vaxxers and COVID-dissidents, and every single religious sect/cult out there.  Notice that cults always emphasize emotions over rational analysis.  You could say that their operating principle is “don’t confuse me with facts, I have my opinion made“.

And if you insist of facts, they get really mad really fast.

The main reason why the pro-western liberals and the anti-Putin patriots are so angry and even directly mad at the Russian people, is that both of these camps failed to get enough traction with the Russian public to truly weaken Putin or the Kremlin.  So the crazy “defeatist stream of consciousness” shown in Ivashov’s text is the result from many decades of deep frustration and anger.  Frustration because the Russian people did give their support to Putin over and over again and anger because far from failing, Putin is winning on all fronts.

When a rational mind finds that a prediction or an effort failed, it seeks to correct its initial assumptions and policies and develop new, more effective ones. You know, the scientific method and all that.

When an ideological mind finds that a prediction or an effort failed, far from analyzing reality, it seeks refuge in doubling-down over and over again or, if dates are involved, these ideological minds simply push back the date of the “inevitable collapse”.

And if that means that a 3 star general must write stuff he MUST know (due to his excellent education) are factually false and utter nonsense in order to push his ideological agenda, then we see that this is truly a desperate effort.

BTW – let me reassure everybody, this letter will also go to the trashbins of history even if it is used for a while by the unison of the chorus of the western propaganda machine.  Folks in the West mostly believe the “Putin the evil dictator of Mordor” anyway.  As for Russia, those who were already anti-Putin patriots don’t matter much, in this case Ivashov is preaching to the choir.  As for the rest of Russians, they will “twist their finger at the temple” (Russian gesture to say “crazy”) and quickly dismiss it.

But for our purposes, this open letter is truly precious, priceless even.

In French we could say “Navalnyi ou Ivashov – même combat!” meaning “Navalnyi or Ivashov – same struggle”.

Mind you – Ivashov is so blinded by his hatred for “the regime” (he would say “the family”) that he is probably totally oblivious to how he comes across and whose interests he de facto very much serves.

This is very sad, and for personally too, I still like the man very much.  Navalnyi is a sad, immoral piece of scum.  But not Ivashov: I am certain that he is a good, honorable and sincere person.  But like an alcoholic, he drank too much of his own cool-aid – his actions are not an expression of his personality, but of his (ideological) pathology.

Ideologies are probably the single most dangerous (mental) toxins out there.

My only hope is that the ridiculously over-the-top contents of this truly deeply delusional letter will open the eyes of those who are on the fence (in Russia and abroad) about both Putin and the anti-Putin patriots.  If they are ideologically sober enough they might remember the words of Christ “ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16) and realize that de facto anti-Putin Russian patriots are collaborationist with the western enemies of Russia.

As for Putin, oh sure, he does have his faults.  And yes, there are still plenty of Atlantic Integrationists in the Russian circles of power (media, Presidential Administration, Government, Central Bank, etc. etc. etc.).  In medicine, it is important to take note of two things: the condition of the patient and the evolution of the disease.  I would argue that any honest appraisal of Putin’s actions over the past 20 years show two things:

  1. He failed to solve all the problems of Russia (I wrote about this in distant 2016!)
  2. But the evolution of Russia since Putin came to power an improving one, going from bad, to better and sometimes to even very good.  Yes, it did take a lot of retreats and compromises to achieve the current situation, but there is no denial that in 1999 Russia was breaking apart while in 2022 it is clear that Russia prevailed over both the Empire and its main constituent, the USA.

Real, sober, patriots understand that, for all his faults, now is NOT the time to subvert or undermine Putin.  Let him prosecute the war until Russia’s full victory, and then let’s put maximum pressure on him to finally develop a truly sovereign Russian internal policy and even polity.

I fully expect most anti-Putin patriots to never EVER admit that.  That would invalidate no less than two decades of their (misguided) efforts to get rid of Putin were in vain and that they will never come to power themselves.

My personal biggest hope is that you, the readers, will now become fully aware of what I call the 6th column in Russia, as opposed to the 5th, traditional onethe next time you hear somebody deny the existence of the Atlantic Integrationists, the Russian liberal 5th column or the allislosters 6th column, please ask yourself: cui bono –  who benefits from this denial?

The current standoff between Russia and the West has already yielded numerous very good results.  To use an metaphor, Putin stuck a stick into the “western anthill” and all the ants (western politicians) are now running around like crazy.  Putin’s success also stuck another stick into the “allislosters” anthill and all these ants (anti-Putin patriots) are now also running around like crazy.

How much comfort can the leaders of the West get from all of the above?

Not much.

It is pretty clear that both 5th column and 6th column PSYOPs have miserably failed.  In fact, both the 5th and the 6th column can only preach to their choir, most Russians absolutely hate liberals and a majority also disagrees with the 6th columns defeatism.  Putin’s recent series of major successes (politically, militarily, economically) really leave the 6th column no hope at all to prevail.  At most, they will lash out and continue to predict an insurrection or coup, but that ship has sailed long ago.

That is not to say that we should dismiss that toxic and evil trio: Atlantic Integrationists, the 5th column and the 6th column.  For one thing, there still are Atlantic Integrationists everywhere, from RT, to the Russian Central Bank, to the Presidential Administration, the Kremlin, the Government and A LOT in the media, including entertainment.  Putin has pushed them back to some degree, the situation now is MUCH better than, say in 2017, but the enemy is still there.  And Russia’s history clearly shows that the internal enemy is far more dangerous than the external one.

Furthermore, Russia is still a “one man show”: remove Putin and Russia will immediately undergo a major crisis, internal and external, if only because there is no credible successor to him, not by a long shot. I can name many very good people near Putin, his Eurasian Sovereignist allies, but none of them have his stature.

And he still has not found the opportunity to get rid of some dangerous snakes which are also in his close entourage.  I believe that Putin is much more threatened by Russian financiers than he is by NATO or the US.  And, always keep this in mind, Putin is no Stalin.  He cannot just fire, expel, arrest or execute anyone for no reason: he has to follow the law which very much limits his power.  Nor do I believe that a majority of Russians would approve if Putin started to act like a dictator: been there, done that, paid a huge cost and won’t ever do it again.

Still, should something happen to Putin (disease, death, incapacitation, etc.) we can be sure that the Atlantic Integrationists, the 5th columnists, the 6th columnists and the entire united West will pounce on Russia which will result in a major crisis which potentially could truly threaten the future of Russia.

The truth is that as long as Russia will still be in the process of redefining herself on the fly Russia will be unstable and vulnerable.  But that is a topic for a future analysis.

Andrei

UPDATE: as soon as I posted this up, several commentators quasi immediately chimed in with “Ivashov is right”, “I agree with him”, etc. etc. etc.  All commentators from the West, buy the way.  Considering how disruptive my analysis is to the western PSYOPs, I expect a deluge of trolls trying to “retake control of the narrative” in the comments section.  Needless to say, I will eject them all without any hesitation.  After 15 years of blogging I can easily distinguish a sincere critical comment from the typical output of trolls (paid or not).

Putin: US Can’t be Trusted to Honor its Promises

Dec 21 2021

By Staff, Agencies 

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that hopes for a deal with Washington to limit NATO expansion in Eastern Europe are slim, arguing that even a signed agreement could be torn up by the American side at a moment’s notice.

In a speech to Moscow’s senior military officers on Tuesday, Putin said he no longer viewed the West as a dependable partner. Russia has been seeking written assurances about the presence of US troops and hardware near its borders, he said, but even those assurances could not be depended on.

“We need long-term legally binding guarantees. But you and I know them well. And that is something that cannot be trusted,” Putin went on, noting that the US “easily withdraws from international treaties that it becomes uninterested in,” apparently referencing Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the landmark Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002. The accord, inked between the USSR and US in 1972, intended to limit both sides’ missile defense capabilities. 

“You and I both know very well: under various pretexts, including the purpose of ensuring their own security, that they act thousands of kilometers away from their national territory,” he said. “When international law and the UN Charter interfere, they declare it all obsolete and unnecessary.”

The Russian president added that he considered NATO’s further expansion into Eastern Europe a consequence of the “euphoria” that stemmed from the West’s apparent victory in the Cold War and the result of a misanalysis. He also expressed his confusion at the US-led military bloc’s encroachment on his country’s borders despite the friendly relations between Moscow and the West at that time.

Putin stressed that Russia was ready to take both military and technical measures as a response to what it perceived as the unfriendly steps taken by Washington, insisting that it was Moscow’s right to do so.

His remarks come shortly after Moscow issued two documents, one addressed to NATO and the other to US officials, requesting a range of guarantees it said were aimed at boosting the security of all parties.

The proposals focus on the movement of military personnel and hardware, and include the requirement that Ukraine’s long-held requests to become a member of the bloc would not be granted. A separate document calls for current NATO members to desist from any military activity on Kiev’s territory, as well as in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia.

In the draft agreement sent to Washington, Moscow requested that officials make a firm commitment to ruling out the enlargement of the bloc to include any other former Soviet republics. Speaking via video link earlier in December, Putin told his US counterpart, President Joe Biden, that Russia was “seriously interested” in getting “reliable and firm legal guarantees” that would prohibit NATO’s expansion further eastwards, as well as the deployment of “offensive-strike weapons systems” nearby.

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New trade corridor connecting Iran and Europe

19 Dec 2021

Net Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

The Iranian ambassador to Baku says a new trade corridor will be activated this week linking Iran and Europe via Azerbaijan.

The new corridor comes after the revival of the ECO and the INSTC corridor

Iran’s ambassador to Baku, Abbas Mousavi, announced Saturday that the new corridor linking Iran to Europe via Azerbaijan, Georgia, and the Black Sea will be activated this week.

On Twitter, Mousavi said that the new corridor comes after the revival of the ECO Corridor between Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, and the International North-South Transport Corridor (Finland, Russia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Iran, the Persian Gulf, and India).

The ECO corridor’s objective is to strengthen economic relations between Tehran, Ankara, and Islamabad and to facilitate trade and investment in the region.

On the other hand, the INSTC corridor is a 7,200-km-long multi-mode network of ship, rail, and road routes to link and increase trade between countries of the region including India, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, Central Asia and Europe, mentioned Mehr news agency.

It is noteworthy that on December 10th, Moscow witnessed the first meeting between deputy foreign ministers of a new regional cooperation titled 3+3, which consists of Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia from the South Caucasus and three neighboring countries, namely Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation… Russia is the Common Enemy! المصالحة التركية – الأرمينية.. روسيا العدو المشترك!

ARABI SOURI 

Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan

Pashinyan may not hesitate to engage in positive dialogue with Ankara, to open up through it to Europe, and to help him support his position to take revenge on Moscow.

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu surprised everyone when he talked about appointing a special representative for dialogue with Armenia after Yerevan took a similar step by appointing its representative for direct dialogue with Ankara “without the need for Russian mediation,” this is what Minister Cavusoglu said. This clearly reflects the intention of the Turkish and Armenian parties to normalize relations between them, away from the interference and influence of other parties, primarily Russia and then Iran.

After the defeat of Yerevan in the Karabakh region thanks to Turkish and Israeli support for Azerbaijan, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan did not hesitate to accuse Moscow of not helping Armenia in this war, which led to a chill and serious tension between the latter and Russia, Pashinyan took advantage of this tension in his election campaign, from which he emerged victorious, despite Moscow’s support for his opponents, both political and military.

Pashinyan’s victory in the June 20 elections prompted US President Joe Biden to exploit this in his psychological and political war against Russia. During his meeting with him in Rome on October 31 last, he recommended Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to talk With Pashinyan and to address all differences between the two countries, through direct dialogue between the two parties.

Biden’s recommendation undoubtedly met with President Erdogan’s calculations in the Caucasus, after he made Azerbaijan a strategic foothold in the region, with more comprehensive cooperation relations in all fields with Georgia, the other country in the Caucasus, whose relations with Moscow have also been tense, after the Russian army intervened in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, during the August 2008 war, they declared their independence from Georgia with Russian support, as is the case in Lugansk and Donetsk provinces in eastern Ukraine.

President Erdogan knows the many weaknesses of Pashinyan, whose country suffers from very difficult economic and financial problems, and wants to help him to overcome these problems, in return for direct and indirect support from him for his projects and strategic plans in the Caucasus. Everyone knows that these plans and projects target Russia in the first place, as is the case in Central Asia, where the Islamic republics are of Turkish origin.

Erdogan plans to help Yerevan open land and air borders with it, allow trade across the common border, and thus ease work and residency conditions for the roughly 50,000 Armenians, most of whom are women, now working in Turkey. Everyone knows that this simple aid, in addition to encouraging Turkish businessmen to work in Armenia, which lacks the most basic necessities of economic life (there is no industry, agriculture, or trade) will encourage the Armenians, in general, to forget their bad historical memories with the Turks regarding their accusation of the Ottoman Empire of exterminating one and a half million Armenians during the First World War. The Armenians, whose number does not exceed three million, and a large part of them work abroad, are living in very difficult economic and financial conditions, especially after the defeat of Karabakh and the placing of Azerbaijani obstacles in the way of Iranian trade with Armenia. Moreover, Armenia’s economic and military capabilities do not and will not allow it to confront Azerbaijan, after Turkey’s military support for it, through air and land bases there.

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المصالحة التركية – الأرمينية.. روسيا العدو المشترك!

2021 الاربعاء 15 كانون الأول

المصدر: الميادين نت

حسني محلي

قد لا يتردّد باشينيان في الحوار الإيجابي مع أنقرة، للانفتاح عبرها على أوروبا، ولتساعده على دعم موقفه للانتقام من موسكو.

تركيا وأرمينيا تعتزمان تطبيع العلاقات بينهما

فاجأ وزير الخارجية التركي مولود جاويش أوغلو الجميع عندما تحدث عن تعيين ممثل خاص للحوار مع أرمينيا، بعد أن أقدمت يريفان على خطوة مماثلة بتعيين ممثلها للحوار المباشر مع أنقرة “من دون الحاجة إلى وساطة روسية”، والقول للوزير جاويش أوغلو. ويعكس ذلك بكل وضوح نيّة الطرفين التركي والأرميني تطبيع العلاقات بينهما، بعيداً عن تدخلات الأطراف الآخرين وتأثيراتهم، وفي الدرجة الأولى روسيا ثم إيران. 

فبعد الهزيمة التي مُنيت بها يريفان في إقليم كاراباخ بفضل الدعم التركي والإسرائيلي لأذربيجان، لم يتردّد رئيس الوزراء الأرميني نيكول باشينيان في اتهام موسكو بعدم مساعدتها لأرمينيا في هذه الحرب، وهو ما أدّى إلى فتور وتوتر جديّ بين الأخيرة وروسيا، واستغل باشينيان هذا التوتر في حملته الانتخابية التي خرج منها منتصراً، على الرغم من دعم موسكو لمعارضيه، السياسيين منهم والعسكر. 

وجاء انتصار باشينيان في الانتخابات التي نُظمت في الـ20 من حزيران/يونيو الماضي ليدفع الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن إلى استغلال ذلك في حربه النفسية والسياسية ضد روسيا، فأوصى الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان، خلال لقائه به في روما في الـ31 من تشرين الأول/أكتوبر الماضي، بالحديث مع باشينيان، ومعالجة كل الخلافات بين البلدين، عبر الحوار المباشر بين الطرفين. 

توصية بايدن التقت من دون شك مع حسابات الرئيس إردوغان في القوقاز، بعد أن جعل من أذربيجان موطئ قدم استراتيجي له في المنطقة، مع المزيد من علاقات التعاون الشامل في جميع المجالات مع جورجيا، الدولة الأخرى في القوقاز، والتي شهدت علاقاتها هي أيضاً مع موسكو توتراً خطراً، بعد أن تدخل الجيش الروسي في أوسيتيا الجنوبية وأبخازيا، خلال حرب آب/أغسطس 2008، فأعلنتا استقلالهما عن جورجيا بدعم روسي، كما هي الحال في مقاطعتي لوغانسك ودونيتسك شرق أوكرانيا.

الرئيس إردوغان يعرف نقاط الضعف الكثيرة لدى باشينيان الذي تعاني بلاده من مشاكل اقتصادية ومالية صعبة جداً، ويريد أن يساعده لتجاوز هذه المشاكل، مقابل دعم مباشر وغير مباشر منه لمشاريعه ومخططاته الاستراتيجية في القوقاز. ويعرف الجميع أن هذه المخططات والمشاريع تستهدف روسيا في الدرجة الأولى، كما هي الحال في آسيا الوسطى، حيث الجمهوريات الإسلامية ذات الأصل التركي.

ويخطط إردوغان لمساعدة يريفان في فتح الحدود البرية والجوية معها، والسماح بالتجارة عبر الحدود المشتركة، وبالتالي تخفيف شروط العمل والإقامة بالنسبة إلى نحو خمسين ألف أرميني، ومعظمهم من النساء، يعملون الآن في تركيا. ويعرف الجميع أن هذه المساعدات البسيطة، إضافة الى تشجيع رجال الأعمال الأتراك على العمل في أرمينيا التي تفتقر إلى أبسط مقوّمات الحياة الاقتصادية (ليس هناك صناعة وزراعة وتجارة) ستشجّع الأرمن عموماً على نسيان ذكرياتهم التاريخية السيّئة مع الأتراك في ما يتعلق باتهامهم الدولة العثمانية بإبادة مليون ونصف مليون أرمني إبّان الحرب العالمية الأولى. فالأرمن، وعددهم لا يتجاوز ثلاثة ملايين، وقسم كبير منهم يعمل في الخارج، يعيشون ظروفاً اقتصادية ومالية صعبة جداً، خاصة بعد هزيمة كاراباخ، ووضع العراقيل الأذربيجانية أمام التجارة الإيرانية مع أرمينيا. كما أن قدرات أرمينيا الاقتصادية والعسكرية لا ولن تسمح لها بمواجهة أذربيجان، بعد الدعم العسكري التركيّ لها، عبر القواعد الجوية والبرية هناك. 

تصريحات الوزير جاويش أوغلو من المتوقع لها أن تحمّل في طيّاتها العديد من المفاجآت بعد فتح الحدود بين البلدين، وقد تلحق بها زيارة باشينيان لتركيا، كما زار الرئيس السابق عبد الله غول يريفان في أيلول/سبتمبر 2008 لحضور مباراة كرة القدم بين المنتخبين التركي والأرميني، وسط هتافات البعض من الجمهور ضده وضد تركيا، مع التذكير بالإبادة الأرمنية، ومن دون أن تمنع هذه الهتافات الطرفين التركي والأرميني من التوقيع في الـ 10 من تشرين الأول/أكتوبر 2009 في زيوريخ على بروتوكول للتعاون المشترك وبوساطة سويسرية، لكنه لم يحقّق أهدافه، وكان أهمها تبادل السفراء وفتح الحدود المشتركة وإطلاق الرحلات الجوية. وكان السبب الرئيسي في فشل هذا البروتوكول هو عدم تراجع الجانب الأرميني عن موقفه في ما يتعلق بالإبادة الأرمنية، واقترح الجانب التركي آنذاك تشكيل لجنة أكاديمية مشتركة تُعدّ دراسة شاملة حول هذا الموضوع، بعد الاطلاع على كل الوثائق الرسمية في أرشيف الدولتين وأرشيف الدول المعنية، وأهمها فرنسا وبريطانيا وروسيا وألمانيا وأميركا. 

باشينيان بدوره قد لا يتردّد في الحوار الإيجابي مع أنقرة، أولاً للانفتاح عبرها على أوروبا، وبالتالي لتساعده على دعم موقفه للانتقام من موسكو التي يحمّلها مسؤولية هزيمته في حرب كاراباخ. كما أن الانفتاح على أنقرة سيساعده في تحقيق مكاسب اقتصادية كبيرة، وخاصة إذا نجح إردوغان في مخططاته لإقامة تكتلات اقتصادية في القوقاز تضمّ تركيا وأذربيجان وأرمينيا بل وحتى روسيا وإيران، على أن تكون تركيا هي المحرك الرئيسي لمثل هذا التكتل، ما دام غاز أذربيجان وبترولها يصلان تركيا عبر أراضي جورجيا، كما يصل الغاز الروسي تركيا ومنها الى أوروبا، على أن يبقى الغاز الإيراني للاستهلاك التركي الداخلي. 

ويريد الرئيس إردوغان لمثل هذا التكتل الاقتصادي أن يساعده في جعل تركيا ممراً رئيسياً للعديد من مشاريع الخطوط الحديدية بتسمياتها المختلفة، التي تهدف إلى ربط أوروبا بآسيا وحتى بالصين، وهو ما لن يتحقق إلا بالمرور عبر أراضي أرمينيا وجورجيا معاً. كما يتمنى إردوغان لهذه المشاريع أن تدعم استراتيجيته القومية في آسيا الوسطى، ولا يمكن لها أن تتحقق إلا عبر التفوّق في القوقاز، وهو ما يتطلب كسب أرمينيا وجورجيا المجاورة له حتى يتسنّى له الامتداد شرقاً صوب أذربيجان بعمقها الجغرافي والقومي والتاريخي في إيران. ويفسّر ذلك الفتور والتوتر في العلاقة بين أذربيجان وإيران خلال أزمة كاراباخ، بعد أن شنّ الإعلام الموالي لإردوغان والأوساط القومية حملة عنيفة ضدّ طهران بحجّة أنها تدعم الأرمن. 

ويبقى الرهان على موقف موسكو التي لم تعد تخفي انزعاجها من سياسات أنقرة، ولكن من دون أن يتسنى لها أن تفعل أي شيء بعد أن فقدت الكثير من مقوّمات المساومة مع الرئيس إردوغان في سوريا وأذربيجان وأوكرانيا، والآن أرمينيا، ولاحقاً في مواقع وساحات أخرى، ويُعدّ إردوغان من أجلها ما استطاع من قوة!

ولكن ما عليه في هذه الحالة إلا أن يُقنع باشينيان والرأي العام الأرميني بضرورة التخلي عن مقولاتهما في ما يتعلق بالإبادة الأرمنية، وهو ما لن يكون صعباً في ظل الواقع الأرميني الداخلي والمعطيات الحالية (التذكير بصفقة القرن بين “إسرائيل” والأنظمة العربية) التي تجمع حسابات أنقرة ويريفان في خندق واحد، ما دام العدو مشتركاً بالنسبة إلى إردوغان وباشينيان، وإلا فلِمَ استعجل لمثل هذه المصالحة بعد هزيمة كاراباخ واعتراف الرئيس بايدن في نيسان/أبريل الماضي بالإبادة الأرمنية؟! 

The Iran-Azerbaijan gas swap deal: Has Tehran’s tough posturing paid off?

December 14 2021

The Turkish-supported gas swap deal is not so much a capitulation as a calculated concession from Azerbaijan, which now acknowledges its relationship with Israel as an Iranian red line.

By Agha Hussain

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi signed a gas swap deal with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev on the sidelines of the 28 November Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The timing of the deal and its geostrategic significance outweighs its economic impact for both sides. For Iran, in particular, it represents the first concrete result of the rapid overhaul of its regional posture in recent months.

The standoff and Iran’s hardline approach

The deal ended the October-November escalation between Iran and Azerbaijan, which has featured unprecedented Iranian war games on their shared borders and symbolic steps in challenging several of Baku’s regional interests unless it accounted for Tehran’s concerns.

In a 3 November analysis for The Cradle, this author described Iran’s conduct as the initiation of a new, more assertive posture in Eurasia. The aims of this new posture are to exert damage control over regional trends favorable to Iran’s adversaries and to establish the potency and credibility of Iran’s regional red lines.

In the South Caucasus, this means reversing Azerbaijan’s confidence in Israel as a positive contributor to its regional standing, and pressuring Baku to place its relationship with Tel Aviv on the bilateral negotiating table between itself and Iran.

From this point onward, Tehran can effectively wield the threat of challenging Azerbaijani regional interests as a bargaining chip to scale back Baku’s ties with Tel Aviv. Such challenges include taking steps to reroute the North South Transport Corridor (NSTC) from Azerbaijan to Armenia or stationing troops in Armenia’s south to deter the implementation of Azerbaijan’s prized Zangezur Corridor across that area.

The gas swap deal is Iran’s first inroad in this stratagem.

The gas swap deal de-escalation

According to the deal, Iran will receive Turkmen gas and then send an equivalent amount of Iranian gas to Azerbaijan.

By involving Iran in its regional trade as a means of defusing tensions, Azerbaijan validates Iran’s new hardline posture toward it through this key concession. Specifically, Azerbaijan acknowledges and assuages Iran’s heightened perception of threat in any moves toward crafting a regional economic and security order that does not include a tangible role for the Iranians.

Notably, since this perception of threat is derived almost entirely from Iran’s oft-enunciated view of any such moves as an extension of Israel’s global campaign to isolate it, the deal qualifies as a concession from Azerbaijan, even if indirect, on the issue of its ties with Israel.

From Iran’s perspective, this is a milestone of sorts for its new hard power approach to the region.

The gas deal represented Azerbaijan’s shift from its previously dismissive stance toward Iran’s Israel-centric criticisms of its policies in exchange for Iran winding down its aggressive military posturing on the border.

This serves to activate the bilateral bargaining arrangement Iran seeks.

Under the principle of reciprocity enshrined by such arrangements, any attempts by Baku to revert to its old practice of safeguarding its relations with Tel Aviv from Iranian scrutiny may be met by Tehran’s return to an aggressive posture.

As a result, Azerbaijan would find a mounting set of new challenges at its doorstep, a year after its historic victory over Armenia in the second Nagorno-Karabakh war. The risk factor of its relationship with Israel could therefore skyrocket quicker than President Aliyev would be willing to roll it back, given Azerbaijan’s longstanding reliance on the US-based Israel lobby as a shield against unfavorable US policies promoted by the Armenian-US diaspora.

Tehran, however, would have options aplenty in the potential military and geo-economic alliances with Yerevan to continue mounting pressure on Baku.

The Turkey factor

To Azerbaijan, Turkey has been its single most constant and reliable guarantor of security and economics throughout its tussles with Armenia. However, Azerbaijan’s ties with Turkey factor in very differently when it comes to tensions and potential conflict with Iran.

Eldar Mamedov, an Azerbaijani analyst at Eurasianet and the Quincy Institute, states that “… military confrontation with Iran – a country with eight times the population – clearly is not in Baku’s interests. All the more so because even Baku’s main ally, Turkey, is unlikely to fight a war with Iran on Azerbaijan’s behalf.”

Citing Turkey’s self-interest in keeping its own differences with Iran to manageable levels, Mamedov adds that “policymakers in Baku would be wise to realize the limits of the Turkish support in any potential future conflagration with Tehran.”

Turkey’s influence, in fact, looms large in the details of the gas swap deal. Giving Iran transit state status in the Turkmenistan gas trade is a decision set in the context of geo-economics – where Baku has traditionally taken its cue from Ankara, whose territory is the terminus for Azerbaijan’s most vital trade and transport links, such as the BTC oil pipeline, the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) pipelines, and the BTK railway.

Of great interest to Iran is that Turkish interests seem to propel the planned Azerbaijan–Turkmenistan gas trade more than Azerbaijani ones.

Azerbaijan’s interest in Turkmen gas does not extend beyond buying it to fill the unutilized capacity of SGC, which it will be able to do itself once it boosts its own gas production.

Turkey, however, has long sought the revival of the dormant Trans Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCP) connecting Turkmenistan via the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan with the objective of further linkage to the SGC, through which Turkmen gas then flows to Europe via Turkey.

The TCP is core to Turkey’s drive to render itself Turkic Central Asia’s ultimate gateway to the west. This would entail Turkmen gas exports to and transit across Azerbaijan at a much larger, longer-term scale.

Since the discovery in the 1990s of huge gas fields in its own Caspian waters, Azerbaijan has, in fact, treated Turkmenistan as a potential competitor for the European market.

Baku therefore walked away from the TCP project, declining to settle its maritime dispute with Ashgabat over the Dostluk gas field, which itself was enough to inhibit work on the TCP. So when Azerbaijan resolved the Dostluk dispute in January this year and agreed to jointly develop it with Turkmenistan, Ankara’s influence once again stood out.

The fact that Azerbaijan’s top ally sees fit to deploy Turkish-Azerbaijani regional interests as collateral for de-escalation with Iran will therefore encourage Iranian strategists by adding pressure on Baku to accept Iran’s assertive behavior as a ‘new normal.’

Iran-Azerbaijan tensions are far from over

Despite Iran’s gains from it, the gas swap deal is still a calculated concession from Azerbaijan and far from a capitulation.

Once the TCP is built, the swap arrangement with Turkmenistan via Iran will become redundant, as Turkmen gas will be piped directly to Azerbaijan. This is not an unlikely scenario given that the wealthy European Union (EU) designated the TCP a ‘project of common interest,’ thus qualifying it for EU financing and diplomatic support.

This factor raises the stakes – and the risks – in the Iran-Azerbaijan bilateral relationship. More hawkish minds in Baku may, after all, be inclined to interpret the completion of Iran bypassing TCP and the disposal of the gas swap arrangement as a sign that isolating Iran in the South Caucasus has become a viable strategy.

Such a notion would almost certainly receive enthusiastic backing from Israel, who lacks Turkey’s economic incentive in averting an Iran-Azerbaijan conflict and may even see Baku’s reliance on its US lobby deepen if it heads into a fight without Turkey’s blessing.

Ultimately, for Baku, these are fairly risky variables on which to base its present and future roadmap for dealing with Iran. In contrast, Tehran benefits from a more reliable set of options to sustain and escalate its posture when required, with the decisive advantages of geography and size playing to its favor.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of The Cradle.

طالبان اليوم ليست داعش ولا القاعدة ولكن…!


أغسطس 14 2021

 محمد صادق الحسيني

طالبان جمع طالب باللغة المحلية، وهي إشارة الى جماعة من الطلبة الأفغان الذين درسوا او تدرّبوا في مدارس مولوي جلال الدين حقاني صاحب «شبكة حقاني» العسكرية القتالية السلفية الباكستانية في منطقة وزيرستان المحاذية لأفغانستان..!

والمعروف انّ حركة طالبان السلفية الجهادية قد تشكلت في العام ١٩٩٤ في شرق أفغانستان على يد الملا محمد عمر الشهير.

في حقبة الملا عمر برز الجانب المتشدّد المعروف لطالبان وكلّ من عداه من المؤسسين ظلّ مغموراً بمن فيهم واحداً من أهمّ مساعديه وقادة التأسيس الحركي الملا عبد الغني برادر…!

وقد اشتهر في أروقة الديبلوماسيين والسياسيين للدول المحيطة بأفغانستان يومها بأن هذه الحركة الأفغانية المتشددة، قد تمّت رعايتها بشكل ملحوظ وبارز من قبل الاستخبارات العسكرية الباكستانية.

كما عرف ولا يزال معروفاً بأنّ باكستان ظلت على علاقة وثيقة بالحركة، وانها لطالما استخدمتها كورقة قوية في علاقاتها الإقليمية ومفاوضاتها حول مستقبل أفغانستان والمنطقة.

ثمة واقعة مهمة حصلت قبل نحو ١٠ سنوات لا بدّ من ذكرها هنا لعلها شكلت محطة مهمة وعلامة فارقة فيما جرى وربما لا يزال يجري في أفغانستان.

في العام ٢٠١٠ وفي عملية مشتركة للمخابرات الأميركية والباكستانية يتمّ القبض على أحد أهمّ الرموز الطالبانية التي كانت تطاردها واشنطن بعد موت ملا عمر الا وهو ملا عبد الغني برادر الزميل الحميم لبن لادن.

وبعد اختفاء تامّ للرجل لمدة ٨ سنوات أسيراً لدى الأميركيين، وبعد مفاوضات شاقة أجرتها الحركة وبوساطة قطرية ملحة، يتمّ إطلاق سراحه في العام ٢٠١٨…!

وبسرعة يتقدم الملا عبد الغني برادر، ليصبح مديراً للمكتب السياسي للحركة وممثلها في الدوحة، ومن ثم يصبح كما هو الآن الرجل الأول للحركة بلا منازع، وهو الذي قاد كل المفاوضات الأخيرة مع الأميركيين، وعقد كلّ الاتفاقيات العلنية والسرية معهم، وهو الذي يشرف حالياً على كلّ التطورات الأمنية والعسكرية والسياسية لحركة طالبان، وهو الذي يفترض أنه دخل كابول فاتحاً…

لا احد من المتابعين الجديين يعتقد ان طالبان ستسلم مقاليد البلاد بولاياتها الـ ٣٤ للأميركيين ومخططاتهم المستجدة بسهولة فهم قاتلوا طوال العقدين الماضيين من اجل اهداف حركتهم وقدموا آلاف الشهداء في هذا الطريق…!

والاغلب انهم سيلعبون على التناقضات الاميركية وتوظيفها لفرض امارتهم الاسلامية كامر واقع بدون قرقعة سلاح…!

في هذه الأثناء وكما تقول مصادر أفغانية متابعة فإنّ الأميركيين من جهتهم، عملوا ما استطاعوا الى ذلك سبيلاً خلال العقدين الماضيين – وعلى طريقة إعداد الخطة «ب» والخطة «ج» لكلّ مخطط – في القضاء او الامحاء او الازاحة لكل الرموز الطالبانية المتشددة، لتظهر «طالبان» جديدة، ديمقراطية، تعددية، تقدمية معتدلة، عاقلة، مسالمة، تتربّع عرش كابول لتكون واجهة أفغانية (پشتونية) كاملة الدسم، مطعّمة ببعض من الوان الطيف الافغاني من الطاجيك الى الاوزبك الى الهزارة الى الدرانيين او النورستانيين وذلك عندما تحين لحظة الانسحاب التي لا بدّ منها، وها هو زمانها قد حان…!

وهذا يعني في ما يعني انّ العقدين الماضيين كانا كفيلين في بلورة نسخة جديدة من طالبان غير نسخة طالبان الأولى الملتصقة بذهن الناس بملا عمر وبن لادن…!

طالبان الجديدة هي طالبان السنية الحنفية السلفية القوية، لكنها غير الوهابية التكفيرية، طالبان المنفتحة على العالم الخارجي بكل تلاوينه ولكن:

 طالبان التي ستشكل كما يتمنى الأميركيون بالطبع جداراً يشبه سور الصين العظيم بوجه كلّ من بكين وموسكو وطهران…!

جدار يمنع التحام الثنائي الصيني الروسي العملاق، مع القطب الإيراني الصاعد والواعد…!

لم يكن ذلك ممكناً بدون تحوّل حقيقي في طالبان نفسها، ورجل المرحلة لم يكن سوى ملا عبد الغني برادر، ومساعديه الذين يملأون الشاشات اليوم ويقودون المفاوضات والحوارات في كل من طهران وموسكو وبكين بالإضافة الى الدوحة…!

موقع أفغانستان الجيوبوليتيكي والجيواستراتيجي بمثابة نقطة تقاطع التاريخ والجغرافيا بين الحضارات والمدنيات الشرقية وحتى الغربية منها، كفيل بنظر الاميركيين اذا ما ظلّ قلقاً وغير مستقراً على ان يكون كفيلاً بزعزعة مشروع «حزام واحد طريق واحد» الصيني وجعله يتعثر، وطريق الحرير الحديدي الشرقي مقطوع عند النقطة الافغانية، وان يشاغب قدر الإمكان على منتدى او منظمة شانغهاي للتعاون وهي المنظمة الأمنية السياسية الاقتصادية التي تضم نحو عشر دول أهمّها الصين وروسيا والهند والتي يفترض ان تصبح إيران رئيسي الدولة الجديدة كاملة العضوية فيها في ١٧ من آب المقبل…

 واذا ما استحضرنا المشهد التلمودي والهوليودي الأميركي الى واجهة الأحداث الجارية حالياً في أفغانستان ومحيطها، فإنّ ثمة من يجزم في أفغانستان وفي محيطها من الباحثين، بأنّ الأميركي الذي طالما ناور بداعش والقاعدة واستعملهما بطريقة تدوير النفايات، فإنه سرعان ما سيلجأ الى خلط الأوراق قريباً، لتنطلق دورات عنف متعددة تشعل كل آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز انطلاقاً من أفغانستان لتصل الى داخل روسيا والصين من خلال تحريك الأقليات العرقية المجنّدة بالآلاف تحت الرعاية الاستخبارية الأميركية..!

وهذا هدف أميركي معلن ومعروف، وتتمّ الدعاية له على طول الخط، تحت عنوان مخادع وهو الدفاع عن حقوق الإنسان وحرية المعتقد ومحاربة الديكتاتوريات والأنظمة الشمولية!

طبعاً يحصل هذا في إطار المخطط الأميركي الذي يحاول دوماً ان يحوّل هزيمته المرة الى نصر مزيف…!

انها معركة عالمية جديدة أميركا بحاجة ماسّة لها، في خطتها لوقف الصعود الصيني المتسارع في كلّ شيء، والقوة العسكرية الروسية المتفوّقة على أميركا بالأسلحة التقليدية وغير التقليدية، وما تسمّيه بالنفوذ الإيراني المتعاظم والذي بدأ يشكل تهديداً وجودياً لقاعدتها المتقدمة في المنطقة التي اسمها «إسرائيل»…!

الإيرانيون والروس والصينيون يدركون تماماً دلالات ما حصل ويحصل في أفغانستان من هزيمة منكرة للأميركيين، ومن خبث في نسخهم الجديدة في المواجهة، ولكنهم يعرفون أيضا لا سيما الايرانيين، كيف تخاض معارك الحروب الناعمة وهم الأبرع في لعبة الشطرنج…!

ووادي پنج شير وقاسم سليماني مع احمد شاه مسعود… يشهد لهم…

وفيلق فاطميون يشهد لهم، وأمور اخرى تبقى قيد المفاجآت ستكشف مدى سطحية وسذاجة الأميركي، وكيف ان اليانكي الكاوبوي سيلدغ من نفس الجحر مرتين…!

كلّ هذه التحليلات متحركة بانتظار موقف طالبان الحقيقي الذي ننتظره بفارغ الصبر من «إسرائيل» وسيدها الأميركي!

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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AZERBAIJAN RESCHEDULES ‘VICTORY DAY’ TO PLEASE SULTAN ERDOGAN. HEZBOLLAH DRONE BUZZES ISRAELI FORCES

South Front

An unmanned aerial vehicle operated by Lebanese Hezbollah managed to cross into Israel’s north and monitor the Israeli military drills dubbed “Lethal Arrow”, Lebanese media affiliated with Hezbollah reported on December 3. The incident allegedly took place on November 26, on the second day of the drills.

The Israeli side promoted the drill as an exercise to put to the test a strategy based on network-centered warfare bringing together the capabilities of ground, air, naval and cyber forces to quickly eliminate hostile targets in the event of the conflict in the area. The Hezbollah drone buzzed Israeli forces just during these military exercises. Additionally, on December 3, the Israeli government urged its citizens to avoid travel to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, citing threats of Iranian attacks.

At the same time, the United States and its allies continue demonstrating concerns regarding possible attacks in Iraq in the wake of an expected Iranian retaliation to the assassination of its top nuclear scientist near Tehran in an alleged US-Israeli plot. According to media reports, following the earlier move of the United States, France and Spain are also considering at least partial withdrawal of diplomatic staff from Iraq. US officials speculate that Iranian-backed factions of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, an official branch of the Iraqi military, are preparing attacks on facilities and personnel of the US diplomatic mission.

Meanwhile, in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan for the first time released an official number of its casualties in the Second Nagorno-Karabkah War. According to the defense ministry, 2783 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed, 1245 were injured and over 100 are still missing. In own turn, the Health Ministry of Armenia reported that at least 2718 Armenian soldiers were killed as a result of the conflict. The almost equal casualties of the advancing and defending forces in the standoff in such a complex mountainous area as Nagorno-Karabkah is another factual demonstration of the overwhelming Azerbaijani dominance in the manpower, and firepower, including heavy military equipment, artillery and air support, the in the 1.5-month conflict with the Armenians.

Azerbaijan, however, seems to have already started paying price of its sovereignty for the Turkish support in the war. On December 2, President Ilham Aliyev declared the establishment of the new national holiday ‘Victory Day’ in Azerbaijan. The holiday scheduled for November 10 was dedicated to the start of the implementation of the peace agreements in Karabakh, under which Armenian forces in fact accepted their defeat and agreed to withdraw from Agdam, Kalbajar and Lachin districts.However, a day later Baku was reminded by Ankara that November 10 is the Day of Remembrance of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. So, on December 3, the presidential administration of Azerbaijan changed its order and rescheduled the Azerbaijani national holiday for November 8. Let’s hope the Big Neo-Ottoman Brother is now satisfied. In other case, the Azerbaijani leadership will have to reschedule a few more national holidays and rename ministries to please it.

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موسكو تهزم الإنجليز على ضفاف الفولغا وتطيح بالطورانيّة في القوقاز…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

قد لا يخطر لأحد حتى للمتابع الفطن للوهلة الاولى بأن سبب اندلاع حرب القوقاز الاخيرة انما يقف وراءها نزوع بريطانيّ شره قديم للسيطرة على مقدرات أمم القوقاز عاد وتجدّد في معركة السيطرة على قره باغ..!

فالحرب، التي شنها الجيش الأذربيجاني على إقليم ناغورني قره باغ الأرمني السكان، منذ 27/9/2020 وحتى توقيع اتفاقية وقف إطلاق النار، بين روسيا وأرمينيا وأذربيجان، قبل أيام معدودة لم تكن حرباً وليدة الساعة وليست ناتجة عن رد فعل اذربيجاني، على أطلاق نار من طرف قوات إقليم ناغورني قره باغ مثلاً، وإنما هي حرب تشكل استمراراً للحروب التي كانت تشنها بريطانيا في مناطق جنوب القوقاز ووسط آسيا (ما يعرف حالياً بالجمهوريات السوفياتية الإسلامية السابقة) بهدف وقف ما كانت تسميه لندن «التمدد الروسي» في آسيا… تلك السياسة التي لا زالت بريطانيا ومعها الولايات المتحدة ودول حلف شمال الاطلسي تمارسها حتى الآن، ليس تجاه روسيا فحسب وانما تجاه إيران أيضاً، التي تتهمها قوى الاستعمار الاوروبي «بالتمدد وتوسيع نفوذها» في «الشرق الاوسط»…!

للمتابع الفطن نقول إن هذه الحرب لم تقع صدفةً وإنما تم التخطيط لها بعناية فائقة، وبقيادة بريطانية أميركيةٍ، كان بطلها السفير البريطاني السابق في تركيا، ريتشارد مور ، الذي كان سفيراً فيها منذ بداية سنة 2014 وحتى نهاية 2017، وهو الصديق الحميم لأردوغان شخصياً ولمعظم السياسيين والجنرالات الأتراك، خاصة أنه يتكلم اللغة التركية بطلاقة ويدير مدوّنة شخصية باللغة التركية حتى اليوم، على الرغم من أنه كان قد سُمّيَ رئيساً لجهاز المخابرات البريطانية الخارجية أم 16، في شهر تموز 2020، وتسلم منصب قائد هذا الجهاز بتاريخ 2/10/2020 بعد إنهاء الإجراءات المتعلقة بتقلد هذا المنصب.

وهو كان ضابطاً فيه، حتى أثناء عمله كسفير في تركيا.

وهذا يعني أن الأب «الشرعي» لهذه الحرب هي بريطانيا، من تحت المظلة الأميركية، بينما لعب اردوغان وجنرالاته، ونتن ياهو وضباط جيشه ومخابراته، دور الأدوات لا أكثر، بهدف تنفيذ الخطة العسكرية لغزو إقليم ناغورني قره باغ وأجزاء من جنوب أرمينيا.

وقد كانت الأركان الرئيسية للخطة الشاملة تقضي بزعزعة الاستقرار في جنوب القوقاز وجمهوريات آسيا الوسطى، وصولاً الى الحدود الغربية للصين مع جمهورية قرقيزستان.

وإن الأركان الأساسية كانت هي التالية:

أولاً: أن يقوم الجيش الأذربيجاني بشنّ هجوم خاطف وسريع (ما يُسمّى بليتس كريغ أي حرب خاطفة باللغة الألمانية أصل هذه التسمية)، لا يستمرّ أكثر من أسبوع، لاجتياح إقليم ناغورني قره باغ وجنوب أرمينيا، وذلك انطلاقاً من حسابات المخطّطين العسكريين الأميركيين والبريطانيين والإسرائيليين والأتراك، الذين كانوا قد أعدوا الجيش الأذري بشكل جيد لمثل هذه المهمة، على صعيد التسليح والاستخبارات، ورفده بآلاف عدة من فلول داعش والنصرة الذين تمّ نقلهم جواً، عبر الأجواء الجورجية إلى أذربيجان، وغير ذلك من وسائل الدعم.

ثانياً: واستكمالاً لهذه الخطة العسكرية، التي بدأ تنفيذها بتاريخ 27/9/2020، يتمّ تفجير حرب ناعمة (ملوّنة)، موازية لهذه الحرب، ولكن في جمهورية قرغيزستان، المحاذية لحدود الصين الشمالية الغربية. وهو ما حصل فعلاً، حيث انفجرت يوم 4/10/2020، أعمال شغب وفوضى على نطاق واسع، احتحاجاً على نتائج انتخابية أجريت هناك، والتي كان للمخابرات المركزية الأميركية دور واسع في إشعالها وتأجيجها، خاصة أن الإدارة الاميركية كانت قد أُجبرت، سنة 2014، على إخلاء قاعدتها الجوية من شمال شرق قرقيزستان، والتي كانت تعتبر قاعدة متقدّمة ورأس جسر هام جداً، في إطار الحشد الاستراتيجي الأميركي ضدّ روسيا والصين.

ولكن هذه الحلقة من حلقات الحرب الناعمة الملوّنة قد فشلت، بتضافر جهود محلية وأخرى دوليّة، نجحت في وأد تلك المؤامرة «بشكل خاطف» وحاسم. وبالتالي وجهت ضربة استراتيجية لمخططات قوى الاستعمار الغربي، القديمة والجديدة، والتي كانت تهدف الى إحداث تغيير استراتيجي في موازين القوى في منطقة وسط آسيا.

ثالثاً: كان من المفترض، وبعد نجاح الجيش الاذربيجاني – حسب الخطة – في حسم الحرب وتحقيق أهدافه العسكرية، أن يعقد في باكو، عاصمة اذربيجان. أواخر شهر 10/2020، مؤتمر مجلس التعاون للدول الناطقة باللغة التركية، الذي تأسس في اسطنبول بتاريخ 16/9/2010، وأن يتم خلال هذا المؤتمر الإعلان عن تأسيس «جيش طوران العظيم».

وهذا يعني، عملياً وعملياتياً، إدخال اذربيجان في الأطر العسكرية التركية وبالتالي تلك الأطر التابعة لحلف شمال الأطلسي، تمهيداً لابتلاع بحر قزوين والتمدد، عبر تركمنستان، الى أوزبكستان وطاجيكستان وقرغيزستان، كما ذكرنا أعلاه. اي تطويق روسيا، عند حدودها الجنوبية، ليس فقط بقوات الاطلسي، وانما بعشرات آلاف العناصر الإرهابية، التي كان من المفترض ان تنقل الحرب الى داخل الأراضي الروسية شمالاً، أي شمال القوقاز، والى داخل الاراضي الصينيه شرقاً عبر قرغيزستان، والى داخل الأراضي الإيرانية في الجنوب الغربي، الى محافظة أذربيجان الغربية بدايةً وما يعنيه ذاك من تهديد للأمن القومي الإيراني، إضافة الى ما كان سيشكله من إخلال خطير بموازين القوى الاستراتيجية، في تلك المنطقة، خاصة اذا ما أخذنا العامل الإسرائيلي بعين الاعتبار وما كان يمكن أن يقوموا به من أدوار ضد الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية.

رابعاً: لكن فطنة وحنكة الرئيس الروسي والتنسيق العميق، بين القيادة الروسية والإيرانية، لإيجاد حل دبلوماسي لتلك الحرب، انطلاقاً من اتفاقية لوقف إطلاق النار الفوري، قد نجحت في افشال الخطط العسكرية والسياسية، ذات الطبيعة الاستراتيجية، التي خططت لها قوى الاستعمار الغربي. وقد كان المنطلق الاساسي، لمهندس هذه النتيجة (وقف الحرب)، هو خلق نوع من التوازنات الميدانية عسكرياً، بما يفرض على الطرفين القبول بوقف إطلاق النار، تمهيداً للبدء في البحث عن وسائل ديبلوماسية وسياسية قادرة على خلق الاستقرار في كل منطقة جنوب القوقاز واواسط آسيا وإخراج المنطقة نهائياً من دائرة تجدد الحروب والنزاعات المسلحة، التي تقضي على كل فرص النمو والازدهار.علماً أن فشل الجيش الاذربيجاني، في اجتياح إقليم ناغورني قره باغ وجنوب أرمينيا، بالسرعة المطلوبة كان عاملاً أساسياً في الوصول الى النتيجة التي نراها أمامنا، والمتمثلة في ما يلي:

أ ـ نجاح روسيا، من دون أن تتدخل عسكرياً او تطلق حتى رصاصةً واحدةً، في وقف القتال، وبالتالي منع توسع نطاق الحرب الى دول مجاورة، جنوباً وشرقاً، او الى جمهوريات روسية جنوبية (جمهوريات منطقة الڤولغا).

ب ـ الأهمية القصوى لهذا النجاح بالنسبة لإيران، حيث إنه قد قضى على إمكانية انتشار العصابات الإرهابية المسلحة على حدودها الشمالية الغربية، وما كان سيرافق ذلك من تسلل إسرائيلي الى أطراف تلك الحدود الإيرانية.

ج ـ إخراج تركيا، كعضو في حلف شمال الاطلسي، وأردوغان كحالم بإمبراطورية طورانية جديدة، من توازنات القوقاز وأواسط آسيا، على الرغم مما تردده وسائل الإعلام المختلفة عن تنسيق تركي روسي يتعلق بمراقبة وقف اطلاق النار.

فمن يراقب وقف إطلاق النار ومنع التسلل التركي / الاطلسي، الى اذربيجان وبقية انحاء آسيا الوسطى، هو لواء القوات الخاصة الروسية، الذي انتشر على خطوط التماس، والقوات التي سيجري تعزيزه بها، اذا ما دعت الضرورة الى ذلك. ستكون هي القوات التي تمسك بالأرض، وهي التي ستشرف على الممرات الآمنة، بعرض 5 كلم، بين إقليم قره باغ (ممر لاشين) وأرمينيا، وبين إقليم نقچوان واذربيجان، عبر جنوب أرمينيا.

وهو ما يعني أيضاً استعادة روسيا زمام المبادرة الاستراتيجية في كل فضائها الجنوبيّ، وإن بشكل يختلف عن الوجود الروسي، في هذه المناطق، إبان الحقبة السوفياتية.

إنه حضور مرن قادر على التكيّف مع كلّ المتغيرات الجيو استرتيجية والحفاظ على مصالح روسيا العليا ومصالح حلفائها، على الصعيد الدولي.

لكن كلّ هذه النجاحات لا تعني انّ التآمر الاستعماري الغربي، خاصة البريطاني الأميركي، قد انتهى الى غير رجعة، وإنما يعني ان الأرضية الاستراتيجية لإنهاء هذه المؤامرات والأطماع قد وضع لها حدّ مبدئياً.

والتطبيق العملياتي لهذه الإجراءات هو الذي سيخبرنا عن قريب عن حقيقة حجم كلّ لاعب إقليمي او دولي هناك.

فضاء القوقاز هو فضاء تمّ حسمه بشكل نهائي لصالح روسيا في الحرب العالمية الثانية. ولن تسمح روسيا لأحد مشاركتها به إلا اللهم الدخول في حلف استراتيجي معها، وهو ما تتقنه إيران باستقلالية قرار قلّ نظيرها، وهو ما لن تقدر عليه تركيا لأنها تلعب دور مخلب الناتو رغم كل الضجيج الذي تثيره حول طموحاتها المتهافتة على سواحل البحار الخمسة من الأسود حتى المتوسط والخليج الفارسي.

فنون قتال لا يتقنها إلا كبار العقول
بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله….

روسيا وتركيا وسورية والوقت الأميركيّ الحرج هل يستفيد لبنان؟

ناصر قنديل

بينما كان العالم منشغلاً في معرفة اسم المرشح الرئاسي الأميركي الذي تؤيده موسكو، كنا منشغلين بوضع اللمسات الأخيرة على خطة شهور الانتقال بين ولايتين رئاسيتين أميركيتين، سواء للرئيس نفسه أو لرئيس آخر، هذا الكلام المنسوب لمسؤول في الفريق الروسي المتابع للسياسة الدولية، تبدو ترجمته قد بدأت عملياً على جبهتين محوريتين في مفهوم الأمن القومي الروسي، هما جبهة القوقاز والجبهة السورية، حيث ليس من باب المصادفة أن يتزامن ظهور دور الراعي الروسي في تثبيت وقف النار في ناغورني قره باغ مع انعقاد المؤتمر الخاص بعودة النازحين السوريين الى بلادهم، وليس خافياً أن الحركة الروسية في الملفين تقتنص الإنجاز من موقع الاشتباك مع مصالح وسياسات أميركية وإسرائيلية واضحة، وبالاحتكاك مع حركة تركية لا تنضبط تحت السقف الروسي وتسير على حافة خطوط التماس.

في أذربيجان قواعد عسكرية أميركية ونقاط ارتكاز إسرائيلية تتصل بمشروع الحرب مع إيران، وفي أرمينيا حكم يدور في الفلك الأميركي، وفي حرب ناغورني قره باغ بين أذربيجان وأرمينيا تمثل تركيا مشروعاً خاصاً بالتنسيق مع أذربيجان في مواجهة أرمينيا، والحركة الروسية تتوّج سريعاً وبأمر عمليات ينقل مئات الجنود من الشرطة العسكرية الروسية وآلياتهم، لفرض وقف للنار، في منطقة تتوسط دولتين غير مواليتين، للسياسات الروسية ولكن في بيئة جغرافية استراتيجية لم يعد ممكناً تجاهل ثقل الحضور الروسي فيها، خصوصاً مع متغيرات السنوات الأخيرة وما شهدته من تصاعد في الحضور العسكري الروسي، وترسم موسكو خطوطاً حمراء للدور التركي، وتضع أرمينيا مجدداً تحت إبطها، وتنتشر قواتها على خط تماس مع أذربيجان وبرضا حكومتها، بصورة تجعل مشهد الانتشار الأميركي والروسي في جغرافيا واحدة شبيهاً بالمشهد السوري.

في سورية يتصدّر الرئيسان السوري بشار الأسد والروسي فلاديمير بوتين، الدعوة لانعقاد مؤتمر النازحين عبر لقاء جمعهما قبل يوم من انعقاد المؤتمر المخصّص لعودة النازحين، وملف العودة منذ سنتين موضوع اهتمام الرئيس الروسي الذي أطلق مبادرة خاصة تجمّدت عند خطوط الاشتباك مع الأميركي، والالتزام العربي والأوروبي والأممي بالسقوف الأميركية، لكن هذه المرة نجح المؤتمر باجتذاب مشاركة الأمم المتحدة، ودولة الإمارات، ومشاركة لبنانية وازنة، وبدا أن المؤتمر قد تزامن مع قرارات سوريّة تشجيعيّة ذات أهمية لضمان العودة الواسعة، سواء عبر ما أعلنه الرئيس الأسد من اتجاه لاتخاذ إجراءات تتصل بالإعفاءات، أو بضمانات أمنية للذين كانوا على ضفاف المعارضة، أو عبر ما ترجمه كلام نائب وزير الخارجية السورية فيصل المقداد بالإعلان عن توجيهات الرئيس الأسد بتأمين المسكن والمدرسة والطبابة للعائدين.

خلال شهور ستكون أميركا في وضع حرج، في التعامل مع خيارات صعبة لمرحلة الانتقال، وموسكو المستعدّة لفرضيات متشائمة لا تعتقد بإمكانية تحققها عبر حماقات عسكرية وأمنية تخرج الوضع عن السيطرة، تضع ثقلها لفرض حقائق ووقائع جديدة، عنوانها وضع سورية على سكة مسار السلم الداخلي، وفقاً لضوابط جديدة للدور التركي، وملف عودة النازحين ومن خلفه مشروع إعادة الإعمار سيكونان على الطاولة، مع دعوة مفتوحة للأميركيين للانسحاب وللإسرائيليين بالتوقف عن العبث، ودعوة موازية للأوروبيين والعرب للانضمام لخيار السلم في سورية، بينما على ضفة موازية تتجه موسكو لحسم الوضع في القوقاز، الذي يشكل الانسحاب الأميركي والإسرائيلي سقفاً لا يمكن تفاديه للسياق الذي بدأ بانتشار الشرطة العسكرية الروسية، وحيث تركيا أيضاً مطالبة بالانتباه للخطوط الحمر الروسية، وحيث أوروبا مدعوة للخروج من سلبيتها.

لبنان أمام فرصة ذهبية ليكون ملف عودة النازحين من لبنان الى سورية، الترجمة الواقعية المتاحة. والتردّد هنا خسارة لبنانية قد يصعب تعويضها إذا ربط لبنان مصير عودة النازحين السوريين بساعة توقيت غير لبنانية.

Understanding the outcome of the war for Nagorno-Karabakh

THE SAKER • NOVEMBER 11, 2020 • 3,100 WORDS • 

A lot has happened very rapidly in the past two days and I will begin this analysis by a few bullet points summarizing what just happened (not in any particular order, including chronological):

  • The war which has just ended was a real bloodbath and it has seen more casualties (counting both sides) than what the Soviet Union lost in 10 years of warfare in Afghanistan
  • This war is now over, Russian peacekeepers have already been deployed along the line of contact. So far, neither side has dared to resume hostilities (more about that below).
  • There have been two days of celebrations in Baku where President Aliev has declared that the war was a triumph for Azeri forces and that Pashinian got nothing. He is right.
  • The Azeris are now declaring that they want compensation from Armenia.
  • There are now Turkish forces in Azerbaijan and Russian and Turkish forces have created a joint committee to coordinate actions.
  • Erdogan has insisted that he wanted Turkey to send in peacekeepers, but Putin has categorically rejected this demand: like any other state, Azerbaijan has the undisputed right to invite foreign forces on its territory, but these forces will not have the status and rights of a peacekeeping force.
  • Violent riots have broken out in Erevan where violent mobs have stormed government buildings, beaten officials and sacked the Parliament.
  • Seventeen Armenian opposition parties have declared that they want a committee of national salvation and the resignation of Pashinian.
  • Nobody knows where Pashinian is hiding, but he seems to still be somewhere in Armenia.
  • These mobs also destroyed the Soros offices in Erevan and they are now looking for Pashinian “the traitor” to lynch him.
  • Pashinian has complained on Twitter that his offices were sacked, that a computer, his driver license and, I kid you not, a bottle of perfume (poor perfumed baby!) were stolen.
  • The Russian peacekeeping force will be constituted of subunits of the 15th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade which itself is part of the 2nd Guards Combined Arms Army of the Central Military District. It will include about 2000 armed soldiers, APCs and IFVs, specialized vehicles (EW, C3I, etc.), drones and air defense systems.
  • Russians peacekeepers will stay deployed in this area for no less than 5 years.
  • Russia will now control both the Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) corridor and the Nakhichevan corridor.

Now let’s look at the position of the parties at the end of this war and compare them.

Armenia: there is no doubt that Armenia is the biggest loser in this war. Pashinian and his gang of russophobic Sorosites has brought a real calamity upon his people. Since he came to power his anti-Russian actions included almost totally eliminating any Armenian participation on the CSTO, he completely ceased any collaboration with Russia (including in the intelligence and security domains), he purged the Armenian military and security forces from all the supposed “pro-Russian” elements, he banned Russian language schools. In contrast, Armenia has an absolutely huge US embassy with about 2000 personnel (as much as the entire Russian peacekeeping force!) and when the Azeris attacked, Pashinin refused to ask Russia for help for a full month. He did ask Trump, Merkel and Macron for help instead. Needless to say, they did exactly nothing once the crisis erupted.

Truth be told, the Armenians had absolutely no other option but to accept the Azeri terms. The Armenians have suffered huge losses while the Azeris have taken Shushi, the key strategic city which controls both the capital of NK Stepanakert and the corridor between NK and Armenia. Had Pashinian not signed, the surrounded Armenians would have been slaughtered by the Azeris (in this war, both sides reported having almost no prisoners. Why? Because almost all were all executed, often after gruesome tortures by both sides). Russian analysts also say that Armenia was simply running out of supplies very fast (a fact also mentioned by Pashinian).

Simply put: Aliev’s plan worked, the blind arrogance of the Armenian leaders, along with their suicidal polices have almost cost Armenia the complete loss of NK and, possibly, even the existence of their own country. With all the best Armenian officers removed (including heroes from the first Karabakh war, which Armenia won), what was left were delusional clowns who promised that Armenia, without any help including without Russian help, could win the war and drive its forces to Baku (yes, they did sound just as delusional as some Ukie leaders).

Turkey: the next big loser in this war is Turkey whose objectives of bringing all Turkic nations under one neo-Ottoman empire have, predictably, crashed. Again. Erdogan is a world class megalomaniac and trouble maker, and he has involved Turkey in wars (or quasi wars) with Syria, Israel, Iraq, Greece, Libya, Iran, Russia and even (to some degree) NATO. And let’s not forget the bloody operations against the Kurds everywhere. He is a bona fide megalomaniac and that makes him very, very dangerous. Russia has intervened militarily in Syria, Libya and now Azerbaijan to deny Turkey its wannabe empire status and each time we saw that Turkey, as a country, simply does not have the resources to try to build an empire, especially since Erdogan simply does not understand that simultaneously opening conflicts on several fronts in a recipe for disaster.

There is also pretty strong likelihood that it was the Turks who shot down the Russian Mi-24 right inside the Armenian air space: their goal was to force Russia to stop seeking a negotiated solution and to impose a continuation of hostilities. Thank God for Aliev’s superb strategic skills which made it possible for him to do something very smart: he took the blame for what he called a tragic mistake and offered all sorts of compensations and excuses. Aliev’s decision to take the blame probably came after he and Putin (who are close friends) had what diplomats call a “frank exchange of views”.

The Turks are making a big deal out of the fact that the Azeris have invited Turkish forces into Azerbaijan. But let’s be honest here: the Azeris and Turks were always close and there was no outcome which could have prevented the Azeris from legally inviting Turkish forces into Azerbaijan. The real issue is what these forces can do. I submit that while we should never discard the toxic potential of any Turkish force anyway, there is little this force will be able to do than to a) monitor the situation and 2) coordinate with the Russians to stay out of each other’s way. But what these forces won’t be able to do is to attack, or even threaten to attack, Armenian and/or Russian forces (see below why).

Russia: Russia is the only true winner of this war. I know, there is a powerful Armenian lobby in the USA, in Europe and in Russia, and they are trying to present their defeat as a defeat for Russia. Frankly, I understand their bitterness and I feel sorry for them, but they are absolutely wrong. Here is why:

First, Russia has now established herself as the sole power in the Caucasus which can bring about peace. 2000 US personnel in Erevan did absolutely nothing for years to really help Armenia, all they did is force suicidal russophobic policies on Armenia, that’s about it. The same amount of Russian soldiers literally brought peace overnight. Here I have to explain a little something about the units which was sent Azerbaijan: 15th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade (15IMRB).

The 15IMRB is not a peacekeeping force in the western meaning of the world. This is an elite combat force which specializes in peacekeeping and peacemaking (“coercion to peace” in Russian terminology) missions. It’s personnel is 100% composed of professionals, most of whom have extensive combat experience: they participated in the coercion to peace operation against Georgia in 08.08.08 and in Syria. These are top of the line, well trained, superbly equipped forces who, on top of their own capabilities, can fully count on the support of the Russian forces in Armenia and from the full support of the entire Russian military. Those who say that this force is a lightly armed token force simply do not understand these issues.

The entire theatre of operations of this war is very much inside the (conceptual) under 1000 kilometers from the Russian border which the Russian military wants to be capable of domination escalation should a war break out. To repeat, the Russian military is not organized the way the US military is: the Russian military doctrine is purely defensive, this is not propaganda, and it relies for this defense on its ability to very rapidly deploy high readiness mechanized forces anywhere inside Russia and within about 1000km from the Russian border and the ability to destroy any force entering this zone. Russia also relies on advanced weapons systems capable of unleashing a lot of firepower in defense of its deployed task forces forces. In other words, while the 15IMRB is only a brigade sized expeditionary force, it is trained to hunker down and hold a position until the reinforcements (personnel and/or firepower) are deployed from Russia. You can think of this as something similar to the Russian task force in Syria, only much closer to Russia and, therefore, much easier to support if needed.

Coming back to the shooting down of a Russian Mi-24, this action will not go unnoticed or forgotten, of that you can be sure. The fact that Putin (and the Russian military) don’t act like the US would and immediately initiate reprisals does not mean that the Russians don’t care, have forgotten or are afraid. There is a Jewish proverb which says “a good life is the best revenge”. I would paraphrase this by saying that Putin’s motto could be “an advantageous outcome is the best retaliation”: this is what we saw in Syria and this is what will happen in Azerbaijan.

Another sweet spot for Russia is that she can now (truthfully) declare that color revolutions inevitably result in territorial losses (the Ukraine, Georgie and now Armenia) and political chaos (everywhere).

Next, please look at the following map (in Russian, but that is no problem):

Please look at the two thick blue lines: they are showing corridors between Azerbaijan and the Azeri province of Nakhichevan and the corridor between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. These two corridors are absolutely vital for both of these countries and they will now be under the control of FSB Border Guards (Russian border guards are light, mobile and elite units comparable in terms of training and capabilities to their colleagues from the Airborne Forces. Again, don’t assume that they are anything like the US or EU border or customs officials). They are very tough elite units which are trained to fight a much superior force until reinforcements come in.

What that means in strategic terms is that Russia now has an iron grip on what is a vital strategic artery for both Azerbaijan and Armenia. None of the parties are willing to comment very much on this, no need to humiliate anybody, but those in the know realize what a fantastic pressure capability Putin has just added to Russia in the Caucasus. You can think of these two corridors as a lifeline for both states as long as you also realize that these corridors are also strategic daggers in Russian hands pointed at the vital organs of both states.

The usual Putin-hating choir which has been singing the “Putin lost control of the near abroad” mantra should now be both ashamed of their lack of understanding, and livid at what “Putin” did to their hopes, but that kind of magical thinking won’t change reality on the ground: far from losing anything, Putin secured an immense strategic Russia victory at the cost of 2 dead soldiers, one wounded and one helicopter.

From now on, Russia will have permanent military forces in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Georgia has been effectively neutered. The Russian Caucasus is mostly peaceful and prosperous, both the Black Sea and the Caspian are de facto “Russian lakes” and the Russian “underbelly” is now much stronger than it ever was before.

Let’s when any western power achieves a similar result 

Conclusion:

This war is now only frozen and, like in Syria, there will be provocations, false flags, setbacks and murdered innocents. But, like in Syria, Putin will always prefer a quiet strategy with minimal losses over one with a lot of threats, grandstanding and instant retaliations. There is also what I call the “Putin use of force rules”: never use force where expected, always use force when least expected and always use force in a way your enemies do not plan for. Still, let’s not see all this in rosy colors, there will be setbacks for sure, Erdogan is angry and he still wants to play a role. Putin, in a typical Russian manner will give him exactly that “a role”, but that role will be minimal and mostly for internal Turkish PR consumption. Erdogan, far from being a new Mehmed The Conqueror and “The Great Eagle”, will go down in history as Erdogan The Loser and the “Defeated Chicken”. Megalomania might be a prerequisite for an empire builder, but that alone is clearly not enough.

🙂

What comes next?

Pashinian will be overthrown, that is pretty sure. What matters most for Armenia is who will replace him. Alas, there are anti-Pashinian nationalists out there who are just as russophobic as the Pashinian gang. Furthermore, considering the hysterics taking place in Armenia, there is a real possibility that a new government might annul the ceasefire and demand a “fight to the end”. This could be a major problem, including for the Russian forces in Armenia and the peacekeepers, but it is also likely that by the time the Armenian people really understand that 1) they have been lied to and 2) they have suffered a crushing defeat these calls will eventually be drowned out by more sane voices (including those of the currently jailed pre-2018 leaders).

There is also a huge Armenian immigration in Russia which will hear all the reporting and analyses produced in Russia and will be fully aware of the reality out there. These immigrants represent a huge ressource for Armenia as they are going to be the one who will push for a strong collaboration with Russia which, frankly, Armenia now needs more than anything else. Right now, judging by what pro-Armenian Russian analysts are saying, the Armenians and their supporters are absolutely horrified by this outcome and they are promising that the Turks have now penetrated deeply inside the Russian sphere of influence. To them sane voices reply that this so-called “move” into the Russia sphere of influence will be mostly PR and that it is far better for some Turkish forces to move inside the Russian sphere of influence than for some Russian force to be deployed inside the Turkish sphere of influence. In other words, when these Armenia supporters say that Erdogan has moved deeply inside the Russian sphere of influence, they are also thereby admitting that this is a Russian, not Turkish, sphere of influence. They just don’t realize what they are saying, that’s all.

Frankly, the Armenian diasporas in Russia, the EU and the USA are superbly organized, they have a lot of money, and they currently control the narrative in the EU and the USA (in Russia they tried and miserably failed). Add to this the fact the Aliev was the one who started that war and that he is deeply enmeshed with Erdogan’s Turkey and you will see why the magnitude of the Armenian defeat is systematically underplayed in the western media. That’s fine, let a few months go by and the reality of the situation will eventually convince those currently in denial.

Right now, this is exactly the process which is (violently) taking place in Erevan. But sooner or later, looting mobs will be replaced by some kind of government of national unity and if that government wants to put an end to the horrendous losses and wants to rebuild what is left standing, they will have to call the Kremlin and offer Russia some kind of deal. Needless to day, the immense US embassy, and the hundred of Soros-sponsored “NGOs” will oppose that with all their might. But with the USA itself fighting for survival, the EU in total disarray and the Turks failing at everything they try, that is simply not a viable option.

Russians used to joke that it takes 2 Jews to cheat 1 Armenian, meaning that Armenians are possibly even smarter than Jews (who, in all fairness, are not that smart at all, that is mostly self-serving and self-worshiping propaganda). I tend to share this admiration of the Armenian people: Armenians are an ancient, truly noble and beautiful nation and culture, who deserve to live in peace and security and who have suffered many horrors in their history. They deserve so much more than this CIA/MI6 stooge Pashinian! Right now, the Armenian nation is definitely at a low moment in its history, comparable to the “democratic” 90s in Russia or the current “liberal” horror taking place in the USA. But, as Dostoevsky liked to say, “one should never judge a nation by how low it can sink, but by how high it can soar”.

The best thing for Armenia, objectively, would be to become part of Russia (which Armenia was in its recent past). But that is not going to happen: first, Armenian nationalism is as blind and as obtuse as ever and, furthermore, Russia would never accept Armenia into the Russian Federation, and why would she? Armenia has exactly nothing to offer Russia, except a difficult to protect territory with potentially dangerous neighbors. No, Russia never lost Armenia – it was Armenia which lost Russia. Now the most the Kremlin will offer to Armenia is 1) protection against all neighbors and 2) economic help.

As for the rest, let’s see if the next Armenian government re-joins the CSTO not only in words (as was the case for the past couple of years), but in actions (like resume intel exchanges, military collaboration, joint security operations, etc.). That would be a great first step for Armenia.

عندما تعود أذربيجان «سوفياتيّة» وأرمينيا إلى بيت الطاعة

محمد صادق الحسيني

بعيداً عن كلام الإعلام واستعراض الشاشات…

اتفاق قره باغ الثلاثيّ بين موسكو وباكو ويريفان،

ليس هو الإنجاز الذي كانت ترمي اليه أذربيجان تماماً، لكنه الهزيمة المرّة الأكيدة لتركيا العثمانية الأطلسية المتغطرسة وارتياحاً واسعاً لإيران، ونجاحاً باهراً لروسيا…

فوقف القتال في القوقاز الجنوبي سيفضي عملياً حسب مصادر وثيقة الصلة بالنزاع الى ما يلي:

هذه هي خلاصة ما حصل من توافق بين قادة روسيا وأرمينيا وأذربيجان في الساعات الماضية حول قره باغ.

1-

استرجاع الأذربيجانيّين أراضيهم المحتلة منذ نحو 30 عاماً.

2-

عودة نحو مليون مهجّر أذربيجاني الى بيوتهم وأوطانهم.

3-

استعادة قره باغ موقعها كإقليم خاص داخل أذربيجان كما كان منذ عهد ستالين.

4-

عودة أرمينيا الى بيت الطاعة الروسيّ بعد أن حاولت عبر نفوذ غربي أميركي أن تخرج من الفضاء الروسي هلى الطريقة الجورجيّة.

5-

خروج أردوغان الأطلسي من الفضاء الروسي القوقازي بخفي حنين.

6-

تحصين الروس لسلطات نفوذهم العميقة أصلاً في أذربيجان سواء في أركان القيادة العسكرية الأذربيجانية او من خلال السيدة مهربان زوجة علييف ونائبة الرئيس المعروفة بميلها الروسيّ المعتق.

7-

تحصين النفوذ الروسي في عالم الطاقة القوقازي من خلال مشروع ربط الغاز التركماني الذي اشترته موسكو بخط الغاز الأذربيجاني الذي يمرّ من جورجيا وعلى تخوم حدود أرمينيا الشماليّة.

8-

استعادة روسيا موقعها المركزي في مجموعة بلدان حوض الخزر (بحر الخزر أو بحر قزوين) كطرف أساسي ومؤثر بالشراكة مع إيران.

9-

إعادة الزخم لعلاقاتها الاستراتيجية مع إيران بعد أن ساهمت في إطفاء نار الغدر واحتمالات العدوان على الأمن القومي الإيراني من بوابة اللعب بالصراع العرقي على حدودها الشمالية.

10-

تأديب تركيا وتقليم أظافرها في أذربيجان من خلال العمل الفعلي والجادّ على جدولة خروج مستشاريها وقواتها من باكو ومعها المستشارون الإسرائيليون وكلّ ما استقدم من رجال عصابات إرهابيّة الى منطقة النزاع.

كل ذلك سيحصل من خلال وجود عسكريّ روسيّ سيبدأ بآلاف المراقبين الروس ومئات المدرّعات ولا يعلم مدى حجمه المستقبليّ إلا الله والراسخون في علم الفضاء السوفياتي.

لقد صبرت موسكو كثيراً على قيادة يريفان التي حاولت التمرّد على الفضاء الروسي.

وصبرت أكثر على قيادة باكو وحليفها التركيّ المستجدّ والدخيل على الفضاء الروسيّ في القوقاز منذ ان حسمت معارك الحرب العالمية الثانية طبيعة هذا الفضاء الاستراتيجيّ.

كما استطاعت موسكو أن تعمل بتؤدة وبخبرة عالية أمنية وعسكرية وسياسية وديبلوماسية اكتسبتها من الميدان السوريّ، أن تؤمن ظهرها بالحليف الإيراني وتمنحه جائزة ترضية في حدوده الشمالية من دون أن يخوض حرباً مكلفة لأجل ذلك في القوقاز.

ومسك الختام كان عملها الدؤوب والحثيث لتحضير كلّ ذلك بعيداً عن الواجهة المحتدمة للصراع من أجل اقتناص اللحظة الاستراتيجية العالمية لفرض التسوية الإقليمية لهذا الصراع الناريّ والعدو الأميركي في لحظة انشغال وانهماك في استحقاقاته الانتخابيّة وتداعياتها التي جعلته يتخبط في مستنقع اللامعقول والشلل الاستراتيجيّ.

درس لكل مَن يريد أن يعتبر كيف يتم حسم معركة كبرى مفروضة عليه، من دون إطلاق رصاصة واحدة، اللهم عدا الطوافة العسكرية التي سقطت قرباناً للإعلان عن الصفقة…!

هي السنن الكونية والأقدار يحصد نتائجها مَن يتقن السباحة في بحرها.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

الأطلسي في القوقاز بعد خسارته المتوسط والخليج…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

يحاول الأميركي الذي تهشمت صورته الدولية وانكسرت كلّ موجاته المتتالية على بوابات الشام وتخوم بغداد وأسوار صنعاء… بعد أن عجز في شرق المتوسط، وفشل في هرمز، فضلاّ عن باب المندب في تحقيق اختراق مهمّ ضدّ محور المقاومة وتحالف القوى المناهضة للأحادية الأميركية…

نقل مسرح عملياته إلى القوقاز عبر مخلبه العثماني لتحقيق الأهداف التالية:

١ – تحويل القوقاز إلى جسر عبور لقوات الناتو من البحر الأسود الى بحر الخزر لإعاقة دفاعات القوات الروسية عبر نهر الفولغا (خط الدفاع الأول في صدّ أيّ حرب عالمية)

٢ – محاولة ربط أربيل المتحالفة مع تل أبيب بباكو المتحالفة هي الأخرى مع الكيان الصهيوني عبر الحاضنة التركية الأردوغانية لوضع إيران (شمال غرب) في وضع قوس او هلال يُطبق على القوة الإيرانية الصاعدة حاملة مشروع العبور الى فلسطين لتحريرها.

٣ – حماية خطوط نقل الغاز الأذربيجانية والطرق السريعة التي تنطلق من باكو عبر جورجيا وصولاً الى تركيا.

واليكم تفاصيل الأهداف المباشرة والبعيدة المدى للعدوان الأميركي الاطلسي (العثماني) الإسرائيلي على القوقاز:

ليست هي المرة الأولى، التي تحاول فيها قوى الاستعمار الغربية السيطرة على منطقة القوقاز، لأسباب استراتيجية واقتصادية، بسبب امتلاكها كميات كبيرة من النفط، في اربعينيات القرن الماضي، مضافاً اليها الغاز في القرن الحالي.

اذ انّ زعيم الرايخ الثالث، ادولف هتلر، قد وقع أمراً عسكرياً، بشنّ حملة عسكرية لاحتلال منطقة القوقاز كاملة، وذلك بتاريخ ٢٨ / ٦ /١٩٤٢، أسماها: الحملة الزرقاء او المهمة الزرقاء بلغة هتلر الالمانية.

وقد جرّد هتلر لهذه الحملة القوات التالية:

– مليون جندي ألماني.

– ألف ومائتين وثلاثة وستين دبابة.

– سبعة عشر ألفاً وخمسة وثلاثين مدفع ميدان.

– ألف وستمائة وأربعين قاذفة قنابل ومقاتلة اعتراضية.

ولكن كلّ هذه القوات عجزت عن تحقيق ايّ تقدم، في المعركة التي استمرت من ٢٨/٦/١٩٤٢ وانتهت بتاريخ ١٩/١١/١٩٤٢، عندما نجحت الجيوش السوفياتية بتدمير كلّ القوات المُشار إليها أعلاه وفرض الحصار الشامل على الجيش السادس الألماني، في منطقة ستالينغراد، ذلك الحصار الذي انتهى بتدمير الجيش الألماني السادس (بقيادة مارشال الدبابات الالماني باولوس) وإبادته بالكامل وتحرير منطقة ستالينغراد.

ان ما يجري حالياً، من عدوان أميركي أطلسي، عبر مشاركة تركيا المباشرة فيه، إسرائيلي سعودي خليجي، ليس سوى نسخة عن حملة هتلر الزرقاء، ذات الأهداف القريبة جداً من أهداف النازية الالمانية، لا بل هي اكثر شموليةً من اهداف المانيا النازية.

نقول ذلك لانّ ما يجري حالياً، من عدوان شامل على جمهورية أرمينيا، عبر الرئيس الأذري، إلهام علييڤ وزوجته مِهربان التي عيّنها نائبةً له، وهما الأكثر فساداً في العالم، لا يمكن وصفه (العدوان) بحربٍ او نزاعٍ بين أرمينيا وأذربيجان وإنما هو عدوان شامل، على منطقة القوقاز وما بعد بعد القوقاز.

اذ انّ هذا العدوان، حسب ما أفادت مصادر استخبارية مختصة ومتخصصة بشؤون القوقاز ومستندة الى معلومات دقيقةٍ، ميدانيةً والكترونية، يستهدف المحاور التالية:

أولاً: إيران.

انّ أهمّ الأهداف الفورية، التي تطمح قوى العدوان الأميركي الأطلسي الإسرائيلي الى تحقيقها، هي جرّ إيران الى حرب إقليمية في منطقة القوقاز وشمال غرب إيران على وجه الخصوص، وذلك لاستنزافها في حرب لا ناقة لها فيها ولا جمل. فالقصف المدفعي الذي تعرّضت له بلدة محمد صالح، في محافظة، خدا آفارين الحدودية الإيرانية أكثر من مرة، منذ بدأ العمليات العسكرية في منطقة ناغورنو كاراباخ، لم يكن قصفاً عن طريق الخطأ، سواء البشري او الحسابي، بل انه كان عملية قصف مدفعي مبرمج نفذتها بطارية مدافع هاون يديرها ضباط مدفعية «إسرائيليون»، في داخل الأراضي الأذرية، بهدف استدراج ردّ مدفعي إيراني توريطاً للأخيرة. وما التسريبات التي تنشرها المصادر الاستخبارية «الإسرائيلية» والخليجية/ السعودية، حول استنفار الحرس الثوري الإيراني، وتجهيزه لكتيبة مدفعية ميدان وكتيبة دبابات للردّ على مصادر النيران، إلا دليلاً اضافياً على أهداف العدوان.

ثانياً: روسيا.

انّ روسيا اليوم مستهدفةً، تماماً كما كان الاتحاد السوفياتي مستهدفاً آنذاك، خاصة اذا ما اخذنا بعين الاعتبار قيام الولايات المتحدة وحلف شمال الاطلسي، بضخ آلاف من عناصر داعش المسلحين، عبر تركيا الى أذربيجان، وتسريبها من هناك الى كافة مناطق القوقاز وما بعد القوقاز، ايّ شرقاً باتجاه اوزبكستان وتركمانستان وقرغيزيا وطاجيكستان قرب الحدود الصينيه، ثم شمالاً، باتجاه الجمهوريات الاتحادية الروسية، مثل جمهورية داغستان والشيشان وإنغوشيا وجمهورية شمال أوسيتيا وجمهورية كاباردينو / بالكاريا / وجمهورية الشركس، وكلها جمهوريات من جمهوريات الاتحاد الروسي. الامر الذي يجعل من خلق حالة عدم استقرار دائمة على حدود روسيا الجنوبية، وربما حتى داخل حدودها الجنوبية، أمراً في غاية الخطورة الاستراتيجية، اذ انّ هذا التهديد قد يصل الى دعم المعسكر الأطلسي الأميركي لمحاولات انفصالية في هذه الجمهوريات، كما حدث في بداية تسعينيات القرن الماضي في جمهورية الشيشان، التي شهدت حربين دمويتين فشلت خلالهما المخططات الاميركية في تحقيق أهدافها. وهو ما يعتبر تهديداً استراتيجياً مباشراً لروسيا لا يمكنها السكوت عليه.

اذن، ها نحن نرى أهداف هذا العدوان تصل الى ما وراء القوقاز، ايّ الى هدف تفتيت الاتحاد الروسي وإخضاع جمهورياته للهيمنة الأميركية الأوروبية، حيث لا بدّ ان نرى هذه المخططات مقترنة مع الجهود الأطلسية الأميركية المتواصلة، لضم أوكرانيا وجورجيا الى عضوية حلف شمال الاطلسي، احكاماً لتطويق روسيا الاستراتيحي، نظراً لما تقوم به دول هذا الحلف، من استفزازات مستمرة ضدّ روسيا، من البحر الأسود جنوباً (محاولات طائرات الاستطلاع والقاذفات الاستراتيجية الأميركية اختراق الأجواء الروسية باستمرار انطلاقاً من قواعدها في تركيا ورومانيا وبلغاريا)، وصولاً الى نفس هذا النمط من الاستفزازات، عبر الأجواء الأوكرانية والبولندية واللتوانية وأجواء لاتفيا واستونيا في الغرب، وصولاً الى مدينة لينينغراد، على بحر البلطيق، شمال غرب روسيا.

ايّ انّ كلّ ما ذكر أعلاه يؤكد انّ الهدف، مما يجري في منطقة كاراباخ، هو تحويل القوقاز الى منطقة عدم استقرار دائم، مما يستنزف طاقات روسيا المالية والعسكرية، في ما لو نجحت قوى العدوان، في التمكن من إقامة وتثبيت بنى تحتية قادرة، لداعش وغيرها من المسمّيات الإرهابية، في أذربيجان بدايةً ليتوسع هذا الوجود الى مناطق أخرى في الخاصرة الجنوبية لروسيا.

ولكن ما فشل في تحقيقه الزعيم النازي الألماني عام ١٩٤٢ لن ينجح في تحقيقه أحفاده الأطلسيين وأتباعهم، من صهاينة وأعراب، لا من خلال هذا العدوان الممنهج ولا من خلال التآمر المساند لهذا العدوان، الذي تمثل في مسرحية «تسميم» المعارض الروسي نافالين، التي تتواصل فصولها حالياً، كما تتواصل مؤامرات نفس غرف العمليات السوداء، في إعداد مؤامرة «تسميم» جديدة في سورية، ليس ضدّ معارض سوري بل ضدّ الشعب السوري في محافظة إدلب بهدف اتهام الجيشين الروسي والسوري بتنفيذ الجريمة التي يخططون لها.

ثالثاً: الصين.

وفي إطار ما تقدّم، من معلومات، مقترنةً بقراءةٍ موضوعيةٍ لهذه المعلومات، لا بدّ لنا أن نؤكد على أنّ جزءاً أساسياً من الجهود التخريبية، التي يجري تنفيذها في جنوب القوقاز، عبر إشعال فتيل الحرب في منطقة كاراباخ، موجه ضدّ جمهورية الصين الشعبية بشكل مباشر أيضاً، وذلك للأسباب التالية:

1 ـ عجز الولايات المتحده ودول حلف شمال الأطلسي معاً، ليس فقط عن مواجهة الصين عسكرياً فحسب، وإنما عجز واشنطن وحلفائها في الاتحاد الأوروبي حتى عن منافسة الصين اقتصادياً، الأمر الذي سيؤدي بالضرورة وبصورة مجردة تماماً الى تربّع الصين على عرش العالم خلال سنوات قليلة. وهو ما يعني إنهاء الهيمنة الاستعمارية الأميركية الأوروبية في العالم أجمع والى غير رجعة.

وبالنظر الى انّ مشروع طريق الحرير الصيني هو أحد أهمّ ركائز سياسة الصين الدولية، على الصعيد الاقتصادي وبالتالي السياسي والعسكري مستقبلاً، وهي السياسة المبنية على المنافسة الاقتصادية الشريفة والابتعاد عن سياسات العدوان وإشعال الحروب، تلافياً لنشأة أوضاع غير مستقرّة لا تساعد على تنمية التعاون الاقتصادي بين الدول، فإنّ الولايات المتحدة قد لجأت الى إشعال فتيل الحروب المتدحرجة في منطقة القوقاز، التي شكلت عقدة أساسية واستراتيجية هامة على الصعيد التجاري والسياسي والعسكري وحتى الديني، في حقبة طريق الحرير الصينية القديمة، التي كانت قائمة منذ سنة ١١٥ قبل الميلاد وحتى بداية القرن الثالث عشر الميلادي، والتي كانت تتمّ عبرها التبادلات التجارية بين الصين وجنوب أوروبا على وجه الخصوص، مارةً بمنطقة القوقاز الشمالي والجنوبي. وهي المناطق التي تحاول واشنطن وأدواتها السيطرة عليها حالياً لعرقلة تنفيذ مشاريع البنى التحتية الضرورية للحركة التجارية، التي هي قيد التبلور على قاعدة مشروع طريق واحد وحزام واحد الصيني العملاق.

وهذا يعني ان الولايات المتحدة، ومن خلال أدواتها الاقليمية، الصهيونية والعثمانية والرجعية العربية تسعى الى السيطرة على كامل منطقة القوقاز الاستراتيجية، وليس فقط إلحاق إقليم ناغورنو كاراباخ بأذربيجان كما يدّعي أردوغان.

من هنا فإنّ من الضروري فهم طبيعة هذا المخطط العدواني على حقيقته، ايّ على انه حلقة مكملة لتطويق الصين الشعبية استراتيجياً. فبالاضافة الى التحرشات والاستفزازات المتواصلة، التي تقوم بها الأساطيل البحرية الأميركية والأوروبية، كالقوة المسماة «قوة حماية التجارة الدولية» وغيرها، في بحر الصين الجنوبي، وبحار الصين الأخرى، وشرق المحيط الهندي وغرب المحيط الهادئ (الممتدة من جزيرة غوام حتى بحر الفلبين وجزيرة تايوان الصينية المنشقة)، بالاضافة الى هذه التحرشات ومثيلاتها الجوية، المنطلقة من القواعد الأميركية في اليابان وكوريا الجنوبية وقواعد المحيط الهندي، نجد ان الخبراء الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين، وفي ظل عجزهم عن المواجهة العسكرية المباشرة، في جنوب شرق آسيا، يلجأون الى خلق المصاعب الاستراتيجية للصين، على صعيد التجارة الاستراتيجية، أملاً منهم في إضعافها اقتصادياً، وبالتالي عسكرياً، كي يتمكنوا من تحقيق أهدافهم، في تكريس الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم من جديد.

لكن ما يغيب عن بال هؤلاء المخططين هو حقيقة انّ المصالح المشتركة، بين الصين الشعبية وروسيا وإيران، وعلاقات التنسيق الوثيق، التي تربط الدول الثلاث، على مختلف الأصعدة، كفيلة بإفشال كلّ هذه الأوهام، وانّ أتباع واشنطن في أنقره وتل أبيب وأعراب النفط لن يكونوا قادرين على تغيير موازين القوى الاستراتيجية، لا على صعيد منطقة القوقاز وآسيا الوسطى، ولا على صعيد موازين القوى في جنوب شرق آسيا وغرب المحيط الهادئ. وهي بالتالي مشاريع محكومة بالفشل، كسابقاتها من المشاريع الاميركية، التي انطلقت من احتلال أفغانستان، ثم العراق ومن بعدها محاولة ضرب حزب الله في لبنان سنة ٢٠٠٦، تعزيزاً لاحتلال العراق وتمهيداً للسيطرة على «الشرق الأوسط» بأكمله، وصولاً الى الفتن والحروب التي أشعلتها الولايات المتحدة في الدول العربية، تحت مسمّى الربيع العربي، منذ عام ٢٠١١، وانتهاءً بالعدوان الأميركي «الإسرائيلي» السعودي على اليمن، الذي فشل تماماً في تحقيق أيّ من أهدافه.

2 ـ التمهيد لتوسيع دائرة الحروب والفتن الطائفية والعرقية، في عموم منطقة آسيا الوسطى، وليس فقط في منطقة شمال وجنوب القوقاز، وذلك عبر تكليف مخلب الناتو، تركيا أردوغان، وتحت إشراف غرفة العمليات الأميركية التركية الإسرائيلية المشتركة، وبتمويل سعودي، بنقل الآلاف من مسلحي داعش، الموجودين في سورية حالياً، والذين تمّ نشرهم على محاور: فضولي وجبرائيل، جنوب منطقة ناغورنو كاراباخ، على الحدود الإيرانيه الاذرية، لاستخدامهم ضمن الأهداف المذكورة أعلاه، إلى جانب إنشاء معسكرات تدريب مخصصة لإعادة تدريب هذه العناصر، وتسريبها الى دول وسط آسيا السوفياتية السابقة، وصولاً الى الصين، ظناً منهم انّ بمقدورهم تغيير موازين القوى الاستراتيجية، أو خلق مناطق عدم استقرار دائمة، على حدود الصين الغربية وحدود روسيا الجنوبية والجنوبية الغربية وحدود إيران الشمالية الغربية.

بائسون هؤلاء الاطلسيون من واشنطن حتى أنقرة…

لم يقرأوا التاريخ جيداً ولا استوعبوا بعد السنن الكونية الحاكمة في كلّ تحوّلات الدنيا…

وما يمكرون إلا بأنفسهم ولا يشعرون

سأريكم آياتي فلا تستعجلون

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

البحار الخمسة والانسحاب الأميركيّ والإسرائيليّ من أذربيجان أولاً

ناصر قنديل

تتقاطع المعطيّات التاريخية مع الأسباب الوطنية والأتنية والعرقية والقومية في نزاعات العالم الجديد، بعد نهاية الحرب الباردة، مع مصالح النفط والغاز ومصادرهما والأنابيب الناقلة لهما، والممرات المائية للناقلات التي تحمل هذه الموارد من مصادرها إلى أسواق العالم، مع التبدّلات التي تصيب موازين القوى العالمية وتصادم الاستراتيجيات، لتتشكّل مشاهد الحروب الصغيرة – الكبيرة، الممتدّة على مساحة العالم والمتركزة في مناطق تتوزّع بين أحواض البحار الخمسة، التي شكلت عنوان مشروع يحمل اسم الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، تحت عنوان الدعوة لمنظومة إقليمية تضم الدول التي تشاطئ البحار، الأبيض المتوسط والأحمر والأسود وقزوين وعُمان وتقع مناطق القوقاز والمشرق وتركيا وإيران وروسيا والخليج في قلبها، ووفقاً لبعض قراء الاستراتيجيات أن الحرب الاستباقية على سورية التي قادتها واشنطن جاءت لمنع قيام هذه المنظومة الإقليميّة، التي تستند دعوة الأسد لقيامها إلى استقرائه بدء مرحلة فراغ استراتيجي ستخيم عليها في ضوء الفشل الأميركي في حربي العراق وأفغانستان، فجاءت الحرب على قاعدة الإنكار الأميركي للتسليم بالفراغ وإغلاقاً لباب البحث بالبدائل إقليمية.

الانسحابات الأميركية من أوزباكستان، والتي على الطريق من أفغانستان، والموعود بها من كل من سورية والعراق، تجعل الفراغ الاستراتيجي أمراً واقعاً، بالتزامن مع استرداد روسيا زمام المبادرة في مناطق النزاع الواقعة ضمن المدى التاريخي للاتحاد السوفياتي، وفي محيطها الأبعد لأمنها القومي، انطلاقا من حسمها العسكري مع جورجيا، عبر اجتياح أوسيتيا الجنوبية عام 2008، وصولاً لحسم أمر شبه جزيرة القرم وشرق أوكرانيا، عام 2014، وصولاً للتموضع العسكري المباشر في سورية عام 2015، وبالتوازي مع ذلك ظهور إيران كقوة إقليمية صاعدة بعد حضورها في الحرب على سورية من جهة وفوزها بالاتفاق النووي من جهة مقابلة، وتبلور دورها كقوة داعمة لقوى صاعدة في لبنان والعراق واليمن وفلسطين، وظهور تركيا كقوة إقليميّة تملك مشروعاً لفرض حضورها كشريك إقليمي، سواء تحت سقف الانضواء في حلف الأطلسي أو من خارجه وعلى حساب حلفاء فيه، أو بمواجهة بعض الحلفاء الأعضاء البارزين فيه كفرنسا، ما يعني عملياً أن مشروع المنظومة الإقليمية التي تحدث عنها الرئيس بشار الأسد منذ عام 2009، عادت لتشكل إطاراً يملأ الفراغ الاستراتيجي الناجم عن الانكفاء الأميركي، رغم الإنكار، لكن بدلاً من أن يتم ذلك على البارد وبوعي استباقي، فهي تتم الآن على الساخن وبدفع أثمان باهظة، وربما تكون مغامرات ورعونة الرئيس التركي المسؤول الرئيسي عن تضييع فرصة الخيار الاستباقي السلمي وحلول الخيار الدموي مكانه.

تشبه الحرب بين اذربيجان وأرمينيا في كثير من وجوهها الجيوسياسية، الحرب على سورية، حيث تحضر ثروات وأنابيب النفط والغاز، وحيث تحضر التجاذبات الإقليمية والدولية. ففي أذربيجان أقرب القواعد الأميركية لحدود روسيا في آسيا، وأقرب تمركز إسرائيلي لإيران، وترابط تاريخي وجغرافي لمنطقة النزاع بكل من روسيا وإيران وتركيا، ومصالح أوروبية حاضرة بتدفق موارد الطاقة، وخصوصاً خط تاناب الذي يزود أوروبا بغاز بحر قزوين والممتد على مسافة 3500 كلم عابراً الأراضي التركية. والحل الذي ينهي الحرب الممتدة الجذور إلى صراعات الهويات التاريخية والتنازع الحدودي، لا يمكن أن يجد فرصته إلا عندما تتبلور توازنات متفق عليها ومسلم بها لموقع الصراع في الخرائط الجيوسياسية والعسكرية على الصعيدين الإقليمي والدولي. وهذا لن يتحقق من دون الانسحاب الأميركي والإسرائيلي من أذربيجان، وتموضع تركيا خارج المشروع الأطلسي للضغط على روسيا اسوة بما فعلته في سورية من قبل، ليتم تظهير إطار للحل السياسي وفق قواعد شبيهة بمسار أستانة الروسي الإيراني التركي.

كما كان تأخير مسار منظومة البحار الخمسة بفعل رعونة وغرور وخطأ رهانات وحسابات الرئيس التركي، سيتأخر الحال في ناغورني قره باغ حتى تنضج تركيا لصالح تكرار ما فعلته في سورية بانضوائها ضمن ثلاثية روسية تركية إيرانية، سيتكفل وجودها بتخفيض التوتر من جهة، وبتسريع القناعة الأذربيجانية بضرورة تسريع انسحاب أميركي إسرائيلي من أراضيها، كشرط لجهوزيتها لنزع الفتائل الإقليمية والدولية من النزاع، والمفارقة اللافتة في هذا الصراع أن إيران المتهمة ببناء هلال شيعي أو أكثر والتي ترتبط بالانتماء للمذهب الشيعي مع أكثر من 85% من الآذريين، فيما ينتسب 20% من الإيرانيين للعرق الآذري الذي يشكل القومية الثانية بعد الفارسية بين مكوّنات الشعب الإيراني، تجد نفسها أقرب لأرمينيا المسيحيّة، بينما تجد تركيا التي تخوض معركة زعامة سنة العالم الإسلامي مع أذربيجان الشيعية، ما يكفي لفهم كيفية تموضع الدول في السياسات والحروب، وفقاً للاستراتيجيات العليا والمصالح الكبرى، فيما لا تشكل القومية والمذهبية إلا الغطاء أو الذريعة عندما تنسجم مع المصالح العليا، فحيث تنوجد أميركا و«إسرائيل» يستحيل أن تجد إيران حليفاً كما يصعب أن تجد تركيا عدواً.

Armenian-Azerbaijani War Rages In South Caucasus

Video: Armenian-Azerbaijani War Rages in South Caucasus - Global Research
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On September 27, a new regional war in South Caucasus arose from the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Pro-Armenian forces captured the region in the early 90s triggering an armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Further development of the hostilities and the expected offensive by pro-Azerbajian forces were stopped by a Russian intervention in May of 1994. As of September 2020, the Nagorno-Karabakh region and nearby areas are still under the control of Armenian forces, de-facto making it an unrecognized Armenian state – the Republic of Artsakh (more widely known as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic).

The 2018 political crisis in Armenia the led to a seizure of power in the country by de-facto pro-Western forces led by current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan which did not strengthen Armenian positions over the territorial dispute. The double standard policy of the Armenian government, which was de-facto conducting anti-Russian actions but keeping public rhetoric pro-Russian, also played its own role. For years, Russia has been the only guarantor of Armenian statehood and the only force capable to rescue it in the event of a full-scale Azerbaijani-Turkish attack. Nonetheless, the Armenian leadership did pretty well in undermining its strategic partnership with its neighbor.

On the other hand, the political and economic situation in Azerbaijan was more stable. Baku also was able to secure good working relations with Russia. Together with the developing strategic partnership with Turkey, a natural historical ally of the country, and the strengthening of Turkish positions in the Greater Middle East, led to an expected attempt by Azerbaijan to restore control over the contested territories.

The Azerbaijani advance started on in the morning of September 27 and as of September 28, the Azerbaijani military said that it had captured seven villages and several key heights in the Fuzuli and Jabrayil areas. The military also announced that Azerbaijan captured the Murov height of the Murovdag mountain range and established fire control of the Vardenis-Aghdar road connecting Karabakh with Armenia. The Ministry of Defense said that this will prevent the transportation of additional troops and equipment from Armenia along the route in the direction of the Kelbajar and Aghdar regions in Karabakh.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry also claimed that over 550 Armenian soldiers were killed and dozens pieces of Armenian military equipment, including at least 15 Osa air defense systems, 22 battle tanks and 8 artillery guns, were destroyed. All statements from the Armenian side about the casualties among Azerbaijani forces were denounced as fake news.

Azerbaijan calls the ongoing advance a “counter-offensive” needed to put an end to Armenian ceasefire violations and to protect civilians. President Ilham Aliyev signed a martial law decree and vowed to “restore historical justice” and “restore the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan” Turkey immediately declared its full support to Azerbaijan saying that it is ready to assist it in any way requested, including military support.

In its own turn, the Armenian military admitted that Azerbaijan captured some positions near Talish, but denied that the Vardenis-Aghdar road was cut off. According to it, at least 200 Azerbaijani soldiers were killed, 30 armored vehicles and 20 drones were destroyed. The Armenian Defense Ministry also said that it has data about Turkish involvement in the conflict, the usage of Turkish weapons and the presence of mercenaries linked to Turkey. Earlier, reports appeared that Turkey was deploying members of its Syrian proxy groups in Azerbaijan. Arayik Harutyunyan, the President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, openly stated that the republic is at war with both Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The Washington establishment that helped Pashinyan to seize power is also not hurrying up to assist its ‘new friends’ in Armenia. They see the Nagorno-Karabakh region as a point of possible conflict between Russia and Turkey (which is useful to promote the US agenda in the Greater Middle East). The instability in South Caucasus, close to the borders of Russia and Iran, also contributes to the geopolitical interests of the United States. Therefore, the Pashinyan government should not expect any real help from the ‘democratic superpower’.

On the other hand, the direct involvement of Russia and thus the Collective Security Treaty Organization on the side of Armenia is unlikely until there is no direct attack on its territory. Moscow would intervene into the conflict both politically and militarily, but only as far as necessary to prevent a violation of Armenia’s borders. Russia would not contribute military efforts to restore Armenian control over Nagorno Karabakh should the region be captured by Azerbaijan.

If the regional war between Azerbaijan and Armenia develops further in the current direction, Armenia could loose at least a part of its positions in the contested region. In the worst-case scenario for the Armenian leadership, Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey, will have a real chance to restore control over the most of the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

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من القوقاز إلى خليج فارس ومعادلة الصراع على حيفا…!

محمد صادق الحسيني

يخوض الأميركي المتقهقر والمأزوم في لحظاته الأكثر حرجاً كدولة عظمى حرباً مفتوحة ضدّ محور المقاومة والممانعة

وإصدقائه الدوليين في أكثر من ساحة.

وهو يناور علناً ومن دون مواربة بفلول داعش على هذه الساحات محاولاً مشاغلتنا عن المهمة الأصلية وهي كسره وكسر قاعدته على اليابسة الفلسطينية.

قبل فترة ليست ببعيدة وصلنا تقرير خاص وهامّ تحت عنوان:

خطط التفجير الأميركية القادمة في الدول العربية ودول آسيا الوسطى…

وجاء فيه ضمن ما جاء:

“أفاد مصدر استخباري أوروبي، متخصّص في تتبّع تحركات العناصر الإرهابية في الشرق الأوسط ودول آسيا الوسطى والصين… بأنه وفي إطار التحرك الاستراتيجي الأميركي، لاستكمال تطويق الصين وروسيا والاستعداد للتوجه الى بحر الصين والتمركز هناك، قامت الجهات الأميركية المعنية بانشاء قيادة عسكرية عامة موحدة لـ “المجاهدين”، على طريقة قيادة “المجاهدين” في ثمانينيات القرن الماضي.

وقد كانت أولى خطوات التنفيذ، في هذا المخطط، هي التالية:

تكليف تركيا بإقامة معسكرات تدريب لعناصر داعش، الذين سيتمّ نقلهم الى الدول الأفريقية، بما في ذلك مصر، والإشراف على عمليات تدريب وإعداد المسلحين ومتابعة عملياتهم الميدانية مستقبلاً في اكثر من ساحة عربية وإسلامية أخرى أيضاً.
تكليف قطر بتمويل كافة عمليات التدريب والتأهيل والتسليح
لهذه المجموعات.

أنجزت الجهات المعنية، تركيا وقطر، إقامة معسكرين كبيرين للتدريب في الأراضي الليبية، يضمّان الفين وستمئة وثمانين فرداً.
تكليف السعودية والإمارات بتمويل وإدارة معسكرات التدريب، الموجودة في مناطق سيطرة قوات حزب الإصلاح (اليمني)، والتي ستستخدم في إعداد المسلحين الذين سيتمّ نشرهم في دول وسط آسيا وغرب الصين.
تضمّ هذه المعسكرات ثلاثة آلاف وثمانمئة واثنين واربعين فرداً، من جنسيات مختلفة.
سيتمّ نقل ألف فرد منهم، بإشراف أميركي سعودي وبالتعاون مع الاستخبارات الباكستانية، الى مناطق بلوشستان، والذين سيكلفون بتعزيز المجموعات الإرهابية المتطرفة الموجودة في منطقة الحدود الباكستانية الإيرانية. علماً انّ هذه المجموعات مكلفة بالإعداد لتنفيذ عمليات عسكرية داخل إيران.
بينما سيتمّ نقل الف واربعمئة وستين فرداً منهم (عديد لواء مسلح)، وهم من قومية الايغور الصينية، الى ولاية بدخشان الأفغانية، المحاذية للحدود الصينية من الغرب.
كما سيتم نقل أربعمئة وستين فرداً من عديد اللواء المشار اليه اعلاه، الى الجزء الشمالي من بدخشان (تسمّى غورنو بَدْخَشان في طاجيكستان) والواقع في جنوب شرق طاجيكستان، بمحاذاة الحدود مع الصين، والذين سيجري نشرهم في جبال مقاطعة مورغوب وهي جزء من سلسلة جبال بامير الشاهقة. علماً أن مدينة مورغاب عاصمة هذه المقاطعة لا تبعد أكثر من ثمانين كيلو متراً عن حدود الصين الغربية.
علماً أنّ التكتيك الأميركي، المتعلق بالصين، والذي يتمّ تطبيقه عبر المناورة بفلول داعش التي يُعاد تدويرها، لا يعني أبداً الابتعاد عن استراتيجية الرحيل من الشرق الأوسط الى الشرق (مضيق مالاقاه وبحار الصين)، وإنما هو جزء من هذه الاستراتيجية، التي تهدف الى إضعاف الصين، عبر إثارة الفوضى وبؤر الصراع العسكري بين الأعراق المختلفة فيها، قبل الدخول في مفاوضات جدّية معها”.

انتهى نص التقرير.

وهدفنا من نقل هذا التقرير كما هو الآن أمران:

أولاً – ما يجري في شمال لبنان من عمل إرهابي تصاعدي منظم وممنهج.

ثانياً – ما يجري من معركة مفتوحة لجرح قديم عنوانه النزاع الاذربيجاني – الأرميني على إقليم ناغورنو كاراباخ.

في ما يخصّ لبنان لا بدّ لنا أن ننبّه كلّ من يهمّه الأمر في لبنان العزيز بأنّ الهدف هو ليس استنزاف الجيش اللبناني المظلوم فحسب، وإشغال القوى الحية والمقاومة ومحاولة حرفها عن القيام بالكفاح من أجل وقف الهجوم الأميركي الصهيوني على المقاومة وإنما:

محاولة فتح جبهة جديدة برعاية تركية أردوغانية لاستكمال ما بدأه الأميركان من خلال تفجير مرفأ بيروت الى توسعة المشاغلة بمجموعات إرهابية متجدّدة التدريب والمهام وبرعاية عملاء داخليين معروفين…!

والهدف النهائي هو السيطرة على ميناء طرابلس كقاعدة ارتكاز لكلّ المنطقة وصولاً الى حمص والساحل السوري…!

وإنْ لم يستطيعوا ذلك فقد يلجأون الى تفجير ميناء طرابلس كما حصل لميناء بيروت…!

المصادر المتابعة والمتخصصة في هذا السياق تؤكد بانّ هذا الهجوم الأميركي في الجوهر إنما هو الجناح الثاني للهجوم الأميركي الذي تقوم به فرنسا انطلاقاً من بيروت (المبادرة وحكاية قصر الصنوبر) لصالح أميركا والعدو الصهيوني وهدف الجناحين وإنْ اختلفا أو تمايزا بالمطامع والطموحات الخاصة الا أنهما يشتركان في الهدف الاستراتيجي الذي يقوده الأميركي لصالح العدو الصهيوني ألا وهو:

إعلان ميناءي حيفا واشدود بديلاً من كلّ موانئ بلاد الشام العربية المتوسطيّة…!

حيث يتمّ بذلك الآن بعناية بالغة من خلال ربط الجزيرة العربية إما من ميناء ينبع السعودي إلى اشدود أو عبر الأردن بحيفا…!

والهدف الاستراتيجي الأبعد هو تجاوز كلٍّ من قناة السويس وباب المندب ومضيق هرمز…!

وأما في ما يتعلق بالنزاع الاذربيجاني الأرميني فإنّ هدف أميركا النهائي (عبر أردوغان بالطبع) فهو تعزيز الحشد الاستراتيجي ضدّ كلٍّ من إيران وروسيا والصين..!

بالطبع ثمة مطامع تركية خاصة كأن تهتمّ تركيا كثيراً بوصل جغرافيتها بأذربيجان الغربية الميول من خلال مرحلتين:

العودة الى 1994 ايّ استعادة ما خسرته باكو هناك في تلك الفترة من اندلاع النزاع، ومن ثم استكمال القتال لضمّ كلّ الإقليم الأرميني الى أذربيجان…!

من المعلوم أنّ غرفة العمليات التي تقود المستشارين الأتراك في اذربيجان والقوات الاذربيحانية التي تقاتل على تخوم إقليم ناغورنو كاراباخ ومعها نحو ٤ آلاف مرتزق داعشي من عرقيّات دول آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز من إدلب، انما هم مجموعة جنرالات إسرائيليّون كبار ومعهم ضباط أميركيون…!

والهدف التكتيكي هو محاولة استدراج الروس والإيرانيين الى هذا النزاع الإقليمي في محاولة لجسّ نبض مدى صلابة الجبهة الأورا آسيوية التي تعمل عليها موسكو منذ مدة لمواجهة تمدّدات حلف الأطلسي هناك، والتي كانت مناورات القوقاز 2020 قبل يومين واحدة من أهمّ عمليات التنسيق الاستراتيجية الكبرى بين كلّ من روسيا والصين وإيران والباكستان لهذا الغرض…!

تجدر الإشارة الى أنّ هذا الحشد المضادّ لثلاثي دول الشرق الكبرى شمالاً، هو نفسه يجري في سياق ما سُمّي بالتطبيع مع بقايا قراصنة الساحل جنوباً، والمتمثل بالإنزال الإسرائيلي في أبو ظبي…

ايّ مشاغلة هذه القوى الثلاثية الصاعدة بصورة كماشة شمالاً من بحر قزوين (اذربيجان) وجنوباً من بحر خليج فارس…!

لكن ما غاب عن مخيّلة الكاو بوي الأميركي هو أنّ كلتا الساحتين الشمالية والجنوبية إنما يعتبران بمثابة البطن الرخوة لايّ معتد او غاز أجنبي سواء ذلك القادم من أعالي البحار او ذلك المتنطع لدور أكبر منه عثمانياً كان أو إسرائيلياً، ذلك بأنه يفتقد للعمق الاستراتيجي المفتوح على مدى الهضبة الإيرانية المقاومة والعصيّة على الاحتلال او التبعية والرضوخ منذ قرون، على الأقلّ منذ العام 1826 حيث توقفت آخر غزوات القياصرة الروس هناك على يد المصلح الإيراني الكبير أبو القاسم قائم مقام فراهاني، والذي دفع حياته ثمناً لهذه المقاومة والممانعة التي حفظت وحدة الأراضي الإيرانية الحالية في ما بعد، بتآمر القياصرة الروس ضده وقتله خنقاً في آخر عهد الملك القاجاري فتح عليشاه…!

وطهران الجغرافيا التي كانت محلّ اجتماع القوى العظمى عام 1943 يوم اجتمع روزفلت وستالين وتشرشل فيها، وهو ما عُرف بقمة النصر ومن ثم الانطلاق لكسر المدّ النازي في آسيا الوسطى والقوقاز عبر أراضيها والذي سُمّي بطريق النصر لإخراج جيوش هتلر من هذه المنطقة، وهي محتلة (أيّ طهران) من قبل الحلفاء، طهران هذه وقد باتت اليوم الثورية والمستقلة والمسلمة والمسدّدة بقيادة عالية الحكمة والحنكة لهي قادرة أكثر من أيّ وقت مضى لصدّ هجوم الشمال كما هجوم الجنوب الأميركيين بكلّ جدارة واقتدار…!

لن يمضي وقت كثير ونرى خروج المحتلين عثمانيين كانوا أم إسرائيليين وكلاء، او أميركيين أصلاء.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

Armenia vows to use Iskander missiles if Turkey deploys F-16s to Azerbaijan

By News Desk -2020-09-29

BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:20 A.M.) – The Armenian ambassador to Russia, Vardan Taganyan, said on Monday that his country would use its Russian-made Iskander missiles if Turkey began to use F-16s in Karabakh, explaining that his country has sufficient air defense systems to get rid of Turkish drones.

“The military leadership has repeatedly stated that if the Sword of Damocles was deployed in the form of Turkish F-16 fighters on the Karabakh people, all measures would be taken, including the use of the Iskanders. That is, the Armed Forces of Armenia would have to fully use their arsenal to ensure security. ”

The Nagorno Karabakh region announced on Monday that 27 Armenian fighters were killed during clashes with the Azerbaijani army, bringing the total of the military deaths to 58.

“27 soldiers were killed in the fighting on Monday,” the Defense Ministry in Karabakh said in a statement on the second day of the fighting. The total number of dead rose to 67, including nine civilians killed, seven in Azerbaijan and two on the Armenian side, according to Agence France-Presse.

World leaders urged a halt to the fighting after the worst clashes since 2016 raised the prospect of a new war between former Soviet states Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Officials in Baku and Yerevan said violent clashes continued throughout Monday. The Ministry of Defense in Karabakh claimed that its forces repelled the Azerbaijani tank attack on the southern sector of the front line.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense said that its forces destroyed “several artillery units of the enemy with a precise blow.”

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Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a regional conflict since the 1990s, when the Armenian-majority Karabakh declared independence after a war that claimed 30,000 lives.

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