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Russia’s Policy During the 44-Day Karabakh War

The 44-day Karabakh War seriously affected the international balances in the Caucasus in terms of security, politics, and economic dimensions. The attitude of international actors during the war was important to define the fate and consequences of the war. Among these international actors, Russia’s attitude was of special importance. The policy followed by Russia during and after the 44-day Karabakh War had four main and parallel pillars: The first pillar of Russia’s policy was maintaining the status of its traditional ally Armenia. The second pillar was maintaining its mediator role for the resolution of the conflict. The third pillar of the policy pursued by the Kremlin was not harming the strategic partnership relationship with Azerbaijan, which had been specially developed during Vladimir Putin’s tenure. The fourth pillar of the policies pursued by Russia was not disrupting the multidimensional profound relationships with Turkey, which had advanced in recent years. The first two dimensions of this policy followed by the Putin Administration during the 2nd Karabakh War represent Russia’s conventional Caucasus policy and the last two dimensions embody a policy change.

Russia s Policy During the 44-Day Karabakh War
Russian President Putin (C), Azerbaijani President Aliyev (L) and Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan (R) met in Moscow to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh issue on January 11, 2021. Kremlin Press Service / AA
 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

The 2nd Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan, lasting from September 27 until November 9, 2020, is of critical importance in the South Caucasus in terms of its military results and effects on the regional balance of power. The attitude of international actors, as well as that of Azerbaijan and Armenia during and in the aftermath of the war, constituted a significant dimension for the solution of this conflict. Russia’s attitude among the international actors was critical, considering its attitude towards analogous conflicts in the former Soviet geography. The importance of Russia’s position stems from its strategic role, both in the emergence of the Karabakh conflict itself and in resolving the conflict. This strategic role was very influential because of Russia’s position, first of all, as a mediator in a political resolution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, as well as its contributing role to altering the status quo through military means.

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