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Wednesday 2 December 2020

Turkey Seeks to Push Russia out of South Caucasus

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MOSCOW (TASS) — Ankara is beginning to pressure Russia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. Following the Turkish Defence Ministry’s announcement of an agreement with Russia on the creation of a joint monitoring centre, Baku said that Turkish troops were already operating in Karabakh as deminers. The “Voice of Turkey” Telegram channel posted a photo of such a group, assuming that it was an SAS special forces unit, Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes.

Such reports can point to Ankara’s attempts to demonstrate its success and prove that Moscow was unable to prevent the Turkish leadership from achieving its geopolitical goals in the post-Soviet South Caucasus. The Turkish authorities earlier made a political decision to send troops to Azerbaijan. On November 22, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that the country’s Land Forces units would be deployed there.

“Where there is infantry, special forces units may also mix in”, Russian military expert retired Lieutenant General Yuri Netkachev emphasized. In his view, Turkey’s goal is to drive Russia out of Nagorno-Karabakh and the entire South Caucasus. “Turkish special operations forces can do it by carrying out subversive activities and turning locals against Russian peacekeepers”, Netkachev noted. Before the war had broken out in Nagorno-Karabakh, anti-Russian protests had taken place in Azerbaijan with demonstrators holding Turkish flags along with Azerbaijani ones, the expert pointed out.

The Telegram channel “Azerbaijani Armed Forces” wrote on Tuesday that “Armenian and Russia’s pro-Armenian news outlets are spreading reports that people in Azerbaijan are unhappy about the presence of Russian peacekeepers and they are calling for kicking the Russians out of Karabakh, particularly by using military force […] I think it’s Turkey that benefits from it and its information forces are working in this field”, Netkachev said.

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