YEREVAN (Realist English). After the start of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Kremlin’s influence in the South Caucasus has significantly decreased, according to Tigran Grigoryan, head of the Regional Center for Democracy and Security in Yerevan.
“All of Russia’s resources have been mobilized to achieve her goals in the Ukraine, which in turn creates a power vacuum in the South Caucasus region and opens a window of opportunity for Azerbaijan in the process of implemention of its power policy towards Armenia and Nagorno—Karabakh,” the expert notes.
In his opinion, “the possible “dearmenization” of Nagorno-Karabakh and the influx of tens of thousands of refugees to Armenia will create a serious socio-economic and political crisis in the country, which will also have long-term consequences for stability in the region.”:
“Such a scenario could theoretically lead to a humanitarian catastrophe in the region and destroy the prospects for a comprehensive peace in the South Caucasus. Moreover, with such a development of events, Russia’s very presence in the South Caucasus may be in question. If Moscow is not able to ensure the safe life of the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, its role and significance for Armenia will decrease dramatically.”
The political scientist stressed that with the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, the Baku regime initiated three major escalations in the region, two of them in Artsakh, one in Armenia.
“In turn, Moscow, is doing everything possible to avoid confrontation with Baku, turning into an indifferent observer of Azerbaijan’s violation of the ceasefire declaration… Starting military operations in Ukraine, Moscow demanded from the West recognition of her spheres of influence, but now she is losing influence even in those regions where it is recognized by everyone and even has a contractual basis. Russia’s inability to fulfill her contractual obligations creates existential threats to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. If Yerevan fails to take effective steps in the near future to at least partially restore its military capabilities, other factors will be insufficient to deter Azerbaijan,” he concluded.