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Tensions Grow Over Zangezur Corridor, as Moscow Losing Dominant Position on the Caspian

Litwin

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Baku has become angrier that Armenia and its supporters in Moscow are not fulfilling their promises about land transport routes, including Zangezur. President Ilham Aliyev has now reportedly said he is “ready to use force ..... it does not fulfill its agreements […] and demanded that Yerevan provide a precise date for the opening of the Zangezur corridor.” If Armenia does so, he has declared, all will be well and peace will be maintained. If it does not, Baku will be forced to use other means to open this corridor, a threat Armenia believes is an ultimatum that could lead to war (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, December 8). Such exchanges make Nakhchivan and especially Zangezur the site of a broader and more dangerous competition (see EDM, June 12, 2018).


To prevent such fighting or to bring it to a rapid conclusion, Moscow would likely rely on the presence of its military forces in the region, including but not limited to the base it has in Armenia, its “peacekeepers” in Karabakh, and its Caspian Flotilla. The latter is the largest of these and certainly the most heavily armed. But some in the Russian capital are now worried that the rapid development of naval power by other littoral states, most recently Turkmenistan but also Azerbaijan, mean that Moscow is no longer “master” on the Caspian

with other words Moscow & pro - Moscow = loser
 

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