"Peacemaker Putin" by Marian Kamensky
Vladimir Putin is the only beneficiary of the renewed fighting in Karabakh, Andrey Piontkovsky says; and to the extent that is so, Azerbaijan, Armenia and especially Georgia are likely to be the greatest victims of this policy, with all three finding themselves subject to ever greater Russian control and ever greater isolation from the West.
In a commentary today for Kasparov.ru, the Russian commentator says that a close analysis of the situation shows that “for purely military reasons, neither Azerbaijan, nor Armenia are interested in the escalation of military actions.” Both had clear defensive advantages prior to the new hostilities.
That situation in turn means that one must consider whether some “third” outside force is behind the new events. Many in Moscow blame Turkey, but there are no good reasons to assuming that Ankara has any interest in isolating itself further as a result of some kind of military action in the Caucasus, Piontkovsky says.
And thus, the Russian analyst says, the party most interested in escalation almost certainly is Moscow itself. “Vladimir Putin as the greatest peacemaker has ALREADY offered his services for the establishment of peace in this region,” and it is clear what he expects to get out of this in addition to a propaganda boost.
“Not simply control over Azerbaijan and Armenia, which to a significant degree Moscow has had already for a long time, but also over Georgia,” especially if Moscow dispatches “peacemakers” to the region. To supply them it will need “a corridor to the Russian base in Gyumri in Armenia, and this corridor lies through the territory of Georgia.”
Moscow has been sending signals in recent weeks that it is running out of patience with Georgia, Piontkovsky says. Offering himself as a peacekeeper in this case could allow him to put even more pressure on Tbilisi, especially given the rapidity with which the West has called for ending the fighting over Karabakh.
As the Russian analyst puts it, “one of Putin’s goals is to keep the West in the position of constant concern and to remind that without him no problem of world politics can be resolved, especially if it is one that he has created.”
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