In a big diplomatic victory for Putin, the Azerbaijan and Armenian sides agreed for a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh which comes into effect starting today. The ceasefire talks were mediated by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, under whose supervision, after 10 hours of talks, a common understanding was reached.
After long talks between Azerbaijan and Armenia, a ceasefire on humanitarian grounds was agreed upon to allow the exchange of prisoners and bodies of the dead to be returned. “A ceasefire is announced from 12 hours 00 minutes on October 10 on humanitarian grounds,” Lavrov said while reading out the statement. The ceasefire is a big victory for Moscow over Ankara on more than one counts and the best part is that not a single bullet was fired from the Russian side.
In a statement before the meeting, the Kremlin said, “After a series of phone conversations with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, the president of the Russian Federation is making a call to cease the current hostilities in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict zone for humanitarian reasons, with the aim to carry out a swap of dead bodies and prisoners.” The success of achieving what was aimed goes a long way to show the influence Russia enjoys in these southern Caucusus countries.
Although the ceasefire is a temporary halt as nobody could provide a concrete answer regarding the solution of the problem. Many analysts are hopeful of the fact that the ceasefire will provide some time for diplomacy to play its role.
The meeting between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries (sponsored by Russia) was the first diplomatic contact between the two sides, and as Lavrov said that both sides have agreed to start talks on the settlement of the conflict. This shows that the influence of Turkey on Azerbaijan has faded and the Russians still hold substantial clout in the previous Soviet Union territories.
Russian, French and US officials discussed the conflict and released statements which were congruent with each other in both tone and content. This is a significant development as it has dismantled the only perception which gave Erdogan confidence to continue with its belligerence, that was, the big powers being divided regarding their approaches and being doubtful of one another.
The coherent statements from France, Russia and the USA have hit the final nail in the dangerous foreign policies of Erdogan. His only ploy of playing big powers among one another while taking advantage and achieving its own goals is no more viable.
Azerbaijan has understood that Turkey is playing the two powers and the southern Caucuses countries will be the biggest losers. And with all the great powers pressing for peace, going ahead with a wannabe khalifa may plunge the country into a decimation which may not be reversed. Thus, the best course is to listen to the former overlords and live on peacefully.
Combine the Russian success in making the two sides to sit on a table and reach a ceasefire while keeping rivals like France and the USA in confidence, it has been an all-round victory for Putin. Showing Erdogan its place, re-establishing its control over the previously Soviet territories, leading a consensus of great & big powers against Turkey and showcasing its ability as a peace binging benevolent great power, with all this, Russia has seen its biggest diplomatic victory in recent times. Erdogan tried to go against Putin, but without getting directly engaged with Ankara, Moscow was able to solve the dispute and Putin literally decimated Turkish belligerence without even firing a bullet.