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Aliyev Says Azerbaijan “Cannot Sit Idly By” While Armenia Is Armed By France, India And Greece

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Aliyev Says Azerbaijan “Cannot Sit Idly By” While Armenia Is Armed By France, India And Greece

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Written by Ahmed Adel, Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher

In a new threat of war, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that his country “cannot sit idly by” as France, India, and Greece supply weapons to Armenia. However, his justification for issuing a new threat of war is hypocritical since Azerbaijan has invested much more in its military compared to Armenia after turning to Turkey, Pakistan and Israel for weapons. The South Caucasus is clearly becoming a flashpoint for these competing blocs.

“We cannot sit idly by while France, India, and Greece arm Armenia against us. They are doing this openly and demonstratively, obviously trying to prove something to us in this way. We cannot just sit back with our arms folded,” he told a conference at ADA University.

According to Aliyev, Baku made this absolutely clear to Yerevan and “the sides which are trying to take care of Armenia.”

“If we see a serious threat to us, we will have to take serious measures,” he warned.

Armenia is diversifying weapon suppliers, particularly by procuring military equipment from France, India, and Greece after the country’s authorities accused Moscow of failing to provide ordered weapons worth around $400 million. However, hypocritically, Azerbaijan is also diversifying its weapon suppliers away from Russia, turning particularly to Turkey and Pakistan, hostile neighbours of Greece and India, respectively, as well as Israel.

Following Armenia’s defeat to Azerbaijan in 2020 and 2023, the country almost doubled its defence investments over the last year. In 2022, Armenia spent $700 million to $800 million. Spending is expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2024. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s military budget for 2021 was $2.70 billion, a 20.8% increase from 2020, whilst the budget for 2024 is $3.77 billion, demonstrating that Aliyev’s complaints against Armenia are clearly an illegitimate excuse for war.

As Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan recently said, the prospects of militarily retaking Nagorno-Karabakh were not “realistic,” thereby exposing Aliyev’s desperation for a new war in the South Caucasus.

“I was approached by a woman who was forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh, and she asked how realistic is it that we will have a possibility to go back to Nagorno-Karabakh, and she said: please give me a direct and candid answer. I told her given the perceptions that prevail, I do not consider it realistic. I cannot lie to you, because if it were realistic, then the displacement from Nagorno-Karabakh would not have happened,” Pashinyan said.

Following Azerbaijan’s capture of Nagorno-Karabakh, the reasons for war with Armenia were exhausted. Nonetheless, Aliyev is seeking further justification for war to achieve his ultimate goal of connecting Azerbaijan proper with the exclave Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which is separated by Armenia’s southern Syunik province.

As Moscow’s interest in the region has waned, a vacuum has been created for other foreign powers, such as France and Turkey, to exploit. This has also emboldened Aliyev to continue his campaign of pressure to gain more concessions and territory from Armenia.

It was announced on April 17 that the 2,000-strong contingent of Russian peacekeepers would immediately withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh, a year ahead of schedule after Azerbaijan captured the historically and ethnically Armenian region in September 2023 in a lightening campaign that drove out over 100,000 Armenian residents. Coupled with Armenia also freezing its participation in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation in January, Moscow’s influence in the South Caucasus is weakening at a time when the region is becoming a flashpoint of competing interests, with Armenia, France, Greece, and India on one side, and Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan on the other.

Aliyev stressed to President Vladimir Putin in their meeting on April 22 that “Russia is a key country in terms of regional security in the Caucasus and a broader geography,” seemingly affirming Moscow’s importance to Baku. However, away from rhetoric and in action, Aliyev has lessened Azerbaijan’s reliance on Russia.

Beyond forcing Russian peacekeepers out a year earlier than mandated, Aliyev snubbed Russia as a traditional weapon supplier and turned to Turkey and Pakistan. At the same time, it is not forgotten that Azerbaijan has taken advantage of the war in Ukraine to increase energy exports to Europe, thus becoming a key supplier.

Unlike Yerevan, Baku still has a working relationship with Moscow. Whilst Pashinyan has pursued a hostile policy against Moscow and pivoted towards the West, Aliyev has created a balance by working with Moscow but having leverage over Europe by supplying alternative energy to Russian sources.

Despite this balance, France, due to the influence of the Armenian diaspora, and Greece, for reasons of historical and traditional bonds, unlike other European countries, supply Armenia with weapons and conduct joint military exercises. As for India, expanding ties with Armenia is natural, given Azerbaijan’s “Three Brothers” alliance with Turkey and Pakistan. It is recalled that Pakistan is the only country in the world that does not recognise Armenia.

Aliyev’s statements against France, India, and Greece could signal that he is preparing for another war while Azerbaijan still has the advantage and before Armenia potentially gains parity. A war would not only bring more death and destruction but would reshape the geopolitics of the South Caucasus, once dominated by Russia, as France, India, Turkey, Pakistan, and even Iran and Israel try to impose their interests and influence, with the end result being impossible to predict.

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Bucuresti

armenii sinau facut o cu mana lor. de la dosul lui kardeshian si pana la a intaotce spatele cuiva e cale lunga. si au facut o cu mana lor.

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Redguard

aliyev sounds like a classic american or israeli warmongering politician, does now armenia not have the right to buy weapons??? armenia has no right to self-defense? i guess he thinks that the right to have an army is specifically only for him and his turkoid and israeli brethren!

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Janne Kankaanpää

you cannot overstate the impact of russian extensive help for armenia in the first karabakh war and its results. that will affect azerbaijani politics and military purchases at least for a generation. turkey helped azerbaijan extensively during second karabakh war and that will also not be forgotten.

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Last edited 2 months ago by Janne Kankaanpää
Janne Kankaanpää

azerbaijan after 30 years of humiliation will not contend for anything less, than full armenian submission. i think only if armenia accepted transport links between azerbaijan and nachiwan can future skirmishes and war be prevented. i dont believe that armenia can with gdp of 20 billions afford military expenditure of 1,5 billions (7,5% of gdp).

Last edited 2 months ago by Janne Kankaanpää
nigat

alivey is thug and he slave of israeli and just want war. its time azeri people should overthrow him

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Janne Kankaanpää

you live totally in another planet. aliyev when he liberated karabakh became hero for all azeris. the only way to overthrow aliyev is russian, or iranian attack.

Baran ats

i̇ was expecting an article about armenians but not something like this. russia always bear itself as protectorate of armenians. i am not fan of biden but at least he mentioned armenians. ‘was expecting something meaningful from russians in anniversary.

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Baran ats

ofc i don’t have any kind of opinion or idea about what is armenia’s current external policy

Janne Kankaanpää

russia bet on a losing horse. armenia is like a spoiled kid. whatever russia did to armenia, they will never thank you. for all help in first karabakh war armenia has chosen side of enemies of russia. russia can never do anything that would make armenians grateful and loyal.

B.F.Finlayson

“tell me that again, stanley”. “well, france supplies armenia, as does greece, and both supply israel, but israel supplies azerbaijan, as does turkiye which also supplies ukraine and is a nutto member like france and greece which supply armenia…” (hoots horn) but will the profits go back to the fish???

Last edited 2 months ago by B.F.Finlayson
Aristotle88

interests are all over the place for sure, but its a great and big deal that those countries supply armenia, which should be 3x its size if not for holocausting turko’s… shame on russia as well. armenia was always a loyal servant to them.

Aristotle88

bravo greece, india, and france. to hell with azeri’s/turko’s

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Attila

take it easy with tequila now…re

CEO of Yapping

the thing is azerbaijan sell their oil/gas to “israel”… and all those countries you named would piss on armenia once the us tell them to do so.

none of those countries are good ally for them, armenia piss off russia and look at them now.

kotromanic

since he is allied with nato through turkey and friends with isreal who want to use him to sabotage the cooperation between russia and iran and use his territory as a launching pad for attacks he can do what he wants. armenia turned against russia and is now being devoured by the vasal of the vasal or the usa. only question is stupid or treacherous.

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