Turkey Ready to Open Military Base in Conquered Nagorno-Karabakh — Erdogan
Russia monitoring talk of Turkish military base in Azerbaijan, says Kremlin
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on June 17 that his nation may build a military base in Nagorno-Karabakh as part of what has been named the Shusha Declaration on cooperation – mainly military cooperation – between his country and his “one nation, two states” satrapy Azerbaijan.
His comments came the day after his leaving Nagorno-Karabakh land seized by Azerbaijan, with the active assistance of the Turkish armed forces, and two days after his lecturing fellow NATO leaders on the need to join him in his anti-Kurdish war in Syria.
He was quoted by Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper stating:
“This issue [of a new Turkish military base Nagorno-Karabakh; the Turkish daily has the location as Azerbaijan] is not outside the provisions of the Shusha agreement. Further consideration of the issue is possible….”
The same source quotes the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry as follows:
The 13th meeting of the Azerbaijani-Turkish High-Level Military Dialogue in the capital of Azerbaijan discussed “the current state of bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the security, military, military-technical, military-medical, military-educational, defense industry, and in other spheres.”
The deliberations certainly addressed the prospect of a Turkish base in conquered Nagorno-Karabakh. Another NATO nation’s or NATO base in the former Soviet Union, along with those in Estonia, Georgia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Today’s Turkish press reports that the Russian government was “closely monitoring” the development and that it might view it as “a move that could require Russia to take steps to ensure its own security and interests.” That is as empty a statement as even the Russian government is capable of making.
The report said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was in touch with Russia’s close partner in Ankara, and that he stated: “The deployment of military infrastructure by the (NATO) alliance countries near our borders is cause for our special attention, as well as a reason for us to take steps to ensure our security and interests.”
A translation from Kremlinese: We will mention it – though the English-language Russian news media says nothing of the affair – we may even grumble a little. But we won’t do a thing about it. No more than we did about last year’s 44-day war against our Collective Security Treaty Organization partner Armenia, than we did about Azerbaijan shooting down a Russian military helicopter over Armenia and killing two crew members during that war, and about Azerbaijan sending troops onto the territory of Armenia in May.
A Turkish military base in conquered Nagorno-Karabakh will be an additional “lily pad” in the direction of Afghanistan and Central Asia. For Turkey and for NATO. [Actually I disagree with Rozoff here. I think the Turkish base will never happen, at least not in Karabakh. It would be provocative to Russians and Armenians both.]
Russia keeps a close eye on the information that Turkey may create a military base in Azerbaijan, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
“Beyond any doubt, this is an issue of our close attention,” the Russian presidential spokesman said, commenting on the information.
“We are interacting with the Turkish Republic in stabilizing the situation in the South Caucasus,” the Kremlin spokesman added.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said he did not rule out that a Turkish military base could be created on Azerbaijani territory under the Shusha declaration recently signed with Azerbaijan.
Russia in close contact with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey on Nagorno-Karabakh
Dmitry Peskov also noted that “Russia maintains close contact with Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan on the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.”
“We are in close contact with Ankara, Baku and Yerevan as we believe that all steps should facilitate efforts to further stabilize the situation in the South Caucasus, boost infrastructure and logistics, as well as to improve the overall situation, and should not include any elements that may raise tensions,” Peskov pointed out.
Following the end of military action in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone last fall, when seven regions adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh fell under Azerbaijan’s control, the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan moved to the immediate vicinity of the Syunik and Gegharkunik Provinces. Tensions rose there on May 12.
At the time. the Armenian Defense Ministry announced that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces had attempted to carry out “certain activities” in the Syunik Province in a bid to “redefine the border,” moving it 3.5 kilometers into Armenian territory. The Azerbaijani forces ceased their activities after the Armenian Armed Forces took measures in response, the ministry said.
Still, both parties continue to report border incidents. On May 27, Azerbaijan said that it had captured six Armenian servicemen during an attempt to cross the border in order to carry out subversive activities. Armenia confirmed that the servicemen had been captured yet emphasized that at the time they had been involved in engineering works in the border area of the country’s Gegharkunik Province.