The new Alliance in the South Caucasus?


The recent first meeting of the heads of defense agencies of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan in Nakhichevan sparked fears and diametrically opposed wagging in expert and political circles. Actually, the meeting could be defined as native, if all three States did not have a long history of cooperation in the military sphere and not bordered with each other.

According to official information, Ismet Yilmaz, Zakir Hasanov and Irakli Alasania discussed the military and political situation in the region, issues of security and the protection of communications infrastructure. Also reached an agreement on holding joint military exercises.

As the military expert Uzeyir Jafarov believes, trilateral meeting can be interpreted as the initial stage of creation of the counterpart of the CSTO. "… In connection with the established processes in the world, these States want to create military unity that may eventually draw and several States of the CSTO, "-he said the Agency" Novosti-Azerbaijan ". According to him, following the meeting of the heads of defense agencies of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan will be held in Tbilisi and Istanbul.

"Only after the Istanbul meeting will be known about the creation of a new military alliance. At the initial stage of the agreement may sign Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. But in the long term in the organization can join and a number of Turkic-speaking countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan ",-believes Jafarov.

On the possibility of establishing a new South Caucasus Union speaks and vafa Guluzade. "Good relations in the fields of politics, economy and security make it necessary to establish a South Caucasian Union. For example, today Russia has created a Eurasian Union, why don't we create? Relations between Azerbaijan and Georgia are normal and have no problems with that country. Think we should develop integration processes between these countries and the establishment of a Union, "he said.

Favour the creation of a new political-military triumvirate made many other Azerbaijani experts. In their view, the alleged Alliance can make a serious contribution to the security not only of the region but also of Europe as a whole.

However, Turkish political scientist Orhan Gafarly approached the question of the participation of Turkey in the "new CSTO" very skeptical. According to him, Turkey, as a NATO member, has no right to form their own military alliances. "Georgia at this stage, there is no one with whom this country can have military cooperation. For Georgia, a country that is integrated into NATO, Turkey is very important. It should also be noted that Turkey, as a NATO member, has no right to form their own military alliances, "political scientist is quoted" News-Azerbaijan ".

In his opinion, "Today in deteriorating relations between the West and Russia, Turkey is not going to stop cooperation with official Moscow, but instead tries to take advantage of this tension, and to expand economic cooperation with Russia. And for this purpose it is necessary to further develop Turkey's relations with Russia at the political level. Ankara realizes this, so is not going to create any tension in the region ". Thus, Gafarly, summed up a meeting of the heads of the defense ministries of the three countries is symbolic.

Meanwhile, the question of regional security is not an empty phrase, especially when the South Caucasus literally našpigovan unresolved conflicts-Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, but also the pipelines that Turkey and Europe have high expectations. Talking about the existing and prospective oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Turkey through Georgia with access to Europe, that is, about the energy security of the countries and the EU. As well as large investments in oil and gas, transport and other sectors in the region, which can evaporate if his safety is not protected.

But from whom comes the threat of region? Probably more than anything else at this stage, the Azerbaijani and Turkish authorities, in the context of export "colour revolutions" are wary of the West. But to say that the three States would become "friends" against the West is naïve. Rather, they had better make friends among themselves, to demonstrate and to the West and Russia if not its military force, at least the indestructibility of common interests.

In the expert community there are also speculations that Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan are willing to unite against Russia, Iran and Armenia. However, Turkey has increasingly drawn towards Russia and even, perhaps, to the Eurasian Union (not excluded the BRICS as well). In addition, recently changed the tone between Ankara and Tehran, which can get along in the medium term on the grounds of natural gas supplies to Europe.

Thus, Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan are both links to one of energy and transport chain in need of security, not interested in conflicts in the region and in the external interference in its affairs. You have to believe that from this configuration in the first place will win Georgia as the most weak State in the "Union of the three".

And what about Armenia-third State of the South Caucasus, which did not figure in the plans of regional security mentioned players. Almost parallel to the meeting of the heads of defense agencies of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan in Yerevan came Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. According to the information of Armenian President SERZH SARGSYAN, the two sides discussed bilateral relations and regional issues.

"Bilateral relations are currently at a very high level, and these meetings further deepen ties between the two States," said Armenia in Yerevan. He also stressed that Armenia is not only a neighbor of Georgia, but also a friendly State. But no specifics on the visit to Armenia Garibashvili on official sources had not been extended, except that the parties have agreed to build a new bridge at the checkpoint-Sadakhlo Bagratashen on Georgian-Armenian border and called him a "bridge of friendship".

Some destabilizing specificity to visit Georgian premiered in Yerevan Armenian opposition tried to make Edition Lragir. In his "feelings", visit Garibashvili left not very pleasant residue ", as the parties probably failed to agree about anything.

"Sludge", also "stems from the fact that in the days when the Georgian Premier was in Armenia, his Defense Minister Irakli Alasania was making one statement after another about the deepening military cooperation with Azerbaijan and Turkey and almost an Alliance. This Alliance may be sent is that Armenia-Azerbaijan and Turkey against Russia will not cooperate with Georgia and Iran will not go Georgia itself. "

In continuation of the conspiracy theory Edition assumes that "Garibashvili arrived in Yerevan to warn about something the Armenian leadership. Perhaps this is due to the Eu (South Georgia, compactly inhabited by Armenians-Comm. "Rosbalt"), where, according to Georgian media, Russian appeared "green men". That is, men in military uniform with no markings.

It is also possible that the Georgian Prime Minister personally arrived in Yerevan to try to figure out "how far can go to Armenia, which recently strongly rejected the entry of Russian peacekeepers (talking about the Karabakh conflict-Comm. "Rosbalt"). Whether such a policy of Armenia part of grand strategy, or is it a momentary ploy? Whether Russian intervention attempts neutralized in Karabakh peace process? … Or he did this before the visit differently. … the Defence Ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia have not declared the collaboration against Armenia. Means of decisive action is expected.

That is, at least part of the Armenian experts believed that a possible Alliance of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan will certainly aimed against Yerevan. Armenian officials refute this view. In particular, the Deputy Minister of defence of davit Tonoyan said that not concerned about a meeting of Heads of defense agencies of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as improving the linkages between the three States in the sphere of Defense. "I think it is part of Georgia would deter juxtaposition of these tripartite relationship in the interests of national security," he said.

In a Word, Armenia, and it's understandable fears had alleged factor Turkey as a closest ally of Baku that Azerbaijan will not abandon large-scale fighting between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.

There are other reasons to fear Turkey because of her almost naked desire to restore the Ottoman Empire to the extent possible, as "Rosbalt" previously described Georgian diplomat and political scientist Hamlet Chipashvili. Thus, Turkish participation in the Affairs of the Caucasus, in addition to worries about regional and private security, could be described as Ankara's intention to play a leading role in the geopolitics of the South Caucasus. Moreover, not through NATO, of which it is, but directly.

On the other hand, Turkey, unlike Georgia and Azerbaijan, is a member of NATO, and it is through her Alliance can increase its influence on Tbilisi and Baku. We remind that Azerbaijan, not the example of Georgia, does not seek to join NATO, but Turkey is a bridge between it and the North Atlantic Alliance. She takes an active part in the construction of the Azerbaijani army in the formal contractual basis. As regards Georgia, Turkey is not paying her too-helps national army fully comply with NATO standards. But it is — to address the latter.

Abstracting from NATO. Increased Turkish influence in the region, the development of Turkish-Georgian and Turkish-Azerbaijani relations can at this stage to balance Russia's influence in the region, and in the long term-and Iran's influence, but with a wider coverage than the southern Caucasus — with access to the Middle East. Turkey also strives to be a leader in the Middle East, and its rivalry with Iran here obviously.

But back to the meeting of the heads of defense agencies of Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. She, in the context of the formation of a new political-military alliance, has frightened many. But it is likely that Ankara, Tbilisi and Baku are not more than the prevention of risks in the region, and for this purpose it is not necessary to create a "new CSTO" or be friends against someone.

Irina Jorbenadze


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