With 1,000 troops in Armenia, Azerbaijan and its Turkish ally hold military exercise on Armenian border

Azerbaijan and its “one nation, two states” big brother Turkey started tactical exercises on June 21 with troops from the garrison in the Nakhchivan region of Azerbaijan and from the Turkish armed forces.

According to an Armenian news source the drills are being held near the Armenian border, as they frequently are, both drills in Azerbaijan and Turkey. The chief of the Armenian general staff, Artak Davtyan, recently stated there currently are 1,000 Azerbaijani troops on Armenian soil.

He pledged that further aggression would be monitored and responded to, though conceded military options could not be entertained “given the Armenian side’s losses during the war in fall 2020 and the importance of avoiding new disasters.”

Although President Vladimir Putin told the Moscow Conference on International Security on June 23, “With Russia’s landmark contribution, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh was stopped,” it seems rather that the conflict has expanded from Nagorno-Karabakh into Armenia.

Armenia is of course a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Its Article 4 states: “If one of the State Parties is subjected to aggression by any state or group of states, then this will be considered as aggression against all States Parties to this Treaty.”

Needless to say neither Russia nor the other members of the organization have lifted a finger to protect Armenia.

Quite the contrary, on June 23 the Russian TASS news agency posted a report of a phone conversation between Putin and the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, whose troops are on the territory of Russia’s CSTO ally. The two heads of state discussed Nagorno-Karabakh. According to TASS, “The Kremlin specified that the presidents reaffirmed their mutual intention to continue boosting the Russian-Azerbaijani strategic partnership….”