Armenia and Azerbaijan were parts of former USSR. After the dissolution of USSR, Russia promised to safeguard the interests of Armenia. Armenia is a Christian majority nation with having decent relationship with other countries. Azerbaijan on the other hand is a Muslim majority nation and has good relationship with most of the nations.
Recent controversy is about a small Azerbaijan territory Nagorno-Karabakh which has been historically under the control of ethnic groups of Armenia. After Azerbaijan tried to recapture the control of the territory, Armenia retaliated as per its limited capacity. What followed was a direct support of Turkey and Pakistan for Azerbaijan in their so called holy war for Islam. Armenia expected Russia to protect it as per the agreement between them, however it didn’t happen since the agreement signed between Russia and Armenia was with respect to the territory of Armenia and not otherwise. Russia is only bound to help if mainland Armenia was under attack. Nogorno Karabach is not a legal part of Armenia, thus Russia didn’t help Armenia. Also Russia’s vested interest with Azerbaijan discouraged it to directly get in a combat. Countries like Israel despite of the decent relationship with Armenia didn’t support it because of its good relationship with Azerbaijan. Rather the Azerbaijan combating against the Armenia with weapons coming from Israel. However, the vocal anti-Israel lobby and liberals didn’t speak about that at all. On the other hand, Turkey is a NATO member which discouraged US and other European Countries to come out in support of Armenia. The only option with Armenia was to rely on the support of Russia.
Russia brokered a deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan according to which Armenia has agreed to pull back from the territory it always had. Thousands of Christian Armenians have been given 6 days to leave their villages and the Muslim majority Azerbaijan will take over the land.
Russia is no longer a trusted partner a country like Azerbaijan destroyed their helicopter and in response Russia made a peace deal between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Russia should have helped Armenia but instead they did nothing which shows the falling place of Russia in world peace and security.
The other probable reason for this peace deal could be that Russia in order to have a say about the pipelines going through Azerbaijan and towards Europe via the Black Sea or Turkey brokered this peace deal so to have an influence over energy.
In the end, Armenia are the one suffering the most. Reports say that Armenians from Karvachar are taking away the graves of their relatives with them as the territory is to be handed over to Azerbaijan. Villagers in Kalbajar on the other hand are setting their own houses on fire before fleeing to Armenia.
United Nations in the whole process has keep mum, and the day is not far away when the significance of United Nations as a peace keeping body will be further reduced due to it not being able to take a stand.
Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com