Russia and Turkey more antagonistic than ever

It will become more and more difficult to play the cordial understanding between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart RT Erdogan, as the zones of confrontation multiply between the two countries. Because after Syria and the clashes between loyalist Syrian forces supported by Moscow and Islamist paramilitary forces supported by Ankara, and the increasingly direct commitments of the two countries in the Libyan conflict, each supporting a camp, it is now the turn of the clash between Armenia and Azerbaijan to crystallize the strong antagonisms between Moscow and Ankara. In recent days, military engagements between Azeri forces, actively supported by Turkey, and Armenian forces, supported by Russia, have continued to intensify, despite calls from the international community for a return to the status quo. Each belligerent accuses the other of having started hostilities, as well as of disregard cease fire. Artillery exchanges between the two armies would have already made more than 16 dead, including a general and a Azeri colonel.

While during the Syrian conflict, Ankara tried to provoke NATO intervention to support its action in the north of the country, this time it is Yerevan's turn to use the same maneuver vis-à-vis Russia. Indeed, Armenia is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military alliance created in 2002 and bringing together Russia and the former Soviet republics of Belarus, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia in a defensive military alliance comparable to NATO. From this alliance, the Russian forces partly ensure the air defense of Armenia, and have 5000 men permanently based in Gyumri, not far from the Turkish border.

The Russian forces deployed on the 102nd base of Gyumri have 5000 men, many armored vehicles, combat helicopters as well as BUK air defense systems.

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