The Zangezur corridor: geopolitics and Turkish strategy on the territory of Armenia

Analyzing the question of Armenia and Azerbaijan, a few weeks ago we interviewed Davit Babayan (former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Artsakh). In this case, we contact him again to work on the implications of Azerbaijan’s pressure on the Armenians of the Republic of Artsakh and the Lachin Corridor to achieve a strategic movement in Zangezur.

Zangezur is the southern region of Armenia that separates the Azerbaijani territories from Najicevhan and the regions conquered in 2020. Achieving that step would unite the two territories separated by Armenia but it would also weaken Russia, it would separate Armenia from its most important regional ally (Iran). and it would unite for Turkey the route it wants from China and Mongolia to Europe. Hence the strategic importance of that Armenian region.

Question: We see a very hard nationalist speech of Aliyev´s about Artsakh and Nagorno Karabagh, constant harassing of Armenian population lock the Artsakh republic from Armenia and isolated it, punish the Armenian population but ¿where is the real target behind this behavior?

Answer: Azerbaijan and Turkey have a very interesting and specific school of geopolitical struggle. Among the main components are harsh and bold aggressiveness towards the weaker parties, subtle sometimes gross flattery towards stronger partners. But, in both cases they strictly follow their national interests. And among the most important but sometimes strange characteristics of their foreign policy is that they mainly do not lie. They frankly and publicly articulate their main goals. As to Artsakh and Armenia they clearly state that they want to destroy Artsakh, which is their first and short term imperative. After erasing Artsakh it will be the turn of Armenia to be swallowed

Q: Is Zangezur the real target of all this conflict?

A:Zangezour or Syunik is, of course, one of the most important targets. It is not only an important component the capture of which allows absorbing Armenia. The control over Zangezour can be considered a breakthrough for Azerbaijan and Turkey in materializing their geopolitical super task of creating a Pan-Turkic empire. Thus its capture will have a regional and global implication.   

Q: In 2002 Azerbaijan wanted an agreement to take Zangezur and give Lachin to Armenians, in 2020 with peace agreement signed have the movement of people and merchandise in this area, now they say Azeri people will go back to Zangezur. ¿Why this is so important for Baku?

A: As it was mentioned, the capture of Zangezour will drastically reformat the regional and global geopolitical landscape. Of course, it will generate large scale wars and conflicts with other geopolitical actors too.

Q: Is Erdogan-Aliyev using Zangezur as a strategic bridge to unite the Silk route from China, control Central Asia silk route, Caspian Sea-Azerbaijan-Zangezur to Turkey and Europe?

A:The conquest of Zangezour will accelerate the formation of a Pan-Turkic empire, as it was said. It is clear that this process will be full of large scale wars, tragedies, cataclysms. If Turkey and Azerbaijan succeed, then it will not only control economic infrastructures but also continue their expansion towards China. 

Q: Is the target of Azerbaijan be a strategic partner for China in Silk Road throw Zangezur and for Europe with oil/gas contracts in sustitution of Russia after the sanctions for Ukrainian war?

A:The creation of Pan-Turkic empire will make China a target of this empire. But Europe will be a target too. So, the conquest of Zangezour can be considered as the “fertilization” after which the “embryo” of the future Pan-Turkic empire will start to grow.

Q: Zangezur makes Turkey the potent of Middle East and East Mediterranean-Europe, for this the total support to Aliyev?

A: Yes.

Q: We said some days ago how a Iranian fight airplane was flying over Artsakh under control by Baku and Azeri government call the Iranian ambassador to explain this. ¿How it affects to Iran the conquest of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and a Zangezur open in the administration of commerce route and in geopolitics? And for Russia?

A: I have not heard about Iranian fight airplane in Artsakh. It is Azerbaijani propaganda. Iran and Russia will be among the first targets of Turkish and Azeri geopolitical expansionist plans. Europe will be among the next.

Q: Is Iran fear of Azerbaijan get strong for the links with Israel, feel fear as well of Turkish development in Transcaucasia an Central Asia? And how is the links Iran-Artsakh and Iran-Armenia as a mutual strategic ally? Because in the war Azerbaijan fight a lot in the south to isolate Artsakh from Iran.

A: As I mentioned Iran will be among the first targets of Turkish-Azerbaijani geopolitical aggression. By the way Israel is also among the targets. Erdogan has stated many times that Jerusalem must be conquered by his forces. As it was mentioned, Turkish geopolitical struggle school is very much sincere and they always make public their main plans. 

Q: What Means Zangezur for Russia?…this route China-Turkey affect the Russian and Iranian route of silk?

A: I think the international community should have a very clear stance of containing Turkish-Azerbaijani geopolitical expansion, final destruction of Artsakh and conquest of Zangezour. It is incorrect to see this process within the prism of Russian or Chinese politics. Turkey and Azerbaijan are professionally distracting the attention of the West, camouflaging this as a process perfectly fitting into Western interests to weaken Russia, Iran and China. But, the Genie should not be freed, otherwise it will make unpredictable, rather predictable catastrophes.  

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