- Unless there is a radical shift among the decision-makers in Moscow before 2025, the Kremlin is likely to exploit every ounce of influence it has over Baku to keep its peacekeeping mission in Karabakh beyond the initial five-year timeline. Despite Azerbaijan’s close ties to Turkey, the need to maintain a good relationship with Russia was clearly enough to pressure Baku into ending its military offensive just a few miles shy of Stepanakert.
- Europe and the U.S. might find themselves working alongside Russia to keep the conflict frozen in order to prevent a human rights catastrophe against Karabakh’s remaining Armenians. For example, France has already demanded the resumption of high-level international talks about the region’s status.
- With five years to catch its breath, it’s even possible that Armenia might rebuild its military before 2025 to the degree that Azerbaijan would find it too costly to renew its pursuit of a “final solution” in Karabakh.
- Following the six-week war, Armenia’s need to accumulate greater military power will bind it to Russia more closely than before. With a larger contingent of soldiers in Armenia and the deployment of servicemen in Nagorno-Karabakh, Moscow will also be sending more military resources to and through Armenia.
Other political analysts argue that Russia and Turkey both made gains in the Karabakh War, acting more as allies than adversaries. In other words, the six-day war was part of a joint project by Moscow and Ankara to overhaul the Middle East, Northern Africa, and the Caucasus. Yes, there’s still rivalry here (in both Syria and Libya, Russia and Turkey have repeatedly found themselves on opposite sides), but Putin and Erdoğan have operated most effectively when they agree on spheres of influence and cooperate to squeeze out other would-be players, whether it’s Iran, the European Union, or the United States.