The Other Border Dispute Russia Is Involved In (That No One Is Talking About Yet)

Tyler Durden's picture

With all eyes focused on Ukraine's border with Russia, it is hardly surprising that the 'other' dispute has fallen off the front pages. However, as Stratfor notes, there has been a burst of diplomatic activity in recent months over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which Armenia and Azerbaijan have disputed for decades. Russia, the strongest power in the Caucasus, has become more engaged in the issue as Azerbaijan's leverage in the region grows. Russia's involvement could herald a change in this longstanding conflict.



In 1994, after mediation by numerous external players including Russia, Turkey and Iran, a cease-fire was reached to end the conflict. But by that time Armenian forces had decisively defeated Azerbaijan, leading to the de facto independence of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenian control of several provinces bordering the region.

Now, as Russia and the West confront each other over Ukraine, the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute represents a subtler yet similarly significant issue for the Caucasus. As Georgia attempts to move closer to the West and Armenia strengthens ties with Russia, Azerbaijan is maintaining a careful balance between the two sides. Azerbaijan thus serves as the pivot of the Caucasus, and the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh is a crucial aspect in shaping Baku's role.

Russia has historically supported the Armenians but in light of Azerbaijan's rising influence, Russia has become more engaged on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue than it has been in years. Russian officials have held numerous meetings with officials from Azerbaijan and Armenia on the issue in recent months, indicating a possible shift in Moscow's position. But in order for Moscow to truly change its stance on Nagorno-Karabakh, it would need to weaken considerably, or Azerbaijan would need to become so vital to Russian interests that Moscow would change allegiances and confront Armenia, an unlikely prospect at this point.


Source: Stratfor

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Latina Lover's picture

More poking of the Russian Bear by the USSA. Events like this do not erupt spontaneously.


Follow the money and see who benefits.

junction's picture

Nagorno-Karabakh is too hard to spell.  Ukraine much easier to spell.  Gone are the days where places like Bosnia-Herzegovina could be flash points of war.  100 years ago, people knew how to spell, before the advent of spell check.

SWRichmond's picture

Baku is a hub for Caspian oil.  Show a bigger map with pipelines and oilfields.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The Caucasus are "the other Balkans".  Each tribe in a valley hates the tribe in the neighboring valley.  There are something like 30 languages spoken in the region.

Not discussed above are Turkey and Iran, two serious players as well.  Last I heard, Turkey is friends with oil & gas producing Azerbaijan with pipelines going hither and yon...  And Iran has a substantial Azeri minority near their border with Azerbaijan.  

"This could be slightly confusing to a stranger."

We'll be hearing more from this part of the world.

SWRichmond's picture

If people knew how much oil flowed through Baku westward  there'd be no confusion.

Do you see how close Russia and Iran are to linking up?  What's between them?  "Not much".

johngaltfla's picture

Uh, there is more than diplomatic activity.

Lots and lots of casualties again in the past week.

COSMOS's picture

Pretty obvious what is going on here, as payback to the Russian moves against the dollar, the USA is setting as many fires as it can on Russia's borders hoping the fires will spread and maybe consume the Russians.  The USA is on the move to destabilize a wide range of border regions.

Payback though is a bitch.  The USSA arsonists may end up getting burned in the end.

fx's picture

Stratfor - uh the same Cia-connected guys who couldn't prevent their website from being totally hacked and all their clients' data published by Anonymous.

Seems, they are still publishing their stuff - most of which is even worse than useless. It may make for a nice feeling if you keep seing the world through  US-American eyes. However, if your conclusions are based on that US-centric view and if you forget that other people may approach the same situations differently and with different objectives and methods, your conclusions and forecasts most likely will be total crap. Which brings us back to stratcrap.

Urban Redneck's picture

The same Stratfor, that if they were reading Zerohedge last week, could have went Wikipedia for some basic neocon-approved background filler and written the above article before charging their subscribers for more than their lack of insight is worth.

ImnotPOTUS's picture

I think that Putin is trying to make life miserable for Adam Schiff. Pushing on this issue will have every Armenian American howling at Congress to favor their side.

Poor bastard won't have a minute to spare with "K" street and fundraisers now. He might give up the seats on the subcommittees related to this "crisis" just so he can breath.

Ignatius's picture

"the other Balkans"  -- DoChen

The other white meat.

HardAssets's picture

A little friendly advice: Keep NGOs out of your business.

nmewn's picture

Clark Obama dashes into a phone booth ;-)

Eyeroller's picture

And Reggie is waiting in there to help him disrobe...

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Azerbaijan.  A river runs through it.

So will a pipeline.  Some day.

AvoidingTaxation's picture

And further there is Turkmenistan.

Turkey is less and less US friendly. Erdogan and civilisational issue at stake.

And remember Work=Gold Oil=Gold Guns=Gold Debt=Servitude

Who has the gold makes the rules.

NoDebt's picture

Just sitting here trying to fathom what excuse we're going to use to get involved in this one.  And what "sanctions" we could possibly get the Eurotrash to go along with us on this one.

I got nothin'.  Cupboard is looking pretty bare from where I'm sitting.  I'm sure they'll come up with something.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

Freedom or terrorism. Obama will flip a trillion dollar coin to decide.

Ventnor's picture

It's not just a question of dreaming up some sanctions.  We will also need the de rigueur, made-to-order atrocity to pin on Russia.  Does Malaysian Airlines serve Baku?

Sashko89's picture

Idk, both Armenia and Azerbaijan are close to Russia, Armenia, more close than Azerbaijan, however... both lots of Azerbaijani people and Armenians live in Russia... hard to tell at this time. Recently Azerbaijan has been under the influence of western NGOs and Russian language is becoming less common there, with Turkish becoming more common next to the official Azerbaijani language. However, Armenia has always stayed friendly to Russia, and def lots of famous Armenians in working in Russia. Never, knew this conflict existed really, but interesting story by zerohedge, indeed.

Slava Rusi




P.S. Armenia is mostly Christian whereas Azerbaijan is shia muslim for whatever that matters or not...

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1

Yes, religious differences add some spice to the stew.

DeliciousSteak's picture

Seems like the Armenians managed to occupy some prime real estate back in the day. Most of the mountains are theirs and the Azeris are left on an open plain. I don't see how a bigger conflict would be possible in this scenario, it'd be suicide for the Azeris on those grounds alone. Add in Russian support for the Armenians and it's unlikely anything  bigger will happen.

McCormick No. 9's picture

The oil is in the Caspian basin. IE, the Azeris have it. Rothschilds got their paws on it back in the 19th century. Hitler coveted it before he was crushed at Stalingrad. Now the West wants it, guess who's side the running dogs of neo-con stupidity will be on. This will get complicated and ugly. Iran backs Azeris. But Russia and Iran are buds. Iran and 'Murca not so much, but then, Iran and IS not so friendly, and 'Murca is the ally of Iraq, and not so much IS, except IS in Syria, cuz 'Murca hates Assad, why? Because he's a Shia, ie Iran's ally, and Russia's ally, but the enemy of IS, who also wants to take over Iraq, 'Murca's ally, so Israel is 'Murca's bestest bud, and Israel hates everyone, but loves their oil, so I say, after sorting through the mess...


AvoidingTaxation's picture

It is my understanding the Azeri field are not so big anymore or long lasting, say 15-20 of diclining production and some hefty investments. But further there is Turkmenistan.

We shall see. Ariel Sharon or John Kerry are my recommended agents.

jomama's picture

what about Hasnukeistan?

Bernanke'sDaddy's picture

This is an interesting scenario. N-K has been an Armenian enclave for centuries. It was given to Azerbaijan to exert leverage over it, as the soviets did with all their republics. Having a large minority population allowed moscow to exert control over the majority.


The question as to why it's flaring up now, I don't know but I'm sure the US has something to do with it in order to stir up trouble on russia's southern flank.

Russia was Ok selling arms to both sides; making money while maintaining the status quo.

The Azeri army is heavily kitted with US and Israeli equipment and has been very pro West/EU/Israel.

Armenia is completely dependent on russia.

Iran and Armenia are also close allies, since there are millions of ethnic Azeris in Northern iran who clamor for a greater Azerbaijan carved out of Iranian territory.

McCormick No. 9's picture


Eyeroller's picture

Maybe Miz "Fuck the EU" Nuland has been at it again...

(Above poster got in just before me -- great minds think alike)

Sashko89's picture

Interesting, there is a lot of western NGOs influencin the Azberjanis indeed... Kind of like what they did to west Ukraine. "Fuckers

Oldballplayer's picture

I did not know where this was this morning. I don't thinking learning about it now will make once shits bit of difference in the way I think about it in the morning.

Seek_Truth's picture

Ya know what?

I bet there were a lot of people who went to sleep on July 27,1914 and thought the exact same thing about Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Who coulda node?

TheMeatTrapper's picture

"I did not know where this was this morning. I don't thinking learning about it now will make once shits bit of difference in the way I think about it in the morning."

Your masters approve of your attitude. They can point a gun at your head, extract the tax shekels from your paycheck and fund the destabilization of a region you don't even know exists, and now that you do - could care less. 

They are importing millions of new Americans across the southern border who share your views. 


are we there yet's picture

My Vice president of sales is returning from Kyiv Ukraine this thursday and on skype was telling me that she has no hot water or air conditioning dispite the warm weather. She also said that people there are unhappy with all aspects of politics. She aslo said that she is told that soldiers are often out of food, or uniforms that must be supplied by their local governments or other donations. Still their is no shortage of patriotism there, just not a clear direction what to do with it. Ukranians are good people, just in a bad geographic location.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

That's what happens when you let Victoria Nuland run a country.

She shoulda stayed a corset model for Lane Bryant.

are we there yet's picture

Back in Clintons administration Victoria was a hottie.... now she is barrel scraping screeching hag.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

She was probably Clinton's original Jewish Princess (knee pads and all) before Monica showed up with the pizza delivery man.

Now she's just a trayf harpy, jumping ahead on the liposuction list.

 ("a rapacious monster described as having a woman's head and body and a bird's wings and claws or depicted as a bird of prey with a woman's face.")

    chistletoe's picture

    check out Dmanisi.... google it.  right in the middle of that mess ....

    thamnosma's picture

    I just hope the two countries, with whatever help, can come up with a solution sans warfare and bloodshed.   It's not in any of their interests.

    COSMOS's picture

    Given NATO meddling that is highly unlikely.  I am sure IMF has some plans for the local economies there.

    conscious being's picture

    Question, do the Azaeris have a gold stash like Lybia and Ukraine and Germany used to? If so, The Kagan will be coming for it.

    What really ought to scare the Azaeris is that they are pretty much plunked down in the original Khazar heartland and we all know how those folks like to move in and make themselves at home.

    Then there's that old Bible story, I think in Armagedon about Gog and Magog fighting it out right where they are sitting. Something about a gate in / thru the Caucus Mtns. I believe.

    Sorry, no Bible expert. Where is that JLee guy on Gog and Magog??

    bid the soldiers shoot's picture



    "First you say you do
    And then you don't
    And then you say you will
    And then you won't"

    Can't really have a nice schmooze about Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan without inviting Israel and Iran over for a glass tea.

    bid the soldiers shoot's picture



    "What! another 8m more, Dr Johnson?"

    "Madam you are rude!"

    My Days Are Getting Fewer's picture

    Not much here. We are talking about less than 200,000 people living in the mountains with some natural resources - all nothing to write home about ( except the mine fields)

    conscious being's picture

    Huh? Baku? Oil? Pipelines? See SWRichmond post above re. Iran and Russia are seperated by what?