October 26, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8988

Azerbaijan-Armenia Conflict – Russian Expert Golts: Turkey Is Unambiguously On Azerbaijan's Side; Russia Does Not Have A Strategy, And Suffers Heavy Losses In Terms Of Its Image

October 26, 2020
Russia, Turkey | Special Dispatch No. 8988

On October 8, 2020, Russian military expert Alexander Golts gave an interview with Azerbaijan's media outlet Turan on the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict. In the interview, Golts assessed that – unlike Turkey, which unambiguously sides with Azerbaijan – Russia does not have a strategy, so it suffers very heavy losses in terms of its image.

On the claim that Moscow does not provide military support to Armenia because it is interested in the fall of Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Golts said that it is possible, "but this is a very short-sighted position." "The Armenians will not forget or forgive this," Golts said.

It is worth noting that, on October 18, 2020, speaking at an opening ceremony, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his support to Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and accused the Minsk Group chairs, the United States, Russia, and France, of supplying weapons to Armenia.

Erdoğan said: "Look, they say the Minsk Group. Who are the Minsk Group? The U.S., Russia, and France. And who did they take sides with? They took sides with Armenia. Do they provide the Armenians and Armenia with the support of every kind of weaponry? Yes, they do. My dear friends; while all this is going on, our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters are in a very important struggle against the Armenians. Why are they putting up this struggle? They are putting up this struggle to liberate Azerbaijan's occupied lands from the Armenians. What could be more natural than that! The United States, Russia, and France have not concluded negotiations for 30 years and have not returned their lands to our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters. And now our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters are fighting to liberate their lands under occupation. May Allah help them! I believe they will take their occupied lands back from the Armenians and we pray that they may succeed."[1]

Below is Golts' interview with Azerbaijan's media outlet Turan:[2]

Alexander Golts (Source:

If Russia Gives Military Support To Armenia In Nagorno-Karabakh, It Would Mean Entering The War With Azerbaijan; "Karabakh Is De Jure Azerbaijan"

"Turkey has convincingly proved that it is not just a new and major player in the South Caucasus, but the most effective player. Ankara plays this role better than Russia. A well-known Russian military expert, editor-in-chief of the online portal Daily Journal Alexander Golts said this in an interview with Turan.

"'Ankara is unambiguously on the side of Azerbaijan, it does everything openly, and Russia does not go beyond statements like: guys, let's live together.'

"Russia does not have a strategy, so it suffers very heavy losses in terms of its image, the expert noted, answering the question of how he assesses the role of Turkey in the region.

"When asked whether Russia can provide military assistance to Armenia, Golts noted that it cannot do this, since the war is going on in the territory of Azerbaijan. 'No country has ever recognized Nagorno-Karabakh, and military support to the Armenians would mean entering the war with Azerbaijan. Karabakh is de jure Azerbaijan,' the expert emphasized.

"At the same time, he noted that Russia and Armenia have quite serious agreements on cooperation in the military sphere, there is a military base in Gyumri, a joint grouping of forces, a joint air defense system and, finally, 4,500 border guards guarding the border with Turkey and Iran.

"'But all this is for the protection of Armenia, not Karabakh, and can be used in case of transferring battles to the territory of Armenia,' Golts said."[3]

"It Is Possible [That Moscow Does Not Provide Military Support To Armenia Because It Wants Armenian PM Pashinyan To Fall], 'But This Is A Very Short-Sighted Position'"

"At the same time, he noted that if the war lasts for several more weeks, then the question of the supply of ammunition and the repair of equipment, which is Russian on both sides, will arise. 'Then a lot will depend on whether Russia is able to maintain a balance and to whom it will supply military equipment. But even if they decide that it is necessary to supply military equipment to Armenia, then how to do it, because Georgia has closed the airspace. It remains only to do it through Iran, but it is very expensive and not easy,' the expert said.[4]

"How substantiated is the opinion that Moscow does not provide military support to Armenia, as it is interested in the fall of the Pashinyan regime?

"To this Golts replied that it is possible, 'but this is a very short-sighted position.' In his words, 'the Armenians will not forget or forgive this.'

"Referring to the balance of military forces, Golts noted Azerbaijan's unconditional and multiple advantages in manpower and equipment. Military Balance figures clearly show this. 'However, there are many examples in the history of war that military equipment and numerical superiority were not decisive. If we assess the achievements of the first 10 days of the war, they are rather modest, for Azerbaijan has not advanced far. The head of state announced plans for full control over Karabakh. If this is the goal, then the issue should be resolved within a few days. So far, the results are modest,' said Golts.

"When asked about the losses of the parties, the expert replied that there is no exact data, and each party often passes on wishful thinking. Suffice it to recall the statements of the Armenians about the destruction of three dozen aircraft and helicopters of Azerbaijan, without providing any evidence."


[1], October 18, 2020.

[2], October 8, 2020.

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