The Global Times reported on November 13 that although the Naka conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia was formally ceased under Russian mediation, the situation suddenly changed due to a speech by a senior Azerbaijani official.
At a press conference held the day before, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Russia Pollard stated that “war is war, and everything can happen.” This statement annoyed Russia, and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded. Said: “If Russia follows the principle of’war is war’, then the response will be devastating…”
On the evening of November 9, a Russian convoy delivered supplies to the Russian army stationed at Base 102 in Armenia, and a Mi-24 armed helicopter provided air cover for the convoy. However, because it was night and poor visibility, coupled with the Russian helicopter as a cover convoy, has been flying ultra-low altitude, the aircraft was mistaken by the Azerbaijani army as an Armenian gunship, resulting in 2 deaths and 1 injury to Russian soldiers.
After the incident, the President of Azerbaijan and the Foreign Minister both stepped forward to apologize to Russia and said that they would not only compensate Russia for its losses, but also severely punish the perpetrators. However, the statement of the Afghan ambassador to Russia may make all the efforts of the Afghan government to ease relations between Russia and Albania go to waste, and make the situation in Naqa changeless.
Azerbaijan is undoubtedly the victor of the Naka conflict. It not only wiped out a large number of active forces in Armenia, but also obtained two territories of Kelbach and Lachin in the ceasefire agreement. In this case, “getting it right when you see it” is a wise move, especially when a Russian armed helicopter was accidentally shot down, the top officials of the Afghan government exchanged a low profile for Russia’s understanding.
“Anything can happen on the battlefield”, this sentence itself does not have any problems, it is really difficult to guarantee that there will be no misfire. But as the ambassador of a country, Pollard ignores the feelings of the Russian government and the people at this sensitive moment. It is obviously very inappropriate to make such a statement. You know, Russia is not a weak Armenia, it has the capital to let Azerbaijan eat the “fat” spit out.
In 2008, the 58th Russian Army occupied Georgia in just five days. Today, the Russian peacekeeping forces have begun to station in the Naka region and are responsible for isolating the Azerbaijani and Armenian forces from each other. If the Russian military really wants to change the situation on the battlefield, what Azerbaijan got at the negotiating table will be wiped out overnight. The Afghan government knows this well.
Although it is difficult for the Azerbaijani people and the army to appease Russia, it is a realist best practice. After all, Russia did not choose the side of the Naka issue, it is unwise to anger such a heavyweight player. As a small country, Azerbaijan is really unnecessary to offend Russia because of its quickness at this time.
But what drives the ambassador to say that? Unintentional mistakes are definitely impossible. He is not a three-year-old kid. He should be clear about what the diplomatic envoys should say and what should not be said. There are only two reasons for that: one comes from the inside, where the Afghan government’s apology is under pressure from public opinion and requires a hedge; the other comes from the outside, where some countries want Russia to be involved in the Naqqa conflict.
However, considering all situations, it is more likely to come from outside. Because the autonomy of small countries is very weak, many of the government’s decisions are often beyond their own control, and the outside world uses more agents and public opinion to control the situation, achieving their own attempts without revealing traces. The Afghan ambassador to Russia said that he was so strange that there must be a “ghost” behind it.