Ankara, Moscow at Odds over Turkish Military Post in Azerbaijan

Russian peacekeepers stationed in Artsakh (Photo by Dickran Khodanian)
Russian peacekeepers stationed in Artsakh (Photo by Dickran Khodanian)

Russian peacekeepers stationed in Artsakh (Photo by Dickran Khodanian)

ANKARA (Reuters)—Turkey and Russia are at odds over Ankara’s wish to set up an independent military observation post on Azeri territory, a Turkish source said, after the two agreed this month to monitor a ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Turkey and Russia have already agreed to set up a joint center in the region to monitor the Nov. 10 ceasefire, which ended weeks of fighting between Azerbaijan’s troops and ethnic Armenian forces in the enclave.

The ceasefire agreement, which locked in Azerbaijan’s territorial gains from the fighting, involves the deployment of some 2,000 Russian peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russian and Turkish officials have still to agree on the parameters of the monitoring mechanism, but Turkey, a staunch ally of Azerbaijan, also wants its own independent observation post to boost its influence in a region it sees as key to its own security.

“The biggest difference of opinion right now is the observation post Turkey will establish on Azerbaijan’s lands,” the Turkish source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Russia thinks it is unnecessary for Turkey to establish an observation post in the region independent of the joint centre. However, this is necessary for Turkey.”

The source said talks would continue in Moscow and that Turkey expected eventually to reach a compromise with Russia.

There was no immediate comment on the matter from Russia, Armenia or Azerbaijan.

Turkey has backed Azerbaijan, with which it has close ethnic and cultural ties, since the start of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict nearly 30 years ago.

France said last week it wanted international supervision to implement the ceasefire, concerned that Russia and Turkey could strike a deal to cut out Western powers from future peace talks.


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One Comment;

  1. varouj garabedian said:

    Dear Editor,
    If I were you, I would not pin any hope on this or any similar reports. Russia and Turkey may have different approached and may be at odds as REUTERS has observed, but we should never forget that they have more grounds for agreement than discord. Just remember that they were\are at odds in Syria, too, but they also created means of coordination and pursue their interests without seriously harming each other. REAUTERS may not care to see matters with this point of view, but we should not allow ourselves to be carried away with unfounded hopes.