Turkey’s interest in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict motivated by control over Caucasus oil & gas supply, says Armenian president

By Jonny Tickle
19 Oct, 2020
photo: © Sputnik / Valery Melnikov

Armenia’s President Armen Sarkissian believes Turkey provoked the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh to take control of energy supplies to Europe from the Caspian region, an area rich in ‘black gold’ and the location of many gas pipes.

Speaking to Moscow daily Kommersant, Sarkissian claimed that Turkey used to be “a consumer [of energy], but now will be a manager.”

“The longer the conflict lasts, the deeper Turkey’s presence in Azerbaijan will be,” the president claimed. “Turkey will be a neighbor of Russia, and they will essentially have a land border. Turkey will manage the oil and gas pipelines that are laid to Europe.”

According to Sarkissian, Ankara will now have direct influence over the energy security of both Europe and Central Asia by being able to control gas and oil it does not own.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the US, Russia, and France of providing weapons to Armenia. The presidents of all three countries are chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, tasked since 1992 with ending the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

On September 27, the region saw the most substantial escalation in violence for almost three decades. In the weeks since the fighting began, leaders from around the world have repeatedly called for peace in the region, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier this month, the countries agreed on a ceasefire, which quickly fell apart. The dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia is decades old, with both countries believing they have strong claims over Nagorno-Karabakh. The region is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is primarily populated by ethnic Armenians. Baku considers the enclave to be illegally occupied by Armenia.

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Published at www.rt.com