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Erdogan's Strategy towards Azerbaijan

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The large-scale mid-May exercises of the Azerbaijani army provided an additional reason to look closely at the frequency and intensity of joint military measures in offensive nature.

In March 2020, during one of the service meetings, Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov told about studying the experience of conducting operations in Idlib, and at the same time about the ongoing work on acquiring new weapons systems from a strategic ally. In early June, the Azerbaijani-Turkish Agreement on financial cooperation in the military sphere came into force. According to the document, Azerbaijan is provided with a credit line equivalent to $30 million for the purchase of weapons and military equipment.

The Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic has long been one of the main directions of Turkey's foreign policy. The separate combined arms army of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces stationed a few tens of kilometers from Yerevan is equipped with modern weapons systems, including the TRG-300 Kaplan multiple launch rocket systems purchased from Turkey.

In addition to the existing military advisers and the deployment of military infrastructure to the Azerbaijani exclave, it is planned to extend a railway and a gas pipeline in the future, designed to weaken its dependence on Iranian supplies. The estimated throughput capacity of an 80-kilometer gas pipe from Igdir to the border of Nakhichevan is up to 2 billion cubic meters of gas.

Strengthening energy cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan also means growing interdependence, successfully integrating transit Georgia into the orbit of their political and economic interests.

Azerbaijan became the largest gas supplier to Turkey in the first half of 2020. The volume of gas purchases increased by 23.4% compared to the same period in 2019 - up to 5.44 bcm.

This is mainly due to an increase in supplies via the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP). At the same time, there is every reason to believe that Azerbaijan will retain its leadership in the supply of pipeline gas to Turkey for a very long period, finally displacing Russia. In early August, Turkish Foreign Minister M. Cavusoglu said that the republic intends to further increase the purchase of natural gas from Azerbaijan. In addition to the commissioning of the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline in November 2019, the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline has increased.

In many ways, Ankara acts out of its own interests, with little regard for others, which poses a threat from the point of view of regional security. Thanks to Erdogan's policy, a certain threat to the existing communications between Russia, Turkey and Iran is growing. There is an escalation of tension both in Libya and on the territory of Iraq and northern Syria.

There is the need for a peacekeeping and peacemaking mission of Moscow, that previously managed to unite the efforts of states with radically opposite positions.

It is time for Europe, in particular Great Britain, France, Germany, to recall the possible levers of pressure on the Turkish government, since Pan-Turkism carries certain risks to European security. Further disregard for Erdogan's aggressive policies could have tragic consequences.

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Aram Manukyan Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

an American journalist with expertise in the history and politics of Caucasus region

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