Joint statement by revolutionary socialists in Turkey and Russia on the situation in Karabakh

Saturday 14th November 2020

Armenia, having suffered defeat in the area of the Lachin corridor and lost the city of Shusha, was forced to surrender to the forces of Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey. A few kilometers from Shushi, in which the Azerbaijani troops were successfully entrenched, lies the city of Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. This would mean that with the control of the Lachin corridor by the Azerbaijanis, the defeat of Armenia is only a matter of time.

Moscow took advantage of the unrest in Karabakh, the fall of Shushi and the threat of the fall of Stepanakert, which Ankara and Baku could not resist. Russia has imposed itself as a “guarantor” of peace between the warring parties, but, as many times before, Russian “peacekeepers” must be viewed as occupiers. As a result of such actions, we can observe the emergence of a new “Transnistria”, basically an occupied part of Azerbaijan, with the help of which the Kremlin will be able to influence both Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Erdogan does not need a deterioration in relations with Putin. While aiming to become a regional power, Turkey has no chance to surpass Russian imperialism. But Turkey will try to constantly increase its presence in Azerbaijan, a soft and sluggish imperialist struggle for the possession of the region will begin.

Turkey’s control over Karabakh is necessary to create a countering threat to Russia, as well as to create a corridor to the Caspian Sea and a breakthrough to Uzbek, Turkmen and Kazakh gas for export to Europe. Although Ankara has already coped with the first task, it will take much more effort to complete the second task, as Moscow is directly opposing it.

Russia’s interests here are to prevent competition for gas, as the loss of the market for Russia’s natural resources can emerge into an economic disaster.

The Aliyev clan needed a “small victorious war” in order to preserve their power and strengthen their precarious position in society, as the bet in domestic politics was placed on the notorious “stability”, which causes considerable irritation in society.

At the moment, tens of thousands of Armenians are located on the territory of Turkey and the lands grabbed by Azerbaijan. Any manifestation of violence towards them should not be allowed, it is necessary to suppress any form of racism and chauvinism at the root. What was suffered by the Armenian people at the beginning of the last century should not be repeated. If they are, then a new war and retaliatory violence will be unavoidable.

We, Russian and Turkish international socialists, oppose the interference in the affairs of the Caucasian peoples by the imperialist and sub-imperialist powers. All foreign troops must leave the territory of Karabakh. The peoples of the Caucasus must decide interethnic issues themselves; no one has the right to decide on their conditions and influence their choice. The states of the region must develop political and economic independence, no one has the right to dispose of the destinies of entire nations in search of their own.

Only by overthrowing the power of the capitalists it is possible to achieve peace and friendship between peoples, only the power of the working class can show the right way to overcome ethnic conflicts based on extreme nationalism and chauvinism.

Socialist Tendency (Russia)