The Second Karabakh War in the Context of Turkish-Russian Relations

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Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi state university, Faculty of social and political sciences
Relations between Turkey and Russia, which have been confrontational throughout history, have undergone a new transformation after the Western- supported social movements called the Arab Spring and the Syrian Civil War. This new transformation brought Turkey and Russia closer to each other as regional powers and helped the development of the practice of generating regional solutions for regional problems. Russia's efforts to keep its ally Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria, which is home to Russia's only military base in the Mediterranean, and Turkey's desire to eliminate threats to its national security after the Syrian Crisis made this cooperation inevitable in a sense. In particular, the military and political support given by the United States to Kurdish groups in northern Syria has been effective in Turkey's rapprochement to Russia, taking into account its border security. On the other hand, it seems possible for Russia to keep the Assad administration in power against the coalition forces led by the United States only through cooperation with regional powers such as Turkey and Iran. These practices, institutionalized with the Astana Process in 2019, encouraged Turkey and Russia, which have conflicting interests, to turn to cooperation in order to prevent external interventions against their spheres of influence. One of the most important test areas of this 'fragile' cooperation period is the Second Karabakh War. The conflict, which started with the mutual accusations of the Azerbaijani and Armenian forces in September 2020, continued with establishing superiority of the Azerbaijani army one by one in the pre-occupied territories which surround the Nagorno-Karabakh region. In this process, it was revealed that Armenia did not receive sufficient support in the international arena against Azerbaijan, which gained an advantage in the field with the military assistance of Turkish drones. The Nikol Pashinyan administration, which came to power as a result of the street demonstrations in the "coloured" revolution style with the intense support of the West in 2018 and developed an anti-Russian discourse, could not get enough assistance from its "historical" ally Russia, and this situation was quite effective in determining the result. In this study, the Second Karabakh War will be analyzed in the context of Turkish-Russian relations, which has been re-formulated after the Arab Spring and in particularly Syrian Crisis. In this regard, Russian foreign policy during the Second Karabakh War will be associated with the Near Abroad Doctrine which was declared in 1993 and put into action after 2008.
The Second Karabakh War, Turkey, Russia, Near Abroad Doctrine, Cooperation