Throughout the Cold War, Turkey was considered a bulwark against Soviet expansionism, but with the end of that standoff, Moscow and Ankara have become competitors in many regions of the world and they have brought their competition to its conclusion in compromises that affect the vital interests of the indigenous people in a particular region.
Thus, Russo-Turkish deals were made in Syria, Libya and most recently, in the Caucasus. The latter compromise was made at the expense of the Armenians.
After the fall of the Soviet Empire, Russia played the role of guarantor of Armenia and it established its regional military base there. But when the chips were down, the Armenians discovered that there were nuances in the guarantee which made a difference of life and death on the receiving end.
During the 44-day war between Armenia and the combined forces of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Pakistan and freelance jihadists, the Russian-supplied SU-30 combat planes remained parked with their missiles missing and the awesome Iskandar missiles did not fire because the keys were kept in Moscow.
And, after all those calamities, Armenia had to thank President Vladimir Putin for brokering a ceasefire and “sparing” Armenians from further losses. The Russian President could have used his influence if he really meant to defend a strategic ally. The Russian behavior boils down to the fact that it created the problem in order to be in a position to resolve it.
Right now, there are more than 100 Armenian POWs in Azerbaijan, contravening the terms of the November 9 agreement. It is within the power of the Kremlin to ask President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan to release them, and not to use them as bargaining chips to extract further concessions from the beleaguered Armenia.