There is a law of physics which also applies to politics: for every action, there is a corresponding reaction.
The 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended in a ceasefire brokered by Russia on November 9, 2020. At that time, Moscow haphazardly drafted a declaration to be signed by the three parties, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia. The agreement favored Azerbaijan, which recaptured most of Karabakh, in addition to the Azerbaijani lands the Armenians had captured and held as insurance in the 1990s war, and also Russia, which regained a foothold in Azerbaijan, through the introduction of 2,000 Russian peacekeeping forces.
But what was achieved globally in addition to the local arrangements was Russia’s control of the situation, sidelining the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group and the West, which expressed a preference for international peacekeepers, specifically from the Scandinavian countries.
Now that Russia has been mired in the war in Ukraine, the opportunity for a reaction from the West has arrived. Indeed, the European Union has taken the lead to achieve peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, this time, pushing Russia to the sidelines.
Indeed, on April 6-7, Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev met in Brussels under the auspices of the European Council and its president, Charles Michel. The choice of the location itself — Brussels, the capital of the European Union and home of the NATO headquarters — was symbolic and enough to cause concern for the Kremlin.
Although Michel assessed the meeting as a success with positive signs, that meeting signifies that Armenia is caught in a geostrategic trap.