In this article, I will present the best and worst possible scenarios for developments in the South Caucasus region and based on this, the reader will be able to independently analyze forthcoming developments.
The South Caucasus has always been at the crossroads of conflicting interests. The region itself is tense because Iran, Turkey, Russia, Israel, U.S. and other players have interests to serve. As a result of the Artsakh war in 2020, a type of intermediate situation has formed here, which does not fully benefit any party involved. Turkey is not satisfied with the results of the 2020 war, because it was not able to be fully (including militarily) involved or deployed in the South Caucasus, as in Syria, Libya and other places. At the same time, it has not yet been able to implement its long-standing plan, the so-called “Zangezur Corridor.”
Russia is not satisfied, because its presence in the region as a peacekeeping mission is temporary with very unclear prospects. Only an incomplete part of Artsakh has appeared in Russia’s sphere of responsibility as Azerbaijan has occupied Shushi, Hadrut and Lachin Corridor. Apart from that, serious complaints arose in Armenia regarding Russia’s strategic partnership, undermining the reliability of its role as a strategic ally, which could lead to serious consequences.
Azerbaijan is not satisfied because it could not achieve the depopulation (dearmenification) and total occupation of Artsakh. Moreover, the presence of Russian peacekeepers in Artsakh has further complicated Azerbaijan’s plans. The interests of the anti-Iranian coalition are not satisfied, because there is no “Zangezur Corridor” that would cut off Iran from the external border with Armenia, and at the same time, it is not known who will ensure the security of that corridor if it ever become a reality. It is natural that Armenia is not satisfied either, because it lost not only Artsakh, but also a part of its sovereign territory. All this suggests that tensions in the region have not calmed down and there are still developments to come.