Tsukerman discusses “red lines” for Baku’s future security, RU media

Rachel Brooks
March 16, 2021
Image credit. “Government House, Baku” by indigoprime is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Tsukerman had insights for Baku’s approach to the future of its security. 

Republic Underground media vice president and American security analyst Irina Tsukerman spoke with the Azerbaijani-language Milli. az news outlet on March 13. In this interview, the outlet and Tsukerman discussed the future of Azerbaijan’s national security. Tsukerman stated that Azerbaijan should not allow Armenia “to sabotage” the due process of establishing “solid red lines” for its security.

“Armenians are now using the space to transport humanitarian aid and bring in plainclothes militants who do not need to be in the region,” said Tsukerman, in her interview with Milli. az, here translated into English.

“As a weak and poor country, Armenia used terrorism and provocations to gain political support from Moscow and international sympathy from others. This is evident in the summer of 2020, such as the attacks on Tovuz, the use of multiple munitions against Ganja and Barda, the use of these soldiers as a provocation in the hope that Baku would respond in the same way and attack Armenian territory, and now there is no better option. shows itself.”

As the political crisis in Armenia deepens, sympathy-seeking from politicized narratives could continue to add stress to the fragile ceasefire. Armenians that are sent into the liberated territory by government actors are likewise at great risk of the mine crisis. The ordinance of war remaining in Karabakh poses a threat to the civilians within the territory. Armenia “plainclothes” militants that may become the casualties of escalations in the post-conflict zone would likewise be subjects of the political narrative.

Tsukerman highlighted this risk in her comments with Milli. az outlet.
She said that Baku was on the right course by not “succumbing to “obvious provocations that were “aimed at “destroying” the national image. The risk to civilians and those informal combatants that are seen to reenter the region is subject to politicization. Tsukerman urged Baku to take a strong policy stance against such political opportunities.

“Baku must draw solid red lines for its security and apply them through political, diplomatic pressure and international cooperation. Earlier, Baku chose the right course of action in order not to succumb to obvious provocations aimed at destroying its image, but to respond in a measured and proportionate manner without violating international norms.”

She noted that, because there had been no violence thus far resulting from the reentry of Armenians into the territory, there was no reason for Azerbaijan to start a dispute over the fact. Rather, she stated that if Armenia is to engage in direct provocations that jeopardize citizens, Azerbaijan “has the right to take appropriate measures.”

She also stated that Yerevan would likely refrain from the use of uniformed soldiers in a forward-looking strategy to again approach the territory.

“Yerevan will probably refrain from using uniformed soldiers to carry out direct terrorist attacks,” said Tsukerman, to Milli. az news.

“They will rely more on unofficial networks to try to involve Azerbaijan in the dispute with its own forces. This will give a reason to trust the international community, to make concessions to Baku, and to put pressure on it to protect its image (or prevent its image from being tarnished).”

In which event, she made a point of reiterating that Azerbaijan must have a forceful policy stance. She likewise stated that, while Azerbaijan “must now allow” Armenia to do as described, they must also be transparent about whatever security measures are taken, to preserve their integrity in the international community’s view.