Azerbaijan to commence four-day military exercises

The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan will begin large-scale military exercises today.  The exercises will focus on combat readiness and combined

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Photo: Office of the President of Azerbaijan

The Armed Forces of Azerbaijan will begin large-scale military exercises today. 

The exercises will focus on combat readiness and combined arms training and will include up to 15,000 troops, 300 tanks and other armored vehicles. 

While the exercises follow this week’s border dispute, which saw Azerbaijani troops enter Armenian territory, has no doubt destabilized the region, they are unlikely to bring Baku and Yerevan back to the brink of war. Per the Vienna Document of 2011, Azerbaijan gave prior notice of the exercises and is unlikely to risk further provoking Armenia at the risk of angering Russia. 

A more likely product of these exercises is a stall in the implementation of the Russia-brokered postwar settlement. Negotiations continue over the exact terms of the ceasefire and how to handle contested territories, a notable example being the Azerbaijani enclave of Nakhchivan. A vital component of the truce proposed creating a land corridor between mainland Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan, which would run through southern Armenia. While initial efforts were taken to construct a railway to the enclave, construction halted during the dispute. It will likely be further blocked by Armenia if tensions continue to rise.

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