After the Russian support to Armenia, France is getting involved in Armenia by showing its support to Armenia and its people. With both Russia and France coming to the support of Armenia, Turkey is further cornered and left alone.
On Wednesday, during his visit to Latvia’s capital Riga, French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Turkey’s statement backing Azerbaijan in its military efforts to snatch the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, terming it to be “reckless and dangerous”.
Macron concluded that “the bellicose comments that Turkey made in the last hours, which essentially remove any inhibitions from Azerbaijan in what would be a reconquest of northern Karabakh. That we will not accept.” Putting France’s weight behind Yerevan, he said, specifically to Armenians that France will play its role.
France has been thwarting Erdogan’s attempts in Libya, Eastern Mediterranean (by supporting Greece) and as situations are panning out now in the Caucasus region. Earlier, when Ankara was trying to bully Greece by sending a seismic survey vessel in Oruc Reis into the Greek Maritime Sphere, the French took a serious note of it and started providing military assistance, with Greece announcing to buy no less than 18 Rafael Aircrafts. The situation escalated so fast that Ankara had to withdraw its vessel from the disputed waters, thus Erdogan’s fantasy of creating a regional sphere of influence was thwarted.
Since last week more than 100 people have died, and latest updates tell us a regional war is in getting out of hand. On Tuesday Armenia’s defence ministry said that a Turkish F-16 flying in support of Baku’s forces has downed an Armenian SU-25 fighter plane. The situation is such that even the UN Security Council has called on both sides to immediately end the fighting.
The Russian side has been very calmly asking for Ankara to stand down and try solving this through diplomatic means. The onus for starting this conflict has been laid at the foot of Erdogan as Macron already said, it has happened as Turkey has provided a blank cheque to Azerbaijan and has been continuously providing material and military support.
With Erdogan acting like a spoiled child, the NATO members are taking a contrary view to what Turkey wants them to believe. French President has said that he will be talking to both Putin and Trump so that a comprehensive and logical solution to the problem can be reached.
The relevance of NATO has taken another dent as the two-member countries are standing in different camps. It has been speculated for long that since the disintegration of the USSR, the main objective of NATO was over and with no Warsaw Pact, there was no relevance of NATO and Russia was made the new antagonist keep the organization working. The fact that France will be talking to Russian premier Putin and discuss what action needs to be taken against its fellow NATO member country, Turkey, is most certainly a death knell for the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
The situation is very sensitive in the Caucasus region with fighting going on even as we write. It looks like Turkey has again found itself in a situation where the only path is to retreat away from the conflict, ashamed yet in comparatively good condition. However, if Erdogan’s bad decision-making prevails, Ankara is up for a good pounding from both Russia and France combined.