Azeri experts commented on Russia-hosted Caucasus-2012 large scale military drills.
According to Azeri military expert Uzeir Jafarov, Russia has never seen military exercises of this scale. “President Putin’s attendance leads us to think that the drills are crucial to Russia, with Moscow developing scenarios to repel possible threats. Moscow means to show that events at South Caucasus are not an unsolvable issue to Russia,” he said.
Foreign policy expert Farhad Mehdiyev believes the drills might be a hint to Azerbaijan. “Extradition and release of Azeri officer Ramil Safarov, stalemate in Karabakh issue settlement trigger ideas of a military settlement of the conflict. Joint CSTO drills in Armenia followed by Caucasus 2012-military exercises speak volumes.”
“Russia is sending a warning to Georgia and Azerbaijan against any thoughts of a war,” the expert said.
Azeri diplomat, political scientist Vafa Guluzade, believes Russia is getting ready for a new Caucasus war, while “concealing the actual situation in Dagestan, which strongly opposes Russian pressure.”
“The situation in North Caucasus is highly strained; people are striving towards Islam, with Russia having lost its economic, political and military power,” Vesti.az. quoted the expert as saying.