Expert: Putin loses control over Caucasus, Ukraine next

Expert: Putin loses control over Caucasus, Ukraine next

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Russia`s loss of influence in the Caucasus highlights the Kremlin`s typical foreign policy of the past few years, which has failed on the post-Soviet scene, says a political expert.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin has lost control over the Caucasus, which might well tip the scales in favor of Ukraine’s government in the conflict in Donbass. In fact, after the mishap in Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia is running the risk of losing control over the neighboring Ukraine, believes Andrey Piontkovsky, a Russian political scientist.

According to Piontkovsky, Russia`s loss of influence in the Caucasus displays the typical Kremlin`s foreign policy of the past few years which has flopped in the post-Soviet scene. The expert named the recent Armenia–Azerbaijan conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh as a typical example of the political course Russia sticks to: he claimed that Kremlin intentionally fueled the conflict in order to maintain its influence over both countries.

“This was Moscow`s key idea: the Kremlin wanted to teach the Armenian PM [Nikol] Pashinyan a lesson by letting Azerbaijan take a couple of districts away and then play the heaven-sent peacemaker and settle the conflict, leaving both parties piously grateful to him. But then an unexpected factor sprang up -- Turkey intervened in the conflict. It conducted successful training of the Azerbaijni army. As a result, the conflict didn`t go as Putin hoped,” Piontkovsky added.

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