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Has Pandora’s Box Been Opened In Trans-Caucasia?

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Has Pandora's Box Been Opened In Trans-Caucasia?

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As of September 27th, the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan is a reality, over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Both sides are reporting heavy casualties suffered by the other, with large offensives frequently taking place and being repelled.

It is a war, it is not a small-scale clash, as the casualties reportedly number in the thousands, something that’s not been seen in years on battlefields such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, all other issues in the region aren’t simply sitting on standby, naturally – they’re developing.

And they’re using the chance of the chaos between Armenia and Azerbaijan to continue moves to forward whatever agenda they follow.

Turkey is in the center of it, as it is in the center of the Mediterranean Sea crisis, and in Northeastern Syria, Idlib, Kurdistan, as well as in Libya.

Its activities are playing into the hands of the bigger players such as the US, NATO as a whole, the EU and so on. More deteriorating situations are likely expected, as many seek to take advantage of the smoke-screen that’s been set by Azerbaijan and Armenia.

This is the case with Georgia, with the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Both regions have Russian forces stationed there, to protect them from the desires of the Georgian leadership to cleanse the region from the unwanted elements of the population.

Ever since 2008, when the Saakashvili government attempted and failed to realize its plans due to Russia’s intervention, the conflicts have been frozen.

And, surely enough, using the chaos, NATO on September 29th, called on Russia to withdraw all of its forces from the region.

“We call on Russia to end its recognition of the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to withdraw its forces,” said Jens Stoltenberg at a news conference with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia.

“NATO supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty within its internationally recognized borders,” he added.

Stoltenberg said they have discussed “close cooperation between Georgia and NATO on the Black Sea security.”

“Earlier this year, allies agreed to strengthen our partnership, even further. This includes sharing more air traffic radar data, working jointly to address hybrid threats, as well as doing joint exercises in the Black Sea region,” he added.

Stoltenberg also welcomed Georgia’s reforms in modernizing its army and strengthening democracy.

“I encourage you to continue making full use of all the opportunities for coming closer to NATO, and to prepare for membership.”

It is no secret what would happen if Russia withdrew, the Georgian military would move in, carry out the initially-planned purge, and then democracy would have been instated in the region.

The situation in Belarus is also developing, preparations are being made for another push on President Alexander Lukashenko.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are to meet with opposition leader Svetlana Tsikhanovskaya and they’ve officially said that Lukashenko is not recognized as the legitimate president.

As such sanctions, increased protest intensity and other “liberal” and “democratic” activities should be expected, especially since the headlines are full of Armenia-Azerbaijan headlines, the narrative can be pushed forward with little to no attention given to it.

CIA and Pentagon instructors are implicated in preparing protests in Belarus, head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Sergei Naryshkin said on September 29th.

“’Fighters for renewed Belarus are trained in Poland, Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltic states with participation of instructors from the CIA and the Pentagon as well as US non-governmental organizations affiliated with the [US] Department of State,” he noted.

The United States is using dirty methods to whip up tensions in Belarus, the foreign intelligence chief stated.

“The US is using the dirtiest methods for rocking the boat in Belarus. When cooperating with the Belarusian opposition, the Americans are shifting the focus on boosting the activity of its strong-arm members among radical nationalists. The Department of State has launched an effort on engaging extremist elements in protests.”

The United States is interfering with the religious situation in Belarus and is seeking to drag Catholic communities into anti-government protests, Sergei Naryshkin believes.

“According to available information, the United States is blatantly interfering with the religious situation in Belarus, seeking to set Orthodox and Catholic Christians against each other. Trying to drag Vatican, so far demonstrating restraint, into the Belarusian developments, the Americans are seeking to involve Catholic clergy in anti-government protests,” he said, adding that the US is calling on Catholic clergy to come up with criticism of the Belarusian authorities and use religious events, including prayers, cross processions, etc., to spread opposition propaganda among worshipers.

The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service has obtained information that a large-scale provocation is currently being plotted in Belarus, the head of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service revealed.

“According to the data at hand, extremist opponents of the current Belarusian authorities hiding abroad are concocting a plan of a large-scale provocation, which would involve an arrest, injury or even murder of one of the reputable members of the Catholic church,” Naryshkin noted. “The aim is to inflame anti-government sentiments among Catholics and incite them to take a more active part in street protests,” he said.

Elections in Moldova are drawing near. They are to take place on November 1st.

President Igor Dodon and his ruling Moldovan Socialist Party are relatively pro-Russian.

The stage has been set ever mid-July, when the vice-president of the main opposition Action and Solidarity Party, PAS, Sergiu Litvinenco said that the current leadership was preparing to commit fraud in presidential elections due in November by modifying the electoral code.

Ruling Socialist deputies rejected all the major amendments to a draft bill coming from the opposition parties and civil society.

“Tonight [on Wednesday] at 00:14 am, an email was sent with a document of 129 pages called ‘Synthesis of amendments’ with draft amendments to the electoral code. Apart from a few proposals that also come from the Socialists, all the rest [of the amendments] are noted ‘not accepted’,” Litvinenco said.

The modifications mean that observers, including international ones, will no longer be able to monitor the national electoral roll; they will not have access to either the names or number of voters, potentially fuelling speculation that dead people could be left on the electoral roll in order to inflate the number of ballots cast.

As such, even if these actions aren’t directly applied and observers can monitor the election roll, an accusation of cheating is still expected.

If Dodon finds himself elected, with whatever majority, it is expected that a popular opposition would arise, with the known characteristics of a color revolution.

The US Ambassador to Moldova, Dereck Hogan, had an online meeting on with the Central Electoral Commission to discuss the proposals, the organisation of polling stations abroad, the work of observers and the process of registering candidates for the presidential race.

“Dodon knows he will lose the presidential election, that people don’t want him anymore, and that is why he started coming up with actions to steal people’s votes,” PAS leader Maia Sandu, the pro-European possible rival to Dodon in the presidential race, told TV8. “The PSRM wants amendments to the electoral code to obstruct free and fair elections,” she added.

Finally, Ukraine – it is clear that a political situation is currently impossible in Eastern Ukraine, due to the actions of Kiev.

There is no political will, but the radical elements in the population also heavily oppose any such resolution.

Provocations of various kind of frequent, and the plans to stop the water supply to the republics and more are underway.

It is likely that even more severe provocations are carried out while everybody is focused on the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Up until recently, there were a few smaller-scale issues such as what was transpiring in Belarus, the sizzling conflict in Eastern Ukraine, and the standstill in Georgia.

A war between two countries in the region, in which neither has the capability for a crushing blow, such as how Russia won the war against Georgia in 5 days means that the possibility for further escalations of all of these volatile situations is possible.

And not only is it possible, but it is also planned, with various contingencies in place to move the agenda forward.

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