The confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan will significantly affect regional security.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan is starting to worsen. What many Western states may at first glance seem to be “a minor confrontation in a remote corner of the world” actually has a significant impact on regional security, energy markets, and the ambitions of two conflicting leaders: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan writes Bloomberg.
Nagorno-Karabakh is a very militarized territory. And the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh is a fairly long-standing confrontation.
Azerbaijan lost control of the territory as a result of a conflict in the 1990s, which cost 30,000 lives, and attempts to achieve a plague through diplomacy have failed.
Neither side seems willing to give up the fight. Dislike and distrust permeate controversial territory.
Russia also made attempts to settle the conflict between the countries.
At the same time, Moscow sold weapons to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. The situation can become ambiguous when Vladimir Putin is acting as a peacemaker.
Both sides of the conflict blame each other for the start of hostilities. Armenia even reported that one of its planes was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet, but Turkey denies these allegations.
Recently, there has been a lack of any real steps from other states that could influence the ceasefire and somewhat calm the conflict, at least temporarily.
The deterioration of relations between Russia and Turkey may become an especially dangerous consequence of the confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan because the countries actually support various parties in this conflict.
Turks support their fellow Muslims in Azerbaijan. Russia has an official defense treaty and a fairly “warm” military relationship with Armenia.
In addition, Georgia is the neighboring country, which may be influenced by the confrontation between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Iran is one of the largest “enemies” of the United States.
And Azerbaijan, rich in oil and gas, has “vulnerable” pipelines running close to the Armenian border.
One of the most powerful countries in the world – the United States, is now “busy” with the presidential elections. Turkey and Russia “are on opposite sides of the barricades.” The European Union cannot in any way improve relations with Britain and finally resolve the issue of Brexit.
NATO, having partnership relations with Armenia and Azerbaijan, declares that “both sides must immediately cease hostilities” and that “the conflict should not be resolved by military means”, but does not offer any concrete plans to resolve the situation.
As a result, the chances of a peaceful settlement appear bleak.
Perhaps the United States, Russia, and Turkey, working together, could persuade both sides to move away from the catastrophic path along which they are moving.
A solution to the conflict could begin with countries abandoning the use of firearms and explosives (just as China and India did after the recent conflict on the “line of control” in the Himalayas). Also, countries could start a peaceful dialogue on borders. However, it must be admitted that none of this seems realistic.
Any just solution to the struggle for Nagorno-Karabakh needs “painful compromises” on both sides. Azerbaijan and Armenia will have to “balance radically opposite principles” in order for the conflict to be resolved peacefully. At the moment, such compromises seem too unlikely, Bloomberg concludes.