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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/13/20

Karabakh crisis is a signal of the need to resolve frozen conflicts

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Frozen conflicts usually flare up when balancing external factors undergo change s .

"What is happening in Nagorno-Karabakh is a great lesson for us, because frozen conflicts mean clashes in the future, in which the international community is powerless."

This is the assessment of the current events by the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic. His country is geographically far from the Caucasus region. But in many respects, the processes that developed in the 90s on the territory of the former Yugoslavia have similar algorithms to the situation in Karabakh. Another military escalation has become a reminder not only to the neighbors of Armenia and Azerbaijan, but also to the whole world, how fragile a long-standing unresolved interstate dispute can be.

Today, when the military confrontation between Baku and Yerevan continues, the vast majority of publications by the media and the expert community focus on its course and possible consequences for the conflicting parties. But the conflict in Karabakh in terms of its significance goes far beyond the framework of a single region. And even more so a separate confrontation. It again brings us back to the collisions between the principles of state integrity and national self-determination.

In the negotiations under the auspices of the OSCE Minsk Group, these two principles are considered as equal. Skeptics can say that under the current conditions there are no prerequisites for returning to the diplomatic field. But it should be borne in mind that any war ends in peace, the only question is in its conditions.

And if this is so, then it is difficult to imagine the emergence of some kind of document that is very different in its essence from what is presented in the basic principles of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.

In recent years, post-Soviet ethnopolitical conflicts have been discussed, as a rule, through the prism of big geopolitics. In the Abkhazian and South Ossetian context, they are talking about the confrontation between Russia and NATO, and in the Transnistrian context, about the competition between the Russian Federation and the European Union.

But the Karabakh war stands out sharply against this background. Here Russia, the United States and France are unanimous in their opinion on the updated Madrid principles as the foundation for a future settlement.

The prompt appearance of a joint statement by Vladimir Putin, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump on the need for an early ceasefire and return to the diplomatic format is difficult to imagine if it was about some other conflict.

By the way, the heads of the three states - co-chairs of the Minsk Group jointly addressed Baku and Yerevan only on the eve of the famous Kazan meeting in 2011. After that, the negotiation process moved into the stage of conflict management rather than resolution.

In the Karabakh conflict, the parties to the conflict do not clearly identify themselves with the interests of only Russia or only the West, and the confrontation itself is not built in the same way. However, the role of third forces here should not be underestimated. First of all, it is necessary to talk about the three neighbors of Armenia and Azerbaijan - Turkey, Iran and Georgia.

With regard to Turkey, we see full support for Baku's positions. And harsh criticism of the big trio opinion on the settlement.

Iran can be seen as an example of a different kind. Back in the early 1990s, faced with new realities and the emergence of new independent states in the Caucasus, Tehran tried to establish itself as a mediator. Then the Iranian side receded into the shadows, but the position remained unchanged - the settlement should be based on a peaceful solution and a compromise of the parties to the conflict themselves.

With the possible support of neighboring countries, but without the intervention of external forces, which in Tehran are considered the EU and the United States. Hence, with a completely peaceful rhetoric, the rejection of the basic principles of conflict settlement, which presuppose a peacekeeping operation.

Georgia, which has gone through two ethno-political conflicts, stands apart in this row.

And the loss of Abkhazia with South Ossetia remains an unhealed trauma not only for the political class of this country, but also for its citizens. But at the same time, from the very beginning of the Karabakh conflict, official Tbilisi expressed its readiness to help in mediation between the conflicting parties.

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Aram Manukyan Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

an American journalist with expertise in the history and politics of Caucasus region

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