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Karabakh conflict issues

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, November 25
Polish political analyst on Caucasus issues Maciej Falkowski has stated that recently an intensification of efforts to resolve the Karabalkh conflict and Russian and Turkish diplomacy in this area have been observed. However it is premature to talk about some breakthrough in this process.

Falkowski thinks that in the near future a document regulating certain aspects of the conflict might appear, but not a complex solution because the parties are not ready for one. The analyst thinks that the Armenian elite is not ready to accept the return of the occupied territories to Azerbaijan. They see this suggestion as treason and believe it could lead to a coup d'etat.

The Polish analyst thinks that despite some coordination between Turkish and Russian attempts to ensure the opening of the border between Turkey and Armenia and Russia’s position as a guarantor of peace in Karabakh, the two states still do not trust each other. There is no Turkish-Russian tandem, thinks Falkowski, because Russia does not want Turkey to play the decisive role in conflict resolution.

The analyst thinks that this conflict will not be resolved soon because there are conflicts of interest between Russia and the USA in the region and neither wants to retreat. He suggests two possible solutions to it. The first is Azerbaijan regaining the Armenian-occupied territories, including Karabakh, by force, an option he considers unlikely as Azerbaijan is afraid of Russia’s reaction. The second is one of the big states in the region deciding to resolve the conflict unilaterally, but Falkowski thinks this is also unrealistic.

Falkowski suggests that attempts to resolve the conflict are being hampered by the distrust of the Armenian and Azeri people, and neither of the Governments of these countries wants to ignore this mistrust. The leaderships of both countries need the Karabkh conflict to keep their people under control, to serve their private interests, as they can justify banning demonstrations or arresting people by the threat of war in Karabakh. When there were opposition rallies in Yerevan the Armenian side started shooting in the Karabakh region, thus showing the opposition and people that there was a threat of further fighting and therefore the rallies should stop.

Falkowski gives the pessimistic prognosis that there are no prospects for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict at all at the present time.