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International Crisis Group about Karabakh issue

By Messenger Staff
Friday, February 11
ICG prepared a report according to which the situation in Karabakh is tense. It portrays a background of military build up and often military assaults, mutual accusations and threats as well as frustration of negotiation process. The group predicts that if military confrontation starts it will be much more fierce and dramatic than in the 1992-94 war. The report states that Russia, Turkey and Iran might become involved in the conflict and that would threaten the oil and gas pipelines passing near the frontline. So the report calls for the prevention of war. It suggests signing an appropriate document regulating certain essential principles, creating a situation of the mutual trust and other peaceful initiatives. So far, Armenia controls 16% of Azeri territory. There are up to 600 000 IDPs in Azerbaijan. Meanwhile Baku increases its military budget which is already USD 3.1 bln. This could provoke Armenia to carry out a preventative assault. The Azeri army consists of 95 000 militaries, Armenia and Karabakh forces are altogether 70 000. In 2010, both sides lost 30 soldiers. Both sides possess missiles, Armenians 32 which could reach Baku whereas Azeri forces possess 129 tactical ballistic missiles that could damage major Armenian cities. The report considers possible confrontation realistic and warns the international community to interfere and take appropriate measures.