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Possible outcome if military actions resume in Karabakh

By Messenger Staff
Friday, June 10
The relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan are extremely strained. Both sides are intensively speculating about possible military confrontation. Partially this is being done to put pressure on the mediators. However the threat of the resumption of military activity is quite realistic. Of course Georgia has no chance to influence and change the situation but any military developments between Georgia’s closest neighbors would be extremely undesirable for Tbilisi.

Military confrontation between Armenia and Azerbaijan started right after the two countries received independence as the Soviet Union dissolved in the early 1990s. In those days Georgia itself was involved in the Russian imposed conflicts in its own territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. However, today the situation is radically different.

Today Armenian and Azerbaijan military potential is absolutely different from the last century. Azerbaijan in particular spends much more now on its armed forces. In comparison, Armenia cannot afford to spend heavily on its military means. However one could not say that Armenia is doomed to defeat.

If military confrontation breaks out it will have much broader resonance than in the 90s. Countries like Russia and Turkey would not be involved openly in the confrontation; however both would almost certainly supply assistance to the conflicting sides. Moscow will assist Yerevan while Ankara would support Baku. Of course the Kremlin would prefer the situation to remain as it is now with a certain parity and equilibrium.

As for Georgia, in the event of military activities between its neighbors Georgia would face serious economic challenges. As it is known both of Georgia’s neighbors depend highly on the transit route through Georgia. Around 70% of food products transported to Armenia are transited through Poti port. Therefore, it is believed that this port will be the likely target for a terrorist attack from the Azeri side.

A similar threat is possible from the Armenian side as well who can damage different systems of transportation on Georgian territory which are vitally important for Azerbaijan. So, subversive actions on Georgian territory are a major threat for this country if military activity escalates around Karabakh.

There is another possible threat as well. This is the prospect of refugees from both countries. Then there would be yet another challenge in the form of confrontation between ethnic Armenians and Azeris living in Georgia. Of course a full scale military confrontation between Georgia’s neighbors will definitely damage the FDI into Georgia. “the Georgian economy would be knocked back 20-30 years,” thinks the analyst Mamuka Areshidze.

Proceeding from the above mentioned Georgia should do its best to prevent the possibility of such developments. Though Georgia cannot do much it still has to do everything possible to prevent such developments in its neighbourhood.