The Caucasus : an unfinished conflict

Armenia and Azerbaijan, two ex-Soviet Union countries, are known to have many conflicts in different domains; economic, cultural, political, but above all geostrategic. Since 1991, after the Soviet Union fell, Armenia and Azerbaijan have been fighting for the land of Nagorno-Karabakh. According to international law, this land belongs to Azerbaijan. But in fact, it is mainly populated by Armenians.

In 1992 and 2020 two armed conflicts terrorized Nagorno-Karabakh. On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijanis bombed the city of Stepanakert in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The spiral of alliances begins: Iran and Russia side with Armenia; Turkey and Israel side with Azerbaijan. If the Azerbaijanis take the region of Nagorno-Karabakh an ethnic cleansing will most likely take place, therefore it will be a war crime.

The 2020 war ended with a cessation of fighting on November 10 by Russian mediation. After the cessation of fighting, there was a death toll of 7000. Moreover, Armenia gave up some territories and ended up ruined by Azerbaijan.

The war resumed in 2022 between Azerbaijan and Armenia but this time not only in the Nagorno-Karabakh region but also on their border.

The Caucasus region has often been a conflict zone, especially between two nations: Azerbaijan and Armenia. The war resumed on the night of September 13, 2022, on the border of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia borders.

Several cities were targeted for 10 hours straight by missiles, drones, and large-caliber guns. Azerbaijan seeks to enlarge its territory. Therefore, according to international law, it constitutes a violation. That’s why Armenia accuses them of these hostilities.

Armed conflicts began by following a pretext: The 2020 negotiations with Russia as a mediator were supposedly violated. 

But, according to several political scientists, this war began due to Russian weakness during the Russo-Ukrainian war. So, the Azerbaijanis took advantage of their state of economic, political, geostrategic, and military strength to regain their territories. Several Armenian cities have been targeted by Azerbaijani missiles. We can give the example of Sotk a gold mining town, or even Goris a town that connects Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia with the Latchi corridor. Azerbaijan targets strategic cities to assert political, military, and psychological pressure on the Armenian people.

Imitating the Ukrainians, the Armenian civilians help each other and train for war, it is a rise of nationalism to protect the borders. But unfortunately, since the beginning of the conflicts, the toll is heavy, with about 200 victims in a few days (Also watch )

Internationally, the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan is becoming a troubling situation. Russia intervened for a temporary cessation of fighting to find a solution. 

France called for an end to the war and seeks international justice. 

But above all the UN intervened by taking immediate measures for peace between the two countries. Nancy Pelosi (the Speaker of the United States house of representatives) arrived in Armenia on September 17, 2022, to estimate the situation and to also have a talk with the Armenian President.

The G7 also calls for future intervention for perpetual peace.

But unfortunately, Western countries are facing a problem, Azerbaijan is a hydrocarbon rental country (20th oil exporter and 25th raw natural gas exporter). Therefore, the Europeans need to remain in good diplomatic condition with Azerbaijan to continue economic affairs. At the same time, Azerbaijan invested in the military through the profit that comes out of these Hydrocarbons.

Even today the border that separates the two belligerents is in military tension.

The diplomatic pursuits continue within the intervening mediators which are the UN and some members of the G7 like France, the United States, and Russia. These diplomatic interventions can hopefully make it possible to make peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

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