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Armenia and Azerbaijan conflict: an international failure?

It is now becoming clear that no quick victory will emerge in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, despite Baku’s modern weaponry and political determination to reconquer Nagorno-Karabakh.

What were the measures taken by the international community?

The UN Security Council called on Armenia and Azerbaijan on 29th September to immediately halt the fighting and urgently resume talks without preconditions. The UN’s most powerful body strongly condemned the use of force and backed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ earlier call to stop the fighting, deescalate tensions, and resume talks “without delay."


EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar told ERR on Monday the EU is supporting the peace process.

"The EU has always supported the peace process, the negotiators. This region is important to the EU, it is in our eastern neighborhood, where the EU has political and economic interests, strong ties with both Azerbaijan and Armenia. The EU has called for a truce. We will continue our political and diplomatic efforts," he said.

Asked if the EU had failed by being able to prevent the conflict despite being present in negotiations, Toivo said: "So to speak, it is not just the EU that has failed, but the international community as a whole.


France, Russia and the United States also happen to be co-chairs of the Minsk Group, where a diplomatic resolution to the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh within the framework of the European Security and Cooperation Organization has so far proved elusive.


The involvement of the international community is undeniable. It is also the source of many criticisms, questioning its effectiveness.

For instance Ömer Taşpınar (senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and professor of national-security strategy at the National Defense University in Washington) mentions

“The risk of military escalation at this point is not a Turco-Russian face-off, but an all-out war between a heavily armed Azerbaijan and a determined Armenia, both targeting urban areas and civilians.

A frustrated Azerbaijan already is waging a military campaign targeting the Armenian regional capital Stepanakert. Armenia is threatening to do the same in Ganja, the second-largest Azerbaijani city after Baku.

Should large numbers of civilians be threatened, Russia will intervene directly to establish a lasting ceasefire. Despite the much-deserved criticism of Moscow for playing both sides, the world should find some comfort in the fact that Putin, unlike Erdogan, prefers the status quo, which suits Russian hegemonic interest in this post-Soviet zone perfectly.”


What could be the next step taken by the international community?

Few propositions have already emerged: UN Resolution, economic and diplomatic sanctions, … However, to date, the conflict is at its peak, without any efficient solution having yet been implemented.

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