Saturday, 03 June 2023 08:01 GMT

Canadian think tank predicts change in status quo in Karabakh

(MENAFN- AzerNews) By Rashid Shirinov

Today the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the only conflict in the region, which has a real risk of escalating into an all-out war.

The presence of unresolved conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan challenges the regionalsecurity, as in case of new war regional powers, Russia and NATO member Turkey in particular, could become directly involved.

For over two decades, the OSCE Minsk Group established to broker a peace has failed to achieve any tangible result for the conflict resolution.

The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan around Nagorno-Karabakh has reached a dangerous stage where the existing status quo is difficult to preserve due to Azerbaijan's military successes and the inherent problems of Armenia's dependence on Russia, stated a Canadian think tank.

The Toronto-Based Geopolitical Monitor, in its recently published report, has predicted a change in the status quo in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Geopolitical Monitor suggested that 'as Moscow has a big geopolitical stake in the conflict, it will continue to supply arms to both Baku and Yerevan to keep the military balance, preserve the status quo, and deny any other power such as Turkey or Iran possibilities to increase their own influence in the conflict resolution process.

The analysis stresses that unlike other breakaway conflicts across the former Soviet Union, the one around Nagorno-Karabakh has not been frozen since its inception in the early 1990s.

'Daily ceasefire violations at times reached more than 100 instances, increasing the difficulty of reaching any peaceful resolution to the standoff between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it reads. As the nearly war-type situation between the two sides showed in April 2016, the conflict is not static and rather is subject to changing geopolitical circumstances.

'Beyond the immediate situation on the contact line, any progress to the resolution of the conflict is complicated by the many actors which have geopolitical interests in the South Caucasus, the document reads.

Armenia broke out this lengthy war against Azerbaijan by laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.

Today Armenia refuses to implement four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding regions.

Although the ceasefire agreement was signed in 1994, Armenia does not comply with it. Not a day passes without ceasefire violations by Armenia's armed forces in the Armenian-Azerbaijani state border and the frontline in Nagorno-Karabakh. Moreover, the Armenian militaries using heavy machine guns and mortars deliberately aim at Azerbaijan settlements near the frontline in order to hurt civilians living there.

Indeed, Azerbaijan has strongly developed its military capability over the years and the country is fully prepared to release its occupied lands from Armenian invaders. On the other hand, Azerbaijan prefers the conflict to be resolved peacefully and without further casualties.


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