Nagorno-Karabakh: Ups and Downs

Both Armenia and Azerbaijan have difficult internal situation. And here a political and even military confrontation appears as a well-working mechanism of internal consolidation.

At the moment this text is being written the encouraging news are coming from the Nagorno-Karabakh: after several days of violent clashes, after at least a few dozen dead, a truce is finally underway. It seems that conflicting parties decided to cease fire.

Of course, the fear of renewed conflict remains. As is the fear that clashes would break out of control and turn into a real war. This fear, however, is always present. And it is justified. For example, World War I began quite by accident. Perhaps the proponents of determinism will contest it and argue that such a war was inevitable, but even they would agree that the World War I could not be launched as it happened.

So the escalation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict could be avoided. Oddly enough, both countries are quite satisfied with the present situation and the announcement of the ceasefire came exactly at the moment when, apparently, the two sides agreed that the status quo was restored.

Then some questions arise. Firstly, why the five-day escalation happened at all? Secondly, why did it stop? And, thirdly, is there a chance for a lasting settlement?

Clearly, the answers are interconnected. But, even more clearly, a prompt sustainable settlement seems not possible. Of course, purely theoretical chances exist, but the reality of a low-level confrontation will continue for a very long period of time. And exactly for the same reason the current escalation stopped.

Apparently, the point is that neither side can win. Probably, if Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, on the one side, and Azerbaijan, on the other side, would fight only against each other, sooner or later, someone could win. Just as it happened sometimes in ancient history, when a conflict stopped after the complete destruction of one of the warring sides. But in the current situation, both parties are involved in a very complicated system of international relations. Of course, Armenia and Azerbaijan are independent countries. But still not quite. Or even not so...

And it is not by chance that Russia is called a force that could somehow convince the warring sides to return to an uneasy ceasefire. Russia absolutely does not need this conflict, which threatens to blow up the whole region. It is clear that not only Russia had a finger in a pie of truce. In any case, the Russian influence in the region is probably the most significant.

I would like to note, that the clashes, which began at night of April 1-2, immediately got into the spotlight of the world media, became the subject of statements by many world leaders. By the way, the information about the resumption of ceasefire appeared just before the meeting of the Armenian leader with the German Chancellor.

Thus, we can say that the original purpose of the escalation of fighting with dead and wounded people was to manifest a few things to the world community.

For example, to manifest the fact that the long-smoldering Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be separated from the common destiny of the region. And also from the Middle East problems, and the problems of Europe. The message, which appeared oddly simultaneously from both Armenia and Azerbaijan, is quite simple: please do not try to forget about what is happening in the Caucasus. Although being in conflict, the opposing sides say in unison: we are important, we exist and you cannot do without us. In general, no one seems to argue about it, but the attention to the long-standing dispute in the region really was becoming less and less. Well, yes, there are problems, but people somehow live in such situation for more than twenty years, children go to school, while their parents work.

In general, here is the classical problem of abandonment, even against the backdrop of worsening global problems and economic difficulties, especially noticeable in the countries, connected with the extraction of natural resources.

Besides, both Armenia and Azerbaijan have difficult internal situation. And here a political and even military confrontation appears as a well-working mechanism of internal consolidation.

Now it became clear, that in recent years clashes of different degree of violence occurred on the front line and were regular. And at night of April 1 they suddenly exceeded the normal level. For the parties it has become an occasion to measure themselves, to conduct a fighting reconnaissance. The result was as expected. So once again it is clear that a Bigger conflict will be too dangerous and counterproductive, even for domestic policy. And a military solution simply does not exist. It is not so important whose tanks are better or worse, one cannot win the war only by technical superiority.

Presumably, it is possible to reconstruct the events. The first unilateral ceasefire statement of Azerbaijan, on the one hand, was a clear demonstration of this mood, and on the other - an attempt to extract some benefit from several conquered villages and heights. That's it, the victory. But, apparently, the Armenians made some efforts and, in fact, the confrontation line has not changed or has changed slightly. And here the time has come for pacification. In general, the losses are not too big, the internal mobilization occurred, the world community again turned its attention to the troubled region.

Thus, we can assume that until the next escalation, or until a relatively final conflict settlement there are a lot of years to come.