Nagorno-Karabakh Between Old and New Geopolitics
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This chapter assesses the cumulative impact of the geopolitical changes on the European continent since the 1994 cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and considers the dangers they pose. The West’s relations with Russia began with illusory geopolitics of partnership, which around 1999 transformed into increasing tension. From the war in Georgia in 2008, however, a new form of confrontational geopolitics descended over Europe. The latest geopolitical changes set in motion by the Ukraine conflict threaten to tip the awkward balances that have prevailed for over two decades over fault lines and even precipices. More than at any time in the recent past, the South Caucasus finds itself becoming a rear staging area for conflict elsewhere. Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan are being dragged into problems not of their own making, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can no longer be treated as a faraway local difficulty of little import to the world around it.