During a recent episode of “Democracy Now,” Anna Ohanyan, a professor of political science and international relations at Stonehill College, shed light on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the South Caucasus and its implications for the region.
Post-war periods are fragile, as they either move a conflict region towards sustainable peace or to the next war. The siege of Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan, along with recurrent use of direct violence against the population of Nagorno-Karabakh as well as against Armenia’s territory proper, indicate that the victorious side of the 2020 war has a preference for victory consolidation rather than peacebuilding.
Geopolitical costs of this strategy are high as they will continue to wedge Russia in the region. Russia’s decline has created a historic opportunity for the South Caucasus to move forward and pacify regionally. Baku works to keep Russia entangled in the South Caucasus.
Weaponizing food and imposing hunger on the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh is a way for Baku to coerce the entity towards full submission, without using direct, kinetic forms of violence, which can be politically costly for Azerbaijan.
Principled and negotiated peace process can deliver sustainable outcomes, which everyone needs.