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The collapse of the USSR led to large-scale structural changes in the sphere of ethno-national relations. The systemic crisis and the beginning of the centrifugal processes in the late 1980s, caused by the confrontation ...
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1.1. Causes of Conflict…................................................................................... 1

Chapter II:Ethnic Considerations: Two Peoples on One Land……………………….... 2 Chapter III:Parties of the Dispute….................................................................................. 3

3.1. Regional Powers: Russia and Turkey……………………………….……3

Chapter IV: Contributors to the Solution of the Conflict………………………….……..4

4.1. OSCE Minsk group……………………………………………………….…4

4.2. EU ROLE……………………………………………….…............................4

4.3. Solution Process…...........................................................................................4

Chapter VII: Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Military Capabilities …................................... 1

7.1. Armenia Military Capability.................................................................................. 1

7.1. Unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region Military Forces. …….1

7.2. Azerbaijan Military Capability................................................................................. 2

Chapter V: Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict From Realist Perspective..................................... 1

Chapter VI: Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict As a Security Issue............................................. 1

Conclusion.............................................................................................................................. 13

Sources....................................................................................................... 14

“The Nagorno Karabakh conflict” is an unfrozen conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan which started in 1988 and still going on. The “Bishkek protocol” in 1994, the UN and OSCE Minsk group which have made a plenty of resolutions to ceasefire the conflict, however conflict is still ongoing.

In this project will be given explanation what is the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and why it is security issue. We are also going to focus on regional players to identify their interests in this issue and do they make this conflict more complex or they try to resolve it in a best way. Moreover, we will pay

attention on ethnic consideration of two warring countries. We find this issue interesting because of the lack of performance of the International organizations and contributors for resolution, because for the so long period problem is still exists. In this project will be defined the key concepts of offensive and defensive realism, security dilemma and ethnic consideration. We will try to apply these approaches in Nagorno Karabakh problem and project will be illustrated as the case study hence assessed in a prism of realistic approach. Furthermore, mostly will be written about the ethnic consideration where will not be touched women and children roles and their rights. Also we believe that more important to focus on security dilemma

current positions of the defense of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as the influence of external participants. We will try to disassemble the territorial and ethnic problems of the conflict And the

impact of the progressing struggle has on their relations with different states throughout the region,

illustrating that the absence of resolution not only undermines the security of those who are involved

in the conflict and their neighbors, but also undermines the potential for regional cooperation, as well

as economic development and stability, thereby containing vital investments.

ChapterI What is The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict?

The collapse of the USSR led to large-scale structural changes in the sphere of ethno-national

relations. The systemic crisis and the beginning of the centrifugal processes in the late 1980s, caused

by the confrontation between the national republics and the Union center, revived long-standing

contradictions of an ethno-national nature. The struggle of some republics against the union center in

a number of cases turned into a struggle of autonomies against its republican "metropolises". State

and legal, territorial, socio-economic, geopolitical and other interests intertwined in a complex knot.

The ethno-political conflict of the second half of the 1980s in the territory of the USSR that still

existed was the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In the initial period of its ethno-political specificity, the

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict took the form of the national movement of the Armenian people of the

Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region for secession from the Azerbaijani SSR and the inclusion of

autonomy in the Armenian SSR. The clear ethnic expression of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was

already present at this initial stage of the conflicting confrontation between the parties. The latter

began to position the opposite of their interests precisely in terms of ethnic opposition to the other

side of the conflict. Thus, in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a line of ethnic confrontation emerged

immediately, which gave the ethnic character the property of an identifying character: "Armenians and Azerbaijanis are warring parties." The natural opposition "we vs. them" characteristic of the

mentality of neighboring ethnic groups, has escalated on the basis of ethnic conflict confrontation.

There was a situation that researchers talk about as a situation where "politics gives meaning to

nationality, and in particular the naming policy"

Ethnic communities acted as the main actors. The parties to the conflict began to be perceived as

ethnoses that have their own interests and act as a single whole. This was facilitated, among other

things, by the creation of a certain information field of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, formed at that

time by the efforts of the central Soviet leadership, which was unequivocally disinterested in giving

nature of the movement, not based on the broad support of the entire ethnos - The initiator of the

national movement.

Thus, the central authorities tried in every possible way to distance the conflict from its political

component and present it in terms of "national-extremist struggle of certain groups of the



In the early twentieth century, Armenians lived mainly in the region. It was then that this area became

the site of bloody Armenian-Azerbaijani clashes. In 1917, due to the revolution and the collapse of

the Russian Empire, three independent states were proclaimed in Transcaucasia, including the

Azerbaijan Republic, which included the region of Karabakh. However, the Armenian population of

the district refused to obey the new authorities. In the same year, the First Congress of the Armenians

of Karabakh elected its own government, the Armenian National Council.

The conflict between the sides continued until the establishment of Soviet power in Azerbaijan. In

1920, Azerbaijani troops occupied the territory of Karabakh, but after a couple of months the

resistance of the Armenian armed forces was suppressed thanks to the Soviet troops.

In 1920, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh were granted the right to self-determination, but de jure the

territory continued to submit to the authorities of Azerbaijan. Since that time, not only riots broke out

in the region, but also armed clashes.Since that time, Azerbaijan and Armenia have not found a

compromise in the Karabakh issue, despite the seemingly vigorous efforts of international mediators.

Representatives of external players who are now carrying out an intermediary mission largely imitate

"stormy activities", rather than bring the Karabakh conflict closer to a resolution.

The independent status of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, the very fact of its existence is fixed and

confirmed by decades of development of the statehood of the NKR, its democratic institutions and

civil society institutions. The only true solution to the Karabakh issue is the wide world recognition

of the statehood of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which is impossible without recognition of it by

Armenia and Azerbaijan.2


1 Mikhail Aghajanyan, “Ethnopolitical Identification And Causes Of The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict” Feb. 2008 Accessed: 10.05.2017

2 Nagorno-Karabakh Security Situation, Directorate-General For External Policies Of The Union, July 2012

Currently, the events in Nagorno-Karabakh and around it are one of the most well-known regional

conflicts. The continuous clash undermines security over the Caucasus and the more extensive Black

Sea area: it has enraptured nations and their allies, and has additionally made a security vacuum that

This conflict are intensively discussed in international organizations, described in the media and the

successful settlement of which depends stability not only in the geopolitically explosive Caucasus region, but also on much more A vast space, including the global space "North-South" and "West-

East". However, except for special studies, the general information on the Karabakh conflict is very

undifferentiated and amounts to the fact that this is one of the regional conflicts inherited after the

collapse of the USSR. And although European organizations - the European Parliament, the Council

of Europe, the European Union, NATO and, above all, the CSCE for several years already included

the Karabakh conflict in the agenda of their meetings and adopted a number of decisions on this

issue, however the conflict still unresolved.4


3 German Tracey, The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia: Security Issues in the Caucasus, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Jun 2012

4 Suren Zolyan, "Nagorno-Karabakh: the problem and the conflict". Publishing house "Lingua", Jun. 2001

ChapterII Ethnic Considerations: Two People on One Land

The case of Nagorno-Karabakh represents a frozen conflict in the region where the regional powers

play a significant role.Namely Armenia Azerbaijan Russia and Turkey are the key players of the

conflict.On the other hand,territorial and ethnic considerations, besides the reginal Powers, is an

important dimension of the conflict. These considerations are the role ofidentity,secession and

sovereignty. There is a question of nationalism regarding one land with two peoples.The Nagorno-

Karabakh conflict reminds us the other nationalist disputes such as Cyprus dispute involving Turks

and Greeks as well as the Turkish and Greek Cypriots or Kashmir question between Pakistan and

India.It is possible to count on more regional conflicts such as the Palestine conflict and the Northern

Ireland quagmire.

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is one of the most significant foreign policy issues on the agenda of

the conflicting parties because it arouses intense emotions for both communities.According to the

international law Azerbaijan has the sovereign right on the territory due to the recognition of the

region as Azeri territory.In addition,it was recognized that in 1993 by the UN Security Council

Resolutions (UNSC 822, 853, 884) the territory was under the occupation of Armenian forces. For

example, UNSC 822 asked for the “withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kelbejar district and other recently occupied areas of Azerbaijan” emphasizing “the territorial integrity of all States in the

region”.(Uzer,2012).On the other side, Armenia have had military superiority in the region

influenced by post-Cold war era realpolitik. Karabakh Armenians received political support and

Karabakh region. It seems like Azerbaijan could not find the sufficient international support that it

expected. For example, Turkey was not involved to the conflict much when it broke out since the

Turkish agenda has been occupied by the Kurdish insurgencies as well as considerations about

Cyprus and Turkey’s relations with the European Union. Therefore, the occupation in the mind of

Azeri people turned to be the symbol of the violation of national patrimony. The reflections of this

sense can be found in folk songs, statements of sorrow on the side of politicians and civilian


From the point of Armenians, as the population of Nagorno-Karabakh is mostly Armenian it gives

the right of self-determination .Besides the question of self-determination, the disputed territory

consisted erstwhile hostility between two communities. In other words, the defeat of Azerbaijanis

Turks in the Caucasus is thought to be associated with the defeat (non-defeat) of Turks in Anatolia.

Therefore, it constitutes “an ethnic Armenian-Turkish dispute”.Rafi Hovanissian a former foreign

minister of Armenia has illustrated the Armenian position. He stated that international community

should pay more attention to the conflict and provide protection for the Karabakh Armenian claiming they were exposed to massacres by Turks. On the other hand, Azerbaijan suffered the Karabakh war

because %20 of its territory was occupied and the occupation led to the problem of internally

displaced people(IDP).Around one million Azerbaijanis became refugees in the own lands which a

trauma for the people of Azerbaijan.Therefore,this small piece of territory turned into a national

cause for both communities, Armenia and Azerbaijan. (Uzer,2012)

ChapterIII Regional Powers: Russia and Turkey

Since thecollapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 it is possible to mention about the increased tensions in

Nagorno-Karabagh.30.000 people lost their lives and almost one million people were internally

displaced. Despite the cease-fire achieved under the Russian mediation and Minsk Group there have

been many skirmishes since today. The attacks of the disputed parties continued to lead to much

causality on both sides. The possibility of a war between the parties again increased due to the

announcement of the Armenian government on 3 May 2016.It was claimed a law would be passed

recognizing the self-independence of Nagorno-Karabakh. Likewise, the possibility of the war in

Nagorno-Karabakh consists of the risk of a larger regional war that Russia and Turkey will

beinvolved. This part will try to provide and explanation about the involvement of Russia and Turkey

to the conflict and the current interests of these two countries at the region.

Russia’s main concern is to expand its impact over the over the South Caucasus region by

monopolizing the peace settlement process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan holds a large

amount of oil and gas reserve. Thanks to its rich reserves Azerbaijan could increase the military

expenditures more than the overall budget of Armenia between 2004 and 2014.Russia took the

advantage of selling military equipment’s to the both sides.However, Russia put a higher price for

Azerbaijan and subsidised the relatively lower-price for Armenia. It seems the increased tension benefited Russia not just in economic terms but also geopolitical terms. In other words, by being a

party of the dispute and so increasing its influence over the South Caucasus Russia aims to control

transport routes of energy. Russia places a premium on this route that is from the Caspian region to

Europe. After the skirmish on the 2 April 2016 and dozens of causalities were reported by the both

sides new cease-fire were settled under the mediation of Russia. By doing so Russia signalled its

ability to settle the conflict on its own terms. Russia has a desire to restore its power over the

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).Therefore, Russia requires Azerbaijan to be in closer

engagement with Russia led organizations while preventing the Azerbaijan-EU convergence policy.

These organizations are namely the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the Collective Security

Treaty Organization (CSTO).Assuming Armenia is dependent on Russian help economically as it is

an isolated region between Azerbaijan and Turkey, Russia has the ability to put pressure on Armenia.

For example, Armenia annulled an Association Agreement with the EU due to the pressure of Russia.

Alongside the Russian efforts to gain influence over the region and peace settlements Turkey is

another key player of the on-going dispute. Geopolitics and nationalism are the two factors driving

time” .Accordingly, Turkish president Erdogan claimed that “Karabakh will surely be returned to its

rightful owner, Azerbaijan, one day”.(Hedeskog&Korkmaz,2016) However, it was not more than a

moral and rhetorical support most of the time since there were national concerns preventing the

government to take more action for the dispute. Firstly, it has been due to the Turkey-Us relations as

Turkey has been a key ally of the US. Secondly, so-called Armenian genocide of 1915 prevented

Turkey to be more involved to the conflict and provide more support for Azerbaijan. Thirdly, Turkey

has been cautious about its relations because Russia has been the main trade partner of Turkey in the

region. Therefore, Turkey did not want to risk its relations with Russia neither. Azerbaijan could not

receive actual support from the key players in the region. Turkey is the only state that provides

rhetorical support and defends the Azerbaijan clause for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Mostly, the

international community as well as the regional powers choose to provide support for Armenia or

remain silent at all.(Cornel,1997)

Chapter IV Contributors to the Solution of the Conflict

Formorethan 20 years, thisfrozenconflict has opposedAzerbaijan on the onesideand the self-

proclaimedNagorno-KarabakhauthoritiesandArmenia on the otherside. The Nagorno-

Karabakhenclave in Azerbaijan, mainlypopulatedbyArmenians, declareditsindependence in

September 1991. The non-recognitionbyAzerbaijan of thisproclamationprompted a full-

scalemilitaryconflictresulting in the de factoautonomy of Nagorno-Karabakhand the occupation of

seven Azerbaijanidistrictsafter the 1994 ceasefire. Periodically, the situation on the

Since 1992, the OSCE Minsk group, co-chairedbyRussia, France and the United States, has provided

the main conflict-resolutionframework. The group organizes informalandsecretnegotiationsbetween

the parties. Since the 1994 Budapest Conference, the problem of defining the partiesto the conflict

(Azerbaijan, Armeniaand/or Nagorno-Karabakh) has to be dealtwith in

conjunctionwithdisagreementover the methodtoresolve it. Twomethodswerediscussed inside the

groupandwith the parties: the 'step- by-step method' underwhich the

ArmenianKarabakhforcesshouldleave the occupiedterritoriesandpermit the return of displacedpeople,

before the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh is discussed, and the 'global method', underwhich the

securitymeasuresand the final status of Nagorno-Karabakhshould be resolvedtogetherwithotherissues

(Perchoc, 2016).

It could have been seen a relative calmness and peace for recent years, the Nagorno-Karabakh

conflict was called as the „frozen“ one. But last April 2016 the conflict has started again with clashes

and firing across the frontline. Armenia said 18 ethnic-Armenian troops died in the fighting,

Azerbaijan said it had lost 12 troops and there were unconfirmed reports of civilian deaths on both

sides (BBC, 2016).

After the St. Petersburg meeting in June 2016 between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents,

Moscow started to lead the negotiations process, while the OSCE Minsk Group took the leading role

in establishing an investigative mechanism and increasing the capacity of the OSCE Chairman in

Office Representative. The Moscow-led negotiation process faces three obstacles to cutting a deal.

First on is that Moscow has not found a clue how to satisfy both conflicting parties regarding the

status of NK, the referendum and other key obstacles to a peace agreement. Second, Moscow has a

limited interest in a final solution, it will not take steps that risk upsetting either Armenia or

Azerbaijan, which means a deadlock. Third, the so called hostage crisis in Armenia, and the harsher

position among the Armenian public towards a de-occupation of Azerbaijani lands, constitute

additional obstacles (Shiriyev, 2016).

According to what has happened, the OSCE Minsk group made a statement on 8 of December 2016.

In light of the dramatic escalation in violence along the Line of Contact in April, we express concern

over continuing armed incidents, including reports on the use of heavy weapons, and strongly

condemn the use of force or the threat of the use of force. There is no military solution to this conflict

and no justification for the death and injury of civilians. We are also aware of allegations of atrocities

committed on the field of battle in April, which we condemn in the strongest terms. We appeal to the

sides to confirm their commitment to the peaceful resolution of the conflict as the only way to bring

real reconciliation to the peoples of the region. We also urge them to adhere strictly to the 1994/95

ceasefire agreements that make up the foundation of the cessation of hostilities in the conflict

zone” (OSCE Minsk group, 2016).

After the meeting’s discussions of Armenian and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandian

and ElmarMammadyarov in Minsk, „The Co-Chairs recognized that the Armenian authorities’ recent

4.2. EU ROLE

What is concerning Europe, they are giving a little attention to this conflict, which is kind of

surprising, because the price of a conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh would be extremely high for the

European Union, as it has been in the case of Georgia. While the EU was actively involved in other

regions such se Moldova or Georgia, it has no direct role in Nagorno-Karabakh (Grgic, 2009). There

is also a lack of knowledge about the conflict within EU institutions and reluctance on the part of

some member states to see the EU become more involved. At the same time, the recognition of the

strategic importance of this region is growing. Mainly because the major pipelines from the Caspian

to the west are mere 15 km from the ceasefire line, and several pumping stations are exposed and

vulnerable to attack (Grgic, 2009). European Union should be more interested in this region, not only

for hydrocarbon resources, but also because the Caucasus region is like a door to Central Asia and

this brings a lot of opportunities. We think that the role of EU in this issue would strengthen the

solution process in the region. EU needs to integrate itself into the OSCE Minsk group. If Europe is

to become the main implementer and guarantor of a peace deal, Europe also needs to be a part of the deal-making process (Grgic, 2009).

Looking for the reasons of the EU staying away, some called it negligence, others hesitation, a third

group lack of capacity (Nasibov, 2015). Capacity is probably not the main problem, we think the

main reason is just lack of interest in the region and giving priority to other issues, which are

appearing through the continent. But in view of the fact that there are other actors such as Russia,

Turkey or Iran, EU should be more concerned about it. No one can guarantee that Russia would never

intervene in the South Caucasus in the case of escalation of tension on the contact line between

Azerbaijan and the Armenia controlled Nagorno-Karabakh or on the border between Azerbaijan and

Armenia or that it cannot organize an appropriate situation justifying (in a Russian way) its

intervention in the region. These risks are on the table (Nasibov, 2015). We could have been

witnesses of Russian intervention in Crimea following by annexation. Russia plays very directly and

without any timidity.


There have been many meetings, debates and peace agreements and contracts, but the conflict is still

on-going, even if it’s sometimes „quiet“, but still frozen, so it can always „erupt“ as it was last year.

Nevertheless, the main actors, who can do something about it are Armenia and Azerbaijan itself. The

incessant fighting and clashes on the borderline seems like never-ending without any solution. The

only actor, who is dealing with this conflict and trying to implement peace between the sides on the

territory is probably just OSCE Minsk group. But this group seems like no longer effective. The

background should change, involve more participants, and together really start to work on something better, come up with new ideas for solution.

Chapter VII: Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Military Capabilities

The Nagorno-Karabakh territory, during the Cold War, this territory’s majority of population

consisted by Armenian but within the Azerbaijan border. After the dissolution of USSR, stayed in the

Azerbaijan territory. But the conflict occurred in 1988 which was first struggle among Armenia and

Azerbaijan. This war brought many devastations from 1988 to 1994. 600.000 Azerbaijani people

became displaced and more than 30.000 people died (and also Azerbaijan official archives).* When it

was blockaded by Armenian forces in 1991 the town of Khojaly located on a 936 square km area,

was home 11.500 Azerbaijanis. On February 25, 1992 Armenian forces attacked then 613 Azerbaijani

citizens, including 106 women, 70 elderly people, and 63 children killed according to the Azerbaijan

state records and report. (Photographs, video records still publicly display in the museums). The

Current situation of Nagorno-Karabakh is a autonomous place which only recognized by Armenia.

According to the OSCE Minsk Group’s treaty in 1994 the territory recognized as a part of Azerbaijan

and Armenia is invader side the conference also called to Armenia withdraw the occupied territory.

Indeed the territory constitute %20 land of Azerbaijan therefore the conflict still ongoing there. Both sides signed as named “Bishkek Protocol” in May 5, 1994.** By this agreement wide extent

operations and attacks ended. But in fact, from that time to nowadays more than 3,000 times

ceasefire broken. This conflict is a huge obstacle for trade and regional states security.


Armenia isn’t willing to withdrawal from Azerbaijani territories until Nagorno-Karabakh is

recognized as independent because current situation of territory is, tied to Armenia, autonomous

region which only recognized by Armenia. The demand of Yerevan giving to independence the

region. Indeed, landlocked Armenia has scarcity of natural resources, corruption and the country

below the poverty line.


* Teresa Cierco, Maria Raquel Freire, “Regional Security and the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict”, Instituto da

Defesa Nacional, UniversidadeLusiada do Porto, page; 62

** The Bishkek Protocol, Bishkek May 5, 1994, UN Peacemaker Sources Accessed: 09.05.2017

Armenia is generally supporting by two countries; Russia and Iran. Armenia suffered an important

economic weaknesses after break-up USSR in 1991. Due to demand of defense budget it becomes

fragile economy. Because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Yerevan can’t get utilizing around the

regional economic activity. Yerevan, in order to isolate itself, signed an agreement which called

“Friendship Treaty” for increased military capabilities with Russia in 1997. After that in 2003 they

to stay in Armenia through 2025.***In the Figure 1.1, you can see how much money spended from

2008 to 2016 in order to see economic burden of military expenses.

Figure 1.1. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute: World Military Spending; http:// Military Spending of Armenia Accessed:08.05.2017


***Svante E. Cornel et al. Regional Security in the South Caucasus: The Role of NATO, Central Asia- Caucasus Institute, Accessed: 07.05.2017 SilkRoadPapers/2004_cornell-et-al_regional-security-in-the-south-caucasus.pdf

Russia and Armenia signed a protocol that free military facilities in Armenia for Russian soldiers

headquarters in March 2001. Either states agreed to establish a Counterterrorism brigade.****

In the Figure 1.2, according to the World Bank, from 2010 to 2015, it represents the burden of

military spending on GDP from 2010 to 2015.

1.1.) Unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region Military Forces

Pro-Armenian unrecognized region has well-equipped armed force by Armenian assistance. The

Karabakh-Defense Force is predominantly a ground force. This army spread out throughout

Azerbaijan borders. The main target protect the mountainous region from Azerbaijan attacks. This

army is the most power in the region in order to state security that’s the way supporting by Armenia

and as well as Russia assistances.


Azerbaijan after the dissolution of USSR did not ready for independence. In 1991, the Armenian and

Azerbaijan conflict still was ongoing. The Azerbaijan economy was declining after independence and

this unprepared situation brought along the political conflict. Come up with the economic crises and

political conflicts until 1994 were limited available funding for the armed forces. Hence the

Azerbaijan lost 20% of territory to under Armenian occupied. This limited funds of military case had

been changed after 2000 because of increase money value; from foreign direct investment and oil

sales whole impact the state budget. By the way, from past decade has a bear witnessed arms race

between two countries. The Azerbaijan, bravely by its oil and gas income, increased its military

expenditure more than twenty fold. Currently,Azerbaijan stated that the defense fund of military expenses corresponds to twice as much the total national income budget of Armenia. But the

Armenian side via treaties which Russia become a significant ally in order to challenge for this

power demonstration.


****Armenia and Russia Reassert Bonds Amid Georgia’s Crisis November 16, 2003 by Sergei Blagov Accessed: 08.05.2017

Figure 2.1. shows us how much money of military expenditures of Azerbaijan and its burden to GDP

from 2010 to 2015.

Figure 2.1. World Bank DataBank: World Development Indicators

In the Figure 2.1 shows us Azerbaijani military expenses from 2008 to 2016. At least after the

depreciation of monetary unit of Azerbaijan (AZN-“Manat”) give us a clue about fall of military

spending in 2016.

Figure 2.1. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute:World Military Spending; http://

In figure 2.2. shows us, how much money had been paidfor military expenditures of Azerbaijan and its burden of GDP from 2010 to 2015.

Figure 2.2.World Bank DataBank: World Development Indicators reports.aspx?source=2&country=AZE

Even both figures shows and warn us about upward military spending for threatens of regional

security.Besides Azerbaijan, according to authority, about 70.000 soldiers spread toward to borders

and all well-equipped army to ready any kind of attack. That situation clearly, what will be able to

extent possible a new war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku is less convinced that diplomatic ways

because OSCE Minsk Group’s disappointed the demands.Eventually, as a result of these armaments

and threats continuing, there was a major confrontation on April 1-4, 2016. Subsequently Azerbaijan regained two cities under the occupation legally and a strategic hill "LeleTepe" took back.

Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict from Realist Perspective

In order to tie the theory with practice, realist terms such as security dilemma or struggle for power

etc. are put to use. In addition, two subcategories of realism – offensive and defensive – are utilized

to make clear the connections between theory and crisis.

As realism contains some common characteristics, these traits create the pillars of theory when we assess the conflicts in the light of the knowledge provided by theory’s itself. A list of realist values

can be compiled as; a pessimistic view on human nature, the priority of power in developing and

maintaining political order, the prominence of state and result oriented policies. ( Amstutz, 2013:


Just because Nagorno-Karabakh’s population distribution is divided between Armenians and Azeris’

the ethnic security dilemma should also be elaborated. The term of security dilemma has its roots in

the school of neorealist theory of international relations. Absence of central authority makes

international relations anarchic in the realm of neorealist theory. In addition, intrastate ethnic

conflicts first occurred following the demise of the Cold War as a direct consequence of Soviet

Union’s vanishing. Barry Posen became the first author who used security dilemma concept to

intrastate level in his work called ‘’ The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict’’. According to him,

anarchical structure is the key in ethnic conflicts and he tells that independent groups generally

exploit history in the search of interest. B. Posen goes further by asserting the conditions for security

dilemma in the intrastate level: The in distinguishability of offence and defense, the superiority of

offensive over defensive action and Windows of vulnerability and opportunity. ( Hajiyev, 2014)

Our case study is an interstate conflict that has been taking place between two adjacent states.

Although each side’s priorities are sharply different, it is possible to conclude that both Azerbaijan

and Armenia take action in accordence with their interests. While Armenia claims sovereignty on

Armenian majority Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan refuses to give up its territory since it means that

20% of Azeri land will be lost. According to Hans Morgenthau, the founder of political realism, politics is a struggle for power. Therefore, it is not a secret that a mountainous state like Armenia

wants to expand its lands by occupying the disputed territory so as to cope with its economic

problems such as unemployment or migration to outside. On the other hand, clashing interests

motivate Azerbaijan to react against such policies.

Furthermore, offensive realism offers a noteworthy ground by motivating states to be the strongest

country to survive in an anarchic international arena. In that sense, the balance of power among

nations is essential. If one state is dominated by another power, this state certainly does its best to

retake the lead. According to offensive realism, weak states fear from strong states and strong states

fear from rising states. (Rudloff, 2013: p.51)

In the light of the information provided by the previous paragraph, it is possible to conclude that

economic, military of social backwardness gives state an incentive to innovate itself. In that case,

insecure due to its oil rich foe Azerbaijan’s existence. This fear leads the relatively weak side to

pursue an aggressive foreign policy. Please note that Armenia has no intention to abandon the

Nagorno-Karabakh. As a result, since Azerbaijan gains more military and economic power it tries to

push Armenia out of the territory as an attempt to recapture a land which Azerbaijan claims


On the other hand, defensive realism provides a different point of view. Under the defensive realism

decision making framework, relative power is important, but “the first concern of states is not to

maximize power but to maintain their position in the system”. Defensive realism generally breeds the

more threats as it stimulates measures meant to create security, including aggression, increasing the

insecurity of others, thereby creating a more dangerous situation that encourages others to balance

against one and to contemplate first strike. ( Rudloff, 2013: p.55)

Armenia’s unwillingness to leave the Nagorno-Karabakh can be evaluated as a policy which aims to

maintain the status quo since the occupation of land in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, just because Azerbaijan is not likely to comply with an international solution that gives Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia the status quo can be challenged by Azerbaijan. Crisis remains with

no end in sight about the how the conflict may be resolved.

Chapter VI

Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict As A Security Issue

This part was written to explain the Nagorno-Karabakh’s importance in regard to security. In this

section, a brief analysis of key points about the linkages between security and Nagorno-Karabakh

conflict are given from an objective point of view.

There is an unwritten rule: The possible fall of imperial states generally create anarchy. The

weakening of Soviet Union was followed by its collapse. It can be evaluated as the absence of a

centralized power after Soviet Union in Caucasus. In this region, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s most

dramatic scenes have been witnessed in same period. Dearth of state authority resulted in fueling the

ethnic tension which have already been strained. Under these conditions, human security was

suffered greatly due to losses of lives and general political instability within the territory. (Hajiyev,


However, despite the fierce violence between two sides, conflict over the governance of Nagorno-

Karabakh has not come an end since 1993. Many international commentators tend to see the conflict

In addition, regional security is endangered as Azerbaijan feels insecure while its seven provinces

under Armenian occupation and Armenians feel they are open to external aggression because of the

neighbor Turkey and Azerbaijan. This insecurity currently cannot be eliminated because the both

countries’ ruling elite is sceptible about peace process and Azeris have some objections about the

occupied land. This factors make the crises as a regional security matter since the peace looks a

remote possibility. (Carley, 1998)

Just because, no state wants to be effected by regional clashes, other neighbour states like Russia,

Georgia and Turkey would desire a reasonable peace. The real problem is that each actor pursues its

own benefits. In that case, contradiction between regional states is usual. Peace is a desirable end but

unless a consensus is reached, peace will be faraway while the conflict impedes the neighbour states’


According to Carley, conditions of a permanent security atmosphere are absent. The Armenians tries

to legitimate their arguments by claiming they are surrounded by Azeris whereas Armenian soldiers

invaded the 20% of Azerbaijan land. At that point, it is very hard to say that Azeris will concern about the Armenians’ security because of this fact. ( Carley, 1998)

An international attempt to facilitate the peace would be realistic. In essence, Euro Atlantic

Partnership Council might provide such mediation. However, hurdles are seen usual when there is an

attemp to make democratic reforms in both Azerbaijan and Armenia. These setbacks decrease the

importance of international facilitations. ( Carley,1998).

Possible armed clashes are threatening the regional security. As far as I am concerned, neither states

nor ordinary citizens have an interest in this conflict especially after we witnessed the Syrian refugee



To sum up evetythıng we realızed the nagono karabackh conflıct ıs ınterestıng because the actualıty of the problem we

** German Tracey, The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia: Security Issues in the Caucasus, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. Jun2012, Vol. 32 Issue 2, p216-229. 14p. 2 Charts. http://

*** Nagorno-Karabakh Security Situation, Directorate-General For External Policies Of The Union, July 2012

**** Suren Zolyan, "Nagorno-Karabakh: the problem and the conflict". Publishing house "Lingua", Jun. 2001

* Teresa Cierco, Maria Raquel Freire, “Regional Security and the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict”, Instituto da

Defesa Nacional, UniversidadeLusiada do Porto, page; 62

** The Bishkek Protocol, Bishkek May 5, 1994, UN Peacemaker Sources Accessed: 09.05.2017

***Svante E. Cornel et al. Regional Security in the South Caucasus: The Role of NATO, Central Asia- Caucasus Institute, Accessed: 07.05.2017 SilkRoadPapers/2004_cornell-et-al_regional-security-in-the-south-caucasus.pdf

****Armenia and Russia Reassert Bonds Amid Georgia’s Crisis November 16, 2003 by Sergei Blagov Accessed: 08.05.2017

• “No Alternative To Peaceful Solution To Karabakh Conflict Says Minsk Group”. 2017. Online. Asbarez. conflict-says-minsk-group/.

• “Joint Statement By The Heads Of Delegation The Osce Minsk Group Co-Chair Countries”. 2016. Online. Karabakhfacts. heads-of-delegation-of-the-osce-minsk-group-co-chair-countries/.

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