EU cannot resolve conflicts in South Caucasus on its own

EU cannot resolve conflicts in South Caucasus on its own

Sweden, Stockholm, Feb.31 / Trend U. Sadikhova /

The EU can help in conflict solution in the South Caucasus using its own means, but one should not rely only on this structure, Carl Hamilton, the chairman of the Swedish Parliamentary European Affairs Committee, told Trend today.

"I think we can help conflict resolution in the region, but in the end, in the resolution of these conflicts, Europe can help with its soft power. I think EU countries are fairly united, so I believe they have a good chance to attract this issue to the united front," he said.

However, the South Caucasus governments should not rely only on the EU, and think that the EU's interest in cooperation within the Eastern Partnership frees them from independent actions in resolving frozen conflicts.

"The solution must come from the governments. The fact that the EU is interested in good relations doesn't mean that they can relax and hope for the EU's participation to resolve the conflicts alone," Hamilton said.

According to the MP, the EU does not have the full power to end conflicts in the region, including the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.

Additionally, the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict originates from late 1980s. The aggravation of Ossetian-Georgian relations occurred due to the sharp activization of national movements in the late Soviet era.

Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia and later Russian troops occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with them on Sept. 9, 2008.Georgia's autonomous regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia unilaterally declared independence from Georgia after the August 2008 war. The separatist regions had been supported by Russia, with the country later establishing diplomatic relations with the de facto states despite protests from the West. Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru also recognize the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Regarding the Swedish parliament's adoption of a resolution recognizing the so-called "Armenian Genocide" in March, Hamilton expressed confidence that it will not happen again. According to him, the decision doesn't reflect the Swedish government's policy.

The Swedish Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations voted for the adoption of the resolution on March 11.

Armenia and the Armenian lobby state that the predecessor of Turkey - the Ottoman empire committed "genocide" against Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Armenians willing to recognize this fact in the world by strengthening propaganda of the so-called "genocide" in the world countries achieved its recognition by the parliaments of some countries. It is expected that in connection with the anniversary of the so-called "genocide" in April, the Armenian lobby will intensify its activities in the world's parliaments, particularly in the U.S. Congress.

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