OSCE fails to solve Karabakh conflict, yet has other options at its disposal - analyst

Politics Materials 15 April 2022 15:05 (UTC +04:00)
OSCE fails to solve Karabakh conflict, yet has other options at its disposal - analyst

BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 15. The OSCE failed in resolving the Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but hasn’t yet exhausted all of its resources, Sergey Markov, director of the Institute for Political Studies, told Trend.

Markov stressed that the OSCE acts in various formats: on one hand, these are all OSCE organizations with many structures, on the other hand, the OSCE Minsk Group, which expressed desire to be moderators in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group represented by Russia, the US and France.

"It’s clear that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs failed to fulfill the task assigned to them, that is, assistance in resolving the Karabakh conflict,” he said. “They didn’t contribute to its settlement at all, but in fact for twenty five years covered Armenia's policy of freezing the conflict, maintaining the status quo, when Armenia occupied both Karabakh and the surrounding territories of Azerbaijan, and didn’t make any concessions in the negotiation process. The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs did nothing to change this situation.”

Markov noted that the co-chairs were the countries where the strongest and most influential Armenian diaspora is the US, France and Russia.

"The OSCE Minsk Group didn’t play any role at all when the 2020 second Karabakh war began. Azerbaijan directly stated that the Minsk Group had nothing to do in this conflict, and can be dissolved. As a result, the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs was practically frozen," he noted.

Nevertheless, according to Markov, the OSCE still has other options.

"In particular, along with the Minsk Group co-chairs, there are other members of the OSCE Minsk Group - many countries that take both a neutral and allied position to Azerbaijan, for example Turkey. Therefore, it’s possible that the entire OSCE Minsk Group, and not just its co-chairs, will be activated,” the expert said. “Now there are several possible positions. Firstly, the OSCE can assist in the clearance of mines in the Azerbaijani territories liberated from the Armenian occupation [in the second Karabakh war].”

“Many OSCE member countries, such as the US and EU members, have extensive experience in mine clearance in various countries of Asia and Africa after regional conflicts. Therefore, sending sappers to Karabakh, is what the OSCE could do,” Markov added.

He noted that another function which the OSCE can play is the promotion of humanitarian contacts.

"For example, it can contribute to the resumption of contacts between the civil societies of Azerbaijan and Armenia,” the expert further said.