The mountains of Karabakh are known by few. Yet between the angular peaks on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan passes one of the Eurasian block base roads. Between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea the softer side and the southern Caucasus breaks, including forgotten pastures and millennial interests.
Only one thing unites Armenians and Azerbaijanis: both to be on the ingress of Europe, that is a meter above the threshold for some things wanted to enter in to the Old World, for many other out. Overall, despite the common Soviet fur hat, the two communities are divided around forever. Armenia was the first country to make Christianity a state religion and the identity of an entire nation; Azerbaijan is conversely the turkish ring to Central Asia, eternally poised between an allegiance to the Russian and Ottoman cultural revanchism.
Unlike other conflicts between parts of the USSR, between Armenians and Azerbaijanis there are no mixtures, connections, evacuation routes. There is only the muffler of a creeping war which relegates to a corner of the world a sensitive region, but indirectly crucial.
Now Armenia and Azerbaijan have started to tease with a bad wind behind you pushing another open war.
The point of friction is the Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian area in Azerbaijani land, became de facto independent republic after the war of 1992-1994.
And it is since 1994 that does not so much as fired these days, even if the voltage is never waned over the years. It is a reality and as a curse: the full-scale war began in '92 between Yerevan and Baku was the continuation of the ethnic cleansing that erupted ten years ago. In turn, the clashes and violence were the result of the end of the USSR, privacy glass of a strong regional hatred and ever solved.
The conflict in Karabakh is born with the Great War and the end of two empires: the Russian and Ottoman empires, two great geopolitical plates in eternal friction that have suddenly given the changing balance of '900. Today those balances are to be understood as a great sleeping pill in history to Eurasian issues standing for centuries. After a lapse of 100 years, everything is as before: not by chance come back to blow the winds of war just now that the two empires are born again.
In 2015 he was already repeatedly risked the resumption of hostilities between Yerevan and Baku. Today it seems the going gets tough.
Azerbaijan, humiliated in 1994 with the acceptance of an independent Azerbaijan and Karabakh and the renunciation of 7 contiguous provinces occupied by the separatist attempt revenge.
In the beautiful and contradictory Baku everything passes over oil: it has been the engine of economic growth in the last decade that it guaranteed the exit from the post-Soviet tunnel; Today, with prices at a minimum, is the cause of the crisis.
Armenia closely alongside the brothers of Karabakh, not to lose the positions they held twenty years ago, looking for its part the usual wake of Russia, historic ally and largest regional brother.
All the way you play in Moscow, even more so now that the historical and geopolitical conflict with Ankara tries to continuous new outlet theaters.
Russia defends the identity of Yerevan. Putin was the only statesman of global importance to attend the centennial of the Armenian Genocide (see article). At the same time, however, Moscow did not give Azerbaijan bone, which despite the filoturco awakening remains a country deeply tied to Russia, if only to the seventy-year subjection to the USSR.
In particular, the safety factor obliges Moscow not to leave the role of regional arbiter, despite the fast track accredited to Armenia.
9 of geographically defined as the Caucasian entities, together with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are only internationally recognized independent republics. The other six parties that make up the North Caucasus are Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Stavropol Territory 'and Circassia, all internal to the Russian Federation and all torn by religious conflicts, political and interethnic. Only Azerbaijan borders directly on one of them, Dagestan, establishing territorial continuity between Moscow and Baku.
The border (non-existent in the USSR times) is particularly hot as the door of passage for Islamists infiltrated between North and South Caucasus, very aggressive in the last decade in Azerbaijan, to make the country an important recruiting area for fundamentalism active in Syria (see report).
Needless to say, Turkey is not watching. Culturally stepmother Azerbaijan, tries to keep the influence of Baku also in virtue of the battle on the Caspian hydrocarbons, where another country poised between Ankara and Moscow, Turkmenistan, plays a central role.
Between the mountains of Karabakh, between Uaz dated and rickety Lada, the armies of the Republic of Nagorno, Armenia and Azerbaijan do not face each other only for the independence of some snowy peak. A replay of the violent war of the '90s would be nice tinsel other scenarios.
(Photo: Haykan banak)
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Monday, April 4, 2016