Karabakh conflict and Georgia
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, April 5
Georgia is concerned by recent developments in Nagorno-Karabakh, where Azerbaijan and Armenian forces are engaged in combat.
The conflict between the two nations bordering Georgia has roots dating back over a century to the rivalry and emnity between Christian Armenian and Muslim Turkic and Persian influences.
The controversies turned into violence when the Karabakh region's legislative body voted to join Armenia in the late 1980s
The ethnic Azeri population – which consisted about 25% of the total population prior to the war - fled Karabakh and Armenia, while ethnic Armenians fled the rest of Azerbaijan
Russian enforced a ceasefire signed in 1994, leaving Karabakh and swathes of Azeri territory around the enclave in Armenian hands
The UN has expressed support for Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and demanded that Armenia withdraw its forces.
The recent confrontation includes threats for the whole region, as two regional players are in conflict.
Turkey has reiterated its support for Azerbaijan, while Armenia is a Russian ally.
In the event that the conflict expands, it is very likely that Russia will become more involved in the confrontation.
In such a situation, Georgia’s territory and airspace will be of strategic necessity for the Federation, which occupies 20% of Georgia's lands.
If Georgia refuses to meet Moscow’s appeal over the territory gateway and grant Russian aircraft the use of Georgian airspace, Russia might find more aggressive ways to reach Armenia.
Thus, an escalation of the situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia creates a serious threat to Georgia.
Progress on a peace process stalled after talks between Armenian and Azeri leaders broke down in 2009. Sporadic ceasefire violations have since followed.