Status: 01/24/2023 12:19 pm
A bloody conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh region has been simmering for years. The EU wants to contribute to de-escalating the conflict with a civilian observer mission.
Hundreds of people have already died in clashes in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the South Caucasus. Armenia and Azerbaijan each claim control of the region, and conflicts continue to escalate.
In order to bring stability to the region, the EU wants to set up a civilian observer mission in the region. It was decided by the foreign ministers of the 27 member states in Brussels. EUMA (European Union Mission in Armenia) is scheduled to start at the end of February.
Goal: Fewer incidents at the border
According to sources close to EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell, 100 men and women are to be sent to Armenia on the border with Azerbaijan in the coming weeks. Germany intends to make a substantial contribution. Among other things, according to the communication of the European Council, regular patrols are planned along the border with the aim of better understanding the situation on the ground.
Borrell spoke about a “new phase of EU engagement in the South Caucasus”: “The EU will continue to support enlargement efforts and is committed to working closely with both sides towards the ultimate goal of sustainable peace,” he said in Brussels. .
The mission’s mandate states that the mission’s strategic objective is to help reduce the number of conflict and incidents in the border region. In addition, it reduces the danger for the people living there and contributes to the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Armenia had applied for a mandate to the European Union, and the mandate would run for two years. In October, the EU sent around 40 experts to the border region for two months.
Experts: Moscow’s influence in the South Caucasus is waning
According to information from those around him, Borrell does not expect the task of further intensifying tensions between the EU and Russia. According to experts, Moscow’s influence in the South Caucasus is waning due to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.
Decades of conflict
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been at odds over the Caucasus region of Nagorno-Karabakh for decades. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the territory belonged to Azerbaijan under international law. However, the majority of people living in the region are Armenians. In the 1990s, a bloody war broke out in which Armenia gained control of Nagorno-Karabakh. In 2020, the frozen conflict erupted again, killing more than 6,500 people.
This time Azerbaijan gained control of the region, while Armenia had to cede a large area. Since then, there have been repeated violent clashes: in mid-September, Azerbaijan attacked Armenia, killing more than 200 people. A ceasefire is currently in effect.
“Social media maven. Amateur food buff. Pop culture trailblazer. Tv ninja.”