Crisis in Caucasus: On Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh(The Hindu)
Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict
Mains level: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
- The ongoing fighting between Armenian rebels and the Azerbaijani Army in Nagorno-Karabakh, a self-declared republic within Azerbaijan, risks becoming a wider regional conflict.
Origin of the Conflict:
- Though Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a Russia-mediated ceasefire last week after days of fighting, the truce crumbled immediately amid a blame game.
- Whatever the truth is, an emboldened Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, seems determined to press ahead with its offensive.
- The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh is decades old. The region, largely populated by ethnic Armenians, is located within the international boundaries of Azerbaijan.
- Under the Soviet Union, it was an autonomous province that was part of the Azerbaijan republic.
- In 1988, when the Soviet power was receding, the regional assembly in Nagorno-Karabakh voted to join Armenia, triggering ethnic clashes.
- After the Soviet disintegration in 1991, Armenia and Azerbaijan went to war over this largely mountainous, forested enclave.
- By the time a ceasefire was reached in 1994, the rebels, with support from Armenia and Russia, had established their de facto rule and extended their influence to the Armenian border.
- Ever since, the border has remained tense.
- What makes the clashes now far more dangerous is the external intervention.
- Turkey has called Armenia a threat to peace in the region; the Azeris and Turks share ethnic and linguistic bonds.
- Also, the pre-Soviet Azerbaijan was a local ally of the Ottomans when they invaded Transcaucasia in the last leg of World War I.
- For Turkey, which, under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is trying to expand its geopolitical reach to the former Ottoman regions, the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh is an opportunity to enter the South Caucasus.
- Turkey also has a particularly bad relationship with Armenia. But its problem is that Armenia is a member of the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
- Russia enjoys good economic and defence ties with both Armenia and Azerbaijan.
- But Armenia, as a CSTO member and host to a Russian military base, has more weight.
- In a wider conflict, Armenia could trigger Article 4 of the CSTO treaty and ask for Russian help.
- And if Moscow responds favourably, that would pit Russia against Turkey, a NATO member.
- Russia, already involved in military conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Libya, may not like opening another front.
- That is why it has re-emphasised its neutrality and hosted talks in Moscow for a truce. But it will be forced to take sides if the conflict spills into Armenia.
- Both sides should understand the volatile situation and call off the hostilities.
- Nagorno-Karabakh has in the past witnessed large-scale ethnic violence.
- Instead of risking a regional war, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Karabakh rebels should go back to the ceasefire and open up diplomatic channels.
- Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Karabakh rebels should go back to the ceasefire.
Q.1) With reference to the Diffie–Hellman key exchange, consider the following statements:
1. Diffie–Hellman key exchange is a method of securely exchanging cryptographic keys over a public channel
2. The method allows two parties that have no prior knowledge of each other to jointly establish a shared secret key over an insecure channel.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Q.1)Describe the origin of Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict. What are Madrid principles? What are the roles can be played by India to resolve the conflict?