How to help Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia?

After Azerbaijan’s military takeover of Nagorno-Karabakh, the structures of the internationally non-recognised Republic of Artsakh are being dissolved. The authorities have declared that "all state institutions and organisations" will be dismantled by 1 January 2024. The vast majority of the approximately 120,000 ethnic Armenians who inhabited the region have now fled.

Andrey Zubov (RU) /

Azerbaijan must invite the UN and OSCE to Karabakh

International peacekeepers must be deployed to guarantee security for ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh, historian Andrey Zubov demands on Facebook:

“If the refugees can be sure that they will not be robbed or killed and that their property, if legally acquired (and not expropriated from Azerbaijanis between 1989 and 1993), will be returned to them, then many will want to go back. ... Assurances are not enough to allay their fears; the Armenian population needs real protection. Armenians will continue to mistrust the Azerbaijani police for a long time. Therefore, Azerbaijan itself should ask the UN and the OSCE to send monitoring commissions and peacekeepers to the region.”

Andrei Subow
La Croix (FR) /

EU must learn from mistakes and act swiftly

Europe needs greater resolve, urges Nathalie Loiseau, MEP for Renew Europe, in La Croix:

“Without us, democratic and sovereign Armenia is in danger. It is not asking us to go to war in its name, only to help it remain at peace by giving it the support and guarantees it needs. Europe has the means to do this. ... The world lazily believed that Nagorno-Karabakh would remain a frozen conflict. Today it is scorched earth. If we couldn’t prevent this disaster, let us at least save Armenia from the threats that still hover over it. We must learn from our mistakes and act quickly and decisively.”

Nathalie Loiseau
taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Sad indifference

The 5 million euros in humanitarian aid earmarked by the EU is far too little, the taz criticises:

“After the EU looked on almost without comment in the past months as Azerbaijan blockaded the Lachin Corridor — the only route connecting Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh — and continued to buy gas from the fossil dictatorship even though all signs pointed to escalation, the bloc is once again showing that the EU is indifferent to the situation of the Armenians. And not only the political situation, but sadly also the humanitarian one.”

Lisa Schneider
The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Find a replacement for the failed UN

The Daily Telegraph calls for new international institutions:

“As for the United Nations, Nagorno-Karabakh will be remembered as yet another reason why it is no longer fit for purpose. That purpose, its Charter reminds us, is to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,’ yet it cannot expel Russia (even were Putin to use nuclear weapons) which would veto its own expulsion, and it cannot even expel Azerbaijan for aggression (because Russia would veto the necessary Security Council recommendation). The only way forward is to replace the United Nations, because its Security Council is not fit for purpose.”

Geoffrey Robertson
Avvenire (IT) /

Victims of realpolitik

Avvenire comments on why Armenia also failed to buckle down in defence of Nagorno-Karabakh:

“Prime Minister Pashinyan is taking in all the refugees, which is no small feat for a country with three million inhabitants and which is not exactly rich. ... But he has not lifted a finger to confront the Azerbaijanis, a fact for which he has been harshly criticised domestically. It seems clear that for him, for his government and for a large part of Armenians, the dissolution of the [self-declared] independent republic is also the dissolution of a spectre, namely a war with Azerbaijan, which could have turned into a regional conflict in the blink of an eye and which poses a very high risk for his country. ... In short, better to lose Nagorno-Karabakh than to lose everything. That, too, is realpolitik.”

Fulvio Scaglione
Echo (RU) /

Armenians fleeing forever

In a Telegram post republished by Echo, opposition politician Lev Shlosberg now considers humanitarian issues more important than political ones:

“The history of Nagorno-Karabakh, which declared its independence following a referendum in January 1992, is legally closed. ... The key issue now is not the territory’s affiliation, but the humanitarian consequences of the events. ... More than half of the inhabitants — over 65,000 of 120,000 people — have fled the Karabakh area. There are cases of people digging up the coffins of their relatives and taking their bones with them. They don’t believe in guarantees that they will be allowed to live on in Nagorno-Karabakh and are leaving it forever.”

Lew Schlosberg
Der Nordschleswiger (DK) /

Lost credibility

Europe must question any deals with dictators and autocrats on principle, says Der Nordschleswiger:

“The power of the strongest prevails. Which scenario does this remind us of? Exactly, of 2014, when Putin started the war against Ukraine by occupying Crimea. There were many voices at the time that said, ‘Oh, we have to let Putin have that’. ... Where this attitude got us is now glaringly obvious in the trenches and minefields of Ukraine. ... Europe must ask itself what our democracy is worth to us. Are we dependent on deals with the murderers and dictators of this world? If so, we shouldn’t be surprised if this world only views our high-sounding moralising with contempt.”

Jan Diedrichsen
Dilema Veche (RO) /

Too tired to deal with other people’s problems

Dilema Veche wonders why there is not more determination against Azerbaijan’s actions:

“Ordinary people, Armenians and Azerbaijanis, have lost their fortunes, families, and lives for the sake of unattainable ideals and irresponsible people. There are Armenians who wonder if Azerbaijan, emboldened by the recent successes, will not demand more. ... There is in fact no guarantee that this will not be the case. But why isn’t the West taking more decisive action? Why is it content with a few statements along the lines of ‘we are paying attention and concerned’? Why is Russia observing without doing anything? The answers are many and nuanced, but equally relevant is the explanation that we are all tired of other people’s problems.”

Teodor Tita