Interviews 18:46 15/01/2014

Gérard-François Dumont: Neglecting historical facts makes solution of Karabakh conflict even harder

Panorama.am presents an interview with Professor of Demography, Political Geography and Geopolitics at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne Gérard-François Dumont.

Nvard Chalikyan: Prof. Dumont, in your recent article titled Nagorno-Karabakh: the geopolitics of a conflict without end you speak about the origins of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. How do you assess the fact that these historical realities are completely ignored in the current conflict resolution process?

Gérard-François Dumont: The ignorance of the historical facts which are at the heart of geopolitical conflicts is unfortunately quite common. This is clearly seen in the conflicts currently taking place in Sudan, Central Africa and even in Europe, where there is a marked tension between Hungary and the European Union. The main reason of the latter is that the treaty of Trianon, signed on 04 June 1920 in the aftermath of the World War I, was unjust. The truth is that the principle of the inviolability of frontiers currently endorsed by the international community results in complete neglect of the causes and history of the formation of these frontiers.

Comparisons are not always appropriate, however, it is interesting to compare the situations in the South Caucasus and Ukraine. The USSR, having employed the principle of «divide and rule», in 1946 attached to Ukraine Crimea, which gave Moscow access to the Black Sea and then to the Mediterranean. This complicated the current geopolitical situation of Ukraine, which is vividly seen from the fact that Crimea was the only region which voted against the independence of Ukraine in the referendum of 1991. Ceteris paribus, the USSR drew the borders of Azerbaijan according to that same principle, a fact which is now largely ignored. Similarly, the pogroms of Armenians in Baku in 1988 have also been ignored. But the neglect of historical facts always has the same result – it makes the solution of the conflict harder and fuels it even more.

NC: Considering the fact that Azerbaijan continues to pose an existential threat to Nagorno-Karabakh today (given current anti-Armenian policies, military rhetoric, etc.) do you think the proposed Madrid Principles provide tangible security guarantees to the people of the Nagorno-Karabakh against possible Azerbaijani aggression?

Gérard-François Dumont: Historically the principles are like agreements and declarations. They have exactly as much importance as the politicians give to them. Geopolitics is a game based on power balance. No principle, however desirable it might be, can ever guarantee the security of a people. Whether you are for or against the Madrid Principles, they are only principles, the interpretation of which can vary greatly depending on the protagonists, while their implementation can be very different depending on the balance of power. In other words, Nagorno-Karabakh must be ready for all the possible developments. As a matter of fact, only the peace agreement which will include security guarantees, as well as willingness to preserve those, can guarantee the security.

NC: From purely geopolitical perspective is there a scenario that can bring to a final solution of the conflict and to a long-term peace in the region?

Gérard-François Dumont: History teaches us that conflicts are resolved only when the immediate parties to the conflict really want to put an end to it. Of course, international powers can contribute to the solution of the conflict if they refrain from igniting it and if they offer guarantees. The Minsk Group plays a useful role by trying to appease the conflict and facilitate the dialogue. However, it cannot solve the conflict, as past two decades have shown. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can only be completely solved if Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh find common ground and are equally eager to resolve it.

NC: And what would you say about the role of democracy in the resolution of this conflict?

Gérard-François Dumont: One of the factors that complicates the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is that it depends on the situation between the parties to the conflict. It is a lot easier to find a solution to those conflicts where the parties are democratic, as peoples do not like being imprisoned within closed borders and they eventually vote for those leaders who want the borders to be used as a means of exchange and trade. Thus we can only wish democratic progress to these countries.

NC: From the geopolitical perspective how do you assess the decision of the Republic of Armenia to become a member of the Customs Union? Could Armenia have possibly taken another rout being faced with the choice between Russia and Europe?

Gérard-François Dumont: Armenia, which has limited resources and is largely isolated because of the closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, has to rely on those partners which have the capability and the wish to effectively contribute to Armenia’s security. The current situation in the international relations is such that the United States gives preference to Turkey at least merely due to what I call “the rule of numbers” - Turkey has a population of 76 million, while Armenia, together with Nagorno-Karabakh, has a population of three million.

The European Union, being an ally of the US, in 2005 started negotiations with Turkey for Turkey’s membership in the EU, or to be more precise, for granting Turkey a status of a candidate country, with all the financial privileges pertaining to it. But this situation is ridiculous: Turkey does not recognize the sovereignty of one of the EU members; neither does it guarantee the protection of the rights of its minorities, which is a fundamental European value.

Thus, being unable to rely either on the US or on the EU, Armenia had no other choice but to join the Russia-led Customs Union. Besides, Moscow has paid for it by offering to provide gas to Armenia with “friendly prices”. At the same time however the Customs Union cannot work miracles, for two reasons. First, the CU opens for Armenia a smaller market compared to that of the EU with the population of 500 million; second, the economy of the CU member states is based more on the exploitation of natural resources than on innovations. Having said this, it must also be acknowledged that Russia, the country that has founded the Customs Union, does after all provide a necessary security umbrella for Armenia.

NC: Professor Dumont, thank you very much for the interesting interview.

The interview was conducted by Nvard Chalikyan

 



Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:

Newsfeed

19:14
Only Armenian school in Jordan about to close
A decision has been taken to shut down the only Armenian school operating in Jordan, a move that can pose a serious threat to the local Armenian...
18:43
Armenia’s defense minister discusses border upgrading issues with top officers
Armenian Minister of Defense Davit Tonoyan on Sunday visited the south-western border of the country to observe the on-duty military service and...
18:20
German prosecutors charge bus attacker with attempted murder
German prosecutors are charging a 34-year-old man who attacked passengers on a crowded city bus with a knife in the northern town of Luebeck on...
18:03
‘War doesn’t end even when peace comes’: Nas Daily releases fresh video from Armenia
Famous vlogger Nuseir Yassin, better known by Nas Daily, who is currently in Armenia to explore the country’s culture and daily life, has...
17:27
Situation relatively calm in Armenia’s bordering Baghanis – village head
Azerbaijani military opened gunfire toward the roadway connecting the towns of Ijevan and Noyemberyan in Armenia’s northeastern region of...
16:35
Azerbaijan makes around 150 ceasefire violations over past week
The Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire along the Line of Contact between Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Azerbaijan nearly 150 times...
15:47
Putin’s football gift to Trump given routine security check
The red-and-white football tossed to President Donald Trump by Russia's Vladimir Putin is undergoing a routine security screening, the...
15:39
Armenia in total control of Ordubad district in Nakhichevan section – spox
Armenian Defense Ministry Spokesman Artsrun Hovhannisyan has posted images from the Nakhichevan section of Armenian-Azerbaijani border on his...
15:02
Paylan on Andrew Brunson: ‘Disgrace that Turkey uses a pastor in its dirty deals’
Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish parliament representing the opposition People's Democratic Party (HDP), has slammed the...
13:59
Ambassador: The presence of Japanese tourists in Armenia speaks of the country’s safety
Armenia is safe country in terms of terrorist threats another forms of crimes, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Armenia...
13:26
Turkey and the Netherlands resume full diplomatic ties
Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to restore relations strained after a diplomatic row last year, Al Jazeera reported. In a joint statement...
12:31
President Sarkissian visits the House-Museum of Minas Avetisyan
Armenian President Armen Sargsyan visited today the house –museum and the workshop of a famous Armenian painter Minas Avetisyan. As the...
11:15
Armenian Church marks the commemoration of St. Gregory the Illuminator’s sons and grandsons
Aristakes was St. Gregory the Illuminator’s youngest son, Qahana.am reports. He led a monastic life from a very early age. He was...
19:02
Artsakh FM: NK settlement should be based on recognition of the Artsakh people right to self-determination
The position of the Artsakh Republic on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict remains unchanged - the settlement of the conflict should be based on the...
18:27
Defense minister: Armenia to continue supporting the Syrian people
Armenia will continue supporting the friendly people of Syria through providing humanitarian assistance, the country’s Defense Minister...
17:53
Yerevan Zoo's male tiger dies suddenly
A 17-year-old Amur tiger named Nobel at the Yerevan Zoo has died unexpectedly, the zoo announced Friday. Born in Kaliningrad Zoo in 2001,...
16:52
PM excludes any solution to the NK conflict that would be unacceptable for people
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan excludes any solution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict that would be unacceptable to the people, the PM...
15:57
Chairman of the France-Artsakh Friendship Circle François Rochebloine granted Armenian citizenship
Speaker of the Artsakh National Assembly, Chairman of the Artsakh-France Friendship Circle Ashot Ghulyan on Friday hosted ex-French MP, former...
14:57
Nine wrestlers to represent Armenia at European junior c'ship
Nine wrestlers will represent Armenia at the European Junior Wrestling Championship to be hosted by Rome, Italy, from July 30 to August 5....
14:33
Five people, including Chechen ex-official’s daughter, detained in Turkey for IS ties
Five people, including the daughter of a former high-ranking Chechen official, have been detained in Turkey on suspicion of ties with the...
14:16
What happened in Armenia is a change of work style, goals, national ambitions, PM says
Armenia is going through an adaptation period, with the current situation developed in the country new for both new and old cadres in the state...
13:13
South Korean ex-leader sentenced to 8 more years in prison
A South Korean court on Friday sentenced former South Korean President Park Geun-hye to an additional eight years for abusing state funds and...
13:01
Yervand Khundkaryan named head of Court of Cassation’s chamber
Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has signed a decree to appoint Yervand Khundkaryan Chairman of the Civil and Administrative Chamber of the...
12:39
Komitas museum to host culture days of Armenian Diaspora communities
Armenia’s Komitas Museum-Institute is hosting the Culture Days of the Armenian Diaspora Communities, the museum said in a Facebook post....
11:53
‘Disgrace’: Trump confronts Turkey’s Erdogan over jailed U.S. pastor
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said it was shameful that a Turkish court rejected an appeal to release an American evangelical pastor...
11:23
Artsakh’s Sahakyan offers congratulations on Foreign Ministry's 25th anniversary
President Bako Sahakyan on Friday issued a congratulatory message on the 25th anniversary of the Artsakh Republic Foreign Ministry. The...
11:03
Armenian delegate to Azerbaijan: ‘Instead of spending millions to bribe European politicians, try to build a genuine democratic state’
“Since I was deprived of the right to reply to some accusations made against Armenia yesterday by the representative of Azerbaijan, I take...
10:22
OSCE ready to assist Armenian government in anti-corruption reforms
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Thursday received Paola Severino, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on...
19:08
National Chamber Orchestra to perform a joint concert of vocal symphonic music premiere with National Chamber Choir of Armenia
National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia headed by artistic director and principal conductor Vahan Mardirossian along with the National Chamber...
19:07
FM Zohrab Mnatsakanyan chaired “Innovation, Impact Investment and the SDGs - Tools for Advancing Reforms” high-level panel
On July 17, at the UN Headquarters Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, Foreign Minister of Armenia, chaired "Innovation, Impact Investment and the SDGs -...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}