NATO’s fast-fading relevance in the Caucasus

Developing Just Leadership

Crescent International

Rabi' al-Thani 01, 1442 2020-11-16

Daily News Analysis

by Crescent International

The complete absence of NATO (Western) regimes from the Russian-brokered ceasefire in Armenian occupied Karabakh has immense geo-political significance.

The ceasefire has not resolved the Karabakh conflict yet.

It has merely reconfigured it and cemented Russia’s presence in the South Caucasus.

Russia has secured direct military presence in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

When Vladimir Putin came to power, Moscow was barely holding on in Armenian and Georgia.

The Karabakh conflict was in a frozen state since 1994. Western efforts to resolve the issue achieved no significant results.

The current conflict began and ended with Russia’s green light.

So, what did Russia gain from the latest ceasefire agreement?

First, Russia is now directly present next to the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) that will bring natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Western Europe, bypassing Russia.

This means that Western Europe’s attempts to seek alternative supplies to Russian gas are now greatly limited.

In 2019, Crescent International had highlighted that the construction of TANAP will revive geopolitical struggle in Central Asia.

Second, Moscow has once again practically demonstrated that there is no longer need for Washington and its Western allies to be present at the table when strategic matters are being addressed.

NATO regimes are becoming increasingly irrelevant in strategic matters.

The crises in Syria, Kyrgyzstan, Crimea and now Karabakh got resolved contrary to Western aims.

The multipolar world is here to stay and getting more entrenched.

Third, clause 9 of the agreement states that “as agreed by the Parties, new transport links shall be built to connect the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the western regions of Azerbaijan.”

What this implies is that Turkey will gain a direct transportation route to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia.

This route will most likely be utilized for China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

The Caucasus is one of the most strategic geopolitical arteries of the world.

The fact that a major conflict in the region has been resolved without Western involvement sends a strong signal to other countries of the world.

They will be emboldened to resolve issues without seeking Western involvement.

The notion that countries need to be sensitive to Western interests is now outdated.

Regimes and governments that formulate policies to serve Washington or Britain’s interests will be viewed as politically immature.

This is a positive development but must be accompanied by the emergence of multiple regional power centers.

If Muslim countries do not create their own regional alliances, they will be used as mere pawns by others.

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