Armenia–Azerbaijan Conflict: The Failure of Multilateral Diplomacy

This article describes the failure of the long-term attempts to resolve the Armenia–Azerbaijan conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan through the means of multilateral diplomacy. It shows that the OSCE Minsk Group has been unable to fulfil its mission and analyses the structural problems their attempts have had. Then, the article proceeds to question the validity of the liberal concept of global politics and its ability to resolve conflicts, arguing that, in the case of the Armenia–Azerbaijan conflict, multilateral diplomatic efforts could actually have made matters worse instead of improving them. It reveals that attempts to stimulate the conflict parties to achieve a consensus were futile owing to the fundamentally skewed status quo and, in reality, only motivated Armenia to continue doing nothing and trying to normalize the fact of territorial occupation. The article also points up the failure to apply similar legal standards to the Nagorno-Karabakh and other separatist conflicts in the post-Soviet space and Eastern Europe. Finally, it evokes the realist concept of diplomacy and reviews its fundamental pillars, arguing for a case that their application in the foreign policy of the conflicting states might have helped them to achieve much better conflict-resolution dynamics.

Authors: Murad Muradov