What is at Stake post the Azer-'Mania' War?
Armenia, a small country with a Christian majority, was at war with Azerbaijan, a Muslim-dominated province on the Asian-European border, which has resulted in a huge geopolitical shift. It's not too late, though, because the problem hasn't been resolved. Both of these countries were once part of the powerful Soviet Union, which disintegrated in 1991, leaving a contested territory in the midst, known as Nagorno-Karabakh, which had a predominantly Armenian population. The territory, however, has been an area of discord for a long time, with early specimens dating back to the 1920s, when the region, while independent, was under direct Moscow supervision.
Fast forward to 1988, when the people of Azerbaijan decided to join Armenia, but the Soviet Union refused. This resulted in around 600,000 Azerbaijani nationals being trapped and separated from their homes. Armenian separatists seized control and ruled with the support of the Armenian government. However, according to international law, this region is a part of Azerbaijan.
France, the United States, Russia, the so-called world's supercops organized a Minsk group to resolve the matter and draught a peace treaty.
Who started the conflict now, in the present day? No one is willing to accept responsibility. Tempers flared, but this time, unlike petty squabbles here and there, the two countries were at war. Azerbaijan accused Armenia of firing rockets towards a civilian location. The majority of mediation efforts failed, and many soldiers and civilians were tragically slain. After months of fighting and three breaches of ceasefire agreements, Russia mediated a peace accord in November 2020, in which Armenia surrendered. It was the mediator in this case. It keeps cordial ties with both regions. Azerbaijan receives weapons from Russia, which has a military facility in Armenia. Turkey, on the other hand, entirety supports Azerbaijan, primarily for religious reasons. The fact that it is a NATO member adds to Armenia's challenges. It is Azerbaijan's immediate neighbor, and its influence in the Islamic world provides doors for the latter. In the long run, it intends to dominate the smaller country.
Hayder Aliyev took the oath as president of Azerbaijan in 1993 and was followed by his son Ilhem Ilyev in 2003 to the present day. Intriguingly, he changed the constitutional provision governing presidential eligibility in Azerbaijan, lowering the age limit from 35 to 18. His soon-to-be-18-year-old son is expected to succeed him. All of the elections in this country are very similar to those in Russia. There are no media, and there is no voice of opposition. Raise your voice here, and you'll be sent to jail. It, like many other former Soviet republics, is one among the world's worst democracies.
Countries at war, it is arguable, are always internally unstable, and both of these countries are not properly managed. Since their inception, dictatorships or single-family rule have lasted. To get rid of their ruler, 10% of Armenians had to protest openly. The current situation is likewise not encouraging. Even if there was an agreement, there is no peace. People on both sides of the border despise each other and feel themselves to be ethnically superior. Such psychological elements is expected to last long, and unfortunately, the abhorrence needs to be eliminated right from the roots, to finally call this an end to the war.
A deal isn't the same as peace.