Violence continues in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Yesterday a cathedral was badly damaged by deliberate distant gunfire. This war, launched by Azerbaijan to regain territories lost almost thirty years ago to the Armenians, has killed several hundred people and pushed tens of thousands of people to flee. Civilians are the main victims.
This conflict could escalate if two neighboring powers, Turkey and Russia, openly interfere. These two countries have managed for several years to come to an understanding while they are pursuing expansionist strategies which should oppose them, in Syria and Libya in particular. Their areas of influence coexist and sometimes overlap. But the Caucasus is a more serious issue. This region is at their immediate borders. Their rivalry is part of a centuries-old history of hostilities between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. They must therefore be extra careful if they do not want to be drawn into a fatal gear. However, the multifaceted support that Turkey is already providing to Azerbaijan could be seen in the Kremlin as crossing a red line.
It is this risk that is leading Russia, the United States, France and other European countries to urgently demand a ceasefire. The worst-case scenario would also shake up the Atlantic Alliance, of which Turkey is a member. Should we show solidarity with an ally who plays blaster? Emmanuel Macron was already asking this question a year ago when he mentioned a NATO in ” brain death “. Seen from Paris, Turkey’s warmongering in Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and today in the Caucasus must be sanctioned, not protected.