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Silencing the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Challenges of the Four-Day War

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The Four-Day War of 2016 once again exposed the danger that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict poses in the Caucasus. However, despite its military scale and human losses, Russia has raised only general statements from other co-chairs of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Minsk Group, from the United States and France, and from other international actors such as the United Nations Security Council. In an attempt to stimulate debate about this lack of engagement, this paper claims that the external actors involved aim to cast silence over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict beyond the region. While this approach may serve to remove the political impact of the conflict from the international arena, it unwittingly also enhances the aggressiveness of both Armenia and Azerbaijan in the regional arena. The main aim of this paper is, then, to explain why the conflict is being silenced, how this is made possible and what the regional effects of this approach are. By drawing on the Four-Day War of 2016, the paper intends to show how the recent violence has challenged the silencing of external actors.

Affiliations: 1: PhD candidate; Lecturer at University of Groningen, Department of International Relations,


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