Brace for Impact

Scenarios for Renewed Hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh

1 October 2020

The recent outbreak of open warfare over Nagorno-Karabakh contains a real risk of conflict spillover triggering Russian, Turkish or even Iranian intervention. What are the implications for the Eastern Partnership?

For the European Union, the past several years have been marked by a series of unexpected challenges in the security sector.  On the whole, the sheer size and depth of the EU have greatly hindered its capacity for either rapid reaction or robust response to these security challenges.

As many of these emerging challenges graduated into an evolving crisis, the institutional momentum has been slow and lumbering. These inherent limitations in EU security response and crisis management have largely been obscured by the absence of American engagement or commitment, however.

Against that backdrop, despite a deepening of diplomatic experience and an expanding exercise of engagement in recent years, the security challenges to the EU have neither waned nor abated. Rather, the challenge only worsened and accelerated in 2020, as the rush of three consecutive security crises threatened to overwhelm any effective response.

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Richard Giragosian

Richard Giragosian is the Founding Director of the Regional Studies Center (RSC), an independent think tank in Yerevan, Armenia.

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