EU Urged to Engage with Post-Soviet Conflict Regions

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In “Isolation of Post-Soviet Conflict Regions Narrows the Road to PeaceMagdalena Grono of the Brussels-based think tank International Crisis Group (ICG) discusses European Union policies towards Nagorno Karabakh and other conflict areas in the EU Eastern Partnership countries. As title suggests, Grono argues for greater EU engagement in such regions. She notes that:

“The EU has resources and frameworks to help: in 2007, it offered a creative “engagement-without-recognition” policy for Georgia’s breakaway entities. The 2008 war changed the landscape, however. Georgia then favored a restrictive line that in practice limited much engagement; the 2014 annexation of Crimea made the context more sensitive. However, the framework is there and could be repurposed for pragmatic, apolitical solutions there and in other conflict regions.”

Azerbaijan’s policy of isolating Nagorno Karabakh, as well as Armenia, has been even more intense than Georgia’s – let alone Moldova’s or Ukraine’s. Still, there has also been some EU support for publications, such as the Analyticon (cover seen in picture) and various civil society activities in Karabakh.

Grono of ICG believes there should be more such programs, including greater educational opportunities to study in European countries, training and professional exchanges for medical professionals, cooperation in environmental conservation and elsewhere.

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