SZ Podcast "On the Point" - News from September 14th, 2022 - Politics

Soldiers from the ex-Soviet republics and neighboring countries have been shooting since Monday Armenia and Azerbaijan again at each other. Again it is about Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountainous region in the South Caucasus. After the collapse of the USSR 30 years ago, the area fell to Muslim Azerbaijan. In Nagorno-Karabakh, however, mostly Armenians live, which is why Christian Armenia also lays claim to the area. The last war was two years ago, and now both sides are again reporting dozens of dead soldiers.

The war in autumn 2020 did not finally solve the problem, says Istanbul correspondent Tomas Avenarius. From Azerbaijan's point of view, only part of Nagorno-Karabakh was recaptured. At the moment only Baku and its guarantor power Turkey can have an escalation of the conflict into a war. But Russia, Yerevan's protecting power, has such big problems in Ukraine "that it can hardly devote itself to the Caucasus." Many former Soviet republics have moved further and further away from Moscow, Avenarius continues. Ankara sees the South Caucasus as its sphere of influence, while Moscow sees the entire Caucasus as Russia's backyard. Azerbaijan is a "great resource power" and, in contrast to Armenia, a very prosperous country. "Azerbaijan is an important exporter and an important pipeline country. Important not only for Russia but also for Turkey."

It is "a highly explosive region" with brutal conflicts. This would also be reflected further east in Central Asia in the current exchanges of gunfire on the border between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan demonstrate. There, the "Afghan civil war" has partly spread to neighboring countries. "This whole region is completely unstable, especially since the West pulled out." There, too, Moscow "can no longer fulfill its tasks as a factor of stability" because of the Ukraine war. Avenarius adds: "The well-worn term of the powder keg unfortunately fits."

our older one podcast about the historical conflict see here.

Further news: Von der Leyens wants to relieve EU citizens with excess profits, the cabinet decides on citizen benefits.

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