Nagorno-Karabakh analyst on Vilnius conference: "evidently, they are deluding themselves"
13:15 05/06/2006

"The forum on NATO's Role in Defrosting Frozen Conflicts recently
held in Vilnius is a landmark event revealing a number of trends,"
Karabakh analyst David Babayan commented to a REGNUM reporter. First
of all, the Forum confirms the gravity of NATO's plan to strengthen
its role in resolving conflicts in South Caucasus.

"We can only welcome participation of such an influential organization
in peaceful conflict settlement in this strategically important South
Caucasian region. However, the conference participants offer NATO
a ready approach, a preset settlement scenario. They behave quite
contradictory in this context," David Babayan said. He reminded
that in the declaration adopted at the forum it is pointed out that
unsettled conflicts in Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and
Nagorno Karabakh corrupt general European well-being: "The existence
of unrecognized states is straightforwardly characterized in the
declaration as aggressive separatism. Meanwhile, another declaration
article proclaims that unsettled European conflicts may be settled
only based on principles of democratic pluralism and respect for human
rights, as well as with the assistance of peacekeeping missions. These
two theses conflict with each other. On the one hand, unrecognized
states are stigmatized as aggressively separatist, which excludes
every chance to recognize their self-determination. On the other
hand, principles of democratic pluralism and respect for human rights
are maintained. What is it really that hinders application of the
abovementioned democratic principles?" David Babayan questions.

The situation, according to Babayan, is rather paradoxical: politicians
are trying to "delude themselves and avoid taking decisions crucial
for the strengthening of democracy itself." "Meanwhile, international
conflicts are a good test to measure democracy. It is how states
behave in the process of conflict settlement and how they approach
the settlement that indicates most clearly sincerity of the states'
adherence to democratic values. Otherwise, lofty democratic ideals
merely camouflage aggressive imperial striving," analyst stressed. He
believes that the threat of such neo-imperial striving to democratic
communities could not be overemphasized. It is too often underestimated
due to the small size and relative weakness of states who adopt
such covert official ideology. "An analogy with medicine immediately
comes to mind. Generally speaking, the size of viruses is neglectable
compared to the size of organisms which they invade, but the former
are able to parasitize and paralyze the latter, even when these are
healthy and very large organisms," David Babayan resumed.