Nagorno-Karabakh analyst on Vilnius conference: "evidently, they are deluding themselves"

Regnum, Russia
May 7 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.