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Is regional integration helpful?

Resolving Post-Soviet ‘Frozen Conflicts’

April 2010, Number 01.02

“The so-called “frozen conflicts” are among the toughest challenges to Black Sea regional security, as well as to the national interests of several post-Soviet states. They include the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the conflicts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia and the Transnistrian conflict in Moldova.

The conflicts vary in scope, history and management options, but are structurally similar. Contributing factors, such as weakness of states, economic depression and external support are in place in each of the conflicts. Moreover, they create similar threats for the national security of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova. Artificially “frozen,” or de-escalated, none of the conflicts have been fully resolved. Along with traditional geopolitical challenges, they are also sources of transnational threats.

Common wisdom holds that regional integration is one of the best possible responses to this sort of problem under given circumstances. But, despite numerous attempts to put frozen conflicts into the framework of different integration projects, they are still far from being resolved. Arguably, they are even further from resolution than ever before...”

Excerpt from Mykola Kapitonenko, “Resolving Post-Soviet ‘Frozen Conflicts’,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 2, 2010: 32-37.

Dr. Mykola Kapitonenko is an associate professor at the Institute of International Relations at Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine, and executive director of the Centre for International Studies.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.