A rapid arms buildup, botched peace talks and a pick-up in fatal frontline clashes. If this sounds to you like a recipe for potential disaster in the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh, chances are the Brussels-based International Crisis Group would say you're right.
In a February 8 report on the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the territory, the ICG warned that there is an "urgent" need to prevent the chance of a renewed, full-scale war over Karabakh.
While the report finds that neither Baku nor Yerevan "is planning an all-out offensive in the near-term," it underlines that the current situation "could easily spin out of control."
The ICG puts a large part of the emphasis for change on existing international negotiation mechanisms. After nearly 19 years of talks and no real breakthrough in sight, some might question the practicality of that suggestion, but a lack of viable alternative options makes criticism difficult. (Editor's Note: The ICG receives funding from the Open Society Institute. EurasiaNet.org is financed through OSI's Central Eurasia Project.)
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