The role of NATO and the EU in resolving frozen conflicts
Kennelly, Kevin G.
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On Europe's periphery lie a number of unresolved conflict and unrecognized states most of which emerged during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Due to their remote and strategically insignificant nature, they were largely ignored by the West as it peacefully integrated Central and Eastern Europe into the community of liberal democracies. Russia utilized the lack of international concern to prolong the conflicts in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh and destabilize the smaller states emerging from the Soviet Union. The conflicts exploit a fundamental ambiguity in international law between sovereignty and self-determination. This study shows that NATO and the EU have the ability to resolve frozen conflicts through their influence on the third parties that are preserving them. Unlike earlier solutions made only by one or two great powers, NATO and the EU represent the majority of established democracies in the world. As they share common values, they can reach consensus on policy actions unlike the UN or OSCE. As large organizations of democratic states, they possess credibility that no other institution or great power combination has ever had before. They also have the military capability to support policy choices. Furthermore, Russia and Turkey have a record of submitting to well-coordinated Western policy and exploiting differences in it if such coordination in lacking.
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