The long conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh this month recaptures global attention the only way it ever has: through new bloodshed. Azerbaijan’s swift seizure of the ethnic Armenian enclave has ignited a humanitarian crisis. Most of the territory’s 120,000 residents are fleeing to Armenia, raising the specter of ethnic cleansing. The international community must urgently secure safety for civilians, long the primary victims of this war.
This week’s NATO summit conference wrought significant advantages for Ukraine in its fight for independence, and on behalf of Europe’s security. Ukraine and most NATO members sought an unconditional invitation for Ukraine to join the NATO alliance following its war with Russia. They achieved part of that goal — a shorter, clearer path to Ukraine’s membership, USIP analysts note. Turkey’s reversal, to support Sweden’s accession to the alliance, strengthens the community backing the Ukrainians’ self-defense. While the summit had no prospect of lightening the burdens of defending Ukraine, Europe and the international rule of law, it accomplished what was achievable in the moment.
The NATO summit cleared major hurdles for Sweden to join the alliance and offered a consensus for Ukraine’s eventual accession. With Moscow still dealing with the fallout from Prigozhin’s recent uprising, signs indicate that “Putin is now weaker than anybody in the West thought he’d be two months ago,” says USIP’s Donald Jensen.