234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-6460
Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
Media Contact: Shelly Han
December 7, 2011


“Conflicts in the Caucasus: Prospects for Resolution”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
2:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Room B-318 Rayburn House Office Building

Twenty years after the disappearance of the Soviet Union, the unresolved conflicts in the Caucasus remain one of its most problematic legacies. Despite the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) long mediation in the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, the results have been disappointing. After the 2008 Russia-Georgia war and Moscow’s subsequent recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the prospects for settling those conflicts seem more remote than ever.

This Helsinki Commission briefing will examine where these conflicts stand today; what factors impede a settlement; whether the resumption of armed hostilities is a serious threat; whether changes in the negotiating format might yield a better outcome; and what, if anything, could the United States do to facilitate a resolution.


Tom de Waal, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Fiona Hill, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Wayne Merry, Senior Fellow, American Foreign Policy Council


The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.


Russian Federation
United States of America


Confidence and Security Building Measures
Conflict Prevention/Rehabilitation
Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons
Military Aspects of Security
National Minorities
OSCE Institutions/Structures/Meetings


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“Helsinki Commission Chair Rep. Chris Smith is honored for his efforts to promote an end to the division of Cyprus, with Alexis Galanos, President, Union of Cypriot Municipalities and Mayor of Famagusta, Cyprus. (June 2015)