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Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
November 30, 2011


WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) announced today the following briefing:


“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.


Panelists scheduled to speak:

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.


Media Contact: Shelly Han
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Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic (C), who serves as Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE in 2015, meeting with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (L) and Helsinki Commission Chairman Chris Smith (R) immediately after the February 25 hearing on Serbia's leadership of the OSCE. (Feb. 2015)