As peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan continue, Baku has opened a checkpoint on the Lachin corridor, the sole road connecting Armenia to the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, raising fears of a new surge in fighting. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts discuss the risks.
Yerevan continued high-level talks with Baku, as exchanges of fire along border and in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) caused injuries.
Leaders reached impasse during talks in Moldova, FMs met in Washington. PM Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev 1 June held meeting with European Council President Charles Michel, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Moldova’s capital Chişinău; participants agreed to attend follow-up meeting in Brussels on 21 July but achieved little else. During meeting with members of Armenian community in Moldova, Pashinyan 1 June indicated willingness for an enclave exchange on condition sides use mutually agreed-upon map to draw border. U.S. 27-29 June hosted fresh negotiations between FMs of both Azerbaijan and Armenia, with U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 29 June saying sides made “further progress” toward peace agreement but that “hard work” remains to be done.
Clashes with Azerbaijan continued along border and in NK. Armenia 14 June claimed Azerbaijani gunfire injured two Indian nationals in Yeraskh village in Ararat region on border; Azerbaijan same day denied accusation and blamed Armenian troops for “intensive fire” in Sadarak district of Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave on 13-14 June. In NK, Azerbaijan 15 June claimed gunfire from Armenian territory injured soldier in Lachin corridor connecting NK with Armenia, prompting Baku to tighten its blockade of corridor (see Nagorno-Karabakh); Armenia claimed one of its soldiers was injured when Azerbaijani forces sought to advance into its territory.
In other important developments. Pashinyan 3 June visited Turkish capital Ankara to attend inauguration ceremony of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, marking first visit to Türkiye by Armenian leader in over decade; leaders 28 June called for “confidence-building measures” to continue during phone call. After EU 21 June approved 11th sanctions package against Russia, Deputy FM Mnatsakan Safaryan same day expressed concern, claiming sanctions “make it unbearable for Armenia economy-wise and security-wise”.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson speak with Olesya Vartanyan and Zaur Shiriyev, Crisis Group’s South Caucasus experts, about where things stand between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the deadly border clashes in September and whether a peace agreement might be within reach.
A fragile truce concluded on 14 September halted fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia that left hundreds of soldiers dead. In this Q&A, Crisis Group explains what occurred and what needs to happen now to restart the peace process between the two foes.
This week on Hold Your Fire! Richard Atwood talks to Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan about the state of the UN as world leaders meet for General Assembly week, and also catches up with Europe and Central Asia Program Director Olga Oliker about the latest from Ukraine and violence on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.
Six months of contacts between Türkiye and Armenia have brought an agreement to move toward opening their shared border and launching direct trade. But Ankara and Yerevan are far apart on many issues. The road ahead will be long.
Turkish and Armenian special envoys will meet in Moscow on 14 January to discuss normalising relations between these long-estranged neighbours. Crisis Group experts Olesya Vartanyan, Nigar Göksel and Zaur Shiriyev unpack how the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh war in 2020 opened the way for talks.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Crisis Group’s South Caucasus expert Olesya Vartanyan about the conflict in and over Nagorno-Karabakh, a year on from a Russian-brokered ceasefire that put an end to renewed large-scale fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The 2020 war over Nagorno-Karabakh left many issues unresolved and the front lines volatile. The parties should establish a formal communication channel to address urgent post-war problems, Russian peacekeepers need a clearer mandate and aid agencies must be granted access to the conflict zone.
Russian mediation succeeded in ending the six-week war in Nagorno-Karabakh but left much unresolved, chiefly the region’s future status. If the cessation of hostilities is to become a sustainable peace, the parties should start by cooperating on humanitarian relief and trade before tackling larger questions.
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