Azerbaijan is keen to resettle territories regained from Armenian control. Landmines are its largest headache. To woo foreign support, Baku should be more welcoming of outside expertise. Along with Yerevan, it should also unlink demining from the conflict and consider joining the landmine ban treaty.
Baku continued high-level talks with Yerevan, as exchanges of fire along border and in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) caused injuries.
Leaders reached impasse during talks in Moldova, FMs met in Washington. Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan and President 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 Armenia continued along border and in NK. Armenia 14 June claimed Azerbaijani gunfire injured two Indian nationals in Yeraskh village in Armenia’s 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 on 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 another important development. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 13 June visited Azerbaijan to discuss further military and political cooperation, as well as to express readiness to open Turkish general consulate in Shusha city, reclaimed by Baku in 2020 war.
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.
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.
Fighting in and around Nagorno-Karabakh is decimating towns and cities, displacing tens of thousands and killing scores. Combatants must cease attacks on populated areas and let humanitarian aid through. International actors, notably the UN and OSCE, should send monitors and push harder for a ceasefire.
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