CrisisWatch Armenia

Unchanged Situation

Tensions with Azerbaijan persisted amid numerous reports of shooting along border and in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK), efforts to reach peace deal continued, and CSTO summit took place in Yerevan.

Armenia and Azerbaijan traded accusations of shooting along border. Situation at Armenia-Azerbaijan border remained fragile following Sept clashes, with both sides reporting shooting along front line during month. Kremlin 7 Nov called on parties to refrain from actions that could spark “escalation”, while U.S. State Dept 12 Nov said it was “deeply concerned” by reports. Meanwhile, tensions simmered in NK conflict zone, with de facto authorities reporting one civilian and at least two servicemen killed 10, 28 Nov respectively (see Nagorno-Karabakh).

Support for bilateral diplomacy continued, but Azerbaijan contested French efforts. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 7 Nov hosted Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs in U.S. capital Washington, praising “courageous steps” toward peace. French President Macron and PM Pashinyan 19 Nov highlighted importance of “strengthening stability and security in the South Caucasus” during Summit of International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) in Tunisia; according to Pashinyan’s press office, PM also “stressed the need to eliminate the consequences of Azerbaijani aggression”. Azerbaijan same day criticised OIF members’ “anti-Azerbaijani position” while country’s President Aliyev 25 Nov cancelled Dec meeting with Pashinyan over Armenian request to involve Macron. Meanwhile, Pashinyan 10 Nov made public Armenian proposal to establish demilitarised zone along state border after Azerbaijani troops withdraw from Armenian territory; Baku had not responded by end of month.

Armenia hosted CSTO summit. Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit 23 Nov took place in capital Yerevan for discussions on international and regional security issues. Pashinyan refused to sign declaration on “joint measures on providing assistance to Armenia”, saying it did not address Yerevan’s concerns regarding CSTO’s “lack of a clear political assessment” on conflict with Azerbaijan.

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