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CrisisWatch Armenia

Unchanged Situation

Transport corridor remained central sticking point between Yerevan and Baku, while opposition continued protest over PM Pashinyan’s perceived readiness to soften stance on status of Nagorno-Karabakh (NK). Russia 3 June mediated talks on transport corridor between Deputy PM Mher Grigoryan and Azerbaijani counterpart Shahin Mustafayev in Russian capital Moscow, where pair agreed to continue efforts to unblock transport links. Russian FM Sergei Lavrov 9 June visited Armenia’s capital Yerevan, said that “simplified” border crossing procedures would be used on railway and motorway connecting mainland Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan exclave via Armenia. While providing few details, Lavrov did not exclude possibility of route being under Armenia’s jurisdiction. Pashinyan 14 June told media outlet Al Jazeera that “narrative about the so-called corridor [between Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan exclave] is unacceptable”, referencing 2020 agreement that mentioned only Lachin corridor, which connects NK to Armenia via Azerbaijan. Azerbaijani President Aliyev 23 June again accused Armenia of failing to provide transport link connecting Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan exclave, as per 2020 agreement. Disagreements over status of NK persisted, hindering peace talks (see Nagorno-Karabakh). Speaking to local media, Pashinyan 27 June accused Azerbaijan of undermining diplomatic efforts in order “to legitimise a new war”. Meanwhile, defence ministry 20 June said one soldier was killed 18-19 June on border with Azerbaijan. Since mid-April, Armenia has reported two soldiers killed at military positions between Azerbaijan’s Kelbajar district and Armenia’s Gegharkunik region, which have seen particularly deadly skirmishes since 2020. Opposition leader Ishkhan Saghatelyan 14 June announced switch from daily anti-govt demonstrations, which opposition had been staging since late April, to weekly rallies, saying it will bring “new impetus” to “our resistance movement”; added that opposition’s main aim was still to ouster Pashinyan and prevent new “capitulation agreement” with Azerbaijan, referring to possible treaty on status of NK (see Nagorno-Karabakh). Pashinyan 15 June told parliament that “any status” guaranteeing security, rights and freedoms of NK people should be considered “real solution” and claimed alternative would be “annihilation not only of Nagorno-Karabakh, but of Armenia as well”.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

13 Jul 2020
Many people would be very surprised if clashes at the Armenia-Azerbaijan border spiral out into war, but that doesn’t mean something cannot happen, say, in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. OC Media

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
2 Aug 2018
The general public sees Mr. Kocharian as a person responsible for accelerating the political stagnation that led to economic decline and social problems in [Armenia]. Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
15 Nov 2017
The [Armenian] government generally supports a deeper militarization of society. The reforms discussed plan to merge everyday life with military service – the so-called 'army-society' model. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus

Latest Updates

Improving Prospects for Peace after the Nagorno-Karabakh War

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.

Also available in Русский

Reducing the Human Cost of the New Nagorno-Karabakh War

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.

De-escalating the New Nagorno-Karabakh War

Azerbaijan and Armenia are again at war over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region. Russia and France may be best-positioned to broker a ceasefire, but would need to offer parties prospects of attaining goals through talks. It will be a hard sell.

Video: Preventing a Bloody Harvest on the Armenia-Azerbaijan State Border

The fresh violence in the Armenia-Azerbaijan state border now threatens the livelihoods of many facing the impossible choice of leaving their crops to rot or risking their lives gathering their produce for market.