CrisisWatch Armenia

Unchanged Situation

Continued blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) led to standoff in peace talks with Azerbaijan, and European Union (EU) approved civilian monitoring mission to Armenia’s border areas.

Blockade of NK brought peace talks with Azerbaijan to near standstill. Azerbaijan-backed protesters’ continued blockade of Lachin corridor, only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia (see Nagorno-Karabakh), derailed all diplomacy built around Armenia-Azerbaijan peace process. Communication between Yerevan and Baku throughout Jan was almost non-existent as sides exchanged blame for standoff, despite EU and Georgian attempts to arrange talks. Notably, EU early Jan tried to convene associates of Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders, but Baku cancelled participation. Georgia also reportedly proposed trilateral cooperation format after receiving request from Baku. However, Azerbaijani President Aliyev 19 Jan said at World Economic Forum that Yerevan had rejected proposal; FM Ararat Mirzoyan 20 Jan responded, saying “Armenia is greatly interested in developing trilateral dialogue” but that initiative failed due to disagreement with Baku over Armenian demand for joint statement against hate speech. Russian foreign ministry 27 Jan emphasised Moscow’s “readiness to organise talks between the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers”.

EU approved monitoring mission to Armenia. In positive move aimed at preventing new escalation along Armenia-Azerbaijan border, EU 23 Jan announced it will deploy two-year civilian monitoring mission to Armenia in border areas to contribute to “stability”, “build confidence on the ground and ensure an environment conducive to normalisation efforts”. Azerbaijan next day warned that EU mission must not be used “for derailing the normalisation process, including in the context of border delimitation process”.

In other important developments. PM Pashinyan 10 Jan said Armenia would not host annual drills for Russian-led military Collective Security Treaty Organisation alliance due to regional instability. Six months after Armenian and Turkish special envoys announced renewed efforts to normalise relations, Türkiye 6 Jan lifted ban on direct cargo flights with Armenia.

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In The News

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