CrisisWatch Armenia

Unchanged Situation

International efforts to advance peace negotiations continued but with little progress, European Union (EU) launched monitoring mission, and earthquake in Türkiye opened up opportunities for cooperation.

Armenia and Azerbaijan exchanged draft peace treaty, but talks between FMs did not resume. Blockade of Lachin corridor connecting Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) with Armenia (see Nagorno-Karabakh) continued to hinder diplomatic efforts, with no meetings in Feb between Armenian and Azerbaijani FMs, who are responsible for formal negotiations on peace treaty. Still, PM Pashinyan 16 Feb announced Yerevan had sent draft proposal of peace treaty to Baku, which Azerbaijani President Aliyev 18 Feb confirmed receiving. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 18 Feb chaired meeting with Pashinyan and Aliyev at Munich Security Conference to discuss progress on draft, among other issues. Meanwhile, Russia intensified its own mediation efforts amid growing competition with West over peace agenda. Notably, Russian Special Representative Igor Khovayev 9, 14 Feb visited Yerevan and Baku, respectively; Russian President Putin 14 Feb spoke with Aliyev; and Russian FM Sergei Lavrov 27 Feb met with Aliyev in Baku.

Armenia and Azerbaijan debated control of corridors, EU launched monitoring mission. Aliyev 18 Feb proposed establishing Azerbaijani checkpoints along Lachin corridor and creating similar Armenian checkpoints at Azerbaijan-Armenia state border along any future railway and motorway connecting mainland Azerbaijan to its exclave Nakhichevan via Armenia; FM Ararat Mirzoyan 22 Feb rejected proposal, saying Russian peacekeepers should retain control of Lachin corridor (see Nagorno-Karabakh). Meanwhile, EU 20 Feb launched civilian monitoring mission along Armenian side of international border with Azerbaijan, aimed at contributing to border stability, building confidence and supporting efforts toward normalisation.

Ankara and Yerevan made progress on opening border following earthquake. In aftermath of devastating earthquake that hit Türkiye, Armenia 7 Feb sent rescue team, while border 11 Feb symbolically opened for first time since 1988 to allow humanitarian aid to pass through. Mirzoyan 15 Feb visited Türkiye and sides agreed to repair border bridge and work toward opening land border for diplomats and third-country nationals. Pashinyan 18 Feb expressed optimism that increased communication and collaboration could lead to more progress on political front.

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