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Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

CrisisWatch Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Unchanged Situation

In spite of ongoing border tensions, Azerbaijan exchanged Armenian detainees in return for mine maps from Armenia. Following mediation efforts by Georgian, U.S., EU and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe representatives as well as commander of Russian peacekeeping mission, Azerbaijan 12 June released 15 Armenian detainees in exchange for maps delivered from Yerevan that indicated sites of landmine clusters in Agdam district. Armenian Acting PM Pashinyan 12 June praised handover of Armenian prisoners as “start of a new process” and added that Armenia had provided Azerbaijan with some mine maps back in Dec 2020 “in order to create a constructive atmosphere”. Azerbaijan’s State Security Service and Prosecutor-General’s Office 7 June confirmed that 13 Armenian soldiers were charged with crossing into Azerbaijan and terrorism; 10 June announced criminal cases against 26 more Armenian soldiers had been submitted to court in Azerbaijan. Series of incidents on state border continued to fuel tensions, including deadly mine blast and shelling (see Armenia and Azerbaijan). During Turkish President Erdoğan's visit to Shusha city, Erdoğan and Azerbaijani President Aliyev 15 June signed milestone joint declaration on bilateral tries (see Azerbaijan); Aliyev and Erdoğan also confirmed that declaration bolstered military cooperation, and contained “very clear” statements on importance of transport corridors between two countries and opening of consulate in Shusha; Armenian MFA 15 June denounced joint visit to Shusha as “provocation against regional peace and security”. Meanwhile, protesters in Nagorno-Karabakh 21 and 22 June demanded resignation of de facto President Arayik Harutyunyan following reports that he was seen at office of Armenia’s ruling Civil Contract party on Armenia’s parliamentary election day held on 20 June. Following protests, Harutyunyan remarked that “a snap election will be held in a reasonable time frame” but that he would not stand in elections and would quit politics.
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Reports & Briefings

In The News

3 Oct 2020
This is a more serious escalation [over Nagorno-Karabakh], much better prepared, with more troops, and happening simultaneously on all parts of the front line. The Economist

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
28 Sep 2020
We are a step away from a large-scale war (between Armenia and Azerbaijan). Al-Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
27 Jul 2020
At some point there are things that require somebody to set a leadership agenda. [OSCE] can’t do all of that without somebody in charge. Financial Times

Olga Oliker

Program Director, Europe and Central Asia
16 Jul 2020
It seems unlikely the [Azerbaijan-Armenia] crisis would escalate, as neither side has territorial claims on northern border areas and the fighting had not spread to Karabakh itself. Al Jazeera

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus
12 Apr 2017
The chances for the potential escalation [of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] are very high. And the conflict will be more deadly this time, since both sides know each other’s capabilities Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Magdalena Grono

Former Program Director, Europe & Central Asia
29 Dec 2016
[A border clash between Armenia and Azerbaijan] is really very strange and surprising. There have been very few incidents outside Nagorno-Karabakh this year. Financial Times

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus

Latest Updates

Podcast / Asia

Ethnicity and Conflict in Myanmar

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Rob Malley and guest host Richard Atwood talk about the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh with Crisis Group’s Europe Program Director Olga Oliker and examine Myanmar’s identity crisis with Crisis Group expert Richard Horsey. 

Turkey Flexes Its Foreign Policy Muscles

In this week’s episode of Hold Your Fire!, Nigar Göksel, Crisis Group’s Turkey director, dissects Turkey’s assertive moves in places ranging from Syria and Iraq to Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, and now Nagorno-Karabakh.

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.

What’s Behind the Fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh

In this week’s episode of Hold Your Fire!, Olesya Vartanyan, Crisis Group’s senior South Caucasus analyst, opens up about how the recent flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh is affecting her personally. It could be the “big war” between Armenia and Azerbaijan that everyone was dreading would happen.

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.

Our People

Olesya Vartanyan

Senior Analyst, South Caucasus

Zaur Shiriyev

Analyst, South Caucasus