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Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

CrisisWatch Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Unchanged Situation

Russian-brokered Nov ceasefire held in Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) conflict zone as Armenia and Azerbaijan continued dialogue and swapped prisoners. In NK conflict zone, situation remained stable throughout Feb. Russian border guards 13 Feb set up additional post near Agarak village in Armenia’s Syunik region (which now borders Azerbaijan) after Azerbaijani troops reportedly fired sporadically in vicinity. Azerbaijani side reported soldier and civilian fatalities in mine explosions in different parts of conflict zone throughout Feb; according to Office of Azerbaijani Prosecutor-General, total of 14 people killed and 60 injured as of 9 Feb since Nov ceasefire agreement. Azerbaijan and Armenia continued cooperation: parties 9 Feb swapped prisoners of war and post-ceasefire detainees with mediation of Russian peacekeepers, with one Azerbaijani prisoner returned to Baku and five Armenian detainees to Yerevan. Armenian side continued search for bodies of its soldiers and civilians killed during war in NK territories controlled by Azerbaijan until mid-month. During first-ever meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani and de facto NK officials, sides 12 Feb discussed cooperation on missing persons; with International Committee of Red Cross mediation, Armenian side 12 Feb handed over remains of 17 bodies missing during war in NK in early 1990s; Azerbaijani side 16 Feb transferred remains of 106 bodies buried in territories under its control during recent war. Trilateral working group co-chaired by deputy PMs of Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan 6, 12 and 27 Feb met and continued work on resuming use of transport links between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in line with 11 Jan Moscow statement. Minsk Group Co-Chairs 16 Feb held separate online meetings with Armenian FM Ara Aivazian and Azerbaijani FM Jeyhun Bayramov, during which they discussed implementation of trilateral agreements on NK. Russian President Putin 17 Feb held phone conversation with Armenian PM Pashinyan reportedly to discuss practical aspects of Nov ceasefire agreement as well as Jan Moscow agreements. Armenia 1 Feb submitted interstate application against Azerbaijan at European Court of Human Rights for violations during 2020 NK war; move follows interstate application against Armenia filed by Azerbaijan in ECHR in Jan.
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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.

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.

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.

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Zaur Shiriyev

Analyst, South Caucasus
ZaurShiriyev