As peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan continue, Baku has opened a checkpoint on the Lachin corridor, the sole road connecting Armenia to the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, raising fears of a new surge in fighting. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts discuss the risks.
Escalating humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh triggered emergency session at UN Security Council (UNSC); de facto authorities and Baku remained at loggerheads.
Humanitarian crisis deteriorated further. Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) continued to experience acute shortages of food, fuel and medical supplies due to Baku’s blockade of Lachin road, which connects NK to Armenia, fuelling humanitarian crisis. International Committee of Red Cross, unable to deliver aid since late July, 18 Aug reiterated appeal to resume assistance. Baku 30 Aug blocked French humanitarian convoy from entering NK via Lachin. Azerbaijani Red Crescent society 29 Aug sent food trucks via Agdam road, which connects NK to Azerbaijan-controlled Agdam region; de facto authorities 30 Aug declared it would not accept aid (many in Armenia and NK view Baku’s preference for Agdam route as tactic to integrate enclave into Azerbaijan and entrench Lachin blockade). Meanwhile, Azerbaijani border guards 28 Aug detained three ethnic Armenians from NK as they attempted to cross Lachin checkpoint; detainees allegedly members of football team filmed stepping on Azerbaijani flag in 2021.
UNSC failed to pass NK resolution during emergency session. UNSC 16 Aug held emergency session on crisis at Yerevan’s request, highlighting worsening humanitarian situation and urging resumption of aid deliveries but failing to pass resolution. Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan 17 Aug said UNSC “reaffirmed the existence of a humanitarian crisis”, which therefore contradicted Azerbaijan’s denial of blockade; Azerbaijan same day dismissed Armenia’s failed “attempt to instrumentalise” UNSC.
Baku and Stepanakert disagreed on proposal to resolve crisis. Azerbaijani foreign ministry 11 Aug announced that international “shuttle diplomacy” had produced deal to resolve crisis; agreement (based on Russian proposal put forward in July) envisioned opening Agdam road and in reciprocation, 24 hours later, traffic through Lachin road would be allowed to increase. Despite reportedly considering proposal, de facto authorities 17 Aug rejected it on grounds it gave Baku full control over deliveries via both roads; Baku consequently accused Stepanakert of sabotaging efforts to resolve crisis. De facto leader of NK Arayik Harutyunyan 31 Aug announced intention to resign, marking further blow to work on resolving crisis. Meanwhile, de facto forces and Azerbaijan throughout month traded blame for near daily “ceasefire violations”.
[Azerbaijan] redrew the map in the 2020 war [over Nagorno-Karabakh] and now seeks a peace settlement with Armenia but on its own terms.
The fate of the Karabakh Armenians is a core issue for ending the hostility between the two countries [Armenia and Azerbaijan]. No one has laid out what’s the best way.
With the current crisis in Ukraine, it is not easy for those in the West to support the Russian presence in Nagorno-Karabakh.
In this online event Crisis Group experts discuss the latest developments in Nagorno-Karabakh and prospects for de-escalating tensions and a peace agreement.
Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks in Washington DC. It’s a critical moment for Nagorno-Karabakh
The EU is sending a mission to monitor the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2023, Crisis Group explains what else the EU and its member states can do to avert another war and revitalise peace talks.
The European Union is sending monitors to Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan, so as to lessen the danger of renewed fighting between the two countries over Nagorno-Karabakh and other issues. Brussels must give the mission the means and mandate it will need to succeed.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson speak with Olesya Vartanyan and Zaur Shiriyev, Crisis Group’s South Caucasus experts, about where things stand between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the deadly border clashes in September and whether a peace agreement might be within reach.
A fragile truce concluded on 14 September halted fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia that left hundreds of soldiers dead. In this Q&A, Crisis Group explains what occurred and what needs to happen now to restart the peace process between the two foes.
Several soldiers have been killed in clashes between Azerbaijani troops and ethnic Armenian forces answering to the de facto authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh, raising fears of escalation. Crisis Group experts Olesya Vartanyan, Zaur Shiriyev and Anita Mihaeljana explain what can be done to safeguard the ceasefire.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has raised fears of renewed fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh but also hopes of mediation opportunities. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2022 – Spring Update, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to facilitate diplomatic efforts, preserve Moscow’s role in conflict resolution and make clear that they will support any agreed steps toward an eventual settlement.
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